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playbar and comittment for DTS playback firmware upgrade



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Userlevel 2
As a Sonos enthusiast and customer, I felt the need to chime in with my own take on this, both positive and negative.

First, I commend Sonos for the entrance into the Home Theater market in the first place.  The Sonos identity as “all the music in the world” was never going to be enough to make it in an ever-changing market place, and I would think that focus on audio solutions for both music and video content, streamed throughout the house, is what will appeal to consumers in the long run.  Something that just works, EVERYWHERE, for most everything in a single, easy and expandable system.  The announcement of the Playbar was a welcomed one, and I look forward to further product developments and to see how far Sonos will take this product.  But I’ll tell you why I do not yet own one, despite my high interest in the product.

First the positive.  The bar itself is well-built and attractive, and the sound compares favorably to other soundbars I’ve tested (and I’ve tested many).  Setup is a cinch like all other Sonos products, and it would be fabulous to stream content throughout the house seamlessly and in sync.  But there are serious drawbacks, and there are far too many to warrant purchasing the product at it’s hefty price when including the subwoofer (a must).  But even if it were less expensive, I still will not purchase until the product line meets at least the basic needs for home theater.  

A single optical input just.doesn’t.work.  Most televisions, including my brand new top of the line Sony 4k tv, do not output audio from sources coming into the television via HDMI over optical, which like it or not, is how most people connect their components.  Period.  Now one can say that it’s the TV manufacturers, and I’d agree to some extent, but the bottom line is most folks cannot and generally will not make such a large purchase solely based upon it’s optical output capabilities, assuming they’re in the market for a brand new television in the first place.  I buy a tv for it’s video display capabilities and leave it to 3rd parties for audio solutions.  The Sonos doesn’t have HDMI inputs (ARC), so it was immediately out for me, sadly.

People who are in the market for a soundbar in the first place are looking for simple, easy to setup solutions that don’t have tons of wires running everywhere.  That should fit into the Sonos bucket, but in order to make the playbar work with my system I’d have to employ splitters, switches and such to “make it work”.  Too much trouble and defeats the purpose for the soundbar market.

I mentioned the build of the playbar is attractive, and it is, but it’s so large (tall) that it would interfere with the television remote functions (IR).  Without a repeater on the back of the playbar to relay commands, the bar becomes a serious hinderance in normal, daily operations.  And while it’s nice that it can be hung on the wall, again, most folks have tv stands and are looking to lay the bar on a surface.  Consider reducing it's height, or adding a backside repeater to resolve this.

And finally, I come to why I’m posting.  DTS.  It’s not something that is optional in my opinion.  It’s a must have, a basic need.  DTS is common for blu ray, and is picking up in popularity, so decoding DTS is simply required.  Leaving it to the blu ray player to convert to DD, assuming the consumer’s player will even do that, seems unreasonable to me.  It’s an AUDIO function, so the AUDIO solution chosen should handle that, whether it’s a receiver for a large 7.1 wired system, or a soundbar for a consolidated, low profile system.  Soundbars are gaining in popularity because of those traits, and there are more and more to choose from as manufacturers are improving their sound quality in these packages every day.

So despite the fact that I’ve invested heavily into Sonos and have speakers in nearly every room of my house, Sonos does not yet have a presence in the most important room in my house.  My living room.  I purchased a competing soundbar to go along with my very cool new television, and while I prefer the sound of the Sonos and desperately want to “keep it in the family”, there were far too many compromises.  Please consider developing the product further in these areas, and you’ll have another sale and happy customer.

P.S.  I’d like outdoor speakers, too, please. And bluetooth.  :o)
DTS is mandatory ! it's samsung default optical output format ... so every time i want to see a blue ray,  i must go too deep menu to change the optical output format ... 

it's so raging that sonos don't want to change anything that i've past the whole night to put bad star on amazon and a lot of other to explain why it's stupid to buy a sonos product that just want to stay on their .
Hope that go viral to make them move. 

Anything else is fine (spotify integration can be better, but that is the spotify API, so i will not blame sonos about that).

Just put this feature top one !
 
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This is a very good post.  Well thought out and balanced - and I could NOT AGREE MORE WITH YOU!!

I love my Sonos system, and am also looking for a solution to go with my TV - but like you I feel the Sonos just isn't it.  I would be more than happy to buy both the Sub and the sound bar if it had DTS support and more inputs.  But as it doesn't my £1500 is going to go elsewhere...

