Question

Playbar TV Sound cutting out on regular basis for past few days.

  • 28 January 2017
  • 56 replies
  • 14503 views

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I am getting many 1/8 second cut outs of sound from Sonos speakers. This seems to have started happening at the last software update a few days ago. Lipsync is fine, this is actual cut out of the sound. Nothing has changed other than the software update. This was working fine. Digital audio cable is connected fine.

I tried turning SONOS off and used my TV internal speakers and the sound was fine, so this does look to be a problem when using SONOS system for TV shows rather than TV or cable provider.

How do I fix this?
Can I try rolling back the last software update?

56 replies

Userlevel 4
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Hi tc10, welcome to the community. Can you send us a diagnostic taken whilst you're experiencing these audio drops? Reply here with the confirmation number that you get.
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It's a problem with the Playbar. Sonos have not yet fixed this.
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I'm not certain what makes you suggest this bored...

I'd think ongoing cutouts of the PlayBar consistently would be mentioned far more often here if it was 'a problem with the PlayBar'... as opposed to the many people who do post, but resolve their issues, often associated with networking issues.

To the OP... I would suggest you do submit a diagnostic and post the number here so the Sonos staff can review it and get back to you.

As for a roll-back. It is my understanding that Sonos doesn't support this. So that isn't in the cards, but if the issue wasn't occurring before the update, I'm not certain that it should be occurring after and there is little posting here since the update to suggest that the update is generating a systemic problem like this....

It is the briefness of the cut-out that has me intrigued a bit. Most people's experience with audio cutouts tends to be IP address conflicts or networking challenges. You can look to eliminate IP conflicts on your network by doing a complete reboot of your network.... to do this, you'd shut down all... and I do mean all... devices that connect to your network (including computers, phones, tablets, printers, hubs, etc, etc.) shut down your router and modem if different, and then n modemuterd devices one at a time. This will force the distribution of new IP address to each device and clear up any issues from this. (You can also go into your router and assign IP addresses to devices that are typically on your network. I highly recommend doing this. Takes a bit, it worth it!).

Post back if his helps and do give Sonos you pr diagnostic # (send it while you are experiencing the issues)
SHARKB8T, can I discuss this with you for a moment?

The Playbar gets the TV's signal through the optical cable, so there's no "IP address" conflict that would affect it, that I'm aware of. Now if it were the surrounds, then that might be an issue, but I don't think it could be on the Playbar itself, unless it's playing music, and not the TV sound.

Please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, or don't have all the correct information on that.

For my dollar (and worth every penny you've paid for it), there's only 2 possibilities for cutouts in a Playbar. The first would be a failure of the optical connection, which could manifest itself as a kink in the cable, or not being seated properly at either end. The other possibility would be some particular issue with the data being sent by the TV. That could be a nonconforming data bit in the Dolby Digital stream (like a special command designed for the playbar made by the manufacturer) or simply a non accessible data format like DTS or Dolby Digital Plus (or Atmos, or any other random non supported format).

Well, I'm also discounting a hardware issue like a power supply failing, or the like. I guess I shouldn't, but who knows.

My assumption has been, based on no facts whatsoever, is that many manufacturers have improperly or incompletely implemented the Dolby Digital specifications for data streams, and have had to release updates to their firmware that fixes it. My assumption is that this is why the manufacturers have had to do the updates, and it hasn't been an update by Sonos to fix the problem. I could be wrong, though, as there have been many Sonos updates, but to my recollection none of them have been to "fix" problems with the Playbar. So I'm guessing that Sonos is "to spec" on their interpretation process, and the TV manufacturers have added special commands to make it work better with their own systems, but in the end it doesn't fully comply with the spec.

So, that's my perspective on the whole "Playbar" issue. But as usual, I do agree with your statements in a more general fashion. Assigning reserved IPs, or as some say "static IP addresses" is a smart thing to do no matter what. And posting a diagnostic tends to get much more expert help than people like me who are guessing based on personal (and often flawed) knowledge.

Thanks for letting me disagree with you. And I'd be fascinated in any rebuttal to my assumptions above that you might have. More education is a good thing, I've no particular fear of being wrong. I'm often wrong 🙂
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I have No problem with correction.... particularly when I could easily be incorrect... and in this case, when we are trying to discern what someone means through their writing.... I certainly could...

