7.1 Down to 5.1 questions

So I saw this posted a few years ago and have recently been having the same concerns as the other post.

I have a Sonos Beam 5.1 setup. It is HDMI based and my TV can passthrough DD 5.1. Now, if I watch a BluRay with TrueHD 7.1, the audio sounds much louder and fuller if infuse is pulling from Plex then if infuse is pulling straight from my computer via SMB.

Now I get that something somewhere is converting the 7.1 channels into DD 5.1 in order for my Beam to play it and that is fine. I am wondering what would offer the best scenario for audio quality:

  1. ATV set to Best Available | Infuse Pulling from Plex | Infuse playing TrueHD 7.1 version

  2. ATV set to Dolby Digital 5.1 | Infuse Pulling from Plex | Infuse playing TrueHD 7.1 version

  3. ATV set to Best Available | Infuse Pulling from Plex | Infuse playing Dolby Digital 5.1 version

  4. ATV set to Dolby Digital 5.1 | Infuse Pulling from Plex | Infuse playing Dolby Digital 5.1 version

  5. ATV set to Best Available | Infuse Pulling SMB | Infuse playing TrueHD 7.1 version

  6. ATV set to Dolby Digital 5.1 | Infuse Pulling SMB | Infuse playing TrueHD 7.1 version

  7. ATV set to Best Available | Infuse Pulling SMB | Infuse playing Dolby Digital 5.1 version

  8. ATV set to Dolby Digital 5.1 | Infuse Pulling SMB | Infuse playing Dolby Digital 5.1 version

Thank you for your help.

In a nutshell, the highest quality you can get is 5.1 lossy (Dolby Digital). This is due to limitations when using HDMI ARC to pass audio through the TV to your Sonos Beam.

With the Audio Format option set to Best Available, the Apple TV should detect your equipment correctly. However, we have seen cases where this doesn’t happen, and the Apple TV in fact ends up sending 2.0 stereo sound instead of 5.1. For this reasons, you might consider forcing the Apple TV to send 5.1 Dolby Digital, just to be certain.

Aside from that, which audio track you choose will sort of come down to personal preference, as the muxing of 7.1 down to 5.1 done by Infuse/Apple TV can be slightly different than the regular 5.1 lossy mix available in a DD5.1 track.

Where the file is streamed from will have no impact on the audio options/quality.

Hope this helps.

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