Question

Can we get a more definitive answer on what TVs will passthrough 5.1 audio ??


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The only thread I can see with a Sonos answered comment lists 4 year old American TVs I can't even find in stock. Surely you are constantly testing new TVs ?

I really want a new TV but can't pick as I'm worried it won't work right, is there nothing in the TV specs to look for ? If it says ARC HDMI does that mean it will work ?

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I doubt that Sonos test any TVs for this and don't see why they should. My recent experience suggests that Panasonic TVs don't pass through from an HDMI source out over optical, but I'd be interested if others have had different experiences. Sony seem to have always been generally OK.

There are recent posts on this thread

https://en.community.sonos.com/home-theater-228993/home-theater-and-television-recommendation-megathread-6735001/index1.html

Virtually all new TVs have ARC HDMI now but that tells you nothing about DD5.1 passthrough.
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I doubt that Sonos test any TVs for this and don't see why they should. My recent experience suggests that Panasonic TVs don't pass through from an HDMI source out over optical, but I'd be interested if others have had different experiences. Sony seem to have always been generally OK.

There are recent posts on this thread

https://en.community.sonos.com/home-theater-228993/home-theater-and-television-recommendation-megathread-6735001/index1.html

Virtually all new TVs have ARC HDMI now but that tells you nothing about DD5.1 passthrough.


Surely they should test it as that's the only way people can get the speakers to work as they should? If they want to claim that you only need one optical cable for it to work then a rough guide would help loads. I've seen that thread, as I say the TVs on it are pretty much all discontinued. I just don't want to be spending another £600 on something that might not even work!
It isn't the only way. First, most Playbar users just have a Playbar and aren't interested in surround sound. Secondly, there are workarounds involving switches. I am not trying to defend Sonos or the Playbar, just stating some facts.

That thread may be old. It isn't four years old as you stated and it has recent, relevant posts.
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I doubt that Sonos test any TVs for this and don't see why they should. My recent experience suggests that Panasonic TVs don't pass through from an HDMI source out over optical, but I'd be interested if others have had different experiences. Sony seem to have always been generally OK.

There are recent posts on this thread

https://en.community.sonos.com/home-theater-228993/home-theater-and-television-recommendation-megathread-6735001/index1.html

Virtually all new TVs have ARC HDMI now but that tells you nothing about DD5.1 passthrough.


Surely they should test it as that's the only way people can get the speakers to work as they should? If they want to claim that you only need one optical cable for it to work then a rough guide would help loads. I've seen that thread, as I say the TVs on it are pretty much all discontinued. I just don't want to be spending another £600 on something that might not even work!


I don't think you've thought through the practical difficulties here.

If they put a stake in the ground today there would probably be several thousand TVs to test - They would basically need to test every TV on the market and from every factory and all the variants thereof.

By the time they had finished the list would be out of date.

Ask your retailer when you buy the TV and make it clear to them you will return the TV if it doesn't pass through 5.1
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This might help --> Click here

There's a table at the top with test results.

Regarding the test - "To test for Dolby Digital 5.1 passthrough via digital optical, we connect a Blu-ray player to our TV via HDMI and play the 5.1 audio test found on the Spears & Munsil Calibration Disc, outputted via Dolby Digital 5.1. We then output the TV’s audio to our 5.1 receiver via digital optical and see whether the receiver receives a 5.1 signal, or if it is downgraded to 2.1."
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My Lg OLED 55bv passes DD5.1 down optical.
But it also passes DTS from blu-rays, so the playbar would go silent. That is the 2nd main problem with sonos playbar & playbase.
My Lg OLED 55bv passes DD5.1 down optical.
But it also passes DTS from blu-rays, so the playbar would go silent. That is the 2nd main problem with sonos playbar & playbase.
Indeed. One reason that t will be giving the Playbase a miss and have just bought a Cambridge Audio soundbase instead, despite generally being a big Sonos fan.
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My Lg OLED 55bv passes DD5.1 down optical.
But it also passes DTS from blu-rays, so the playbar would go silent. That is the 2nd main problem with sonos playbar & playbase.
Indeed. One reason that t will be giving the Playbase a miss and have just bought a Cambridge Audio soundbase instead, despite generally being a big Sonos fan.


Surely all of these facts is why they need to be testing TVs and giving users a guide on what will work best? I love the sound, ease and look but it's a nightmare getting the best out of it!
My Lg OLED 55bv passes DD5.1 down optical.
But it also passes DTS from blu-rays, so the playbar would go silent. That is the 2nd main problem with sonos playbar & playbase.
Indeed. One reason that t will be giving the Playbase a miss and have just bought a Cambridge Audio soundbase instead, despite generally being a big Sonos fan.


Surely all of these facts is why they need to be testing TVs and giving users a guide on what will work best? I love the sound, ease and look but it's a nightmare getting the best out of it!
As Stuart said, this is TOTALLY impractical. Different models, regional variations, different sources, and the hassle of complaints and maybe even legal action if they got a few wrong. This is never ever ever going to happen.
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My Lg OLED 55bv passes DD5.1 down optical.
But it also passes DTS from blu-rays, so the playbar would go silent. That is the 2nd main problem with sonos playbar & playbase.
Indeed. One reason that t will be giving the Playbase a miss and have just bought a Cambridge Audio soundbase instead, despite generally being a big Sonos fan.