For me, the point is always being as helpful as possible to people who come here looking for potential solutions... So I wouldn't want to steer the OP in the wrong direction... but I am not sure anything I've said does so.

I totally get your point that the source issue *could* be in the signal or the PlayBar's interpretation of the signal.... I would find it odd that this start following an update when it didn't seem to occur prior to it, but sure... it could obviously...

But, I was simply intending to remove from any potential issue any concern that may originate with communication on the network since the OP say: "I am getting many 1/8 second cut outs of sound from Sonos speakers"... and while he/she says "PlayBar in the title.... The use of "Sonos Speakers" (plural) made me want to suggest that they should consider alleviating any potential source issues up front that might arise from IP issues, and not assume the issue is occurring for the OP only on the PlayBar alone... the OP doesn't say that specifically.

I may have been incorrect in my reading of the original post, but that was my take on their statement and hence the advice...

And we are agreed that the posting of a Diagnostic is something the OP should do... anytime now 🙂 And, of course we'd all love to see more assigned IP addresses... there would be a lot fewer "I have cut outs occurring" posts 🙂
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I get drop outs from 4 different sources independently sent to the Playbar through a switch and when connected individually. I have a Samsung tv, which is known to have "problems" (or has it?) and a Sky box which both get drop outs on live tv. That both exhibit the same symptoms, and correlation is not causality, suggests that either both devices are sending a corrupted signal or there is something in that signal that is causing the problem. The dvd/PVR box drops out on live tv but not on dvd/blu ray or recorded material which suggests that the box data stream is just fine. If the data stream is fine then it suggests that there is something in the signal that causes the problems.

Since the last Sonos update, switching the playbar off at the supply and on again seems to solve the problem for a while which again suggests there is something in the data stream.
Switching off Playbar previously had no effect on the interruptions.

Devices attached have had no new software updates. Sonos has had an update and the problem is ameliorated by the off and on. This suggests that Sonos have tweaked something.

As the system utilises the 5gig wifi band (all units are wired - and I have tried every combination to error check) wifi interference is irrelevant (or negligible). There are no other 5gig wifi operating, according to a couple of wifi analysers I have used, and my wifi is the strongest in the 2.4 band (I have no,problems at all with music).
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That sucks BoredofBalham... I presume you have spoken at length with Sonos staff.... Nothing shows up in diagnostics? just seems remarkably odd.

As I've expressed, it was the OPs comments about "Sonos Speakers" that led me to suggest they they could have IP conflicts... Your circumstance of hardwiring everything is somewhat unique... and I agree that with the 5Ghz for 5.1 that it likley wouldn't be wireless (but of course could be) Given that we haven't heard back from the OP, we may never know if they sorted it out...

Thanks for the response and update!...
I also have sound cutting out intermittently. It's been happening for months, perhaps since when I bought it 6 months ago. I use an optical connection to my Sony XBR55X850D. The cuts last anywhere from .5 second to 5 seconds. It only seems to happen when watching live TV or shows through DVR. It doesn't seem to happen during music or gaming (PS4). I have checked the cable to ensure there are no kinks and that it is properly seated. It also seems as though the software is up to date.

Any other suggestions?
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im in the same boat as you binb
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I also have sound cutting out intermittently. It's been happening for months, perhaps since when I bought it 6 months ago. I use an optical connection to my Sony XBR55X850D. The cuts last anywhere from .5 second to 5 seconds. It only seems to happen when watching live TV or shows through DVR. It doesn't seem to happen during music or gaming (PS4). I have checked the cable to ensure there are no kinks and that it is properly seated. It also seems as though the software is up to date.

Any other suggestions?


I have the same TV as yourself albeit the UK variation and suffer from the annoying dropouts too. I've tried both Wireless setup and Ethernet direct to PlayBar, both cut out. It tends to be more prevalent to the Set Top Box but I do see it on other devices, but not as much.

The Sony TV is able to pass through DD5.1 and I believe this to be the crux of the issue. Prior to my Sony TV I had a Samsung. That didn't pass through DD5.1 so I used a cheap Toslink splitter. I never had this issue with the Samsung. After switching to the Sony I kept the splitter in place (not realising my TV could pass through DD5.1) and never had any dropouts. Upon configuring the TV to pass through I've been plagued with the issue. Therefore I'm pretty convinced it's the decoding within the TV that's causing the issue.

