Playbar audio drops out



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Userlevel 1
I am new owner of flashy new TV and Sonos; 2 x play 1s, playbar and sub.

I been having problem with DD 5.1 drop outs too but then no problems with DD2.0 format or similar. I was in the middle split whether it is sonos fault or my new LG 55UB850.

I tested sonos system with ps3; rather than let sound pass through the TV which can output 5.1 via optical (tested), i connected ps3 sound to the sonos direct using same optical cable and only had ps3 hdmi video signal on the TV. Guess what? I had no issues playing DD 5.1 content direct to sonos. 

Despite above, i still gone through helpful sonos 1st line support, submitted diagnostics log and then it got escalated to 2nd line. Here is what their engineer told me:

".....I'm one of the Senior tech engineers here at Sonos and my colleague has asked me to have a look at your incident. The rootcause of the issue you're experiencing is that the signal that the Playbar receives is not 100% compliant with the specifications set by the Dolby (tm) group. The Playbar expects to receive a fully standard Dolby (tm) signal (which it is not receiving) and therefore drops audio frames during playback resulting into audio dropouts. Internally we are looking into this issue as this can most likely be resolved by adding code to the decoding mechanism on the Playbar itself to support a non standard Dolby (tm) signal. Unfortunately I can't provide you with a timeframe on when this exactly will be implemented but when I have more news about this topic I'll make sure to provide you with more information."

The problem is not with Sonos, it is with manufacturers taking shortcuts in hardware development to probably save on processing power to output proper DD 5.1. Sonos is playing by the rules by abiding to the standards when it comes to DD signal and TVs are not.

I also had a chat with retail manager where i purchased TV from, he also greed with me on this and said that he is sceptical if he can find me alternative model/make that can handle DD 5.1 properly.

Lastly you have to consider a lot of TVs will have sound out set to PCM by default and TVs typically only handle this in 2 channels only which means that Sonos will receive a stereo sound that it will emulate as 5.1. This practise is common and provides no drop outs (i tested it) and most people wont realise that.

Stop ranting and take steps to logically solve the problem or at least identify what is causing it 

"Sonos app wont lie, its your friend in finding whats comming out of your TV, it will tell you real audio in; stereo or DD 5.1 or DD 2.0."

This is what you just ended your last comment with, that's an exact quote. The app tells me an probably plenty of other people that their audio is DD 5.1. The app won't lie is what you said.

Now, here's the thing there might not even be one TV on the market that actually outputs DD 5.1 over optical by default so let's assume that's the issue. Sonos created a product for surround sound that doesn't work for surround sound. (This is assuming what they told you is true about the TV's being the issue). You're telling me that isn't a problem?
I am new owner of flashy new TV and Sonos; 2 x play 1s, playbar and sub.

I been having problem with DD 5.1 drop outs too but then no problems with DD2.0 format or similar. I was in the middle split whether it is sonos fault or my new LG 55UB850.

I tested sonos system with ps3; rather than let sound pass through the TV which can output 5.1 via optical (tested), i connected ps3 sound to the sonos direct using same optical cable and only had ps3 hdmi video signal on the TV. Guess what? I had no issues playing DD 5.1 content direct to sonos. 

Despite above, i still gone through helpful sonos 1st line support, submitted diagnostics log and then it got escalated to 2nd line. Here is what their engineer told me:

".....I'm one of the Senior tech engineers here at Sonos and my colleague has asked me to have a look at your incident. The rootcause of the issue you're experiencing is that the signal that the Playbar receives is not 100% compliant with the specifications set by the Dolby (tm) group. The Playbar expects to receive a fully standard Dolby (tm) signal (which it is not receiving) and therefore drops audio frames during playback resulting into audio dropouts. Internally we are looking into this issue as this can most likely be resolved by adding code to the decoding mechanism on the Playbar itself to support a non standard Dolby (tm) signal. Unfortunately I can't provide you with a timeframe on when this exactly will be implemented but when I have more news about this topic I'll make sure to provide you with more information."