Sonos, you need to wake up and listen to your customers...
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Update.  Not only is my money going elsewhere - I am going to sell all my existing Sonos equipment and go to the Bose SoundTouch platform.  Not only does it support DTS it also supports HD audio and is available in both black and white for all components.  Sorry Sonos - you just took too long to listen to your cusotmers
Userlevel 3
I've ploughed over last 12 months £1600 in sonos gear and biting the bullet and getting 2 play 1 this week, this is something I said I wouldn't do because of the lack of DTS.. When 5.1 is being passed through the experience is just epically awesome but I was presently surprised how very good the faux 5.1 sounded. After watching guardians I had a smile on my face and I don't regret of my purchase. I do believe and hope that sonos will bring DTS because this would be the icing on an already tasty cake.
As an Integrator, you have to take SONOS for what it is. They sell a very nice Sound Bar. It is not (and I don't think it was ever the intention of SONOS to provide this) a Theater System, it is not the be all and end all. For our Customers it is a comfortable option that fits nicely between nothing and a "real" 5.1 or 7.1 Theater.

I read WAY too many complaints in these forums about what SONOS doesn't do or can't do. You guys have, way, way too much time on your hands. You are running this poor little car at 6000 RPMs and it just can't take it. It has limitations (They are Play1s!). It is designed to work in a small footprint. Be real people.

Buy the right product. You can spend $5,000 on SONOS and if you do without the help of an AV Integrator, then....you made a poor choice. Hire an Integrator to do the job for you and lead you down a different road (maybe even with SONOS) that involves a rock solid setup. That's it, bottom line.
Userlevel 1
I understand your frustration, however I would like to know which Bose component Soundtouch you were referencing
This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Support for dts playback. Hi love the sonus products just bought two play ones to go with my soundbar and sub for surround sound. The problem I have is my TV can only output stereo sound so I have connected via optical cable from my bluray player to the sound bar there are two outputs in my player for sound bitstream or PCM .the latter gives sound but not 5.1 for. The sonus ones as surround bitstream gives no sound at all as it's outputting dts and the soundbar does not support it. Have I just wasted my money as all my blurays are sound encoded in dts. Hope sonus are going to support this issue.
Userlevel 3
This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Stop closing the DTS conversations. Sonos should stop closing the DTS idea conversations.

It is clear that a great many people are not satisfied with the reasons given for not supporting DTS (one of the most used sound formats) and to simply say most TV's cannot pass DTS is avoiding the subject.

If we are to use our 5.1 system as recommended the only thing we can ever hear in actual 5.1 is HDTV (when broadcast in 5.1). Anything else passed through the TV is converted to PCM for the (small print advertised) 5.1 experience.

So what is the point paying £2000 for simulated 5.1?

Let people vote for what they want and stop closing the conversation.

If sonos do not like their customers raising the conversation they should make it very clear from the beginning that their 5.1 system cannot play actual 5.1 through the recommended set up. 
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I am looking at the Lifestyle 525 for the room with the TV and the SoundTouch20 and 30 to replace the Play3's and Play5's.

I just spent an hour in the local Bose shop and it was quite impressive!
Userlevel 1
This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Revisit DTS Decision. I have spent a fortune on Sonos - 3 play bars, 3 subs and 3 sets of play 3s for surround (one 5.1 setup for master bedroom, one for lounge and one for media room) as well as 3 play 5s and two play 1s throughout the house. I upgrade my 3 main TVs every 6-12 months so currently have a 79 inch lg 4k in the media room and a sony 65inch 4k in the lounge and master. Each room also has a blu ray player that upscales to 4k. How in this day and age can you justify a product that does not support DTS? I am clearly your target market - I spend a bloody fortune on your products! You are very lucky there is currently zero competition in this space but others are developing and catching on. You need to fix this and fix it now. I don't care if I have to pay extra money for DTS support - your sales pitch is "it just works" and is "simple" - well stuffing around with HDMI switches and relying on my xbox one to play blu rays is not simple. Please for the sake of what I presume is one of your most loyal customers fix this problem!
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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled DTS Support still needed. I bought a new Sony Bravia tv and the Sonos Playbar.
I know that Sonos doesn't want to implement DTS-support for the playbar. The problem is, that more and more tvs are able to passthrough the audio signal from hdmi input. Bluray standard audio is today DTS. The Sonos Playbar in connection with Play:1 satellites is not be able to play surround sound in such a setting. There are only bad workarounds. The decision of not supporting DTS is wrong today and will it will not be the right one in the future.
This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled DTS Compatibility for Playbar. As many others have requested, your Playbar needs DTS compatibility.  I am the happy owner of 10 other Sonos components, but will not be buying the Playbar when I upgrade my HDTV later this year to a new Samsung UHD television.  Given this company's share in the TV market, and their support for DTS out via the optical out jack, your position that few TVs offer this is puzzling. Would love to have the Playbar, sub and a couple of Play surrounds, but without DTS support will pursue other options.  Thanks.  John C.
Userlevel 1
This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled DD 5.1+/DTS support. Upcoming purchase.
This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Joining into the protest, add DTS to Playbar. We don't want 'workarounds' in order to play DTS. 
Even my new TV now is able to output DTS, but I can't. 
I have lost count of how many people want DTS, but we want it. The Playbar is amazing and is being let down by this hugely. 
Userlevel 1
This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Playbar - DTS support. I know this has raised before but i just wanted to add my voice. I bought the Playbar as a one size fits all solution for my living room; To improve the sound of the tv, allow me to play music and when watching films grab 2 play 1s from other rooms and use them as rear surrounds. I was advised by the salesperson that the Sonos Playbar and system was fit for this purpose