I've also tested this with two separate STB's, with one more troublesome than the other.

I'm thinking of returning to direct optical connectivity via the switch again, but this means more cabling and an extra power socket. Would much rather it just worked as is.
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binb, what splitter do you have?
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binb, what splitter do you have?

If you're referring to my response to binb (I don't think binb mentions a splitter?) then I used the following;
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Switcher-orToslink-Digital-Dolby-AC3-Amplifier/dp/B00KDZEWWO/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1490278374&sr=8-3&keywords=portta+toslink
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AtterKing - Ye sorry was you. Do you have the splitter connected now? Do you siffer any dropouts at the moment?

What cables do i need to get with the splitter?
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AtterKing - Ye sorry was you. Do you have the splitter connected now? Do you siffer any dropouts at the moment?

What cables do i need to get with the splitter?


No I removed it when I realised the TV passed through DD5.1. But as I'm presented with the dropout issues I think I'll revert back.

It depends upon how many devices you want to connect. This 3 way version will allow you to connect 2 devices as the TV counts as the third. There is a 4 way version of the same box though.

You will need an optical cable for each device. PlayBar will connect to the single output on the switch, with the TV, Set Top Box and 2nd Device (Games console, Apple TV etc.) connecting to the 3 inputs. So 4 optical cables required in that scenario.
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AtterKing - Ye sorry was you. Do you have the splitter connected now? Do you siffer any dropouts at the moment?

What cables do i need to get with the splitter?


No I removed it when I realised the TV passed through DD5.1. But as I'm presented with the dropout issues I think I'll revert back.

It depends upon how many devices you want to connect. This 3 way version will allow you to connect 2 devices as the TV counts as the third. There is a 4 way version of the same box though.

You will need an optical cable for each device. PlayBar will connect to the single output on the switch, with the TV, Set Top Box and 2nd Device (Games console, Apple TV etc.) connecting to the 3 inputs. So 4 optical cables required in that scenario.


How long were you running it on the splitter with no problem?
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AtterKing - Ye sorry was you. Do you have the splitter connected now? Do you siffer any dropouts at the moment?

What cables do i need to get with the splitter?


No I removed it when I realised the TV passed through DD5.1. But as I'm presented with the dropout issues I think I'll revert back.

It depends upon how many devices you want to connect. This 3 way version will allow you to connect 2 devices as the TV counts as the third. There is a 4 way version of the same box though.

You will need an optical cable for each device. PlayBar will connect to the single output on the switch, with the TV, Set Top Box and 2nd Device (Games console, Apple TV etc.) connecting to the 3 inputs. So 4 optical cables required in that scenario.


How long were you running it on the splitter with no problem?


A couple of months. Not one dropout.
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AtterKing - Ye sorry was you. Do you have the splitter connected now? Do you siffer any dropouts at the moment?

What cables do i need to get with the splitter?


No I removed it when I realised the TV passed through DD5.1. But as I'm presented with the dropout issues I think I'll revert back.

It depends upon how many devices you want to connect. This 3 way version will allow you to connect 2 devices as the TV counts as the third. There is a 4 way version of the same box though.

You will need an optical cable for each device. PlayBar will connect to the single output on the switch, with the TV, Set Top Box and 2nd Device (Games console, Apple TV etc.) connecting to the 3 inputs. So 4 optical cables required in that scenario.


How long were you running it on the splitter with no problem?


A couple of months. Not one dropout.



Were you getting 5.1 from device into speakers?
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AtterKing - Ye sorry was you. Do you have the splitter connected now? Do you siffer any dropouts at the moment?

What cables do i need to get with the splitter?


No I removed it when I realised the TV passed through DD5.1. But as I'm presented with the dropout issues I think I'll revert back.

It depends upon how many devices you want to connect. This 3 way version will allow you to connect 2 devices as the TV counts as the third. There is a 4 way version of the same box though.

You will need an optical cable for each device. PlayBar will connect to the single output on the switch, with the TV, Set Top Box and 2nd Device (Games console, Apple TV etc.) connecting to the 3 inputs. So 4 optical cables required in that scenario.


How long were you running it on the splitter with no problem?


A couple of months. Not one dropout.



Were you getting 5.1 from device into speakers?


