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Original topic:

HW-K650 and Two R1 Wirelss Speakers in 5.1 With KS7000 TV

(Topic created on: 30/03/17 17:09)
podavies
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When using the K650 sound bar and two R1 Wireless speakers in surround sound mode over wifi with the latest firmware, The quailty of the sound K650 drops, sounds very muddy. As soon as you use the sound bar on it own, the sound bar improves. this is happening for a quite a few users.

 

can you help.

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abob36
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I updated my soundbar and did a bunch of testing. And...It sounds the same. No difference at all that I can discern. Such a letdown.

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simon_w
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Hi folks

 

I've been following this thread for a while - thanks everyone for persavering with this debacle - think its time to pitch in with a few observations from my setup...

 

First of all a disclosure - I am a trained audio/video engineer - 5 years in the BBC and thirty as a freelance - I work in the music industry recording and filming concerts and sessions.  I produce 5.1 content so have a pretty good understanding of how this should all work.

 

My system is a K650 soundbar, two R1s, a Samsung Hub and a 7 series UHD TV - all bought last October.

 

Initially (like others early in this thread) the surround over WiFi worked fine - albeit with regular lost connections.  Note - the normal listening volume on the soundbar needed to be set between 30 and 40.

 

Then the updates for connection issues broke this and since then there has been almost no discernable signal from the rear speakers over WiFi.

 

I can confirm that it works over optical (with HDMI disconnected) but often the sound and picture are out of sync depending on the source (beyond the realms of the audio delay adjustment) - this and the "how to control the volume" issue render this useless.

 

I have never been able to get the HDMI ARC to work stabally - for some reason it is intermittint, dropping out every 5 to 10 seconds for about 1 second.  I have tried a selection of HDMI  cables and know that the current one is HDMI2 compliant.

 

With the latest firmware patches the WiFi connection is now reliable and stable with good AV sync from all sources but practically no signal in the rears - I would guess 30 to 40 dB down on the sound bar - something is there if you put your ear right up to it.  Note that the normal listening level from the soundbar is now around 17 to 20 - much lower than it was before the firmware "break"

 

What I do notice now is that if you do a speaker test from the app or from the TV menu the channel ident level in the rears sounds very healthy - about 3dB down on the sound bar even with the bar turned all the way down and the R1s all the way up - this is new with the latest update I think so something has changed...

 

As others have reported streaming music via the multiroom app produces excellent level in the R1s and bar and works well.

 

To save others grief - things I have tried to no avail:

 

Full reset to factory settings on the bar and the R1s

Ungrouping - lifting the R1 volumes to max - regrouping etc

And of course contacting Samsung Support who were so hopeless I gave up completely...

 

So as an engineer I would say the following:

There is nothing fundamentally wrong with the WiFi connection or the ability to send a correctly synced surround signal to the rear speakers - if there was neither the channel ident nor the multiroom audio-only playing would work.

The problem is in the demultiplexing of the 5.1 bitstream from the TV in the soundbar.  In a Dolby 5.1 stream there is embedded metadata that tells the decoder to what specification and mix level the stream was encoded.  If this data is read incorrectly the wrong levels will be sent to the rear channels - I believe this is where the problem lies.

 

Robbienobs - your engineers visit will be very interesting and I really hope for the sake of everyone the fault is reproducable for the engineer and he/she documents the exact setup so the boffins can reproduce it back at Samsung HQ and find where the problem lies...

 

I feel everyones frustration with this but in the knowledge that Samsung moderate this forum lets stay posative and keep pushing for a solution...

 

Simon

JCFARROW
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Samsung give this man a job!
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abob36
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Just to echo Simon, I too, have noticed the audio sync issues with optical which should not happen. It is much more pronounced than if you are on Wi-Fi. Also his experience with this kit matches mine as well.

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frustrated
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My setup is the same and behaves in the same way Simon describes. 

 

Is it possible that the problem lies with the tv not sending the correct data via HDMI or WiFi?

 

It would be interesting to hear if this 5.1 setup works with other brands if tv using arc HDMI.

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simon_w
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The transmission of audio over HDMI and TosLink (optical) are set down in internationally agreed standards so that they are compatible across all manufacturers and decoding chips. Notwithstanding any intermittency or sync issues the K650 can clearly decode the optical stream correctly - the actual data stream over HDMI should be identical. Testing this with a 3rd party sound bar should confirm this instantly.

The 5.1 over WiFi protocol is proprietary to Samsung and almost certainly recodes the data stream in some way to make it more robust to timing issues over Wifi - it is certainly possible that the problem lies with either the TV's wifi output or the soundbar's input - or even the surround speakers but I doubt it.

Perhaps Samsung would like to enlighten us as to exactly how the signals are transmitted - we know that all the devices are connected to the router or smart hub but which device is in charge of clock timing, sync and level...? Is the same multiplexed stream sent to all speakers and de-multiplexed locally or does each device only receive its assigned stream?

