Help with AMP + Outdoor Smart TV + TiVo separated by distance


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I’m trying to determine how to best setup the following scenario.  I would like a Smart TV and a TiVo Mini to be able to send their audio signals to a Sonos AMP that powers two speakers.  The TV is separated from the AMP and TiVo Mini.  There is a single CAT6a cable that runs from the TV to the AV Closet.

Sonos AMP - located inside AV Closet, powers 2 outdoor speakers.

Outdoor Smart TV - outside on rooftop deck, its video sources are its own internal streaming apps and a TiVo Mini Vox.  This TV has HDMI ARC as well as additional HDMI ports.

Tivo Mini Vox - as noted above,  a video source for the outdoor TV and located in the AV Rack next to the Sonos AMP.

 

I’m almost certain that i’ll have to use an HDMI extender (HDBaseT or other) as the only cable between the two locations is the CAT6a run that is about 130ft.  Since i’d like the TV’s own audio from its streaming apps and the TiVo Mini’s audio to play over the Sonos powered speakers I’m pretty sure I need the HDMI ARC port of the TV to connect back to the Sonos.  The rest is where I’m fuzzy, I still need to connect the HDMI port of the TiVo Mini to the TV to send in the TiVo’s video signal.  Any guidance or shared experiences would be greatly appreciated!

 

 


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Hi @jnl 

Welcome to the Sonos Community!

To get a ARC signal back to the Amp from the TV (and to get the TiVo signal to the TV) over a distance of 130ft you would likely need a HDBase-T setup, as you say - HDMI just isn’t an option over that distance.

I recently had a similar conversation with another community member here: 

It seems you’d need to connect the Amp via an optical converter to the same HDBase-T box that the TiVo would connect to - this optical port supplies the ARC signal coming back from the TV. The optical converter does not come with the Amp, but you can purchase one here. Be sure to buy a HDBase-T transmitter/receiver kit that supports HDMI-ARC.

This setup would support up to 4.1 surround audio (the fifth channel - centre - is remapped to the front left and right channels), with the addition of a second Amp and a Sub (though the Sub is not suitable for outdoors) or a third-party subwoofer.

As the TV needs internet, you may need to run a second ethernet cable (unless the TV can receive WiFi) as the ethernet connection for HDBase-T doesn’t follow networking protocols and cannot carry internet at the same time. HDBase-T uses ethernet but should not be connected to your network.

 

An alternative to HDBase-T would be HDMI-over-IP, which does use existing network connections for distribution. I don’t know much about this myself, but I did find this article comparing the two technologies: https://community.fs.com/blog/hdmi-over-ip-vs-hdbaset.html

With HDMI-over-IP, you could presumably use the same cable for the feed and internet, though I don’t know if HDMI-ARC is supported (which is a must). I would assume it’s more prone to latency than HDBase-T.

I hope this helps.

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@Corry P , thank you for the reply and for pointing me to the related conversation thread.

If i understand you correctly, would this updated diagram reflect the thought process you had for connecting everything?  If so, then my only question is; doesn’t this potentially leave an ‘always-on’ audio stream from the Tivo to the AMP (via Tivo HDMI through the HDBaseT adapter Optical Port)?  How would I stop audio from playing perpetually? Neither devices (TiVo nor Sonos AMP) have a true power off setting.

 

 

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Hi @jnl 

Yes - the diagram shows how things should be connected, though it’s probably worth pointing out that I don’t think the two HDBase-T units will be identical, so the receiver unit must be with the TV.

If I understand correctly, the HDBase-T unit will not link the Amp and TiVo directly - the optical port on the HDBase-T unit is connected to the HDMI-ARC link from the TV, which is a different signal path for audio than it is for HDMI source to TV (a different physical wire on the HDMI cable). The upshot of this is that the audio going to the Amp will only be active if the TV is on. I recommend that you verify this with the manufacturer of whichever HDBase-T system you opt for, however, as it may vary.

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I finally have all gear here to try and will update if it works.  I opted for the Altona balun b/c of their reputation, a little miffed at the price but…

There are some baluns that support HDMI ARC over the HDMI port without needing the optical from TV input separately but I opted for Altona based on how good they are supposed to be longterm. Other, cheaper products exist.

I will have it all mounted and installed this weekend so can report back.

 

 

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Hi @jonasmith 

Sounds like a fun weekend!

Looking forward to hearing how it all goes!

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Quick Update:​​​​​​

I need to do more testing, but playing content from the TV Apps (Netflix, etc.) works great and I am getting sound over the optical out channel from the TV through the Altona balun and into Sonos via the optical to hdmi adapter.  Only thing I noticed was TV audio sync with sonos might need tuning (or really just mute tv speakers). 

I still need to test video in over HDBaseT but I ran out of time to get that going.  Will let you know but seems like it should work since I know the return audio channel clearly works.

 

 

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Hi @jonasmith 

Quick Update:​​​​​​

I need to do more testing, but playing content from the TV Apps (Netflix, etc.) works great and I am getting sound over the optical out channel from the TV through the Altona balun and into Sonos via the optical to hdmi adapter.  Only thing I noticed was TV audio sync with sonos might need tuning (or really just mute tv speakers). 

I still need to test video in over HDBaseT but I ran out of time to get that going.  Will let you know but seems like it should work since I know the return audio channel clearly works.

Fantastic! Thanks for the update!

Your ears are much better at distinguishing a slight delay than your ears and eyes working together - you should definitely disable the TV’s internal speakers.

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Confirmed that everything including remote video works as expected over balun and soundback to sonos. 

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Read through this whole thread again and wanted to point out a few things reading and testing the balun specs (Atlona AT-HDR-EX-100CEA-KIT)

  1. it supports ARC but not like you think - you must connect optical from tv to balun. It doesn’t extract from HDMI ARC. And on other side optical out for return audio. 
  2. so sound stops when TV is off
  3. you only need power for transmitter bc receiver is POE via the HDBaseT CAT6 linkage.  
  4. this model has two CAT6 ports on each tx/rx unit. One for HDBaseT link between rooms and the other for the internet/network. So while I ran 2 CAT6 cables I only really needed one since the altona carried internet, video and sound over the single CAT6 cable. 
  5. my TV has HDBaseT built in but I didn’t use it since Tx and Rx are paired from Altona. 
  6. it also supports or repeater but I don’t use it since my remote is not IR and works for the distance to wiring closet.
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Thanks for sharing that info, @jonasmith!

I suspect ARC compatibility changes with brand/model.

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