Sonos Beam will only show Stereo PCM 2.0 Audio In

kipper15

Active Member
Hello everyone,

I'm really hoping that somebody can shed some light on this. I'm posting this on behalf of someone I know who's not a forum member, but has run into a problem with the SONOS Beams that he recently acquired. He reached out to me for some advice over the weekend and we spent quite a long time talking through the setup over the phone, and trying various things, and I must admit I'm scratching my head a little bit (to put it mildly) with this one.

The environment is as follows:

  • 2 x SONOS Beam soundbars connected to TVs in two different rooms in the house.
  • TV in the lounge is a JVC HD LT-49C790, TV upstairs is a JVC 4K LT-43C890
  • Both Beams are connected to the TVs via the HDMI ARC sockets.
  • All TV viewing is via Virgin Media (V6) TV boxes

The issue is this:

The SONOS S2 app shows "Audio In: Stereo PCM 2.0" even though both Virgin V6 TV boxes are set to output Dolby Digital - not the Dolby Digital to PCM option.

Both of the JVC TVs have a "Digital Out" setting, both in the internal and external speaker settings known as "AMPLIFIER" (which is selected as they are connectd to a soundbar). However it's not clear in the manual - or on the TVs themsevles - if this setting relates to the HDMI output (via ARC) or the SPDIF Optical Digital Out.

Neither of the JVC TVs has any setting that explicitly show a setting for HDMI Audio Output, like I see on my Panasonic TVs. Setting the Digital Out to "Compressed" on the JVC TVs still results in the SONOS Beam (via the SONOS S2 app) reporting that a Stereo PCM 2.0 signal is being received.

Interestingly, the newer 4K TV also has "Passthrough" as an option for Digital Out, in addition to PCM and Compressed. But the result is the same - the SONOS app still shows Stereo PCM 2.0.

I'm not familiar with the SONOS products and I'm not familiar with the Virgin Media boxes either but this should be a straightforward set up, should it not? Connect the Beams via ARC, set the Virgin V6 boxes to output Dolby Digital and away you go. But this is not happening here!!!

The only thing I could think of is that either the SONOS S2 app is mis-reporting the Audio In information....and it's actually a Dolby Digital signal that is being received...or the JVC TVs simply cannot pass DD audio via ARC. Not being able to pass the DD signal from the Virgin box to the Beam via ARC would seem somewhat strange to me. If that's the case then why have a Digital Out setting, or is that really just for SPDIF Optical and not ARC?

Does anyone have any ideas as to what is going on here? Some help/clarification would be very much appreciated!
 

Liammck

Standard Member
I can't help with the Virgin media side of it as I have sky, but the output shown on the app is content related. I've just had itv on and it shows as dolby digital 2.0, I then put BBC one in standard definition and that was stereo pcm.
Not sure if this helps, hope they find a solution.
 

kipper15

Active Member
I can't help with the Virgin media side of it as I have sky, but the output shown on the app is content related. I've just had itv on and it shows as dolby digital 2.0, I then put BBC one in standard definition and that was stereo pcm.
Not sure if this helps, hope they find a solution.

Thank you. We will check what is seen by Beams when using different SD and HD channels. Appreciate the tip!
 

Clem_Dye

Distinguished Member
A good test for 5.1 audio from Freeview/Freesat, etc. Is the 1830 block on BBC1HD, M-F, where local news is broadcast on BBC1SD.
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
ARC enabled TV's can be a bit of a mixed bag - some will always limit any external device connected to the TV via HDMI to 2.0, even if the TV's onboard Apps support 5.1 via the ARC Output.

Joe
 

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