Very disappointed with Sonos system for TV through my condo

  • 9 November 2018
  • 42 replies
  • 510 views

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Sonos doesn't seem to support TV to more than the Soundbar with surrounds plus a sub. I have 6 Play1s, the old ones, plus Playbar.

Had problems from day 1 (two years ago) trying to have TV sound play throughout my condo. I put speakers in the bedrooms (2), office, one washroom, kitchen, and living room, with the playbar also in the living room. Not set up as stereo pair, just individual speakers.

I'm not interested in Home Theatre with 5.1 etc., but I like being able to go from room to room including washroom and keep listening, mostly news channels. But it just won't work. Here are symptoms.

* One group, all 7 speakers, either playing music or TV
* Speakers communicating through Sonos Net as one of the Play 1s plugged into router
* Sound cuts out on Play1's every few minutes with TV audio
* TV audio playing through optical cable, tried different settings on TV, PCM currently
* Sound NEVER cuts out with music services or local music library
* Sound does NOT cut off on Playbar, only on the Play 1s.
* Changed optical cables several times
* Bought a Boost this week trying to make problem go away, the Boost now plugged into router. Money wasted.
* Contacted Sonos by phone, sent them diagnostic, they find no problem in hardware, network, channels etc.

So what's the problem, I asked? They only support TV in a home theatre setup with surrounds. The TV group can only have the surround setup plus subwoofer. They do not support additional speakers.

So love my Sonos for music, clarity, quality, ease of setup. But I hope people see this post and don't buy a Sonos system thinking they can have TV audio playing throughout their house or condo.

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42 replies

Sonos doesn't seem to support TV to more sound bar with surrounds plus sub.

Could you clarify? What exactly is the problem? Are you not getting any sound?
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Sorry, first post here. Misunderstood how to post. I've edited the post now with complete info.
Having introduced the Boost, did you remove the wireless credentials from Sonos? (Advanced Settings, Wireless Setup, reset?
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Never heard of Boost or standard mode. Heard of wifi vs sonos net. Anyway, I do have the Boost and one speaker connected to the router. When I spoke to support, they were pretty clear that while I could have 32 speakers connected (regardless of mode) if it was a music service, for TV they only support soundbar plus stereo pair plus sub.
Sorry i deleted my post having noticed you had mentioned the Boost. Please see replacement comment
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I did not, but I'd been running in sonos net mode for months by having one speaker pluggeed into the router. AND under Settings --> Amount, it shows each speaker as WM:0 which means sonos net (mesh) mode. But good idea.
It should be possible to group other speakers for TV sound, although with that many speakers maybe the bandwidth requirements are proving too much.
I think that what Support probably told you was that the Playbar 'room' can only contain sub and surrounds. That is not a group. Grouping with other rooms for TV sound IS something Sonos does, or is supposed to do
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John B, that's what they said, the Playbar room can only have sub and surrounds. So, I set up that room (3 speakers) and I'm left ieft with 4 other speakers. I can group them, but not select TV as source. It seems that TV as source can only be part of the group that the Playbar is in. I've tried it all. There is no way to have have all 7 playing without the Play:1's cutting out periodically.
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It should be possible to group other speakers for TV sound, although with that many speakers maybe the bandwidth requirements are proving too much. I believe you are right Bill. That's why I'm upset. Nowhere can I find either in marketing materials, specs or in support threads an acknowledgement that this is a limitation.
You - or we if you like - might take a look at the 'network matrix'. Identify the IP address of any of your speakers from About My Sonos System. Then in a browser enter
http://IPaddress:1400/support/review
Click 'network matrix'
Substitute your IP adress in place of IPaddress.
It might be useful to see if they look the same when the whole group is playing music without a problem, and when the TV sound is breaking up.
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You - or we if you like - might take a look at the 'network matrix'. Identify the IP address of any of your speakers from About My Sonos System. Then in a browser enter
http://IPaddress:1400/support/review
Substitute your IP adress in place of IPaddress.
It might be useful to see if they look the same when the whole group is playing music without a problem, and when the TV sound is breaking up.


Makes sense, but in practice not so easy. It breaks up for a second, then back, then after a few seconds cuts out for a second, then back. Then fine for 10 minutes.

You sound like you are a Sonos employee. Not sure if Sonos people are on here and give suggestions, but if you are from Sonos, you should be able to tell me if what I'm trying to do is supported or not. The woman I spoke to today on support said it's not.

