Thanks very much, I will check the Bluray player's settings. I figure there must be a setting somewhere that's not right.
The point about the price of the DTS license is interesting. Clearly this is already an expensive product and I can see many people balking at the price and not buying or even considering the product on that basis alone. However, if you are not put off by the cost, and for those who have already bought the Playbar (especially with the sub as well), then your budget is clearly not that tight, and if the question is would you rather lose the ability to play Bluray (or else buy a new TV) or pay another £30-odd to get DTS capability, that seems to me to be something of a no-brainer. In fact I'd send Sonos a payment right now...
I think part of the issue is that Sonos are clearly aiming this as a TV only device (ie it should only be plugged into a TV), in which case the lack of DTS isn't an issue (as no TVs will pass DTS out of their optical outputs). The only problem with this is that 1) as you found out not many TVs pass DD5.1 out of their optical outputs either (it's rare even on new TVs, although it seems to be appearing slightly more now) and 2) it's quite an expensive solution for simply replacing TV audio.
As good as the device is (and there's no denying it's a very clever piece of kit, particularly paired with a Sub and Play:3s for full surround), it does appear to fall between two camps, those that want a simple, cost effective TV audio solution, who will find this too expensive and those that want a complete replacement for their home cinema system, which it clearly was never designed to be, for the reasons already mentioned.
For me personally I'm not going to replace my HT system with it and it's overkill for any of the other rooms that have a TV in them.
No signature worth mentioning...
I visited the Gadget show for the first time yesterday to look at Soundbar options. Spotted a new soundbar on the Monitor Audio stand. It's called the ASB-2 and seems to have:-
HDMI 3 in 1 out switching
3D surround processing (which worked really well)
built in sub-woofers (which I think is why it's quite large - drivers are bigger than normal)
Optical and coax digital, stereo phono, 3.5mm jack inputs
Airplay and DLNA wireless music streaming
It's a fair size unit but sounded absoluely awesome on the skyfall movie clips they were playing. They told me it's available late summer at £1,000. Seems like it does everything and solves a lot of the issues with optical only SB's. HDMI is definately the way to go and they seem to have really thought about this. It also doesn't need a seperate sub box, which is a bonus for me
I completely agree with you. You would have assumed that Sonos would have been equally aware of (1) and (2) and factored that into the product's capability. It seems simply too early to release a product that relies purely on the optical capability of TVs. I wasn't told about this limitation during the buying process, and no doubt the same applies to many other people.
My only alternative to this system was proper 5.1 separates, but with small speakers (such as the Minx). However, I wasn't that impressed by the sound on test, and once you factor in the cost of the wiring and chasing cables into the wall, such a system would not have been much cheaper (if at all) than the full Sonos system. The larger speakers of the Sonos, and their wireless nature, therefore meant they appeared a hugely attractive option (including for keeping my wife happy!). I am still happy with the choice, the surround sound on Sky HD is very good to my ears (although I have never had a full 5.1 system in the house with which to compare it), music abilities are excellent and if I can improve the Bluray player's sound to that same degree then all the better. Thankfully, I don't have many Blurays already!
Before going with the Sonos system, I thought long and hard about the high-end Yamaha soundbars, which have similar technical abilities to the Monitor Audio you mention (and a seperate subwoofer). My concern about a single soundbar is that the surround processing (even if technically excellent in ideal conditions) is too reliant on the vagaries of the room it is installed in. It is difficult to see how it could ever be better at producing surround effects than having actual speakers at the rear.
Put simply, it is a design shortcoming, which they will regret. This is clearly going to affect sales, which wil bite them compared to other options on or coming to the market with more than simple optical capability.
Sonos, I am flabbergasted, previously well thought out kit, that I have invested in myself, this time not so clever!
System1-Roksan Kandy L3 amp, Audiolab 8200 CD, B&W CM8's, Sonos zp90, Appletv for spotify via macbook pro. Russ Andrews Classic PowerKord on Roksan & Audiolab.
System2-Marantz cd603, airplay via mac, Sonos zp90, Q Acoustics 2010
Home cinema-Pioneer vsx2020, virgin tivo, Boxee, pioneer bluray, humax hdsat pvr, kef3005 speakers, wdtv live, lg590 50 TV
Games room- pana 42" tv, ps3, sony reciever, humax freeview box, ma speakers, Sonos zp90
Master bedroom- Sonos zp120, Cyrus CD8 SE, Linn Kelidh speakers, Pioneer 26" tv, Panasonic bluray, virgin tv box. All rooms fed 30 mb broadband via homeplugs
I've just recieved an e-mail from superfi saying that i've been invited to a demonstration of sonos playbar on march 9th at my local superfi.
I was just wondering if anybody else has heard of it & what are your thoughts.
I helped my sister buying a soundbar. Sonos is certainly nice and feature rich. But she had no intentions of using it for music streaming so http://www.atlantictechnology.com/default.asp?NodeId=170 was a far better choice in my and her opinion.
Hmm, cracking spam Gromit!
Don't you agree that one should audition more than one soundbar? If you just compare the Sonos Soundbar with what comes out of most tv-sets it is absolutely fabulous!
Absolutely true that a soundbar is no match for a comparitively priced 5.1 system. What the guy on the Monitor stand told me was they take the 7.1 channels from the BD and re-create it by adding some sort of psyco-acoustic effects. So unlike the Yamaha, that relies on boucing soud off walls, the Monitor SB is almost completey unaffected by the type of room or furnishing to get the effect to work. They have obviously spent a lot of time thinking about this bit of kit.
Of course but it's usually polite to introduce yourself on a forum before you start posting adverts (particularly for brands nobody's ever heard of, makes it much more suspicious).
Oh, just remebered though. Superfi are actually knocking 10% off the Sonos playbar at the gadget show in anyones in the market for one.
Did anyone actually answer the op question.?mainly that is it possible to watch bd's when the tv does not have optical out
Yes, you'd just take the optical out straight from the blu-ray player. If the disk doesn't have a DD soundtrack you'd have to set the optical output to stereo and let the Playbar create a pseudo-surround effect.
So even if the disc only has a DTS soundtrack, you can still set the BD player to send stereo via the optical? Is that true of all BD players (mine is a fairly old Panasonic BD30)? I will try this out soon and report back, but thanks for the suggestion.
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