Yes of course :)

I had to tell the STB and Xbox One to play DD via optical (easily done).

Basically with the splitter, you're connecting each individual device direct to the PlayBar. My set up includes a Harmony Ultimate remote control, so all switching to the correct input was done automatically too. In fact the more I talk about it the more I'm eager to go back to that system.
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AtterKing - Ye sorry was you. Do you have the splitter connected now? Do you siffer any dropouts at the moment?

What cables do i need to get with the splitter?


No I removed it when I realised the TV passed through DD5.1. But as I'm presented with the dropout issues I think I'll revert back.

It depends upon how many devices you want to connect. This 3 way version will allow you to connect 2 devices as the TV counts as the third. There is a 4 way version of the same box though.

You will need an optical cable for each device. PlayBar will connect to the single output on the switch, with the TV, Set Top Box and 2nd Device (Games console, Apple TV etc.) connecting to the 3 inputs. So 4 optical cables required in that scenario.


How long were you running it on the splitter with no problem?


A couple of months. Not one dropout.



Were you getting 5.1 from device into speakers?


Yes of course :)

I had to tell the STB and Xbox One to play DD via optical (easily done).

Basically with the splitter, you're connecting each individual device direct to the PlayBar. My set up includes a Harmony Ultimate remote control, so all switching to the correct input was done automatically too. In fact the more I talk about it the more I'm eager to go back to that system.



Have you switched back as yet? Any dropouts?
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AtterKing - Ye sorry was you. Do you have the splitter connected now? Do you siffer any dropouts at the moment?

What cables do i need to get with the splitter?


No I removed it when I realised the TV passed through DD5.1. But as I'm presented with the dropout issues I think I'll revert back.

It depends upon how many devices you want to connect. This 3 way version will allow you to connect 2 devices as the TV counts as the third. There is a 4 way version of the same box though.

You will need an optical cable for each device. PlayBar will connect to the single output on the switch, with the TV, Set Top Box and 2nd Device (Games console, Apple TV etc.) connecting to the 3 inputs. So 4 optical cables required in that scenario.


How long were you running it on the splitter with no problem?


A couple of months. Not one dropout.



Were you getting 5.1 from device into speakers?


Yes of course :)

I had to tell the STB and Xbox One to play DD via optical (easily done).

Basically with the splitter, you're connecting each individual device direct to the PlayBar. My set up includes a Harmony Ultimate remote control, so all switching to the correct input was done automatically too. In fact the more I talk about it the more I'm eager to go back to that system.



Have you switched back as yet? Any dropouts?


I've ordered a 4-way version of the Portta switch today. Should be with me tomorrow but may be weekend before I install it. I've been getting a lot more dropouts with my latest STB (Sky Q) and therefore really need to bypass the passthrough setup.
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AtterKing - Ye sorry was you. Do you have the splitter connected now? Do you siffer any dropouts at the moment?

What cables do i need to get with the splitter?


No I removed it when I realised the TV passed through DD5.1. But as I'm presented with the dropout issues I think I'll revert back.

It depends upon how many devices you want to connect. This 3 way version will allow you to connect 2 devices as the TV counts as the third. There is a 4 way version of the same box though.

You will need an optical cable for each device. PlayBar will connect to the single output on the switch, with the TV, Set Top Box and 2nd Device (Games console, Apple TV etc.) connecting to the 3 inputs. So 4 optical cables required in that scenario.


How long were you running it on the splitter with no problem?


A couple of months. Not one dropout.



Were you getting 5.1 from device into speakers?


Yes of course :)

I had to tell the STB and Xbox One to play DD via optical (easily done).

Basically with the splitter, you're connecting each individual device direct to the PlayBar. My set up includes a Harmony Ultimate remote control, so all switching to the correct input was done automatically too. In fact the more I talk about it the more I'm eager to go back to that system.



Have you switched back as yet? Any dropouts?


I've ordered a 4-way version of the Portta switch today. Should be with me tomorrow but may be weekend before I install it. I've been getting a lot more dropouts with my latest STB (Sky Q) and therefore really need to bypass the passthrough setup.



Have you tried running direct from sky box?

When i ran from my new virgin stb i had cut outs.

How does having a portta switch stop the cut outs?
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Badge +2
AtterKing - Ye sorry was you. Do you have the splitter connected now? Do you siffer any dropouts at the moment?