The problem is not with Sonos, it is with manufacturers taking shortcuts in hardware development to probably save on processing power to output proper DD 5.1. Sonos is playing by the rules by abiding to the standards when it comes to DD signal and TVs are not.

I also had a chat with retail manager where i purchased TV from, he also greed with me on this and said that he is sceptical if he can find me alternative model/make that can handle DD 5.1 properly.

Lastly you have to consider a lot of TVs will have sound out set to PCM by default and TVs typically only handle this in 2 channels only which means that Sonos will receive a stereo sound that it will emulate as 5.1. This practise is common and provides no drop outs (i tested it) and most people wont realise that.

Stop ranting and take steps to logically solve the problem or at least identify what is causing it 

i am not arguing that you dont get DD 5.1, i believe you! I have same results.

But IT IS DD NON-COMPLIANT signal as stated by sonos support hence the drop outs.

Yes i believe them because i logically tested the issue with sound going direct from ps3 to sonos (not via TV) and DD 5.1 didnt drop

Its logic
Userlevel 1
I am new owner of flashy new TV and Sonos; 2 x play 1s, playbar and sub.

I been having problem with DD 5.1 drop outs too but then no problems with DD2.0 format or similar. I was in the middle split whether it is sonos fault or my new LG 55UB850.

I tested sonos system with ps3; rather than let sound pass through the TV which can output 5.1 via optical (tested), i connected ps3 sound to the sonos direct using same optical cable and only had ps3 hdmi video signal on the TV. Guess what? I had no issues playing DD 5.1 content direct to sonos. 

Despite above, i still gone through helpful sonos 1st line support, submitted diagnostics log and then it got escalated to 2nd line. Here is what their engineer told me:

".....I'm one of the Senior tech engineers here at Sonos and my colleague has asked me to have a look at your incident. The rootcause of the issue you're experiencing is that the signal that the Playbar receives is not 100% compliant with the specifications set by the Dolby (tm) group. The Playbar expects to receive a fully standard Dolby (tm) signal (which it is not receiving) and therefore drops audio frames during playback resulting into audio dropouts. Internally we are looking into this issue as this can most likely be resolved by adding code to the decoding mechanism on the Playbar itself to support a non standard Dolby (tm) signal. Unfortunately I can't provide you with a timeframe on when this exactly will be implemented but when I have more news about this topic I'll make sure to provide you with more information."

The problem is not with Sonos, it is with manufacturers taking shortcuts in hardware development to probably save on processing power to output proper DD 5.1. Sonos is playing by the rules by abiding to the standards when it comes to DD signal and TVs are not.

I also had a chat with retail manager where i purchased TV from, he also greed with me on this and said that he is sceptical if he can find me alternative model/make that can handle DD 5.1 properly.

Lastly you have to consider a lot of TVs will have sound out set to PCM by default and TVs typically only handle this in 2 channels only which means that Sonos will receive a stereo sound that it will emulate as 5.1. This practise is common and provides no drop outs (i tested it) and most people wont realise that.

Stop ranting and take steps to logically solve the problem or at least identify what is causing it 

Yes, but there are people who have had their ps3/ps4 drop connected in the same manner. It's not just logic unfortunately. Again, if every TV outputs non compliant DD 5.1 audio over optical then Sonos should've tested nd known this before they released a product that relied on it to function properly. Tv's with optical audio out were around long before Sonos. Maybe, they'll adjust since they seem to know the issue. I guess we'll find out.
My specific scenario is as follows:

Charter Cable Box (HDMI) -> Xbox One (HDMI) -> LG 60" TV -> Optical Audio Out -> Playbar

I am going to get the specific TV model when I get home and look at the configuration settings of all devices along the path and look at the SONOS app for the audio being received.

I have read that PCM is a better quality format. I would assume I would want to use this if possible.

Right now, I have audio going through the TV because my family was frustrated by the audio drops.
I am new owner of flashy new TV and Sonos; 2 x play 1s, playbar and sub.

