Question

playbar and comittment for DTS playback firmware upgrade


I have just added the Sonos Playbar to my samsung smart TV and have discovered the lack of DTS functionality through reading this forum. I find it disappointing that the best we can get is a stereo effect through the playbar?  My originial search was based on identifying a way of using my existing Onkyo nr509 AV Amp with the playbar however that appears to be a no go option as well. The concept of buying and adding the playbar as a step change to the surround sound system I had has left me feeling I have done the wrong thing?  Slightly cheated in a sense too, I hear what Sonos are saying that the majority of content is streamed and agree we use netflix however I also enjoy having a collection of Bluray discs and feel Sonos should fulfil both requirements.  If anyone can give us an  idea as to when this may be re-considered as it looks like Sonos have closed the subject down from reading through the forums.  Do I revert to my old system and return the Playbar to John Lewis could buy a couple Play3's instead?  

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214 replies

I believe that the reason for not including DTS is because of most of the TVs lack DTS support. But I hope the reconsider this due to the fact of all future TVs most likely will have this possibility. I have a Samsung and I'm forced to change output every time I turn on a blue ray. I'm even open for paying additionally if it is a cost factor. 
I'm pretty sure you can take the "Not Planned" status at face value.  So far, the number of Ideas with a "Not Planned" status that have been "reconsidered" is exactly zero.  When they mark something "Not Planned" it seems to be pretty final, and certainly not something that needs any further clarification.
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Shane,  

There are options for Blu-rays that encode the audio track in DTS if you're seeking full 5.1 via Dolby Digital.  There are several models of blu-ray player available which are capable of transcoding from DTS to Dolby, and the Xbox One is capable of doing this as well (if you happen to be an Xbox owner).

We're always evaluating industry trends for future developments but at this time the other posters are correct - there are no plans to implement DTS for the PLAYBAR in the future.
Shane,  

There are options for Blu-rays that encode the audio track in DTS if you're seeking full 5.1 via Dolby Digital.  There are several models of blu-ray player available which are capable of transcoding from DTS to Dolby, and the Xbox One is capable of doing this as well (if you happen to be an Xbox owner).

We're always evaluating industry trends for future developments but at this time the other posters are correct - there are no plans to implement DTS for the PLAYBAR in the future.

Do you happen to know if the sony ps3 does the same thing re dts? I have a new sound w95 tv and that is able to send dts Via optical and hdmi. It's a bit of a let down by your company as a lot,of the new blu ray DVDs are only encoding dts or true hd dts. I really do think you need to reconsider updating the firmware to allow dts. Surely it's not that hard to do. When I bought the tv I bout the playbar, sub and 2 play 1's and I feel rather cheated that I'm not getting the best sound possible bearing in mind what i have spent on the system.
Shane,  

There are options for Blu-rays that encode the audio track in DTS if you're seeking full 5.1 via Dolby Digital.  There are several models of blu-ray player available which are capable of transcoding from DTS to Dolby, and the Xbox One is capable of doing this as well (if you happen to be an Xbox owner).

We're always evaluating industry trends for future developments but at this time the other posters are correct - there are no plans to implement DTS for the PLAYBAR in the future.

The PS3 can decode. 

