Playbar sounds cuts intermittently out when playing TV



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Same here with a Samsung UE40F6510 2013 model Smart TV. Playbar worked fine for a couple of months, but then the dropouts and sometimes ticking started.

However, my TV Set Top Box also has an Optical Out, so I had the Playbar connected to that one for a few days. Guess what? Besides the sound being a wee bit early compared with the picture (which is understandable cuz it wasn't being processed through the TV) not a single dropout occurred. So through elimination I think the problem lies with the TV and not the Playbar.

It might have something to do with Samsung Firmware updates, but Samsung insisted that there are no known problems. Right. Anyway, they did a remote connect to go through the same screens I already did about a hundred times and now they're sending someone over to replace some audio part.

I'm not holding my breath cuz I still think it's the telly's software, not hardware. Wouldn't it be about time for Sonos to contact Samsung over their optical audio out problems? Or at least test it for themselves with a Samsung Smart TV? They're not that expensive, you know.

BTW I only got the Playbar to improve the sound from the TV which is PCM. As I said, it worked fine in the beginning and I was happy. I won't be buying a Sub or Play 1's for surround soon though, given the PCM limitations with the current setup.


OK, the under warranty repair guy came today and replaced my Samsung TV's Motherboard. Result: Playbar works as advertised again. Me happy!
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Same here with a Samsung UE40F6510 2013 model Smart TV. Playbar worked fine for a couple of months, but then the dropouts and sometimes ticking started.

However, my TV Set Top Box also has an Optical Out, so I had the Playbar connected to that one for a few days. Guess what? Besides the sound being a wee bit early compared with the picture (which is understandable cuz it wasn't being processed through the TV) not a single dropout occurred. So through elimination I think the problem lies with the TV and not the Playbar.

It might have something to do with Samsung Firmware updates, but Samsung insisted that there are no known problems. Right. Anyway, they did a remote connect to go through the same screens I already did about a hundred times and now they're sending someone over to replace some audio part.

I'm not holding my breath cuz I still think it's the telly's software, not hardware. Wouldn't it be about time for Sonos to contact Samsung over their optical audio out problems? Or at least test it for themselves with a Samsung Smart TV? They're not that expensive, you know.

BTW I only got the Playbar to improve the sound from the TV which is PCM. As I said, it worked fine in the beginning and I was happy. I won't be buying a Sub or Play 1's for surround soon though, given the PCM limitations with the current setup.


Good news. Can you do me a favour and play a 5.1 netflix film and press the info button. Does this show 5.1 ? And the Sonos 'About' confirms this?
Same here with a Samsung UE40F6510 2013 model Smart TV. Playbar worked fine for a couple of months, but then the dropouts and sometimes ticking started.

However, my TV Set Top Box also has an Optical Out, so I had the Playbar connected to that one for a few days. Guess what? Besides the sound being a wee bit early compared with the picture (which is understandable cuz it wasn't being processed through the TV) not a single dropout occurred. So through elimination I think the problem lies with the TV and not the Playbar.

It might have something to do with Samsung Firmware updates, but Samsung insisted that there are no known problems. Right. Anyway, they did a remote connect to go through the same screens I already did about a hundred times and now they're sending someone over to replace some audio part.

I'm not holding my breath cuz I still think it's the telly's software, not hardware. Wouldn't it be about time for Sonos to contact Samsung over their optical audio out problems? Or at least test it for themselves with a Samsung Smart TV? They're not that expensive, you know.

BTW I only got the Playbar to improve the sound from the TV which is PCM. As I said, it worked fine in the beginning and I was happy. I won't be buying a Sub or Play 1's for surround soon though, given the PCM limitations with the current setup.


I cancelled my Netflix account ages ago and I think the telly only sends PCM (and something NEO, whatever that may be) through Optical Out. As I wrote above I only wanted to improve the TV's sound. Yes, I know about the DTS and 5.1 dropout issues and I hope they get solved, but at the moment it's not relevant to my situation. When (if ever) the time comes for me to want to get a sub and two Play 1's to expand I'll probably get a switch with optical from Amazon or some such. Sorry that I can't help you out here.

