NO DTS on NEW PlayBase and thats not due to hardware limitations.


Userlevel 2
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http://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2017/3/7/14828738/sonos-playbase-tv-speaker-soundbar-announced

"But home theater enthusiasts might be disappointed with some of the technical details. For one, the Playbase doesn’t support DTS multichannel audio. Neither does the Playbar. Here’s what a company spokesperson had to say about that decision (emphasis ours):

For home entertainment, DTS content is only found on physical media such as DVD, Blu-ray and Laserdisc – no video streaming services such as Netflix or Hulu support DTS. Sonos is focused on modern listeners who predominantly stream and because most physical discs encode DTS at bitrates substantially similar to Dolby Digital, we have decided to not support DTS on PLAYBASE as we don’t believe it offers a better listening experience for the majority of owners."

I really love my SONOS system. The sound is indeed great, but I cannot understand how it comes that SONOS isn’t paying any attention to all the users that have been claiming for DTS support for years now.

Apparently, they don’t plan to support anytime soon because they are affirming that SONOS is made for the modern users that uses streaming and no streaming service offers DTS at the moment. Ah they also said on the interview that there is not much difference on DTS sound.

SONOS was one of the first speakers to support Hi-Fi and always have been on the vanguard for audiophiles. I really think that these comments are discrepant and are at least conflicting with the company’s past. I really hope that SONOS reconsider.

There is also a segment about HDMI support on the article.

“While newer HDMI standards such as HDMI ARC and CEC promise increased control functionality, they are unlikely to be found on TVs that are several years old and are still implemented in a fragmented way across newer TV models,” the Sonos spokesperson said. “We continue to monitor the state of HDMI audio implementations in the market for future roadmap products.” 

Apparently, we cannot expect SONOS to be on the vanguard anymore.

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43 replies

Userlevel 6
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There's a world of difference between DD and silence. People don't necessarily want core DTS for better sound - it's more that it's present on most discs now and means they don't need to plan a multitude of workarounds, extra/new hardware and more cabling.
Userlevel 7
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you would think that the new CEO, with his experience at Blackberry, would be all too aware of the risks of not moving with the times !
Userlevel 7
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I don't accept the notion that because they, Sonos, have not adopted DTS that "SONOS isn’t paying any attention to all the users that have been claiming for DTS support for years now" - Sonos DO pay attention to their users. Not only do they read and engage with users of this forum they doubtless perform in depth analysis of the Playbar use and the audio sources thereof.

Also, I agree that if I were to listen to a DD5.1 source and then a DTS soundtrack through a DTS enabled Sonos 5.1 setup I doubt I would be able to tell the difference.

Given that Sonos do not market the Playbar as a Home Theatre audiophile solution and rather have taken the clear step that the Playbar should be as simple as possible it is hardly surprising that they have taken the pragmatic decision to side step DTS which, after all, represents a tiny proportion of the audio input (obviously those with DTS sources have to convert or will get nothing) into the Playbar.
Userlevel 3
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Sonos is playing to a larger common base here. While hdmi standards have changed versions over the years primarily due to video, optical audio has not changed much, if at all. So they may want to play safe to make sure there is longevity to their products at the cost of not adapting unstable technologies or those on the faste lane to obsolescence.
Userlevel 6
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I understand (but don't necessarily agree with) the belief that no HDMI makes things 'simpler'.
I don't understand for one second how lack of DTS decoding does.
It is completely missing the point for Sonos to suggest people can't tell the difference or even mention bitrates. Fact is, with DTS decoding, people don't need to care - it will just play.
I have an amp that has no HDMI ports but does have optical. I feed 4 HDMI sources into my TV and an optical from the tv into the amp. My TV passes all audio, inc. DTS, through its optical output and I have true surround for all sources. If I connected the optical to the Playbase, I wouldn't.
I'm not sure where the notion of DTS being a tiny proportion of audio output comes from unless we completely ignore and alienate people with dvd and bluray players where it is the most common audio format. Even if the disc is DTS HD it would still contain 'standard' DTS too.
As for not being able to tell the difference between DD5.1 and DTS, with the current hardware and without any user instigated workarounds, the difference is stark. One will be rather quieter than the other....
Userlevel 7
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Iam exactly like you. I have just bought a LG OLED 4K tv with 4hdmi 2.0 ports. As my sony av amp is prior 4k, I have moved all HDMI's to the tv and just have optical out to the amp. The tv passes DD5.1 & DTS through, all good. If I decided to tidy things up and invest in this new playbase, I would have no sound from my blu-rays or UHD discs playing through PS4, which gives better quality visuals than any streaming service will for many years to come.
A potential sale lost, I would more likely buy a 4K av amp replacement.
How many people really have space for a surround system? Possibly market analyses and survey data speak a different language than "Home theater" supporters.

