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Setting up Beam on a TV with no HDMI ARC or optical out

  • 24 June 2019
  • 6 replies
  • 167 views

Hi,
I know that a lot of folks have been asking about this so I apologize for adding to the chorus but I’m trying to set up a Beam on a TV that doesn’t have HDMI ARC or an optical output. I’ve read a few different posts and seen a few different solutions so I’m hoping to get some clarity. I’ve seen some folks recommend an HDMI switch device like the Monoprice. I’ve seen other folks recommend a coax to optical cable. Attached are pictures of what I’m working with for my TV. Pictures include a picture of what my TV has for audio outs and another picture of the audio outs as it is currently set up (currently have a cable box going into the tv as well as an Apple TV). For whatever it’s worth my TV is a RCA 42pa30rq.
Any help would be much appreciated!
Thanks!
Nick
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Best answer by AjTrek1 24 June 2019, 06:36

Hi Nickfr84

It a common mistake so don't feel as though you missed Connections 101 😉. The connections; to an extent, and cables (white, red and yellow) shown in the picture are incorrect. So let's get you on the right track.

Take a look at the picture I've inserted as it correctly labels the connections you are trying to use. At this juncture all you need is the Digital Out connection. Digital Out (or In) can come in two forms requiring the use of one of the cables below. It appears your is the latter (click both links for a visual):

3.5mm Digital Cable
https://www.amazon.com/Universal-Braided-Auxiliary-compatiable-Headphone/dp/B07PTPFSQF/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?keywords=3.5mm+digital+cable&qid=1561347992&s=gateway&sr=8-1-spons&psc=1

RCA-Type Digital Cable *
https://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-Digital-Audio-Coaxial-Cable/dp/B01D5H8TS4/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=digital+rca+cable&qid=1561349277&s=gateway&sr=8-3

After selecting the appropriate cable you'll need a Digital to Optical Converter as shown in the link:

Digital to Optical Converter **
https://www.amazon.com/VANDESAIL-Optical-Coaxial-Converter-Bi-Directional/dp/B07CKZCHX5/ref=sxbs_sxwds-stvp?keywords=digital+optical+converter&pd_rd_i=B07CKZCHX5&pd_rd_r=6653ebf7-108a-4d54-8e72-62106c7e60e7&pd_rd_w=U1AnK&pd_rd_wg=Cnkr6&pf_rd_p=a6d018ad-f20b-46c9-8920-433972c7d9b7&pf_rd_r=PPNN7BY7PHFZT937SV9R&qid=1561347740&s=gateway

Your connections would be:
  • Digital Cable from Digital -Out of TV to Digital Input of Converter
  • Optical Out of Converter to Beam
  • Video source to HDMI inputs (TV will process video and send the audio to digital-out)
The Beam comes with and HDMI cable and an Optical adapter. Attach the optical adapter to one end of the HDMI cable which would be inserted into the optical-out of the Digital to Optical converter box. Attach the remaining end of the HDMI cable to the Beam. Follow the instructions in the Sonos app to complete the Beam setup.

You will most likely have to enter your TV's Audio Menu and set the sound to digital-out. Your choices may be Dolby Digital (DD.51), PCM (Stereo) or others. Select Dolby Digital if available; if not select PCM. Other choices or variations of Dolby Digital will not work.

Note: Using the Beam with the optical adapter negates voice assistance. Therefore, (although more expensive) you may want to consider a Playbar or Playbase. The Playbase is AirPlay2 capable (just like the Beam).

* Analog and Digital cables of this type look very similar in appearance. Be sure that the cable is labeled as Digital on the packaging.
** The Digital Converter box in the example comes packaged with a digital rated cable (RCA-type).

I hope this helps to clear up any confusion about the Beam. Feel free to post back with more questions.

Cheers!
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Userlevel 7
Badge +22
Hi Nickfr84

It a common mistake so don't feel as though you missed Connections 101 😉. The connections; to an extent, and cables (white, red and yellow) shown in the picture are incorrect. So let's get you on the right track.