I been having problem with DD 5.1 drop outs too but then no problems with DD2.0 format or similar. I was in the middle split whether it is sonos fault or my new LG 55UB850.

I tested sonos system with ps3; rather than let sound pass through the TV which can output 5.1 via optical (tested), i connected ps3 sound to the sonos direct using same optical cable and only had ps3 hdmi video signal on the TV. Guess what? I had no issues playing DD 5.1 content direct to sonos. 

Despite above, i still gone through helpful sonos 1st line support, submitted diagnostics log and then it got escalated to 2nd line. Here is what their engineer told me:

".....I'm one of the Senior tech engineers here at Sonos and my colleague has asked me to have a look at your incident. The rootcause of the issue you're experiencing is that the signal that the Playbar receives is not 100% compliant with the specifications set by the Dolby (tm) group. The Playbar expects to receive a fully standard Dolby (tm) signal (which it is not receiving) and therefore drops audio frames during playback resulting into audio dropouts. Internally we are looking into this issue as this can most likely be resolved by adding code to the decoding mechanism on the Playbar itself to support a non standard Dolby (tm) signal. Unfortunately I can't provide you with a timeframe on when this exactly will be implemented but when I have more news about this topic I'll make sure to provide you with more information."

The problem is not with Sonos, it is with manufacturers taking shortcuts in hardware development to probably save on processing power to output proper DD 5.1. Sonos is playing by the rules by abiding to the standards when it comes to DD signal and TVs are not.

I also had a chat with retail manager where i purchased TV from, he also greed with me on this and said that he is sceptical if he can find me alternative model/make that can handle DD 5.1 properly.

Lastly you have to consider a lot of TVs will have sound out set to PCM by default and TVs typically only handle this in 2 channels only which means that Sonos will receive a stereo sound that it will emulate as 5.1. This practise is common and provides no drop outs (i tested it) and most people wont realise that.

Stop ranting and take steps to logically solve the problem or at least identify what is causing it 

I am not making an excuses and dont want to argue.... my understanding would be they are young company and perhaps before smart TV taken off on the market the TVs were outputting compliant DD.

I think these days smart TVs are doing a lot more, this requires more processing power and manufacturers found a shortcut to modify and transmit DD in a different manner to conserve processing.

Sonos are admitting whats happening and are planning to get a workaround, currently they have beta thats aimed at DD development and i was offered this if i sign non-disclosure agreement.

Good luck
Userlevel 1
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My specific scenario is as follows:

Charter Cable Box (HDMI) -> Xbox One (HDMI) -> LG 60" TV -> Optical Audio Out -> Playbar

I am going to get the specific TV model when I get home and look at the configuration settings of all devices along the path and look at the SONOS app for the audio being received.

I have read that PCM is a better quality format. I would assume I would want to use this if possible.

Right now, I have audio going through the TV because my family was frustrated by the audio drops.

PCM is not better quality.
Userlevel 1
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I am new owner of flashy new TV and Sonos; 2 x play 1s, playbar and sub.

I been having problem with DD 5.1 drop outs too but then no problems with DD2.0 format or similar. I was in the middle split whether it is sonos fault or my new LG 55UB850.

I tested sonos system with ps3; rather than let sound pass through the TV which can output 5.1 via optical (tested), i connected ps3 sound to the sonos direct using same optical cable and only had ps3 hdmi video signal on the TV. Guess what? I had no issues playing DD 5.1 content direct to sonos. 

Despite above, i still gone through helpful sonos 1st line support, submitted diagnostics log and then it got escalated to 2nd line. Here is what their engineer told me:

".....I'm one of the Senior tech engineers here at Sonos and my colleague has asked me to have a look at your incident. The rootcause of the issue you're experiencing is that the signal that the Playbar receives is not 100% compliant with the specifications set by the Dolby (tm) group. The Playbar expects to receive a fully standard Dolby (tm) signal (which it is not receiving) and therefore drops audio frames during playback resulting into audio dropouts. Internally we are looking into this issue as this can most likely be resolved by adding code to the decoding mechanism on the Playbar itself to support a non standard Dolby (tm) signal. Unfortunately I can't provide you with a timeframe on when this exactly will be implemented but when I have more news about this topic I'll make sure to provide you with more information."

