The Apple TV is finally getting Dolby Atmos support - Maybe now SONOS will make a stride for it.

  • 5 June 2018
  • 8 replies

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Soon on June 6th we will know what is the current SONOS understanding on accepting other codecs. Apple TV has just announced that it will have DOLBY Atmos, since, SONOS said that one of the reasons for them not pursuing DTS + Other codecs was that they weren’t available via streaming and there wasn’t high demand for them. Maybe now that might change.

Keeping my hopes up for the event on Wednesday.

Apple announced some new features for its Apple TV set-top box during WWDC today. The company is bringing live sports and news to the TV app, along with full Dolby Atmos support coming to the Apple TV 4K.

Apple TV 4K is now the first (and only) streaming device to support both Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision. iTunes Movies will start offering Dolby Atmos this fall, and just like when Apple started offering 4K videos, any movies you already own will get updated to Atmos for free.

Additionally, Apple announced that it would be partnering with Charter Spectrum on the Apple TV “late this year,” allowing users to access live channels and on-demand content from the cable provider, marking the first major US cable company to support Apple’s set-top box.

Apple is also expanding its single sign-on system that it introduced last year. Now, the Apple TV will offer “zero sign-on.” If you’re connected to your cable provider’s broadband, the Apple TV will recognize and automatically log in to all your connected cable apps, without ever requiring you to enter your password. Zero sign-on is launching later this year with Charter Spectrum, with more providers promised over time.

Also new in tvOS is the option to finally discover where the Apple TV’s panoramic screensavers were shot, along with the ability to swipe between different screensavers. Apple is also partnering with NASA to create new panoramic screensavers shot from the International Space Station, which will also be coming with the new tvOS update.

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8 replies

I'm a little doubtful that Sonos got information in advance about the Apple TV upgrade, and I imagine it's too late to add Atmos to the product annoucement. For one thing, adding Atmos to Apple TV is entirely different then what Sonos would need to do. Apple TV needs to update it's movie flies and pass on the codes. Not a small task. Sonos needs to actually put in the speakers to create Atmos. Also not a small task.

If Sonos decided to do Atmos, they surely decided it a while back based on industry projections. If I had to guess, the new soundbar will not support Atmos just yet, but will have the hardware and capability to support it at a later date. Maybe the the soundbar will be able to send audio to 8 or 9 supportting speakers, and Sonos comes out with atmos speakers at a later date.

I'm guessing the new soundbar will focus more on other codecs and using eArc to control the tv and such.
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I don’t think it was a secret that Apple were brining Atmos to AppleTV. The timing might have been guarded, but the roadmap was announced last year.

So might the timing of Sonos event for 2 days after Apple’s WWDC be telling? If not then 6th is going to be one big letdown and there’ll be a lot of dissapointed people on this forum.

So Sonos have the chance to Wow us with something that’s a big step up in HT maturity and flexibility. If it is simply about getting rid of remote controls and limited hdmi then I for one will go meh and ‘relagate’ Sonos to music only.

If they provide for a more flexible system which:

Supports HD sound (i’m not fussed about atmos per se, but higher quality sound than DD please!)
Supports independent L/R channels so the bar is basically for centr dutios only. Optionally supports additional side/rear/surrount speakers then chances are high I’ll buy:

Additional Play 5 so I can take the solo one I have and make the pair L/R.
Additinal pair of play 1s (or any other speakers they being out to support greater than 5.1)
An additional sub for when I move the old playbar out to another room.
Whatever the new fangled box is.

So i’m guessing at least £2.5k worth of additinal sales hanging in the balance come 6/6. ?

If it is just a small step alexa/remote control load of bo11ox. I’ll be spending the grand total of SFA. I’ll be investing my future HT £ in another brand, and moving current HT setup to use in the other rooms in the house I currently have Sonos for music. Which I love, but will have no need for any more speakers. Ultimately sonos is the loser as there will be a way to get the non sonos system to work with the rest via AP2, assuming it scales. So i’m not overly worried either way.

But come on sonos. Take my money!!!! I dare you ?
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Plus one here. I am currently on the market to buy upgrade for my Philips sound bar and since I have already invested in Sonos speakers, Playbar would be an easy choice. Have high hopes that it would support Atmos some time in the future. Now it is a tough question - should I buy Playbar now or wait?...
The big announcement is tomorrow, so if you can wait till then . . .
Userlevel 7
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Existing Playbars cannot support Atmos, obviously, as they only have optical in. Today's new device hopefully will have HDMI support so stands a greater than zero chance of Atmos support.
Existing Playbars cannot support Atmos, obviously, as they only have optical in. Today's new device hopefully will have HDMI support so stands a greater than zero chance of Atmos support.

Yeah, I was afraid that the optical input would be a major issue when it came to making PlayBar/PlayBase Atmos compatible. Wouldn’t it be possible for Sonos to make an Atmos receiver box for those devices that take in the HDMI input and sends it to the optical port (or networked) of your TV speaker?

Love my PlayBase, Sub and two Play:1’s for my surround setup, though Atmos would be an incredible addition if Sonos found a way to let us keep our existing speakers through something like a $149 device that also adds things like the voice assistant and the HDMI-ARC features the Beam has.
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Apple TVOS12 (tomorrow) tand the say their itunes will be home to the largest collection of Dolby atmos supported videos Anywhere. What's Sonos going to if they claim their system a home theater? Maybe it's is...just not a modern one.
Can Dolby Atmos be carried across an optical cable? What's the licensing cost difference between Dolby Digital and Atmos? Answers to those questions might be helpful in understanding Sonos' current position on supporting Atmos. Along with the actual design of their PLAYBAR/PLAYBASE, which I understand are not conducive to Atmos.

Without doing a ton of research into this, I think my expectation is that we'd get the ability to have true 5.1 using separate speakers before we get an Atmos capable system. But I guess there would be nothing stopping them in doing both simultaneously. But there would definitely need to be new hardware needed, I don't think it's just a software update necessary.