TV compatibility with home theater speakers

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All of the Sonos home theater speakers have an optical port which you can use to connect to most televisions. In addition to this, the Beam also has an HDMI port which provides an easier setup along with a few more features.

Things to know about the Sonos Beam

The Beam has a large feature set ranging from playing sound from a movie, TV show, or music, to turning your TV on and off with your voice using a voice command. In order to use all of these features, you will want to make sure your TV meets the necessary requirements. Most TVs sold over the last several years support these features, but they are not always enabled by default. Check the TV’s configuration settings to ensure they are enabled.

While Beam has an optical port, like the Playbar and Playbase, it also has an HDMI input which provides additional features that are not available with an optical connection.

What is HDMI-ARC?

– HDMI-ARC – This is the recommended connection as it will provide the best setup experience and additional features.

– HDMI-CEC – Allows devices, such as an Apple TV or gaming console, turn on the TV and automatically change to the correct HDMI source.

– SAM – Allows the Beam to take over audio playback from the TV’s built-in speakers and control the volume.

Which audio output does your TV have?

If you’re using a Sonos Playbar or Playbase, you will need to make sure that your TV has an optical audio output. All Sonos home theater speakers will work with a TV’s optical output, including the Beam.

If you’re using a Beam, HDMI-ARC is the recommended connection as it will provide the best experience and features that should work for the majority of newer TVs. Some of the benefits of using HDMI-ARC:

– It allows the Beam to communicate over HDMI to other sources connected to your TV.

– Turn your TV on and off with voice commands to the Beam

– Obtain information about your TV to ensure a quick and easy setup

The port on your TV should be labeled ‘HDMI ARC’, not just HDMI. If your TV does not have an HDMI ARC port, but does have an optical port, there is an adapter included with the Beam that will allow you to connect.

If your TV has an optical output, it should work with the all of our home theater speakers. Most modern televisions have a built-in digital audio output. Your TV manual will have that info, or you can look the model number up online.

Will you get surround sound from your TV?

If you intend to use your Beam, Playbar, or Playbase with surround speakers in a 5.0 or 5.1 setup, you will need to make sure your TV can output a Dolby Digital 5.1 signal. If your TV cannot output Dolby Digital 5.1, that’s OK too. The Sonos home theater speakers will take the PCM stereo signal and produce a matrixed surround sound audio signal.

Does your television support Dolby Digital?

There’s no easy way to determine if your TV supports outputting a Dolby Digital 5.1 signal from the optical port. You can check under Audio/Sound Settings to make sure it is set to pass Dolby Digital or Bitstream through the optical connection if that’s an option. If you see both Dolby Digital and Bitstream options, choose Dolby Digital.

If you do not see the option listed, or cannot find the setting to change the audio output, you may want to check the televisions manual or contact the manufacturer directly for further help.

Common questions

What kind of TV do I need to get 5.1 surround sound?

Just about any TV with an optical output Sonos home theater speakers. To make sure you will get a 5.1 signal, look for a TV that can pass Dolby Digital 5.1 from all sources to the optical connection.

If your TV is capable of passing a Dolby Digital signal, make sure to enable it in your TV’s Audio settings.

Do Sonos home theater speakers work with my Blu-ray discs?

Blu-ray discs are made with DTS audio, Dolby audio, or both. If the Blu-ray disc you’re watching has a Dolby Digital audio track, we recommend you select it in the Blu-ray disc’s settings.

Sonos home theater speakers do not support DTS audio signals. If the Blu-ray disc you’re watching has a DTS audio track, the default settings on your TV will usually convert the signal to a stereo format, so you should be OK.

You can also use some Blu-ray players or game consoles to convert a DTS audio signal into Dolby Digital 5.1.

What television does Sonos recommend?

Choosing a TV can be tricky, there are a lot of options and you just want something that will work. For TVs to work best with Sonos, the most important thing is for them to have an optical output, and to be able to pass Dolby Digital audio from both HDMI and over the air sources to the optical connection.