Two years ago I had a "no name"-soundbase with HDMI input and from the start changing tv input proved as a source of annoyance, either the picture froze or the screen turned black; after a couple of months I sh..canned it. With Toslink the sound latency sometimes is annoying but at least it does not refuse to cooperate with HDMI switches.
Userlevel 1
Netflix streams audio in DD+ which is not supported over toslink, only HDMI. Not supporting HDMI is such a bad choice.
Badge +2
I'm guessing my wireless surround budget is going elsewhere. If I'm buying that else where I am going to investigate changing my whole system over I don't want to have to change app depending on which room I'm in or be unable to link room to make sure the sound in each room is synced and not out of phase. I have nearly bought a soundbar a few times and this is the ONLY reason I stop myself each time. Had I bought the bar I would have by now bought a sub and a couple of 1's or 3's for the rear so the revenue loss is very real.
Userlevel 7
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It's unfortunate that Sonos feels that they only need to support audio formats from streaming services. There are TONS of topics here wanting DTS support... lots of topics about what Blu-Ray players will convert audio to DD since the Playbar (and now Playbase) don't support DTS... even a topic about NEW 4K Blu-Ray players that support this conversion!

WAKE UP SONOS!

There may be a large desire for streaming in the world today, but that doesn't mean that discs and physical formats are going away anytime soon! REAL movie enthusiasts will NEVER stream movies exclusively (they might do it as a matter of convenience occasionally, but they'll still have their discs)!

While I personally don't have any issues with supporting only Dolby Digital 5.1 - I have a good game console that can handle this conversion for everything fed through it, disc or streaming - I still think it's horribly short-sighted for Sonos to continue to not support DTS after the big showing of support for it there is here in this community over the years. If it really isn't a hardware limitation, there is no reason it shouldn't be supported.
Userlevel 7
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it was a bizarre omission the first time around on the Playbar. For those that remember, there was a very long and heated thread on the old forum about it where it was 'under consideration' (someone at sonos said it could be added retrospectively) for a whole year before they finally came out and said they wouldnt do it.
2nd time around it makes no sense at all to not support DTS via optical - even just to offset the negative press !
Userlevel 7
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I can't help feeling sonos are really twisting things, and their PR department working overtime, to come with no streaming service uses DTS, as an excuse for not supporting it. That just alienates the majority of people that have dvds, blu-rays, playstations, and boy have they got a surprise after they have bought the playbar or playbase as no salesman is going to tell them. They all turn up on here along with bbc iplayer complaints!!
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I was hoping for a replacement of my 7.1 home theater. But if I would replace it with Sonos I would need to buy a HDMI switch because I don't want all 5 HDMI cables to go to the TV. And no DTS again?! Same design flaw as Playbar!? You have to be kidding me. It's a 2000 Euro home cinema. It MUST support DTS or it's useless. I will have no sound on my blurays.
What a shame. I consider myself a "modern listener" and use PLEX to watch movies. More then half my movies have DTS encoded audio. PLEX supports DTS, my Samsung TV can pass DTS. I too would be a Playbar/Playbase customer if Sonos only added DTS. I bet they don't want to pay up for the DTS licensing - which is crazy considering the cost for the Playbar/Playbase, it should support everything.
I find Sonos attitude incredibly arrogant. Kind of like Apple with the closed systems, but even more so. I love Apple products by the way.

We want to downsize and eliminate our tower speakers, cables etc. I've been researching to death and I love the idea that Sonos sounds good, apparently has a great app, is easy to install and rock solid. However, i can't get past the idea that they only support DD through digital optical. You shouldn't have to deal with all these work arounds such as hdmi switchers, etc when spending so much on a product. I have come to the conclusion that I will probably get a Paradigm PW soundbar. It has 3 hdmi inputs and it supports DD and DTS. I haven't heard it yet but their reputation for sound is excellent.
Userlevel 7
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or the new Denon Heos Soundbar. I love Sonos but truly shocked that they dropped the ball once with the Playbar and then again with the Playbase 2 years later !
Yes, I am also looking at the HEOS. People have a lot of complaints about the app but it supports all the major surround formats through HDMI, of which it has 4!
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The main purpose of the soundbar is for TV. So deciding to not support DTS because Sonos users predominantly use streaming services is completely wrong. It is the case for music, but not TV.

