Questions over getting 5.1 (PCM/LPCM/DTS,ETC!)

Hi guys,
Could do with your help making sense of some stuff if you're able to advise?
Got a Playbar plugged into a Samsung TV, watching Blurays on a PS4.
Got two Play:1s behind the sofa for a surround sound system.
Most of the time, however, I'm seeing Stereo as the input type when checking the info in settings on the sonos app.
I have the PS4 set to HDMI priority, with bit stream (dolby) set as the audio format, as with another article on here.
I've tried optical straight from the PS4 to the sound bar, but it still comes up as stereo.
I've tried the HDMI into the TV and the optical from TV to soundbar and it still says stereo.
The TV only allows me to select PCM as the audio format out.

Im still trying to get my head around the various audio formats, but is it possible to get 5.1 through PCM?

If it is possible, does it come to as 5.1 in the sonos app, or will all PCM come up as stereo?

I'm looking into possibly getting a splitter to bypass the TV for audio, if that'll help me get 5.1 from all my DTS Blurays.

Any tips? (and yes I know it's not fully 5.1 til I get a sub, but I'm being a good neighbour in an apartment block and I'm keeping the bass at reasonable levels :D )

Thanks on advance for any help you can give!


17 replies

i.e. PCM is stereo only. So, yes, you would be a good candidate for one of those devices that split out the audio from the HDMI stream before sending it to the TV, if your TV can't do a full dolby digital pass through (and were I in your shoes, I'd double check that with your TV manufacturer, you might save yourself some money)

Note, you'll not be able to use DTS at all off of your Bluray disks and feed that to your Sonos system. The "highest" level of data it will interpret will be Dolby Digital, until they decide to release some new hardware. You may be able to go into the audio settings of your bluray player and lock it down to Dolby Digital, it depends on the manufacturer of it.

So stereo or Dolby Digital seem to be your choices, as long as you want to stay within the Sonos system.
OK, I've made significant progress on this so want to post it here for anybody else who faced the same issues.

In a quick summary, the PS4 doesn't seem to want to output DD5.1 over HDMI at all. regardless of whether you've selected the Dolby option for the audio output when HDMI is the priority.

It'll output DD5.1 over optical but only in certain circumstances. If you're on the system menu screens, or on an app like Netflix, it'll do 5.1. If you pop in a bluray with DD5.1 audio (no DTS, no DTS-HD, etc) then it'll output 5.1 over optical but *only* if you also hit the options button when the bluray is playing and change the bluray player app's audio output settings to "Bitstream (mixed)". It seems to ignore the settings in the PS4 settings menu itself. So we're talking multi-layered settings here. Total pain.

I tried the same set up with optical, and blurays with DTS and DTS-HD, but no luck. Even opening up the bluray player app settings it doesn't list mixed bitstream as an option.

I purchased the HDMI Audio splitter and tried HDMI audio priority on the PS4 and then took optical from that. In instances where the PS4 played 5.1 (like on the system screens) it passed through the splitter without any issue, but still couldnt get anything but stereo from DTS and DTS-HD blurays, so the TV wasn't the issue, it's the PS4 itself.

The PS3 however outputs DD5.1 on everything over optical, so I'm glad I didn't throw that away :)
Wow. Hurray, Sony, for breaking a good thing. :( Wonder why they did that.

Glad you've been working through the whole thing, and I'm sorry it's been such an issue for you.
@MrConnor You say “In a quick summary, the PS4 doesn't seem to want to output DD5.1 over HDMI at all. regardless of whether you've selected the Dolby option for the audio output when HDMI is the priority.” To me that doesn’t seem very likely (although I also can’t get DD from HDmI on my Beam), since I have had DD on my former set up (Marantz sr6006). I could get DD or DTS by choosing the PCM output option in the HDMI setting. I now have put an audio extractor/embedder between my PS4 and my Samsung TV. What is the output from either the PCM or the Bitstream DD setting on the PS4 that works on my (former) Marantz, but not on my Beam?
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This is the device I had to use to get my older Samsung TV to emit 5.1 over optical for HDMI inputs: - put it between the PS4 HDMI output and the TV HDMI input. It tells the PS4 what to emit, instead of letting the TV erroneously decide. Happy to report that my new Samsung TV did not need this hack.
@controlav I will try if the device works for me too, trying to get 5.1 from my Mede8er over HDMI via my Samsung to my Beam.
Today I received the device ( @controlav mentioned in his post above. Happy to say it works! My Sonos Beam now accepts the DD 5.1 HDMI-output from my Mede8er via my Samsung UE46D8000. Great! Thank you @controlav.
I'm having similar issues to others trying to get my PS4 to output DD 5.1 to Beam via HDMI and a 2013 Samsung TV. Everything works fine using the built in apps on the TV ie Netflix/Amazon but PS4 will only output PCM via HDMI. Connected the Beam directly to the PS4 using the optical adaptor and it worked but not an ideal setup. Reading through the posts in this and other threads I thought the EDID manager mentioned in above post would do the trick. Ordered one and plugged it all in, however when I set it to 5.1 audio I get no sound at all. I can see on the TV settings that Dolby Digital is available to select whereas previously it was greyed out. Its the same if I disconnect the Beam and just use the TV speakers so its not an issue with the ARC connection.

Am I doing something wrong? Setup is HDMI>EDID Manager>HDM>TV, settings on PS4 set to HDMI and Dolby Bitstream.
My EDID-manager has different settings. Have you experimented with different settings? If the EDID-manager does not work in your set up (I haven’t tried it in mine it in mine because for the PS4 I went for the embedder/extractor mentioned above) ; the embedder/extractor-route works for me. It is a bit more costly, though.

I am stil baffled about what exactly goed wrong when you ask the PS4 to output Bitstream (Dolby Digital) over HDMI when the output called DolbyDigital 5.1 over optical does the trick when embedded in the HDMI-stream....
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The fact that DD is available as a setting on the TV is promising, it means the EDID manager is doing its thing and overriding the stupid default the TV wants to do. I don't have a PS4 but it sounds as if that needs another setting change, somewhere to emit DD 5.1 instead of something else. In the Sonos app, what does it say about the signal the Beam is getting (it is buried in the About page)?
I'm going to do some further testing tonight trying different combinations of settings. Ive not much hope though. Was hoping to avoid a more costly solution and this was ideal as its quite small and doent require external power.
Sonos app says there is nothing coming through at all. I disconnected the Beam and nothing was coming through on TV speakers either so its not Beam or Arc related. For some reason there is no DD signal coming out despite it being setup to receive it! May try and swap the hdmi cable jyst in case there is a fault there.
Unfortunately no success in testing the different settings. If I set audio format on PS4 to pcm I get stereo from Beam but as soon as I change it to Dolby Bitstream sound cuts off completely but I can select Dolby in Tv settings. Most annoying! Looks like its back to the drawing board.
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Sorry but I am out of ideas on this one.
You could try the device I’m using with my PS4:
106rallye wrote:

You could try the device I’m using with my PS4:

Thanks. Does this require an external power supply? I was hoping for a simple setup but doesnt look like that is going to be possible.
Yes, it does have a power supply.

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