Hmmm, on second thoughts that time may come sooner rather than later, if there is a good Xmas offer on Amazon for instance.
Same here with a Samsung UE40F6510 2013 model Smart TV. Playbar worked fine for a couple of months, but then the dropouts and sometimes ticking started.

However, my TV Set Top Box also has an Optical Out, so I had the Playbar connected to that one for a few days. Guess what? Besides the sound being a wee bit early compared with the picture (which is understandable cuz it wasn't being processed through the TV) not a single dropout occurred. So through elimination I think the problem lies with the TV and not the Playbar.

It might have something to do with Samsung Firmware updates, but Samsung insisted that there are no known problems. Right. Anyway, they did a remote connect to go through the same screens I already did about a hundred times and now they're sending someone over to replace some audio part.

I'm not holding my breath cuz I still think it's the telly's software, not hardware. Wouldn't it be about time for Sonos to contact Samsung over their optical audio out problems? Or at least test it for themselves with a Samsung Smart TV? They're not that expensive, you know.

BTW I only got the Playbar to improve the sound from the TV which is PCM. As I said, it worked fine in the beginning and I was happy. I won't be buying a Sub or Play 1's for surround soon though, given the PCM limitations with the current setup.


BTW I just found this paragraph in my Samsung TV's manual. Not really sure what to make of it though. Anyway, I've got an Apple TV so perhaps there's something on there to test the 5.1 thingie with. Yes, I can stream from my Mac too, but then I'm not sure if the stream actually is 5.1. Here's the manual passage:
  • A home theatre system that has been connected to the TV using an HDMI cable and an optical cable supports 2-channel audio only. However, the home theatre is capable of supporting 5.1-channel audio from digital broadcasts.
Same here with a Samsung UE40F6510 2013 model Smart TV. Playbar worked fine for a couple of months, but then the dropouts and sometimes ticking started.

However, my TV Set Top Box also has an Optical Out, so I had the Playbar connected to that one for a few days. Guess what? Besides the sound being a wee bit early compared with the picture (which is understandable cuz it wasn't being processed through the TV) not a single dropout occurred. So through elimination I think the problem lies with the TV and not the Playbar.

It might have something to do with Samsung Firmware updates, but Samsung insisted that there are no known problems. Right. Anyway, they did a remote connect to go through the same screens I already did about a hundred times and now they're sending someone over to replace some audio part.

I'm not holding my breath cuz I still think it's the telly's software, not hardware. Wouldn't it be about time for Sonos to contact Samsung over their optical audio out problems? Or at least test it for themselves with a Samsung Smart TV? They're not that expensive, you know.

BTW I only got the Playbar to improve the sound from the TV which is PCM. As I said, it worked fine in the beginning and I was happy. I won't be buying a Sub or Play 1's for surround soon though, given the PCM limitations with the current setup.


It's getting interesting... I do have a subscription to Film1 here in my cable package, so I put on a movie. Then on its info page I could change the sound track from standard to Dolby Digital and yes, I can clearly hear a difference. The Playbar obviously has no problems with this, but when I look at the About Sonos the Playbar gives Unsupported. So there is a change (I cannot confirm that what the cable company calls Dolby Digital actually is the real thing or some propriety version) but Sonos doesn't say 5.1, but unsupported instead. Sounds better though, even on just the Playbar.

