After purchasing the Vizio P65-C1 on the recommendation of The Wirecutter, I got into looking at possible expansion in audio. Cue the SONOS PLAYBAR.

I already have SONOS equipment sprinkled throughout the home, so the PLAYBAR was a logical step for my home theater setup, regardless of how costly the device may be. Prior to making the purchase, I tweeted out to @SONOS and @VIZIO to see if there was anything I should be aware of… good thing I did.

I knew that SONOS did not support DTS (Dedicated to Sound), only Dolby Digital. My TV (according to the support manual (PDF) supports DTS, not Dolby Digital. Not a problem, I thought… I’ll send the audio directly from the source, my Apple TV! Again, I was let down… the latest Apple TV removed the optical audio port in favor of … nothing, nothing replaced it.

This means that I cannot route, from the Apple TV, audio to the PLAYBAR and video to the TV. If I route the audio from the TV to the PLAYBAR, I lose out anything over stereo — which is why I’d be getting directly from the TV without the PLAYBAR.

My solution for the time being: built-in speakers.

Why not get a Vizio soundbar? The SONOS PLAYBAR would have integrated with the network of SONOS PLAY devices I already have, the Vizio soundbar will be a pretty limited device — only for TV playback. The PLAYBAR would have been for TV playback and then be able to be grouped with the other members of the SONOS family for a truly immersive group play throughout the house.

Why not get a different source, like a Roku? Apps. I prefer the App Store on the Apple TV. All of the apps I’ve ever used have a polish and thoughtfulness to them that I don’t see on Roku or Amazon Fire TV.

Here’s to hoping the next version of the Apple TV has digital out. Fingers crossed.