My experience getting 5.1 from the PS4

  • 17 February 2017
  • 19 replies
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Hi guys,

Just wanted to write a short article on my experience trying to get Dolby Digital 5.1 from the Playstation 4 (not slim, not pro) when playing Blurays with DD5.1, DTS and DTS-HD audio, 'cos I tried all sorts of options and hopefully this article will save you the time :D

There are a few things to consider:
- The PS4 settings menu, for defining audio priority and format
- The PS4 Bluray player application settings menu
- Whether you're outputting over HDMI or Optical
- Whether your TV is passing the audio on correctly
- Checking the Sonos app, under Settings, About My Sonos System, to check the PLAYBAR "Audio In" status.

First I followed the steps outlined in this helpful article: https://en.community.sonos.com/home-theater-228993/home-theater-and-television-recommendation-megathread-6735001?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=owned&utm_content=Null&utm_campaign=new_to_sonos&linkId=34068092

However, there's a problem with that article. It claims the PS4 can transcode DTS into DD5.1. It can't. At least, not in my experience, and I'll go into that more below.

From that article there's also a link to this article specifically for the PS4 settings: https://sonos.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/3837/?_ga=1.132502414.1616669579.1487196271

I originally had the PS4 set to output over HDMI and to the TV, and then have the TV output optical to the Soundbar. I couldn't get DD5.1 at all that way, so I tried optical straight from the PS4 to the Soundbar. Bingo, DD5.1 from the PS4 system screens, and also for apps like Netflix if the show has 5.1 audio. Then I popped in a DD5.1 audio bluray (Dark Knight), and only got stereo...

In the PS4 Bluray application, hit Options, scroll to the right, and hit settings. On the audio settings, select "Bitstream (mixed)", and bingo again - DD5.1 coming through to the soundbar, so that was great.

I then tried a DTS bluray (Wall-e), and all I was getting was stereo. From the PS4 Bluray player app settings menu, "Bitstream (mixed)" didn't even come up as an option. Similarly for a DTS-HD Bluray (Kubo and the two strings). For Wall-e and Kubo, all I could get out of the PS4 was stereo, either by HDMI via the TV or by Optical straight to the Playbar.

So I wondered if, perhaps, the PS4 is outputting DTS or DTS-HD, and that needs to be transcoded into DD5.1 somewhere, and it looked as though my TV wasn't doing it (Samsung UE46F6500). The audio menu on the TV lists options for PCM, Dolby Digital, DTS Neo 2.5, but I can only ever get PCM.

So I wanted to bypass the TV entirely and see if I can set the audio on the PS4 to HDMI priority as per the article above, but have the HDMI go into an audio splitter, and have the audio taken from there and put into the sounbar, with the video carrying on by another HDMI into the TV set.

With that setup, the DD5.1 was coming through the splitter over HDMI>Optical, for the PS4 system screens, as with optical, but when I tried the blurays I got the same response as above. so DTS and DTS-HD wasn't being transcoded to DD5.1 over optical or over HDMI to a splitter. That, combined with the fact that the PS4 bluray player settings screen doesn't offer "Bitstream (mixed)" for DTS and DTS-HD blurays, makes me believe the PS4 quite simply does not transcode DTS or DTS-HD in any way.

The same trial-end-error approach was done with the PS3, and that managed DD5.1 output over optical for DD5.1, DTS and DTS-HD blurays. So when it comes to physical formats, all of which are DTS and DTS-HD these days - it's PS3 all the way for me.

Hopefully that helps you find out what works best for you!

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19 replies

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This was a great breakdown. I have a projector with a PS4 (not slim, not pro); I'm on the fence about the play bass, but your experience helped clear up some of my concerns. Thanks!
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Glad it was of some use! 😃
Hi MrConor,
so I was under the impression that the above would happen with me too,
but I tried it anyways
I am playing LOTR which is encoded in DTS AFAIU
https://www.amazon.com/Lord-Rings-Fellowship-Extended-Editions/dp/B007ZQAKHU/ref=dp_ob_title_dvd
On a PS4 directly connected to the sonos speaker using optical out.
Settings on PS4, Audio Out Optical, once that is selected an option is given asking which all format are supported by the speakers/device connected to the ps4 via the optical, I select only DD 5.1
Format selected as Bitstream dolby.
While playing the bluray, click option->settings->audio->select Bistream mix(this option only available when connected via optical).
And I get DD 5.1 via my sonos system, confirmed via the phone app's setting about my sonos system option.


This is a request on ps4 communities I replied to recently, asking for the option of bitstream mix over hdmi.
http://community.us.playstation.com/t5/Consoles-Peripherals/Feature-Request-BITSTREAM-MIX-Support-via-HDMI-ON-PS4/td-p/42478319
It would be great if others can pour in their comments too.
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What’s the best way to get the standard PS4 to play films and games in surround sound with PLAYBAR and two play 1’s and sub. I only have hdmi out on PS4 and digital optical connected from between tv and PLAYBAR is it possible. Tv is ok it’s just PS4 need to sort out
PS4 will transcode DTS. My settings on PS4, connected to a Playbase via Optical:
Settings
Sound and Screen
Audio Output Settings
Primary Output Digital Out (Optical).
Click on the above
Click on Digital Out (Optical)
The screen will show 3 options. You must ONLY tick ‘Dolby Digital 5.1ch’ to force the PS4 to transcode to DD5.1
Click OK
Put. DTS movie on and play
When playing the movie click on the ‘options’ button. A menu appears on the bottom. Scroll to the right
Click ‘Settings’
Select Audio Format, choose Bitstream (Mix)

