How to route Dolby Digital 5.1 from Apple TV through a Samsung TV to Sonos Playbar

by Volker Weber


This was a tough nut to crack, and in the end if was quite easy.

Popular knowledge is that Samsung TVs don't play DD 5.1 from HDMI connected sources. I was this close to solving this with an HDMI splitter connected to HDMI 2 ARC and a Toslink Out to Playbar. As it turns out this is not a problem to solve on the output side but on the link between the Samsung TV and your source, here an Apple TV.


The keyword is Extended Display Identification Data (EDID). Samsung tells the Apple TV to not bother sending anything but PCM Stereo. And here is the trick. You go into the audio settings of Apple TV and tell it to send Dolby Digital 5.1 instead of "best available". Then Apple TV ignores the EDID and just sends DD 5.1. While the video is playing, you go into audio settings on the Samsung TV and suddenly Dolby Digital is available. Select that option.


Problem solved. No hardware required.

I would bet this works for other sources like Xbox or FireTV as well.


Thanks for that tip! This type of information is extremely hard to find.

Markus Dierker, 2017-04-11

Thx for the tip - am getting a PlayBase and was wondering how to do that :o)

Ursus Schneider, 2017-04-11

Das funktioniert auch mit FireTV (Stick) schon seit Anfang an und bei mir im Übrigen ohne jeglichen Eingriff. Und auch der Samsung BR-Player liefert seinen 5.1-Ton an die Playbar, nachdem man in den Einstellungen ein festes Recoding auf DD 5.1 eingestellt hat. Ja, ja ... die Mehrkanalton-Enthusiasten werden dabei stöhnen, aber für den Hausgebrauch reicht mir das komplett. Kein wirklich hörbarer Unterschied zum Original-DTS und keine spürbaren Einbußen durch das Recoding. Bin mit dem Mehrkanalton der Playbar aus allen Quellen absolut zufrieden.

Tobias Vogel, 2017-04-12

Funny -- I do exactly the opposite to force the AppleTV to send two channels to my setup. I find 5.1 annoying.

Eric Hancock, 2017-04-16

Einstellung eben vorgenommen für meinen Samsung UE55ES8080U in Verbindung mit meinem Apple tv 4K - funktioniert perfekt!

Danke - vowe is a good mother ;-)

Thomas Schmutz, 2017-10-17

Old archive pages

I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.


Paypal vowe