I'll try to do some more testing and let my better half have a listen too, but if this is (or comes close) to the real thing I might keep an eye on Amazon for festive season Sonos offers.
I also experienced irregular dropouts using the Playbar with a Samsung H7000 Series TV (UE40H7080). As it turned out, the dropouts also occurred when the TV was connected to an A/V Receiver, the audio interruptions are just much shorter and therefore not that obvious. It seems the Playbar takes longer to re-sync with the audio stream. So at least in my case, the dropouts were not caused by the Playbar. The TV was then serviced twice, each taking weeks, which didn't resolve the issue. Finally, the TV was replaced with a new set and the dropouts are now gone. It was very frustrating support from Samsung (and my dealer). On the other hand, Sonos support was prompt and helpful.
I also experienced irregular dropouts using the Playbar with a Samsung H7000 Series TV (UE40H7080). As it turned out, the dropouts also occurred when the TV was connected to an A/V Receiver, the audio interruptions are just much shorter and therefore not that obvious. It seems the Playbar takes longer to re-sync with the audio stream. So at least in my case, the dropouts were not caused by the Playbar. The TV was then serviced twice, each taking weeks, which didn't resolve the issue. Finally, the TV was replaced with a new set and the dropouts are now gone. It was very frustrating support from Samsung (and my dealer). On the other hand, Sonos support was prompt and helpful.
I'm quite happy with Samsung's service. They sourced the repairs out, but the service was good. Replacing the mainboard was done within 10 minutes. Still, compared with the old days the guy has quite a boaring job IMO. When the TV is opened up there's only two parts to replace, the main board and the power board. That's about it. Anyway, it's still working fine and I hope it stays that way. Worth the hassle I think.
This happens to me too.  New Playbar & Sub.  I have a Playstation 3, Apple TV, DirecTV Genie HR34-700, and Chromecast all hooked up via HDMI to a Vizio E700i-B3.  The Vizio optical out is hooked up to the Playbar.  The optical cable is not kinked and is firmly inserted into both the TV & Playbar.  I get the dropouts for 1-3 seconds.  Sometimes it happens every few minutes, sometimes I will watch for several hours without dropouts.

I really like the Sonos apps & features, but this is unacceptable for a $1400+ soundbar system.
This happens to me too.  New Playbar & Sub.  I have a Playstation 3, Apple TV, DirecTV Genie HR34-700, and Chromecast all hooked up via HDMI to a Vizio E700i-B3.  The Vizio optical out is hooked up to the Playbar.  The optical cable is not kinked and is firmly inserted into both the TV & Playbar.  I get the dropouts for 1-3 seconds.  Sometimes it happens every few minutes, sometimes I will watch for several hours without dropouts.

I really like the Sonos apps & features, but this is unacceptable for a $1400+ soundbar system.

I submitted diagnostics through the Android app. confirmation number 4182587
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This happens to me too.  New Playbar & Sub.  I have a Playstation 3, Apple TV, DirecTV Genie HR34-700, and Chromecast all hooked up via HDMI to a Vizio E700i-B3.  The Vizio optical out is hooked up to the Playbar.  The optical cable is not kinked and is firmly inserted into both the TV & Playbar.  I get the dropouts for 1-3 seconds.  Sometimes it happens every few minutes, sometimes I will watch for several hours without dropouts.

I really like the Sonos apps & features, but this is unacceptable for a $1400+ soundbar system.

I went through the whole troubleshooting process. When I switched to PCM from Dolby digital, the problem seems to stop. When I asked support of I should continue to troubleshoot for Dolby Digital or use PCM, I was told to just use PCM. They clearly don't have a solution for this and refuse to acknowledge their expensive system has a problem.
I'm still getting occasional dropouts.  I have the Samsung connected to an HD antennae (no cable box).  My Sonos controller says the TV audio input is: Dolby Digital 2.0.  (I don't see any option on my TV to change audio settings, assuming that would help.)  Suggestions please.
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Sound cuts out for maybe a second or less each time.
Tried this, but it did not solve my audio dropouts.
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Sound cuts out for maybe a second or less each time.
Update. I plugged in an older Sony sound bar and guess what - same hits. Same problem with worse hits. There was a Samsung update yesterday and it appears to be much better.
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Sound cuts out for maybe a second or less each time.
Thanks for the update Patrick. Let us know if you have any further questions or trouble. It definitely sounds like a problem with the optical. Hopefully that update resolves the issue.

