Optical Output Type

My Toshiba TV digital output can be set to either PCM or Compressed. Which should I select to use with my Playbase?

9 replies

Generally speaking, PCM is stereo. But why don't you try them both, and see which one works/you prefer?
Userlevel 3
Badge +3
As Bruce says you won't get 5.1 through PCM, although if you've not gone for Sub and Surrounds it's not really an issue.
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
As unusual as it might sound, Dolby Digital is actually a compressed audio format. If you have surround speakers and a Sub, it's possible that setting it to Compressed might actually get you a Dolby Digital 5.1 audio signal, at least when one is provided by a source. PCM will only get you stereo audio through Sonos, though Sonos will analyze the audio to simulate surround sound.

That's certainly an interesting way to put the choices though... first time I've heard of it that way.
Thanks for all the information. I now have a much better idea of what the terms mean and how they can affect the TV audio output. For what it's worth I've selected "Compressed".

Just out of curiosity, since I've never seen a setting like that, what does the controller app show that you're receiving? Go to settings>About My Sonos system, and look at the line that says "Audio In". It should say either PCM/Stereo or Dolby Digital. I'm curious as to which it says :)
When the TV is set to "PCM" the app shows "Stereo" and when set to "Compressed" it shows "Dolby Digital 2.0"

Userlevel 2
Badge +4
Looks like you just need to try it with a 5.1 source now.
I've tried it with my Blu-ray player (via the TV set to Compressed) and the app shows Dolby Digital 5.1

Be careful with a BluRay player though. Many BluRay discs only have a DTS soundtrack, and most BluRay players don't have the ability to transcode to Dolby Digital. You'll need to check each disc to see if it has either a Dolby Digital soundtrack or a stereo one that you can use. You likely won't get any sound if it only has a DTS track.

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