Firstly I find that my TV (like the vast majority) won't pass surround sound from an HDMI source (like my bluray player) over optical, which i have got around by buying an toslink switch, then I discover that the 5.1 DTS feed from my bluray player is unrecognized by the Playbar!

What is the point of creating a system where you can set up 5.1 using the (very expensive) Sonos components and then not support DTS? It makes absolutely no sense to me, surely this can be added via firmware quite easily?
So for you, the fact that a playbar - a material to make better sound for TV - is not working with TV standard is normal ?

I can answer for you, no it's not. 

And when i read that sonos is not doing it just because the DTS owner want to bill them for each sold unit (as everyone else) but sonos as try to negociate only "package price", it's just stupid. 

be practical : make a premium firmware 10$ that have DTS, and everyone is happy !

(And sorry for my english, it must be a couple of years i've not written something in this language !)
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Sorry I disagree with Prescott.  The two things that annoy me:

1. They don't support DTS.  Given that it is transported over the same medium (optical) and all it requires is a license to do the decoding - omitting it was no more than an attempt at reducing their BoM cost.  It could easily have been added and all this 'we monitored the market' garb is just that.. Garb.  By far the predominent format on Blu-Ray is DTSHD and while I know that cannot go over Toslink, like every other device on the planet, DTS-HD tracks can still be played over TosLink as just the core track is used (still 5.1).  Given the amount of people here asking for it and being totally ignored is it any wonder people are frustrated?

2.  The Sub and Bar are not available in white.  Once again, not a major ask.  No fundamental product redesign needed - especially as they do their other components in white already.

It just smacks of arrogance.  "We know more than our customers about what they want!".  All the companies I know who have done that in the past have ended up disappearing...
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I am looking at the LifeStyle 525 and the SoundTouch 20's and 30's
Userlevel 7
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Our stance on DTS support hasn’t changed. The PLAYBAR doesn’t support DTS and we have no plan to add it in the future. The main thread regarding DTS support is found here, which has our standing official response and some background information.

If DTS is a requirement for you, there are some straightforward ways to get the audio playing on your system by transcoding DTS to Dolby Digital. Note that your TV must be capable of passing a Dolby Digital signal through its optical port.

  • Certain Blu-ray players are capable of converting DTS to Dolby Digital output during playback. Some players capable of this conversion are the Samsung BD-F6500, Samsung BD-F5900, and Samsung BD-F5700.
  • In addition, the Xbox One can transcode DTS to Dolby Digital 5.1. More information for setting up the Xbox One can be found here.
If DTS is a must-have and you don’t want to use a workaround, the PLAYBAR may not be the right solution for you.

