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

Userlevel 7
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Fact is theynconfirmed long ago it can't be updated to add dts. I would assume there is some 7.1 or so solution coming down the pike as playbar is long in the tooth for today's home theater.

I wish it was that simple. The PLAYBAR would require hardware changes too as optical can't handle DTS.

Except that for the simple DTS (not DTS-HD), it would not! The optical output is more than capable of handling the simple DTS 5.1, as it is capable of handling Dolby Digital 5.1.
Of course, for DTS-HD, TrueHD, etc (all HD formats), there's another story and in those features would indeed require hardware changes (probably adding a extra HDMI output).
Userlevel 2
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It could be very easy added with a software upgrade, perhaps in the app.

I wish it was that simple. The PLAYBAR would require hardware changes too as optical can't handle DTS.
To SONOS marketing team:
Guys, as a marketing professional, I am very surprised by this product marketing problem of yours!
As far as I understand, the problem comes from the fact that the DTS license is expensive and SONOS does not (yet) want to invest in this - as perhaps they see this feature as not essential, more on the marketing side of the product.
However, as there is a pool of customers or potential customers who would PAY for this extra feature, SONOS could take advantage and transform this problem into an OPPORTUNITY! It is very simple: just add this OPTION to the Playbar (or Connect) for an extra fee! It could be very easy added with a software upgrade, perhaps in the app. If you don't believe people are willing to pay for this feature, just take a look in this forum at what solutions and workarounds people found (some of them very expensive) to add this DTS feature to their system.
This could easily be a secondary source of revenue for SONOS, from the same line of products.

And yes, you can thank me by offering this license to me for free... 🆒 🙂
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Did this Ambery Converter does DD+ to DD & DTS to DD on the fly? Can u please confirm.
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
Thanks for the response John. Yes, usually both DD 5.1 and DTS tracks are included on a DVD. But i have some Dvds that has DTS Track only. So thought of asking.
Or maybe this will help, although it seems the reverse of your problem

https://en.community.sonos.com/home-theater-228993/bluray-51-v-dvd-51-6033022
I thought it was part of the DVD standard that it included a DD5.1 soundtrack (whatever else it may also contain). So maybe the challenge is not format conversion but format selection? I'm not a PS user but wonder if this link may help.

http://manuals.playstation.net/document/en/ps3/current/settings/audiooutput.html
I am able to get DTS HD converted to DD 5.1 for blueray discs connecting my PS3 directly to playbar by changing the BD AUDIO OUTPUT settings to bitstream mix. When i go to settings/ about my SONOS, it states line in : DD 5.1.

But regular DVD's with DTS soundtrack still output stereo. Did anybody have luck with standard dvd's converting DTS to DD 5.1 using PS3
I have a Samsung JS9500 and it converts DTS to Dolby 5.1 on the fly through optical to the playbar
please could you tell me how,i try find out how but failed on my JS9500
Userlevel 7
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[quote=Jeremy Allison]It's not SONOS's fault. DTS is owned by a patent holding cartel that refuses to license to anyone needing a software implementation, which I'm assuming the playbar does by due to the choice of hardware SONOS made. There is nothing SONOS can do as the owner of DTS simply refuses to license.

seems like someone managed to convince DTS to allow software based decoding
http://firecore.com/blog/12414
Userlevel 4
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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.

It's not SONOS's fault. DTS is owned by a patent holding cartel that refuses to license to anyone needing a software implementation, which I'm assuming the playbar does by due to the choice of hardware SONOS made. There is nothing SONOS can do as the owner of DTS simply refuses to license.

See here for similar problems for Synology:

http://forum.synology.com/enu/viewtopic.php?f=229&t=73233&hilit=snowatom&sid=0dc8c2c2ceee485eec2fd42ec355bfa9&start=135

Software patents poison *everything*. Lobby congress against them please.
Userlevel 5
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I have a Samsung JS9500 and it converts DTS to Dolby 5.1 on the fly through optical to the playbar
"I'm sorry Ryan but NOBODY converts DTS to Dolby only PCM."