The problem is not with Sonos, it is with manufacturers taking shortcuts in hardware development to probably save on processing power to output proper DD 5.1. Sonos is playing by the rules by abiding to the standards when it comes to DD signal and TVs are not.

I also had a chat with retail manager where i purchased TV from, he also greed with me on this and said that he is sceptical if he can find me alternative model/make that can handle DD 5.1 properly.

Lastly you have to consider a lot of TVs will have sound out set to PCM by default and TVs typically only handle this in 2 channels only which means that Sonos will receive a stereo sound that it will emulate as 5.1. This practise is common and provides no drop outs (i tested it) and most people wont realise that.

Stop ranting and take steps to logically solve the problem or at least identify what is causing it 

Well, maybe your TV is non-compliant (doubtful), but that does not mean the Playbar does not have problems.  Occam's razor dictates that if X people are having the same issue, all with Y different brands of TV's, DVD players, cable boxes, etc, and all they have in common is the Playbar, well if you are going to quote logic I'm sure you can follow the natural conclusion.

Most of us didn't complain without at least some minimal amount of research.  Like taking the exact same optical output from our TV (etc) and plugging it into a different brand of sound bar or receiver, which plays flawlessly.

I can tell you that the Sonos customer service will tell you all kinds of ignorant and untrue things in their attempt to close issues as quickly as possible.  It's a real shame.
Hi, i'm experiencing audio drops via toslink connect Tv to the Playbar, please Sonos try something to solve it. hope it will be a software solution.
I am new owner of flashy new TV and Sonos; 2 x play 1s, playbar and sub.

I been having problem with DD 5.1 drop outs too but then no problems with DD2.0 format or similar. I was in the middle split whether it is sonos fault or my new LG 55UB850.

I tested sonos system with ps3; rather than let sound pass through the TV which can output 5.1 via optical (tested), i connected ps3 sound to the sonos direct using same optical cable and only had ps3 hdmi video signal on the TV. Guess what? I had no issues playing DD 5.1 content direct to sonos. 

Despite above, i still gone through helpful sonos 1st line support, submitted diagnostics log and then it got escalated to 2nd line. Here is what their engineer told me:

".....I'm one of the Senior tech engineers here at Sonos and my colleague has asked me to have a look at your incident. The rootcause of the issue you're experiencing is that the signal that the Playbar receives is not 100% compliant with the specifications set by the Dolby (tm) group. The Playbar expects to receive a fully standard Dolby (tm) signal (which it is not receiving) and therefore drops audio frames during playback resulting into audio dropouts. Internally we are looking into this issue as this can most likely be resolved by adding code to the decoding mechanism on the Playbar itself to support a non standard Dolby (tm) signal. Unfortunately I can't provide you with a timeframe on when this exactly will be implemented but when I have more news about this topic I'll make sure to provide you with more information."

The problem is not with Sonos, it is with manufacturers taking shortcuts in hardware development to probably save on processing power to output proper DD 5.1. Sonos is playing by the rules by abiding to the standards when it comes to DD signal and TVs are not.

I also had a chat with retail manager where i purchased TV from, he also greed with me on this and said that he is sceptical if he can find me alternative model/make that can handle DD 5.1 properly.

Lastly you have to consider a lot of TVs will have sound out set to PCM by default and TVs typically only handle this in 2 channels only which means that Sonos will receive a stereo sound that it will emulate as 5.1. This practise is common and provides no drop outs (i tested it) and most people wont realise that.