Why does it matter what you feel the "Future Trends" are, just add what your customers are asking for! PLEASE
I agree with Chris that the best and simplest solution would be for DTS support to be added. Despite being a huge Sonos fan and a Sonos reseller, I find Sonos' policy on this puzzling at best. However, my setup gets round all the issues, albeit with workarounds that shouldn't be needed. Luckily I needed to replace the Bluray player anyway. It is: 1. Panasonic Plasma TV that passes only stereo out through digital optical 2. Sonos Playbar, Sub and two Play:1s for surround sound. Play:1s on Flexson floorstands. 3. Samsung BD-F6500 Smart Bluray player, which is set to transcode DTS to Dolby Digital 5:1, so OK with disks that have only DTS soundtrack. Also streams Netflix and Amazon Prime (Lovefilm) 4. BT Vision box (I imagine a Sky satellite box could be substituted here) 5. ViewHD 3:1 optical digital switch. This avoids passing audio through the TV. 6. Connections: HDMI from BT box to TV and from Bluray to TV. Digital optical cables from TV, Bluray and BT box to digital optical switch. Digital optical cable from switch to Playbar. I also have a Logitech Harmony Touch universal remote which makes controlling whole thing easy, although this isn't essential. This is not a setup that has official Sonos approval. I have not personally experienced any issues over sound quality, nor with audio/video sync. Not that I can notice, anyway. I love my Sonos surround system!! John, Canford Cliffs Audio
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Ok so there are a few options that you can do here, however part of the issue is with the TVs that most people have. Some, very limited TVs have DTS pass-through as well as DD. This means that even when sending DTS or DD TrueHD it will still be converted back to DD 2.0 through the optic out on your TV, if it allows pass-through. I have an Xbox One, but due to the 5yr old TV I have it won't allow me to pass through the setting required, which are stated on the SONOS website. To alleviate this I purchased a small 4 way HDMI switch box with optical out, that does both DTS Master and DD TrueHD. I since tested this with both the PS3 forcing it to only play DTS and using LOTR Extended and choosing DTS 6.1 from the menu. After that I used the Xbox One on Blueray and it was quiet insane. This little product was $98AUS and I think most people would like something like this added into the product.
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The more I read the more I am puzzled by the Sonos stance of not supporting DTS. What is the real reason? Can the network not support the bandwidth? If so just be upfront about it. Is it too expensive to licence? I don't think so given the premium price tag. So what's the real reason? Surely not Just Mr 'designer' has his head up his woofer? Really? It's a music system so just support the popular formats or say so in BIG letters on the box.
Hi David. As a Sonos reseller (but speaking purely for myself) I would also like a more satisfactory explanation from Sonos on the DTS issue. But my experience is that most Playbar purchasers and potential purchasers don't care about this issue when I point it out, so I'm guessing Sonos don't think it should be a high business priority. (I'm not saying it's wrong for you to care about it, just saying many people don't.) Your last comment puzzles me though. Yes it is a music system - but DTS is not relevant to the Playbar's use as a music system, so you appear to be contradicting your own argument?? John, Canford Cliffs Audio
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I think he was being sarcastic about the last statement. DTS is going to be a massive issue very soon, as all Bluray movies will be encoded in DTS. As I stated about though the issue isn't the Playbar, it's your TV not supporting Pass-Through. The optical output on most TVs is Dolby 2.0 and the Playbar decodes it from there
Hi Donovan. I'm not trying to defend the Sonos position, and I'm aware of the pass-through issue. As my earlier post pointed out, you can avoid pass-through by using a digital optical switch. But the Playbar's lack of support for DTS sabotages this unless you have a Blu-ray player that can transcode DTS into DD5:1. I still think you are overestimating how massive this is for the typical Playbar purchaser, as opposed to people like us who post on forums like these. John, Canford Cliffs Audio
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Hi John I think you're being a bit picky saying DTS isn't relevant to its use as a music system. I have a great many music blue rays. They are all in DTS 5.1 and used to sound fantastic on my 10 year old AV receiver. Now they just sound ok. Of course if I play a Dolby 5.1 source it sounds fantastically nice. Thats what I want all the time and is what I paid for. The original DTS idea thread had 1468 'me too' votes and is still third in the most popular list even thought it has been closed. I think that shows how much of an issue it is. It will get worse as Sonos are advertising a 5.1 system and people will expect it to play the most popular formats. Lets face it; connected via a TV the Sonos doesn't play 5.1 in any true sense unless the TV is broadcast in 5.1. So for everything else it just plays a 5.1 experience. It really doesn't make any sense.
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I too think this is a massive issue and have a HDMI switch box with a built in DTS HD and DD True HD converter, with optical output. Problem I have is I have to switch optical lines from TV to switch box when I want to watch a Bluray through my XB1. The decoder box is only $99, which I'm honestly surprised they don't add it to the Playbar, with dual optical inputs. I would really like grouping too of Play 1/3s in surround sound.
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I too think this is a massive issue and have a HDMI switch box with a built in DTS HD and DD True HD converter, with optical output. Problem I have is I have to switch optical lines from TV to switch box when I want to watch a Bluray through my XB1. The decoder box is only $99, which I'm honestly surprised they don't add it to the Playbar, with dual optical inputs. I would really like grouping too of Play 1/3s in surround sound.
hi Donovan - I wasnt aware such a device existed.  The new(er) Samsung blurays do DTS to DD 5.1 conversion on the fly but didnt know you could get a switchbox that would handle any DTS source and convert it - can you provide a link ??
thanks,
nick
Userlevel 1
I too think this is a massive issue and have a HDMI switch box with a built in DTS HD and DD True HD converter, with optical output. Problem I have is I have to switch optical lines from TV to switch box when I want to watch a Bluray through my XB1. The decoder box is only $99, which I'm honestly surprised they don't add it to the Playbar, with dual optical inputs. I would really like grouping too of Play 1/3s in surround sound.
http://www.ambery.com/2hddodtsdihd.html Or just do a google search for HDMI DTS Converter with optical out. A stack of them will come up and I purchased mine off an eBay store
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I too think this is a massive issue and have a HDMI switch box with a built in DTS HD and DD True HD converter, with optical output. Problem I have is I have to switch optical lines from TV to switch box when I want to watch a Bluray through my XB1. The decoder box is only $99, which I'm honestly surprised they don't add it to the Playbar, with dual optical inputs. I would really like grouping too of Play 1/3s in surround sound.
Dear All, Dear SONOS,

I see that this post was written like 5-7 months ago. I bought my SONOS plabar just 1 month ago and since this industry is moving fast, I feel confortable to come back on that DTS topic one more time to have a timing and / or a faire and honest explanation.