Cheers
I was having this same issue last night. I have a UQ17 series Sharp that can support DD 5.1. I have the tv audio out setting on bitstream rather than pcm since that's the way the tv can pass the DD. I found that one of the advanced audio settings on the Sonos system was incorrect. Under settings>advanced settings>audio compression. The setting I had it on was un compressed. Optical audio is only intended for 2.1. However, it CAN support compressed 5.1. So I changed the setting to automatic and have not had the issue since. I noticed the sound DID cut out once when transitioning from one commercial to the next but I attribute that to the soundbars delayed reaction when changing audio formats. I may change the setting to compressed rather than automatic if this keeps happening. But so far the playbar is back to normal and sounding great.
I was having this same issue last night. I have a UQ17 series Sharp that can support DD 5.1. I have the tv audio out setting on bitstream rather than pcm since that's the way the tv can pass the DD. I found that one of the advanced audio settings on the Sonos system was incorrect. Under settings>advanced settings>audio compression. The setting I had it on was un compressed. Optical audio is only intended for 2.1. However, it CAN support compressed 5.1. So I changed the setting to automatic and have not had the issue since. I noticed the sound DID cut out once when transitioning from one commercial to the next but I attribute that to the soundbars delayed reaction when changing audio formats. I may change the setting to compressed rather than automatic if this keeps happening. But so far the playbar is back to normal and sounding great.
I have mine set to automatic.  However I do not think that setting has anything to do with the optical input.  From the documentation about it, it sounds like that setting controls the audio that is being sent wirelessly from the Playbar to the other Sonos speakers.  Here is a link where you can see the docs: http://www.sonos.com/support/help/3.4/en/Sonos_User_Guide/Chap04_new/Additional_Settings2.htm
I am also having this issue where sound from my playbar will briefly drop out (1-3 seconds) while watching TV.  As many others have reported the issue is intermittent and will occur multiple times in a five minute span and then won't happen for many hours.  From what I can tell the issue only occurs when the incoming signal to the playbar is Dolby DIgital 5.1.

My setup is a Toshiba 58L9300U 4K TV with optical out to a Sonos playbar.  I also have the Sonos sub and two play:1's linked to the playbar.  The problem occurs most frequently when watching TV through my Xfinity DVR but also happens when watching my Roku.  I can confirm that if I change the TV audio output to PCM the issue stops.

I do not consider using PCM output a solution because I loose the discrete channels that DD provides for my surround speakers.

I have tried all the basic troubleshooting steps including a new optical cable, full resets of all the sonos components and various settings on the TV, cable box and sonos app.  

Its worth noting that this problem started when I got my new TV and was not an issue when I had my old LG TV.  Unfortunately around this same time I also upgraded to the new 5.2 version of the sonos app and updated the sonos device firmware so I can't definitively confirm that the new TV is the precipitating change.

I have not yet opened a ticket but I would be more than happy to work with a Sonos technician to deep dive these issues.  I am a huge fan of my Sonos system and am not looking forward to finding a replacement if this issue can't be fixed.

Thanks!   
I am also having this issue where sound from my playbar will briefly drop out (1-3 seconds) while watching TV.  As many others have reported the issue is intermittent and will occur multiple times in a five minute span and then won't happen for many hours.  From what I can tell the issue only occurs when the incoming signal to the playbar is Dolby DIgital 5.1.

My setup is a Toshiba 58L9300U 4K TV with optical out to a Sonos playbar.  I also have the Sonos sub and two play:1's linked to the playbar.  The problem occurs most frequently when watching TV through my Xfinity DVR but also happens when watching my Roku.  I can confirm that if I change the TV audio output to PCM the issue stops.

I do not consider using PCM output a solution because I loose the discrete channels that DD provides for my surround speakers.