Stop ranting and take steps to logically solve the problem or at least identify what is causing it 

I agree with Tony and Jeffery. I think most people here did some research about their problem and are not here just to "rant". My guess is that most are looking for some openness and honesty from Sonos. My personal experience is that this openness is not forthcoming.  I also think it's unreasonable for Sonos to release a surround sound system into the market and expect people to be technical enough to deal with the problem. As a general consumer, I am certainly not astute enough to understand a lot of the technical things being discussed here. I do believe that Sonos should be astute enough to have researched this problem themselves prior to releasing a product onto the market that drops audio -- for whatever reason. All I know is that when I switched to another system, the audio drops stopped. So, whatever the reason, other surround sound manufacturers got their systems to handle the problem. Again, I've always been a huge Sonos fan -- just saying that they missed the mark on this product and should help their customers. Why should anyone have to be escalated to a higher level of support for someone to admit that there is such a widespread problem? I had 4 discussions with support -- all 4 discussions gave me a list of things to do (including returning my Samsung television). There was absolutely no acknowledgement that my problem was a known issue. I had to find out myself searching the web.
I just got this bar because I have heard great things but sound drop out is kind of frustrating. I really hope something does improve or gets resolved as well.
Userlevel 4
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David , what tv are you using it with?
Hello everyone.  I have a Playbar connected directly to my Sky HD 1TB box and I experience these random and intermittent dropouts in audio too.  I've tried all the usual troubleshooting steps including trying various other optical cables etc.  The only thing that works is to set the Sky box audio output to Stereo rather than Dolby. 

It seems like the Playbar can't decode the Dolby signal appropriately all of the time.  I don't claim to know whether the Dolby signal outputted from the Sky Box is 'Standards Compliant', but I would suggest that, unlike TVs in that people all have different makes and models, the Sky box is a standard bit of kit found in thousands of UK homes and the Playbar should be able to play nice with it!  I hope that Sonos get a grip on this problem soon!

Rick
David , what tv are you using it with?
LC-60LE650U Sharp Aquos.
Userlevel 4
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David , what tv are you using it with?
Interesting. I was half hoping you'd say Samsung... I was becoming convinced it was Samsung at fault but now I'm not so sure. Maybe Sonos truly are to blame. Damn them! I'm so frustrated at the whole thing. I can't even get 5.1 from my TVs inbuilt Netflix app. Says 5.1 but only getting DD2.0 for the last couple of months.
i replaced my TV and it still didnt fix problem, on Tuesday there has been Sonos 5.2 Beta release, i run the update and now for last 3 days i dont get a single drop out.

I cant believe it, so got in touch with sonos support and they confirmed that its possible since the beta does contain some DD fixes.

Would be interesting if people here try it
I also tried the new Sonos 5.2 beta and get audio drops every hour using an DD 5.1 audio source.
Userlevel 3
CYP AU-D41 is the answer is that what Sonos is Saying????
Hi. This CYP unit seems to simply pass through the signal. That won't help much. I have a perfectly good optical signal from my TV (Philips 55 PUS8809 gorgeous image, btw). Reading this thread and based on my own tests with three 2014 high end TVs, nothing helps because even a plain DD5.1 signal is not propely decoded. Audio drops. Period. I'll return the junk. /T
Userlevel 3
I am new owner of flashy new TV and Sonos; 2 x play 1s, playbar and sub.

I been having problem with DD 5.1 drop outs too but then no problems with DD2.0 format or similar. I was in the middle split whether it is sonos fault or my new LG 55UB850.

I tested sonos system with ps3; rather than let sound pass through the TV which can output 5.1 via optical (tested), i connected ps3 sound to the sonos direct using same optical cable and only had ps3 hdmi video signal on the TV. Guess what? I had no issues playing DD 5.1 content direct to sonos. 