Also, the reason for lack of DTS support is because the optical cable makes it incompatible. This also, is a daft thing to stick with because most TVs are moving away from legacy connections like TosLink and those that do have it (or an amp) about half the TVs do not have an option to mute the sound from the TV while using TosLink so you end up with two sounds (TV/soundbar).

I desperately want a soundbar for my new room and Sonos makes all sense given I have 5 other speakers, but this reliance on old technology means I cannot justify the price or even the tech.
Userlevel 7
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Optical does support DTS.
The main reason it is not on sonos, is that sonos do not want to pay dolby for the license.
Userlevel 6
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Not sure it's ever been confirmed it's a payment issue (must be a tiny price given all others support it - inc. £20 DVD players) but it forces all manner of convoluted workarounds either way.
It's DTS btw, not Dolby.
Userlevel 7
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it was a bizarre omission the first time around on the Playbar. For those that remember, there was a very long and heated thread on the old forum about it where it was 'under consideration' (someone at sonos said it could be added retrospectively) for a whole year before they finally came out and said they wouldnt do it.
2nd time around it makes no sense at all to not support DTS via optical - even just to offset the negative press !


We were all queue up to replace our PlayBar with the new PlayBase when it came out just to get this "missing" functionality. We had even worked out were the PlayBar was going. But oh no Sonos shot themselves in the foot and release the PlayBase as effectively the same product as the PlayBar just with a different shaped box to house it in!
Optical does support DTS.
The main reason it is not on sonos, is that sonos do not want to pay dolby for the license.


Dolby? :8
Sonos is just not a home theater company. Period. Lack of DTS support is not a statement of relying on old or new tech it is purely a statement that Sonos doesn't want to be a home theater company. This has always surprised me as I know personally I own a number of speakers from Sonos for music but would own twice as many (if not more) if they supported DTS. Sure, there are ways around this issue but I don't like spending the money on a premium product that requires me to implement workarounds to use it. I still love Sonos for music but they re-affirm over and over that is the only market they are interested in.
This argument from SONOS and the few Fan-boys above saying DTS is not required is pathetic - DTS (standard format) has been found on cheap £20 DVD players and on just about everything for at least the past decade! This is simply a Licensing issue that SONOS don't want to pay for so they can make more profit. Those who argue that SONOS dont want to be affiliated with Home Cinema, then why the hell do they have DolbyDigital and sell hardware that is for this purpose in the furst place? The DTS Code/Algorithm is supplied by Vendor so its not difficult to implement and per device or input, this is auto-sensing, so nothing difficult for the End User whatsoever to concern over...sound will just work without worrying about some stupid format compatibility issue!

I still cannot believe some people defend SONOS when most of us have DVD and Bluray Players, often with with significant collections of Discs, also Gaming Consoles that do DVD or Bluray Discs, and Streaming Devices like WDTV (and Popcorn Hour, Zappiti, Zidoo etc.) that play MKVs with DTS - when I look, the majority of my Blurays are DTS and far fewer in my collection have DolbyDigital!

The reason I have come across this thread was seeking some answers as my un-techno-savvy neighbour just invested in the (expensive) PLAY Bar with PLAY:1 Surrounds and the SUB thinking he was all set to enjoy his new system, only for me to pop over and discover this massive flaw ...I don't care how people in this thread try to defend SONOS, to me it's like Hippies trying to promote Marijuana for its health benefits (futile lol)

SONOS - WAKE UP!!! SIGNIFICANT CONSUMERS ARE ASKING FOR SIMPLE DTS SUPPORT ...this is not even an HD format requirement, just the industry defaults which are present on all 'Core' tracks on Discs

Sincerely
PS. I am pretty sure they could release a Firmware update to include DTS support ...this is not complicated - in fact, they could probably sell the License for DTS separately for a fee, as they would know your Serial number and it could be bound to your specific Play Bar (some older Audio manufacturers used to do this, you could buy options later if you required them)!