Surely all of these facts is why they need to be testing TVs and giving users a guide on what will work best? I love the sound, ease and look but it's a nightmare getting the best out of it!
As Stuart said, this is TOTALLY impractical. Different models, regional variations, different sources, and the hassle of complaints and maybe even legal action if they got a few wrong. This is never ever ever going to happen.


I understand they can't do every single TV, but as this form has said for example pretty much all Sony TV's work, if they can't test them directly why not reach out to Sony etc and ask if their product passes HDMI through and give endorsements ?

And also they've clearly done some testing as they did the list before, to think they are using the same outdated models is crazy! They must have a bigger list by now but that thread is all user suggestions after and no more sonos comments.

All I'm saying is if they are convinced that you don't need an HDMI in the playbar, offer more support into helping us pick a TV that will work perfectly as they intend?
Sonos steadfastly does not endorse other companies products. Matter of fact, they go out of their way to not make recommendations (hence the mostly user input in the TV compatibility thread). Your best bet is to shop for a new TV, find one(s) with the features/price you like, and check the specs. If the specs are vague, I would contact the manufacturer's support center.
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Good answers from everyone. That megathread is the closest to a suggested list that we make, and we try to keep it updated with the recommendations from the community that come up too.

The rtings.com list is also a great resource.
What do we look for in the TV specs? Something like this?

Dolby Audio and DTS pass through via HDMI
or
Dolby Audio decode via HDMI and optical
You want "pass through" if you are going to have external sources like a cable box or streamer.
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You want "pass through" if you are going to have external sources like a cable box or streamer.

Ive never seen this listed in any TV specification yet 😞 Either I'm looking too low or they never mention it
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Good answers from everyone. That megathread is the closest to a suggested list that we make, and we try to keep it updated with the recommendations from the community that come up too.

The rtings.com list is also a great resource.


http://uk.rtings.com/tv/tests/inputs/5-1-surround-audio-passthrough

All of these are American TV models , no help whatsoever really!
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It is a help. Take, for example, the US Samsung model UN55KS8000. In the review it tells you what the UK equivalent model number is, which, in this case, is the UE55KS7000.
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It is a help. Take, for example, the US Samsung model UN55KS8000. In the review it tells you what the UK equivalent model number is, which, in this case, is the UE55KS7000.

So on one review it has a UK equivalent! I have checked all the LG reviews and none of them have this on ! Cant believe the amount of effort this is taking to find out if a TV has passthrough or not!!! Very frustrating, I mean there is a deal on a LG 49UH650V tv now, the shop is just a high street shop, they wont know if it has passthrough, I could email LG but Id guess the tv wouldn't be on sale by the time they get back to me! So the only option is to buy it and hope it works and if not hope they would refund me!
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It is a help. Take, for example, the US Samsung model UN55KS8000. In the review it tells you what the UK equivalent model number is, which, in this case, is the UE55KS7000.

So on one review it has a UK equivalent! I have checked all the LG reviews and none of them have this on ! Cant believe the amount of effort this is taking to find out if a TV has passthrough or not!!! Very frustrating, I mean there is a deal on a LG 49UH650V tv now, the shop is just a high street shop, they wont know if it has passthrough, I could email LG but Id guess the tv wouldn't be on sale by the time they get back to me! So the only option is to buy it and hope it works and if not hope they would refund me!


Looking at the specs on that TV also it says DTS Decoder - Yes (DTS-HD), is it going to have the same issues as the person above ?? I wish I could just buy... " a tv" and not have to think about all of this ha
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I agree, it is frustrating. The LG, is it this one?

http://uk.rtings.com/tv/reviews/lg/uh6500

This suggests it should pass through DD 5.1 via optical. As I understand, the issue above was that his Tv will also pass through DTS via optical, which is no good for the PLAYBAR. In this case, it comes down to the source (e.g Blu-ray player, Xbox One, PS4 etc) and whether that can convert DTS to DD 5.1.
I use a £20 optical switch so i am currently hunting for a new TV fairly relaxed about this issue.
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I use a £20 optical switch so i am currently hunting for a new TV fairly relaxed about this issue.

My TV (Samsung UE55KS7000) does passthrough DD 5.1 via optical. My issues will arise with 4K Blu rays that have a DTS only soundtrack, with very few of the current 4K players able to convert this to DD 5.1.

@JohnB - if you don't mind me asking, which Cambridge Audio soundbase did you go for?
@Jabba1980. As you correctly say, the DTS is another issue entirely, and is an issue for 1080p Blu-Ray, as I am sure you are aware. I do have a Samsung BD player that transcodes.

I bought the CA TV5 V2 but I am already regretting it! It would not talk over HDMI ARC to my Panasonic TV, and the optical port seems to be faulty, as the thing pops crackles then goes silent quite frequently. It's going back this afternoon. I hear Canton are pretty good......
PS to previous post. Maybe i understand a little better why Sonos go for the simplicity of a single optical port (that works).

I do have a Playbar with another TV
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@Jabba1980. As you correctly say, the DTS is another issue entirely, and is an issue for 1080p Blu-Ray, as I am sure you are aware. I do have a Samsung BD player that transcodes.

I bought the CA TV5 V2 but I am already regretting it! It would not talk over HDMI ARC to my Panasonic TV, and the optical port seems to be faulty, as the thing pops crackles then goes silent quite frequently. It's going back this afternoon. I hear Canton are pretty good......


Thanks for that. I'd heard good things about both CA and Canton. Good luck with the replacement...