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BEAM HDMI INPUT QUESTION

  • 12 February 2019
  • 6 replies
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Is it possible for the BEAM to accept an HDMI signal directly from a source (cable box/ dvd. etc) instead of the HDMI arc or optical out to hdmi converter
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Best answer by Keith N 12 February 2019, 23:08

pmecchi: Actually, it's a little more complicated than how I originally posted. When it comes to ARC and setting up the Beam, the Beam needs to be plugged into an ARC port if using HDMI. My original answer was missing a crucial point of how ARC works. Before we used HDMI-ARC, we were able to plug in any source (via optical) and it would come through without hassle. Now using HDMI-ARC, the Beam is looking for a handshake (over the Audio Return Channel) from the source via specific pins on the HDMI cable before even getting an audio signal.

While I understand you did not want to use an HDMI-to-optical converter, I wasn't sure if you knew the Beam already includes an HDMI-to-optical adapter. It's much smaller and snaps right onto the HDMI cable, rather than most "breakout-box" style HDMI converters. This would require your source (older AppleTV's, Xbox, cable box) to have an available optical audio port. Just now, I tested this with my own Beam setup and wasn't able to set up my new AppleTV via HDMI (no optical port), but my Xbox was able to use optical to finish TV setup and it was able to pass an audio signal to the Beam.
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Hey there, pmecchi. In theory, yes. The Beam will accept an HDMI signal from anything that gives it. It does not necessarily need to be a TV or HDMI ARC port. Keep in mind, if you were to plug a cable box into a Beam, you wouldn't be able to see anything and you'd simply be testing audio. Personally, I've done this to test if TV's were passing Dolby Digital 5.1 properly.
Thank you - That is what I assumed - p
Userlevel 7
Badge +19
pmecchi: Actually, it's a little more complicated than how I originally posted. When it comes to ARC and setting up the Beam, the Beam needs to be plugged into an ARC port if using HDMI. My original answer was missing a crucial point of how ARC works. Before we used HDMI-ARC, we were able to plug in any source (via optical) and it would come through without hassle. Now using HDMI-ARC, the Beam is looking for a handshake (over the Audio Return Channel) from the source via specific pins on the HDMI cable before even getting an audio signal.

While I understand you did not want to use an HDMI-to-optical converter, I wasn't sure if you knew the Beam already includes an HDMI-to-optical adapter. It's much smaller and snaps right onto the HDMI cable, rather than most "breakout-box" style HDMI converters. This would require your source (older AppleTV's, Xbox, cable box) to have an available optical audio port. Just now, I tested this with my own Beam setup and wasn't able to set up my new AppleTV via HDMI (no optical port), but my Xbox was able to use optical to finish TV setup and it was able to pass an audio signal to the Beam.
ok - so the source need to be optical out or HDMI+ARC - thank you for following up
Is there any chance there will be some sort of firmware upgrade that would fix this problem? Specifically, allowing a standard HDMI feed without ARC to provide audio? The signal is obviously still there.

I have a computer in the living room that we use for playing music and sometimes some videos that we're watching. I like the fact that the Beam has great sound, a wifi connection, Alexa/Google, a compact form (22" and no external power supply, fits right under a monitor).

The lack of Bluetooth was a concern, but I thought I could run the Computer Monitor via Displayport and run the HDMI output to the Beam for sound. But it doesn't seem to work. There is no optical link on the computer.

The only other option seems to be buying some sort of converter box to change the HDMI signal to HDMI plus optical, then use the optical to HDMI-ARC adapter. But this obviously isn't a very "clean" solution.
Is there any chance there will be some sort of firmware upgrade that would fix this problem? Specifically, allowing a standard HDMI feed without ARC to provide audio? The signal is obviously still there.

Since it's not a "problem" then I would think the answer is almost certainly "no". Although the signal is there it's on different HDMI pins. The player is designed to be fed using ARC.

Your best bet would indeed be an HDMI audio extractor box, with optical data then connected through the Sonos optical-HDMI dongle.

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