We support discussion, and will leave these threads available for conversation and suggestions. However, we also want to be very clear that we have no plans at this time to implement DTS support for the PLAYBAR.
Userlevel 6
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Yeh Ryan you tell umm 🙂
Userlevel 1
Things to consider also in the above post. I'll address HDMI first as this seems to be a thing that people ask for but miss one of the fundamental points. At this current stage HDMI has gone through several changes from 1.3-2.0 and now starting at 4K as well. Like many people you may have invested in a high quality audio receiver that had first gen HDMI pass-through. The receiver/amp is still chugging alone nicely but your now about to purchase a new 4K tv and your amp is no longer compatible. What do you do? SONOS made the decision to not use HDMI in their Playbar due to the ever changing hardware updates. If you paid $999AUS for your sound bar a few years ago, it would not have 4k upscale to pass-through. And you would be very frustrated at your purchase, now if you wanted a new 4k tv. In regards to the Playbar and Sub "must need" package, I would hardly compare the SONOS Sub to many subs on the market under $1500. If you have yet to play "Limit to your love" by James Blake I suggest you try it. I personally think SONOS's best option would be to add DTS/DD decoder into their new Boost and decode it on the fly
Userlevel 1
Our stance on DTS support hasn’t changed. The PLAYBAR doesn’t support DTS and we have no plan to add it in the future. The main thread regarding DTS support is found here, which has our standing official response and some background information.

If DTS is a requirement for you, there are some straightforward ways to get the audio playing on your system by transcoding DTS to Dolby Digital. Note that your TV must be capable of passing a Dolby Digital signal through its optical port.

  • Certain Blu-ray players are capable of converting DTS to Dolby Digital output during playback. Some players capable of this conversion are the Samsung BD-F6500, Samsung BD-F5900, and Samsung BD-F5700.
  • In addition, the Xbox One can transcode DTS to Dolby Digital 5.1. More information for setting up the Xbox One can be found here.
If DTS is a must-have and you don’t want to use a workaround, the PLAYBAR may not be the right solution for you.

We support discussion, and will leave these threads available for conversation and suggestions. However, we also want to be very clear that we have no plans at this time to implement DTS support for the PLAYBAR.

Translation - stuff what your customers want, you aren't doing it!
Userlevel 4
Badge +1
Our stance on DTS support hasn’t changed. The PLAYBAR doesn’t support DTS and we have no plan to add it in the future. The main thread regarding DTS support is found here, which has our standing official response and some background information.

If DTS is a requirement for you, there are some straightforward ways to get the audio playing on your system by transcoding DTS to Dolby Digital. Note that your TV must be capable of passing a Dolby Digital signal through its optical port.

  • Certain Blu-ray players are capable of converting DTS to Dolby Digital output during playback. Some players capable of this conversion are the Samsung BD-F6500, Samsung BD-F5900, and Samsung BD-F5700.
  • In addition, the Xbox One can transcode DTS to Dolby Digital 5.1. More information for setting up the Xbox One can be found here.
If DTS is a must-have and you don’t want to use a workaround, the PLAYBAR may not be the right solution for you.

We support discussion, and will leave these threads available for conversation and suggestions. However, we also want to be very clear that we have no plans at this time to implement DTS support for the PLAYBAR.

Such a shame, Ryan, that the Playbar can't decode DTS on the fly..... all for the sake of a few pennies, poor market research, poor product development and poor product support. How about a buy-back programme for your customer base? Or extending the money back guarantee?
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Our stance on DTS support hasn’t changed. The PLAYBAR doesn’t support DTS and we have no plan to add it in the future. The main thread regarding DTS support is found here, which has our standing official response and some background information.

If DTS is a requirement for you, there are some straightforward ways to get the audio playing on your system by transcoding DTS to Dolby Digital. Note that your TV must be capable of passing a Dolby Digital signal through its optical port.

  • Certain Blu-ray players are capable of converting DTS to Dolby Digital output during playback. Some players capable of this conversion are the Samsung BD-F6500, Samsung BD-F5900, and Samsung BD-F5700.
  • In addition, the Xbox One can transcode DTS to Dolby Digital 5.1. More information for setting up the Xbox One can be found here.
If DTS is a must-have and you don’t want to use a workaround, the PLAYBAR may not be the right solution for you.

We support discussion, and will leave these threads available for conversation and suggestions. However, we also want to be very clear that we have no plans at this time to implement DTS support for the PLAYBAR.

You guys are amazing. The way you care about you costumers and their ideas is fantastic.

Actually i bout the system knowing the problem with DTS, but there's workarounds, no perfect ones but anyways. The problem is that I thought that a high end manufacture of sound products like Sonos would lie in the front regarding this stuff. I thought that Sonos would turn around and say "hey okay, we was wrong, you was right, we will add DTS".

How stupid I was. Sonos really got their heads up in their arses.