Take a look at the picture I've inserted as it correctly labels the connections you are trying to use. At this juncture all you need is the Digital Out connection. Digital Out (or In) can come in two forms requiring the use of one of the cables below. It appears your is the latter (click both links for a visual):

3.5mm Digital Cable
https://www.amazon.com/Universal-Braided-Auxiliary-compatiable-Headphone/dp/B07PTPFSQF/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?keywords=3.5mm+digital+cable&qid=1561347992&s=gateway&sr=8-1-spons&psc=1

RCA-Type Digital Cable *
https://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-Digital-Audio-Coaxial-Cable/dp/B01D5H8TS4/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=digital+rca+cable&qid=1561349277&s=gateway&sr=8-3

After selecting the appropriate cable you'll need a Digital to Optical Converter as shown in the link:

Digital to Optical Converter **
https://www.amazon.com/VANDESAIL-Optical-Coaxial-Converter-Bi-Directional/dp/B07CKZCHX5/ref=sxbs_sxwds-stvp?keywords=digital+optical+converter&pd_rd_i=B07CKZCHX5&pd_rd_r=6653ebf7-108a-4d54-8e72-62106c7e60e7&pd_rd_w=U1AnK&pd_rd_wg=Cnkr6&pf_rd_p=a6d018ad-f20b-46c9-8920-433972c7d9b7&pf_rd_r=PPNN7BY7PHFZT937SV9R&qid=1561347740&s=gateway

Your connections would be:
  • Digital Cable from Digital -Out of TV to Digital Input of Converter
  • Optical Out of Converter to Beam
  • Video source to HDMI inputs (TV will process video and send the audio to digital-out)
The Beam comes with and HDMI cable and an Optical adapter. Attach the optical adapter to one end of the HDMI cable which would be inserted into the optical-out of the Digital to Optical converter box. Attach the remaining end of the HDMI cable to the Beam. Follow the instructions in the Sonos app to complete the Beam setup.

You will most likely have to enter your TV's Audio Menu and set the sound to digital-out. Your choices may be Dolby Digital (DD.51), PCM (Stereo) or others. Select Dolby Digital if available; if not select PCM. Other choices or variations of Dolby Digital will not work.

Note: Using the Beam with the optical adapter negates voice assistance. Therefore, (although more expensive) you may want to consider a Playbar or Playbase. The Playbase is AirPlay2 capable (just like the Beam).

* Analog and Digital cables of this type look very similar in appearance. Be sure that the cable is labeled as Digital on the packaging.
** The Digital Converter box in the example comes packaged with a digital rated cable (RCA-type).

I hope this helps to clear up any confusion about the Beam. Feel free to post back with more questions.

Cheers!
Thank you so much for the response! So I should be running the yellow/red/white cables from my
cable box into that first row in the back of my tv, and then using the cable and converter box sound will run out of my digital-out into the sonos?
Thanks again!
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
Thank you so much for the response! So I should be running the yellow/red/white cables from my
cable box into that first row in the back of my tv, and then using the cable and converter box sound will run out of my digital-out into the sonos?
Thanks again!


Hi Nickfr84

There's no need for the red/white/yellow cables; as those are analog inputs. As long as your cable box has an HDMI output you should run an HDMI cable between it and your TV's HDMI input (typically HDMI 1). You'll still need the Digital converter box and the cable(s) I referenced in my first response.

BTW...my diagram was only intended to show you the proper use for those inputs. You will only be using the Orange digital out for your purposes (other than the HDMI connection).

Question:
Are you by chance saying that your cable box does not have an HDMI out? If so I find that extremely odd in todays world.🤔

Cheers!
Thanks, that helps a lot! You’re correct that my cable box is hdmi. The yellow/red/white cables are from the DVD player that we never use (now there’s some technology that might be a little odd in today’s world!). So the only things running into the tv are hdmi’s from my cable box and Apple TV and then running out of my tv will be sound from the digital output into the convertor box Do I have that right?
Thanks again,
Nick
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
Correct!
Thanks so much!!!

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