I've attached an image of the matrix while working normally:

If it's using it's own Mesh network, but does it have a separate internal IP for each speaker?
I am not a Sonos employee. But I am sure that playing TV sound on other speakers by grouping with the Playbar room is supported. Sonos cannot guarantee that it will work perfectly in any and every network environment
Click network matrix. It is the picture we need
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I am not a Sonos employee. But I am sure that playing TV sound on other speakers by grouping with the Playbar room is supported. Sonos cannot guarantee that it will work perfectly in any and every network environment

I spoke with support this morning. They say it's not supported. That's really why I'm posting here. I've been trying to solve this for 6 months withouit luck. I'm hoping others read about my experience.

Anyway, I posted the matrix working properly. I will try to catch it when it stutters, but it won't be easy.
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Click network matrix. It is the picture we need

Posted above. Didn't realize you could click those links.
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Here is the network matrix while the Play:1 speakers were cutting out. It took about 1/2 hour of waiting, it's so random.
To answer your question above, SonosNet is not really a separate network, but part of your LAN. All IP addressing is done by your router. Could you confirm which Sonos devices are wired to your router currently? Boost, Playbar and Living Rm Right? Do you have any network switches or is it just the router?
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Could you confirm which Sonos devices are wired to your router currently? Boost, Playbar and Living Rm Right? Do you have any network switches or is it just the router?

Correct, Playbar, Boost and Living Room right. Living room right is actually attached to the second port in the Boost. The Boost and Playbar are connected to the switch. The router is Google Wifi which only has 2 ethernet ports (per puck, I have 3 pucks) and one is connected to the cable modem, and the other goes to a D-Link 8 port gigabit ethernet switch.

It's impossible for me to connect sonos right to the Google wifi puck otherwise there will be no ports to go to the switch or cable modem.
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Hi Harry Fine (BTW who's the guy in the picture:8)

I've been monitoring this thread with interest. I'm with John B as there shouldn't be a reason (given known parameters) that would prevent a steady stream of TV audio to other Sonos speakers without interruption. Then again may be Sonos knows something we don't; ergo their reluctantance to support TV audio broadcast beyond Sonos speakers connected to the source (TV).

Here are my questions (not that they will lead to a resolution):
_Are TV broadcasts via cable or OTA
_Have there been any changes internally to your electronic environment (router, modem, switches, microwave oven, refrigerator, electric range, cameras, baby monitors or any electrical gadget)
_Have there been any external electronic changes (electrical transformer installation, heavy equipment work, underground cable installation, new building construction,_new mysterious neighbors or geek teenagers in the area :8)

I'll be interested to see how this sorts out.

Cheers!
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Here are my questions (not that they will lead to a resolution):

1. Are TV broadcasts via cable or OTA - Cable, fibre to the condo, high speed

2. Have there been any changes internally to your electronic environment (router, modem, switches, microwave oven, refrigerator, electric range, cameras, baby monitors or any electrical gadget - Google wifi is about a year old, it's hard to remember back, but it may have started with that, but I'm not sure. I've been adding speakers regularly, so it's tough to know what coincides with what.

3. Have there been any external electronic changes (electrical transformer installation, heavy equipment work, underground cable installation, new building construction,_new mysterious neighbors or geek teenagers in the area - No.

I'll be interested to see how this sorts out.

Cheers!
You could have mentioned Google wifi mesh! Your setup sounds reasonable although switches make me nervous. This one must be STP-enabled because it is acting as the root of SonosNet, by the look of things

I would try the following, experimentally

1 Leave the Boost out of it for the moment. Power it off.
2. Let the Living Room Right go wireless
3. Let the Playbar be the only wired component
4. Power off the Google units and the Sonos gear. Power on the Google, then the Playbar, then other Sonos. One at a time, let everything come up fully before doing the next.
5. Take another matrix and see how it goes.

An even better experiment would be to leave out the switch and cable the Playbar direct to Google puck.

Make sure the SonosNet channel and Google channel are well separated
Userlevel 7
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Is that a whole home Google Wi-Fi system with main and 2 satellites?
Userlevel 7
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You could have mentioned Google wifi mesh!

Ah Ha! We may be getting somewhere now 😉 Way to go John B!
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Is that a whole home Google Wi-Fi system with main and 2 satellites?

Yes it is.