Despite above, i still gone through helpful sonos 1st line support, submitted diagnostics log and then it got escalated to 2nd line. Here is what their engineer told me:

".....I'm one of the Senior tech engineers here at Sonos and my colleague has asked me to have a look at your incident. The rootcause of the issue you're experiencing is that the signal that the Playbar receives is not 100% compliant with the specifications set by the Dolby (tm) group. The Playbar expects to receive a fully standard Dolby (tm) signal (which it is not receiving) and therefore drops audio frames during playback resulting into audio dropouts. Internally we are looking into this issue as this can most likely be resolved by adding code to the decoding mechanism on the Playbar itself to support a non standard Dolby (tm) signal. Unfortunately I can't provide you with a timeframe on when this exactly will be implemented but when I have more news about this topic I'll make sure to provide you with more information."

The problem is not with Sonos, it is with manufacturers taking shortcuts in hardware development to probably save on processing power to output proper DD 5.1. Sonos is playing by the rules by abiding to the standards when it comes to DD signal and TVs are not.

I also had a chat with retail manager where i purchased TV from, he also greed with me on this and said that he is sceptical if he can find me alternative model/make that can handle DD 5.1 properly.

Lastly you have to consider a lot of TVs will have sound out set to PCM by default and TVs typically only handle this in 2 channels only which means that Sonos will receive a stereo sound that it will emulate as 5.1. This practise is common and provides no drop outs (i tested it) and most people wont realise that.

Stop ranting and take steps to logically solve the problem or at least identify what is causing it 

Some strange arguments in original posts. The amount of work that has been performed by Playbar owners to try to get it to work! It's just not possible that it's all on the TV-side.
- My TV is a brand new hex core processor, Android TV.
- Other soundbars have no problems.
- I ested three high end TVs myself this year, no success.
- Sonos staff has admitted already that they can't handle the wait command of DD5.1 properly.
- Of course other equipment may not send commands that Sonos playbar can't handle. Lucky for Sonos that somethingswork.
- They may have reached the limit of their WiFi implementation sending audio to a sub and two Play1. They would never say because it would be a tech dead end for them.

I'm only in it still because I'm so heavily invested in other Sonos equipment.
Userlevel 3
David , what tv are you using it with?
I can't get it to work with a Philip 55PUS8809 4K TV either. My guess is they just struggle like h-l to get it right.
Userlevel 3
i replaced my TV and it still didnt fix problem, on Tuesday there has been Sonos 5.2 Beta release, i run the update and now for last 3 days i dont get a single drop out.

I cant believe it, so got in touch with sonos support and they confirmed that its possible since the beta does contain some DD fixes.

Would be interesting if people here try it

Still working? You are really getting my hopes up.
Userlevel 3
I also tried the new Sonos 5.2 beta and get audio drops every hour using an DD 5.1 audio source.

This sound like a HUGE improvment, even though you made me plunge in dispair again after having read the post above. How does it compare to before the update?
i replaced my TV and it still didnt fix problem, on Tuesday there has been Sonos 5.2 Beta release, i run the update and now for last 3 days i dont get a single drop out.

I cant believe it, so got in touch with sonos support and they confirmed that its possible since the beta does contain some DD fixes.

Would be interesting if people here try it

yeah no sound drops anymore, been monitoring/testing it every day, its really great that the problem is solved
Userlevel 3
i replaced my TV and it still didnt fix problem, on Tuesday there has been Sonos 5.2 Beta release, i run the update and now for last 3 days i dont get a single drop out.

I cant believe it, so got in touch with sonos support and they confirmed that its possible since the beta does contain some DD fixes.

Would be interesting if people here try it

Did you experience any loss in quality as described in a recent post regarding the 5.2 beta. Can't link. Search for Playbar Beta.
With 5.2 beta firmware still experiencing audio drops from tv optical out (tv sammsung LE40B650T). Tested TV programs and PS3 games. Sent diagnostics #4132205 #4132225. Please Sonos keep going in investigating for a definitive solution ! Thanks
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Hi, I have a samsung UE46F7000 smart TV running Netflix app version 3.22603 Does anyone else run same and notice it no longer sends 5.1 from the app although films etc. show as being 5.1'in the guide. The info button shows only stereo being sent which is confirmed by my Sonos app. Poor!