Will my TV work with the Sonos Beam?


Hello,

I want to get the Sonos Beam with hopes of doing a surround system with 2 Ones, but I am unsure if my TV will output surround sound or just stereo. I currently have a PS4 for streaming and a Samsung UN46F7500 46-Inch 1080p 240Hz 3D Ultra Slim Smart LED HDTV. I see on CNET's page that it decodes Dolby Digital Plus. Will that be ok?

I was thinking of getting a roku streaming stick, but was also worried about the fact that they mostly do DTS? (Sorry if I sound naive, but all the types of signals kind of confuses me...)

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10 replies

Userlevel 7
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I found this in your TVs user manual, page 143:

A home theater system that has been connected to the TV using an HDMI cable and an optical
cable supports 2-channel audio only. However, the home theater is capable of supporting
5.1-channel audio from digital broadcasts.
●● To listen to 5.1-channel audio from an external device, connect the device to the TV via an HDMI
cable and the device's digital audio output connector directly to the home theater system.


http://downloadcenter.samsung.com/content/UM/201308/20130813132318387/[ENG_KR]FPATSCF-3.104.pdf
Thanks! But how would that work with the beam? So I'd have to connect my PS4 to the beam with optical cable and my TV to the beam with the ARC HDMI?
Sorry to be lame, but reading that manual for some reason doesn't make any sense to me! :?
Userlevel 7
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That setup isn't possible. The Beam only has an HDMI-ARC connection on it. It comes with adapter dongle to convert optical to the hdmi-arc. In other words, you can't connect the Beam to two devices at the same time.

If your only source for the TV is the PS4, then you can just connect the Beam to the PS4 as you suggested. Of course, that means no Roku stick or any other devices play audio through the Beam.

You could look at getting an hdmi switch that can take multiple inputs and output hdmi for the TV, and optical for the Beam.. That would give you multiple input options all going to the tv and the beam. You'd have to switch inputs manually though, not by tv remote, so it's not exactly the ideal situation.

I have a slightly more modern Samsung tv that handles the audio fine (with an xbox), so that's an option too. Probably not an acceptable one, I would imagine.

If it were me, I would probably get a Beam and try it out. The manual could be off and a firmware patch resolve the issue. I may be good with watching everything through the Ps4. And I can always return it (if bought directly from Sonos) if I can't get it working the way I'd like.

Note 1: I believe the PS4 outputs DD with no issues, but I haven't researched this myself, and am going off memory of what I've read here previously.

Note 2: You may want to consider a firetv instead of Roku, as the Beam would be able to control firetv by voice control, and can't do the same with the Roku currently.
Userlevel 7
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Sorry to be lame, but reading that manual for some reason doesn't make any sense to me! :?

Not lame at all. It is a little confusing. That's partially why I'm a little hesitant to trust it and think getting a Beam and trying it out may work despite what the manual says.

However, the home theater is capable of supporting
5.1-channel audio from digital broadcasts.


That part makes little sense they have no idea what home theater setup you're connecting to the TV. I guess it's a general statement enforcing the bullet point after that. Would have been clearer if they just left the sentence out entirely I think.
Thanks for your detailed reply! I'm not a huge fan of the FireTV interface TBH, and I'm more fond of remotes for browsing than full voice (Though TV on and volume on with voice is awesome).

Do you think I could solve this problem by getting a Roku Ultra, which has an optical port, and using that as an intermediary that would send dolby digital to the beam? (I got the idea with this: https://support.roku.com/en-ca/article/208754498-how-to-set-up-your-roku-streaming-player-for-surround-sound)

I thought about doing it with the PS4, but I figure a Roku will probably use FAR less power over the long term for me just streaming TV.
Userlevel 7
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Yes, I think it would, using the optical (S/PDIF) for audio #2 specified in that page.
Epic! Yeah, I see now that there's even a note on that page: "Note: The Roku Ultra provides an additional option to transcode Dolby Digital Plus to Dolby Digital. This allows you to connect your Roku Ultra to an AVR, sound bar, or TV that supports Dolby Digital, but not Dolby Digital Plus, and still hear the audio in surround sound."

This seems to solve my problem completely! Thank you so much!

Note: I currently have voice control on my TV with a Logitech Harmony. So the Alexa option wasn't really something I needed from the beam.
Out of curiosity, is there such a thing as a transcoder that will take my TV's dolby digital plus and turn it into dolby digital that's cheaper and easy so that I could still use HDMI ARC?
Userlevel 7
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I've never looked at that before. A Google search for "dolby digital plus to dolby digital transcoder" didn't come up with anything that's cheaper that using the Roku ultra.

But maybe someone else around here has a better idea...