What cables do i need to get with the splitter?


No I removed it when I realised the TV passed through DD5.1. But as I'm presented with the dropout issues I think I'll revert back.

It depends upon how many devices you want to connect. This 3 way version will allow you to connect 2 devices as the TV counts as the third. There is a 4 way version of the same box though.

You will need an optical cable for each device. PlayBar will connect to the single output on the switch, with the TV, Set Top Box and 2nd Device (Games console, Apple TV etc.) connecting to the 3 inputs. So 4 optical cables required in that scenario.


How long were you running it on the splitter with no problem?


A couple of months. Not one dropout.



Were you getting 5.1 from device into speakers?


Yes of course :)

I had to tell the STB and Xbox One to play DD via optical (easily done).

Basically with the splitter, you're connecting each individual device direct to the PlayBar. My set up includes a Harmony Ultimate remote control, so all switching to the correct input was done automatically too. In fact the more I talk about it the more I'm eager to go back to that system.



Have you switched back as yet? Any dropouts?


I've ordered a 4-way version of the Portta switch today. Should be with me tomorrow but may be weekend before I install it. I've been getting a lot more dropouts with my latest STB (Sky Q) and therefore really need to bypass the passthrough setup.



Have you tried running direct from sky box?

When i ran from my new virgin stb i had cut outs.

How does having a portta switch stop the cut outs?


My previous set up was direct from Sky box (and Xbox and Apple TV).

The portta switch allows direct connection from device to PlayBar (obviously). This removes the need for any conversion or processing of the signal, especially when passing through a DD5.1 signal.

But....if you've tried the direct connection between Virgin box and PlayBar and still face the same issue then obviously this solution may not be for you. Unless you've retained any settings relative to "pass through" within your TV?
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Badge +2
AtterKing - Ye sorry was you. Do you have the splitter connected now? Do you siffer any dropouts at the moment?

What cables do i need to get with the splitter?


No I removed it when I realised the TV passed through DD5.1. But as I'm presented with the dropout issues I think I'll revert back.

It depends upon how many devices you want to connect. This 3 way version will allow you to connect 2 devices as the TV counts as the third. There is a 4 way version of the same box though.

You will need an optical cable for each device. PlayBar will connect to the single output on the switch, with the TV, Set Top Box and 2nd Device (Games console, Apple TV etc.) connecting to the 3 inputs. So 4 optical cables required in that scenario.


How long were you running it on the splitter with no problem?


A couple of months. Not one dropout.



Were you getting 5.1 from device into speakers?


Yes of course :)

I had to tell the STB and Xbox One to play DD via optical (easily done).

Basically with the splitter, you're connecting each individual device direct to the PlayBar. My set up includes a Harmony Ultimate remote control, so all switching to the correct input was done automatically too. In fact the more I talk about it the more I'm eager to go back to that system.



Have you switched back as yet? Any dropouts?


I've ordered a 4-way version of the Portta switch today. Should be with me tomorrow but may be weekend before I install it. I've been getting a lot more dropouts with my latest STB (Sky Q) and therefore really need to bypass the passthrough setup.



Have you tried running direct from sky box?

When i ran from my new virgin stb i had cut outs.

How does having a portta switch stop the cut outs?


My previous set up was direct from Sky box (and Xbox and Apple TV).

The portta switch allows direct connection from device to PlayBar (obviously). This removes the need for any conversion or processing of the signal, especially when passing through a DD5.1 signal.

But....if you've tried the direct connection between Virgin box and PlayBar and still face the same issue then obviously this solution may not be for you. Unless you've retained any settings relative to "pass through" within your TV?


Ok, so I've just installed my 4 x 1 Portta Toslink switch and all seems good so far (no dropouts after 30 mins viewing, I normally experience a few within seconds of switching Sky channels). I used a spare USB on the TV to power it. I use a Harmony Ultimate One remote and the Portta is fully compatible, so when I switch devices the Portta changes to the correct input automatically. Happy with the results so far. A great result for £15, so far.
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I've got a 4 point switch but still have dropouts ??, at a loss of what to do now
Hi chrisshileds1

Can you post a Diagnostic shortly after the dropout occurs, then we can see what is going on.

Could you also confirm the source you were watching at the time and how the playbar was connected to the source.

Many thanks

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