Use a projector with Sonos Play bar and Surround

Sonos 5.1 Projector.001

When I first learned about the Sonos Playbar and its ability to connect with other speakers to create a surround sound system I was pretty excited.  I discovered however that the only means of input for sound to the Playbar was via an optical cable.  That means that the Playbar can only be connected to a more modern TV, not older TV’s and Projectors that typically don’t have this type of output.  Or does it…?

I did a little research, forum reading and called Sonos support and found out that others were having luck with HDMI switches.  This is how it works and you may need to glance up at the diagram as I explain.  Since the projector I have doesn’t have optical out, I would need a device that could supply a video signal to the projector and audio signal to the Playbar (optical) and the signals need to travel on separate wires.  So the J-Tech switch has just that ability.  It allows up to 5 HDMI sources to be connected which was more than enough for my needs.  From there it takes the incoming signal and pulls the audio off and sends it back out with the optical output.   You can choose “pass-thru”, “stereo” or “5.1” mode with the optical output.  Additionally the original HDMI input gets channeled to the HDMI out (with audio) to the projector.  Now you have satisfied the Playbar’s needs and supplied video to the projector.

Possible issues could come up from this arrangement.  Some switches might impose a little “lag” or delay in audio which could be distracting while watching video.  Luckily my model did not cause any issues.

Good luck with your setup and feel free to comment or ask questions.