Good luck!
Hi,

I am having the same issue. I have just spent over an hour on the phone with a Sonos advisor who has confirmed that Sonos is not compatible with DTS. I have followed the above steps and changing primary output to Optical, and then the (in film) option to bitstream mix still only plays in stereo. I have been informed there is nothing that can be done and buying a new Blu-ray payer which can convert DTS to Dolby Digital 5.1(but still not necessarily all discs) is my only option. Hugely frustrating, especially as I can run it in German in 5.1.
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Hi,

I am having the same issue. I have just spent over an hour on the phone with a Sonos advisor who has confirmed that Sonos is not compatible with DTS. I have followed the above steps and changing primary output to Optical, and then the (in film) option to bitstream mix still only plays in stereo. I have been informed there is nothing that can be done and buying a new Blu-ray payer which can convert DTS to Dolby Digital 5.1(but still not necessarily all discs) is my only option. Hugely frustrating, especially as I can run it in German in 5.1.


And the optical is plugged directly into your Sonos?
My PS4 is connected to TV via HDMI for the picture, and optical directly to Playbase. If you were to port the optical from the TV you will still get stereo. You can buy a cheap audio switch to change audio between PS4 and TV like this Portta switch.
Hi,

I am having the same issue. I have just spent over an hour on the phone with a Sonos advisor who has confirmed that Sonos is not compatible with DTS. I have followed the above steps and changing primary output to Optical, and then the (in film) option to bitstream mix still only plays in stereo. I have been informed there is nothing that can be done and buying a new Blu-ray payer which can convert DTS to Dolby Digital 5.1(but still not necessarily all discs) is my only option. Hugely frustrating, especially as I can run it in German in 5.1.


And the optical is plugged directly into your Sonos?
I’m connected TV to Playbar via optical and PS4 to TV via HDMI. I have tried hard wiring straight into PS4 and doesn’t make a difference. Sonos technician has confirmed to me today that DTS is not supported and will therefore not play in 5.1. I can get it to run in stereo, or even play in 5.1 up until the Blu-ray menu screen, then as soon as you press play you loose sound completely. I’ve tried all the permutations of settings and can’t get DTS Blu-rays to play in 5.1. I have another disc which is classed as Dolby True HD and that plays in full 5.1 but anything DTS doesn’t work. I have the original PS4 therefore it might be different on the later release machines and Pro, not sure.
Ok strange all DTS blu rays work for me. I am currently playing Avatar bluray, 5.1DTS Master Audio. Here are the key settings. Optical plugged into playbase direct from PS4, and I have the original PS4, not the new one.
So I’m finally getting somewhere. I’ve tried again going direct optical from soundbar to PS4 and using the shown settings I’m now running in 5.1, hooray, therefore what I was told today was bs. That’s great, but it does mean that every time I want to run this type of disc I’ve got to faff around rerouting the optical cable, as this set up clearly won’t work when running Sky TV. Is there any work around (maybe a setting on the TV) where I could leave the optical in the TV and still get DTS Blu-rays running in 5.1. I really appreciate the help so far, I’m further forward than when I was in the line with Sonos for an hour earlier, and multiple diagnostic test made.
Cool glad it worked out! Yes I got mixed advice from Sonos when I originally bought the Playbase. If you get the switch, plug all the items into it via optical,including the TV, then the output from the switch to the Sonos via optical again then you use the switch remote control to change what you are listening to. 🆒
Sorry I’m new to all this, what’s a switch? I have one optical cable, are you suggesting getting various optical cables and having them all plugged into a “switch” which you can the change between?

Sorry if I’m being a numpty at this stage ?
Or if you want to be creative, get a harmony remote, program it to change the sound on the switch and activate your device at the same time then that will work. Unfortunately there’s no ‘easy’ option unless you can find a tv that can transfer the 5.1 sound to the Playbase, not all TVs can do this unfortunately.
A typical optical switch:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Portta-Toslink-Digital-Optical-Switcher/dp/B01A89OEUY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1518554339&sr=8-1&keywords=optical%2Baudio%2Bswitch&dpID=41y3UghWlPL&preST=_SY300_QL70_&dpSrc=srch&th=1
That’s brilliant, think I’ll go down the switch option. If this is something you’ve done before does it matter what type of optical cable? They’ve got so many and they really vary in price. I’ve got a brand new 4k Sony Bravia so the TV might even be able to do it, but I can’t see anything in settings, tried looking on forums as well but can’t see anything.
Not really an expert on optical cables but i guess branded ones would be better eg QED. I would suggest looking at connecting all your devices to your TV via HDMI then going into your TV sound settings to test if the TV will pass 5.1 to yoir playbar. TV might have an HDMI input with ARC written on it. This input i believe is the one to use for the main item you use for 5.1. My TV doesnt pass 5.1 sound hence i use a switch.
Thanks all for the input. After messing around in the menu I was able to get DTS on the status bar. In my case, I have the normal ps4, appletv and sometimes watch local tv. I am wondering was there a significant improvement in sound quality to justify the switching back and forth with the optical cable? Thanks again!