I have tried all the basic troubleshooting steps including a new optical cable, full resets of all the sonos components and various settings on the TV, cable box and sonos app.  

Its worth noting that this problem started when I got my new TV and was not an issue when I had my old LG TV.  Unfortunately around this same time I also upgraded to the new 5.2 version of the sonos app and updated the sonos device firmware so I can't definitively confirm that the new TV is the precipitating change.

I have not yet opened a ticket but I would be more than happy to work with a Sonos technician to deep dive these issues.  I am a huge fan of my Sonos system and am not looking forward to finding a replacement if this issue can't be fixed.

Thanks!   
I have had this issue a long time now and it doesn't occur while watching Amazon video on demand.
As far as i can tell its only from Netflix app on my smart tv.

I opened a ticked, joined "BETA", etc. etc. Alas, no fix yet. 

But now i actually think its not a Sonos problem at all and more of a smart tv problem.
I found this link to people having same issue but no Sonos mentioned. Just Netflix and smart tv's.
http://forums.cnet.com/7723-13973_102-609647/netflix-app-on-samsung-smart-tv-audio-dropping-out/

So I do  apologize Sonos if after almost a year that it turns out it is really the Smart tv/ app that is the cause of the drop outs.

I could test the idea by unplugging the Playbar from the tv and playing netflix through the tv speakers, but the issue may be the way the smart tv processes and sends data through its optical audio only and not its internal processing to its own speakers.

I don't know and i don't get paid to figure it out. But i know a lot of people at Samsung and Sonos do get paid to figure this out. 

So please FIGURE it out. 

thanks.

Matt.

P.S.  newly added subwoofer rocks.!! 
I'm having this issue as well and it's incredibly frustrating. Please help get this fixed Sonos.
I have the same issue, apple tv with optical directly to playbar (via a switch)
I am also having the issue. I have a Samsung 4k led curved smart tv. Works fine with Netflix (from TV) but does not work from Apple TV. Tried all sorts of settings but once I set the Apple TV to Dolby it cuts out. This is really frustrating having spent so much on my two play 3's to not have Dolby surround afterwards.
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Same problem here. Just bought my playbar and connected it to my Samsung smart tv. Noticed the drop outs when watching Netflix. Switched to pcm and will give it another go later on. Diagnostics report: 4308566.
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Sound cuts out for maybe a second or less each time.
OK - I may have solved the problem of audio dropouts on my Samsung SmartTV to the Sonos Playbar. 

I stopped using the WiFi connection to the Samsung Smart TV, and instead tried a wired connection to my network.  No more dropouts.  I realized that the WiFi is contentious in my house and kids are constantly using it.  When I did a speed test using Ookla - the WiFi speed was considerably slower than when I used a wired device. 

So - I changed my SmartTV to use wired, plugged the TV into my gigabit network - and no more dropouts.  it is possible that somehow the video is buffered sufficiently to prevent breakup - but maybe the audio buffer is starved for data when the WiFi became oversubscribed.  It does not make perfect sense - as the video should also be taking hits.  Every so often I get a lag on Amazon, but very rarely so I admit there is an inconsistency with my logic.

The hits used to occur intermittently - as if there was some other factor, perhaps like when the kids are playing online games or downloading large files.  So removing the TV from the same wireless network that has a number of devices in communication appears to have helped.  I have a 50 Megabit pipe from our service provider, but the WiFi speeds seemed to vary depending on how many users are currently on every time I did a test.

Anyway - as of this weekend, after the change - no more audio dropouts.  Try a wired connection to a gigabit network and see if this helps.  If your ISP speed is slow, there may be nothing you can do other than pay more for a faster pipe.

Good luck
Sound cuts out for maybe a second or less each time.
Patrick, I'd like to think that is the issue but...my LG TV has always had a hard wired connection with the router next to the TV (so a very short cable run) and I still get intermittent drop outs (although they have decreased recently).  

Good luck