You basically call the rep a liar, and you do it using all caps, which is universally understood to be yelling. I call that blasting off. And if you are so aware, you should have known about the converting players, or at least have looked up the specific models Ryan listed before accusing him of misinformation.
Who is blasting off? I'm fully aware that a Rep has no control over what ultimately happens with the product. I love Sonos and I'm a huge supporter, I'm just stating the obvious. Easy there... and I assure you that I am aware of what goes on in the A/V industry. Xbox & Playstation, not so much.
It's not odd at all. Samsung's been making them like that for years. Xbox and PlayStation too. Perhaps one should familiarize themselves with the current tech before blasting off at a Sonos rep who is only trying to help a consumer.
That's very odd. I never heard of any piece of audio equipment that does that. Some have dual tracks (DTS and Dolby), or maybe there converting it to Mutli-Linear PCM and back to a version of Dolby that there products have mimic Dolby. Either way, basic DTS on this type of setup, which by the way is phenomenal, is a no brainer. Simple 5.1 dolby, dts & pcm. If you want 7.1, atmos or any other setup you go the route of separates.
Samsung and some Sony Blu-Ray players convert DTS to DD 5.1. Matter of fact, there are some models listed in these threads.
I'm sorry Ryan but NOBODY converts DTS to Dolby only PCM. Your system is awesome but the lack of any sort of DTS in 2016 is like watching TV in 480i. The setup does not do a good job with PCM, yes it plays but the rears are just playing ambient sound constantly. There is no surround sound. If it's licencing fees with DTS that's one thing, but if it's as simple as a software update (Most likely not, unless there is a DTS chip inside the sounbar) then sonos should really push this as all new UHD's pass both and then some. Not to mention that the main format for Blu-Ray 1080p and Blu-Ray UHD is DTS-MA and has been for years.
Thanks for all the feedback everyone, I'll pass it on to the team for you. We're still monitoring the industry and trends but our decision not to include native DTS support remains. Few TVs have the ability to send a DTS signal from an HDMI source directly to the optical connection. In the few case where this is happens, the audio output settings on a BluRay/DVD player or game system can be set to PCM; allowing a stereo signal over HDMI to be passed through to the PLAYBAR from the TV.

In addition, some of these devices can convert that DTS signal to Dolby Digital 5.1 for surround sound. Examples of models capable of this are the Samsung BD-F6500, Samsung BD-F5900, and Samsung BD-F5700. You can find a lot of suggestions around the community, including a few in this thread.

If DTS support is paramount to your home cinema experience, the PLAYBAR may not be the right sound bar for your home.

@Kimchi10- we appreciate the dedication but updating every thread mentioning DTS is a bit counterproductive. If your PLAYBAR isn’t working out we’d love to talk to you further to see if we can help. I see you have an email incident started with our team already, they’ll be in touch soon.
Userlevel 7
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Samsung now announced Atmos enabled Soundbar and wireless speakers / sub !
http://news.samsung.com/global/samsung-to-reveal-groundbreaking-new-soundbar-at-ces-2016

In addition to Yamaha's YSP-5600 this is making Sonos playbar look even more dated !
Userlevel 3
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Ryan S you are saying that the playbar not be the right soundbar for your home.its 2015! A lot of people ask for DTS support many times. I'am very dissapointed to spend 2000 euro on my Sonos 5.1 set we want the full experience not only Dolby Digital, I just can't believe Sonos why you let your customers down. Is it really that difficult to add DTS? Or expensive? Any way I hope you are decide to add DTS support in 2016 for the Sonos Playbar.
Userlevel 7
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Dear Sonos, I got the playbar and sub for Christmas, and I'm seriously disappointed it lacks this support. Can I get a refund???

Hi Undadaugh, Sorry to hear you're disappointed. Any units purchased from us directly have a 45 money back guaranty, other retailers will have their own return policies. Wedo have some good suggestions for how to convert DTS audio if you have a lot of DTS only content and your TV is passing it through. We recommend using a Blu-ray player or game system which you use to convert the audio from DTS to Dolby Digital to get 5.1 audio to the PLAYBAR.

Example Blu-ray players which will convert the audio on the fly include the Samsung BD-F6500, Samsung BD-F5900, and Samsung BD-F5700. An Xbox or PlayStation4 can also be used to convert DTS from Blu-rays to Dolby Digital. You can also find a lot of suggestions around the community, including a few in this thread to other workarounds too.

We know that if DTS is key to your home theater experience, the PLAYBAR may not be the right sound bar for your home. Though we don’t have plans to add DTS support at this time, we’re continually improving the Sonos system in other ways through free software updates.
Dear Sonos, I got the playbar and sub for Christmas, and I'm seriously disappointed it lacks this support. Can I get a refund???
Userlevel 3
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Still sleeping Sonos? goodnight!