Since SONOS mentioned they are 'always evaluating industry trends for future develpoments, I would like to know what are their views now end of 2014.

Looking for a new TV I noted that the trend is moving clearly toward DTS more and more (2014 model mid range TV Sony Optical out is only Dolby Digital // Samsung Opitcal Out is only DTS // Panasonic mid range : Optical out is both DD and DTS). This make clear that the trend is moving towars DTS from TV perspectives and this is happening like NOW.

Although I agree that sources like Netflix, Tuner and Apps are not DTS yet but it will come for sure. And anyway since at that point and still for some time the content is quite limited and I am sure SONOS does not want to be a brand seen just as a follower that provide only the minimum format required for mass people, we have to agree that external sources such as Blurays and USB remain key ; as an example the TV manufacturer invest a lot in the ability to read all the different audio and video format through external sources.

Then, when looking at those external sources, well the sources are getting more and more DTS oriented once again. 

SONOS, thanks in advance for your prompt answer.
Or should I open anew post on that one?

Is there anywhere we can complains and see how many people are begging for DTS to be set up instead fo going non sense set up ....

Thanks

A honest proud but slightly disapointed customer
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I too think this is a massive issue and have a HDMI switch box with a built in DTS HD and DD True HD converter, with optical output. Problem I have is I have to switch optical lines from TV to switch box when I want to watch a Bluray through my XB1. The decoder box is only $99, which I'm honestly surprised they don't add it to the Playbar, with dual optical inputs. I would really like grouping too of Play 1/3s in surround sound.
The issue has always been on the TV end, as most TVs optical output only sent DD 2.1. Now I haven't tested the new TVs with the built in DTS decoders, but I believe the PlayBar will read the signal. I've been using a cheap DTS hdmi switcher which works extremely well
Shane,  

There are options for Blu-rays that encode the audio track in DTS if you're seeking full 5.1 via Dolby Digital.  There are several models of blu-ray player available which are capable of transcoding from DTS to Dolby, and the Xbox One is capable of doing this as well (if you happen to be an Xbox owner).

We're always evaluating industry trends for future developments but at this time the other posters are correct - there are no plans to implement DTS for the PLAYBAR in the future.

Your analysis of future trends does not reflect current consumer trends. As evidenced by the hundreds and hundreds of posts on this matter.

The first decent competing product that offers dts and dd+ support, or hdmi connections, will hammer your sales.

You can't rely on brand loyalty, as too many people are already disillusioned with your product(s).

I love technology and this includes many aspects of your product offerings. Overall though, I REGRET my Sonos purchase.

If I had it over again I would avoid your HT system like the plague (whole house music, fine).
I too think this is a massive issue and have a HDMI switch box with a built in DTS HD and DD True HD converter, with optical output. Problem I have is I have to switch optical lines from TV to switch box when I want to watch a Bluray through my XB1. The decoder box is only $99, which I'm honestly surprised they don't add it to the Playbar, with dual optical inputs. I would really like grouping too of Play 1/3s in surround sound.
You're right, the issue is in the TV end.

TV's are such low margin junk products, it is a mistake to base any system around them as a hub.

That is the problem with Sonos as a HT solution. Wish I just bought a decent amp instead of a playbar.
I too think this is a massive issue and have a HDMI switch box with a built in DTS HD and DD True HD converter, with optical output. Problem I have is I have to switch optical lines from TV to switch box when I want to watch a Bluray through my XB1. The decoder box is only $99, which I'm honestly surprised they don't add it to the Playbar, with dual optical inputs. I would really like grouping too of Play 1/3s in surround sound.
User820801, I might have a trade for you then.  I've got a 7.1 channel Denon in my house, and I'm moving to a new place soon that isn't wired for surround. I'm going to migrate to Sonos because for me having the connectivity to several streaming services and a whole-house speaker system is more important that trying to decipher true DTS vs. DD5.1 vs Sonos 5.1 "experience".  If you're up to talk about a trade, reach out to me.  Thanks.
Just chiming in that this issue was a surprise for me when I went to make a purchase decision this week.  While I own a Sonos system for my whole house music needs, and thought the playbar + sub + plus rear speakers would be great for my new home theater in a new house, both the only-optical-input issue and the lack of DTS support mean I am buying something else.  It simply does not make sense to pay this kind of money and have to resort to workarounds by adding an optical switch, and having no viable workaround to use DTS directly.  I know Sonos seems to think this is an issue reserved for die hard audio people, but there is much more of a ripple effect- most of my friends who are not so tech savvy ask me what to buy, and I can not recommend this system to them given those limitations at this price.  If they are going to compromise on sound, they might as well get something less expensive.
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Just chiming in that this issue was a surprise for me when I went to make a purchase decision this week.  While I own a Sonos system for my whole house music needs, and thought the playbar + sub + plus rear speakers would be great for my new home theater in a new house, both the only-optical-input issue and the lack of DTS support mean I am buying something else.  It simply does not make sense to pay this kind of money and have to resort to workarounds by adding an optical switch, and having no viable workaround to use DTS directly.  I know Sonos seems to think this is an issue reserved for die hard audio people, but there is much more of a ripple effect- most of my friends who are not so tech savvy ask me what to buy, and I can not recommend this system to them given those limitations at this price.  If they are going to compromise on sound, they might as well get something less expensive.
Whilst I do fully understand and support your statement, I must also state that this ultimately (at this stage) comes down to the TV. If you have purchased any of the most recent 4k TV's, most have on board DTS decoders. This means that DTS 5.1 is being sent directly out of the TVs Optical output into the Playbar. I would classify myself as a Home Threatre fan and I personnally own the exact system you have described and there is nothing that comes close to the sound reproduction and clarity.
Just chiming in that this issue was a surprise for me when I went to make a purchase decision this week.  While I own a Sonos system for my whole house music needs, and thought the playbar + sub + plus rear speakers would be great for my new home theater in a new house, both the only-optical-input issue and the lack of DTS support mean I am buying something else.  It simply does not make sense to pay this kind of money and have to resort to workarounds by adding an optical switch, and having no viable workaround to use DTS directly.  I know Sonos seems to think this is an issue reserved for die hard audio people, but there is much more of a ripple effect- most of my friends who are not so tech savvy ask me what to buy, and I can not recommend this system to them given those limitations at this price.  If they are going to compromise on sound, they might as well get something less expensive.
I just purchased a Samsung UN65HU8550FXZA, which is a most recent 4K TV, but I am being told it only passes the PCM from the optical port for content that passes through the tv, although I seem to be getting different answers depending on who I ask.  Always happy to hear alternatives.
Just chiming in that this issue was a surprise for me when I went to make a purchase decision this week.  While I own a Sonos system for my whole house music needs, and thought the playbar + sub + plus rear speakers would be great for my new home theater in a new house, both the only-optical-input issue and the lack of DTS support mean I am buying something else.  It simply does not make sense to pay this kind of money and have to resort to workarounds by adding an optical switch, and having no viable workaround to use DTS directly.  I know Sonos seems to think this is an issue reserved for die hard audio people, but there is much more of a ripple effect- most of my friends who are not so tech savvy ask me what to buy, and I can not recommend this system to them given those limitations at this price.  If they are going to compromise on sound, they might as well get something less expensive.
Hi Donovan.  May I ask for clarification please?  Given that the Playbar does not support DTS, if a TV were passing DTS directly into the Playbar I would expect silence.  Are you saying that is not the case?  Have I misunderstood? Thanks. John
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Just chiming in that this issue was a surprise for me when I went to make a purchase decision this week.  While I own a Sonos system for my whole house music needs, and thought the playbar + sub + plus rear speakers would be great for my new home theater in a new house, both the only-optical-input issue and the lack of DTS support mean I am buying something else.  It simply does not make sense to pay this kind of money and have to resort to workarounds by adding an optical switch, and having no viable workaround to use DTS directly.  I know Sonos seems to think this is an issue reserved for die hard audio people, but there is much more of a ripple effect- most of my friends who are not so tech savvy ask me what to buy, and I can not recommend this system to them given those limitations at this price.  If they are going to compromise on sound, they might as well get something less expensive.
John, From what I believe I was told if the TV did/does in fact Pass-Through the DTS sound then the Playbar should play the audio. This is also dependant that the DTS sound track has already been decoded though or the TV has a decoder. On top of this I have and currently use a HDMI switch box with optical out that has a 5.1/7.1 DTS Master and DD True HD decoders built-in. I was initially using a PS3 as my Blueray player and specified only DTS audio and tested the whole system with the Extended Edition of LoTR on standard DVD (as you can select the DTS audio track only) then switch the movie over to the BR version and the sound was significantly better. All of these worked flawlessly on DTS, and I now use the XboxOne as my Blueray player instead. However I do still have some small issues with the XB1 though. However SONOS originally informed me that the fact that TVs would convert any audio from the player through HDMI back to Dolby 2.0 out of the optical output and then the Playbar would change it to SONOS encoded surround.