What we do know is that the basic multi room system does work correctly when being fed a 2.0 stream from a phone etc. The sound bar creates a faux surround version of the stereo signal and sends it to the rear speakers.

All our problems come from using a true 5.1 AC3 source from disc, stream or DVB.

If anyone is so troubled by this that they cannot sleep 😉 have a look at the Dolby 5.1 specifications on the Dolby website: https://www.dolby.com/us/en/technologies/dolby-digital.html - this will give you an insight into the complexity of the Dolby data stream and all the possible decoding pitfalls...
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DazzaP
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Thanks for joining the hunt for a fix on this! You mention the video/audio being out of sync, which is something that I've noticed too and it seems to vary greatly, depending on what you're watching. I've now set the audio delay to 40, which seems to have made the synchronisation correct most of the time. 

 

I wonder what other people generally have that parameter set to in their set ups? I don't recall seeing any previous mentions of the audio delay in this entire thread, but in the last week or so it had been driving me insane!

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abob36
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I have mine set to 0 although there was not much difference between it and 40. I think you are seeing it more or noticing it more perhaps because we are using ARC or Optical vs. Wi-Fi. Most of us here are not using Wi-Fi anymore just so we can get the clear 5.1, but the brings with it a host of other issues including out of sync audio.
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leelazer
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Hi all

 

I get delay over optical but in most cases can fix this by setting audio delay on my TV to 0. The exception to this is when watching 4K bluray on my xbox one s. This is an xbox problem though and should be fixed in the nee update. 

 

Lee 

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simon_w
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The problem with the audio delay is that it cannot correct for when the picture is ahead of the sound - only the other way round.

 

The adjustment of 0-40ms is only two frames at 50p or one at 50i/25p - most people can tolerate the sound being behind picture for as much as 2 or 3 frames - but when the sound is ahead of picture it is immediately apparent - this is why Samsung only offer audio delay.

 

In my setup, especially when streaming from Amazon or YouTube I get sound behind picture even with the delay setting at 0 - sometimes it is so bad that the offet is 10 frames plus - easily discernable and enough to make me throw things at the TV !!

 

Worth noting is that the the delay setting is per-input on the 7 Series TVs which is sensible as it may well vary from source to source.

simon_w
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OK - the plot thickens...

 

With the latest update to the soundbar under certain circumstances I am now getting 5.1 over WiFi.

 

I have just played a Dolby test file which works correctly in 5.1.  This is an H264 MP4 file with Dolby AC3 5.1 surround and with the rear speakers at max and the sound bar at minimum it plays with pretty balanced surround.

 

You can download the file here: https://thedigitaltheater.com/index.php/dolby-trailers/ - it is the top one in the list - load onto a mempry stick and play via the USB on the TV.

 

This is exactly the sort of file engineers use to test setups are working correctly...

 

However other sources are not decoding in surround with the correct rear level...

 

Interested to know if others are seeing / hearing the same...?

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abob36
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@simon_w wrote:

The problem with the audio delay is that it cannot correct for when the picture is ahead of the sound - only the other way round.

 

The adjustment of 0-40ms is only two frames at 50p or one at 50i/25p - most people can tolerate the sound being behind picture for as much as 2 or 3 frames - but when the sound is ahead of picture it is immediately apparent - this is why Samsung only offer audio delay.

 

In my setup, especially when streaming from Amazon or YouTube I get sound behind picture even with the delay setting at 0 - sometimes it is so bad that the offet is 10 frames plus - easily discernable and enough to make me throw things at the TV !!

 

Worth noting is that the the delay setting is per-input on the 7 Series TVs which is sensible as it may well vary from source to source.


Same with me. Audio is behind, not ahead. Delay would need to be -50 or more for it to be synced properly. I would have thought being wired would be better for delays, but not with this system...

 

Simon, I have been getting 5.1 via wi-fi for a while now (at least since 3109 version and now the 3111). The issue is the volume of the rears. It is still too low even at -6 for the soundbar and +6 for the rears. Early on in the thread some of us passed around an AC3 5.1 speaker test which will clearly let you know if it is working or not.

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simon_w
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abob36 wrote: 

Simon, I have been getting 5.1 via wi-fi for a while now (at least since 3109 version and now the 3111). The issue is the volume of the rears. It is still too low even at -6 for the soundbar and +6 for the rears. Early on in the thread some of us passed around an AC3 5.1 speaker test which will clearly let you know if it is working or not.


Sorry abob36 - wasnt quite clear in what I meant by this:

 

To me it seems that files in certain codecs will decode properly in surround with rears at a workable level - the Dolby test file sounds exactly how I would expect it to.  I agree that this should be with front and rear speakers at 0 and not -6/+6 but even with that offset other sources are not decoding correctly.  To me this further suggets that the problem is not inherrent in the WiFi link to the rears but related to the way the soundbar is de-multipleing the 5.2 stream...

 

My point is that we are being told by Samsung's engineers that they have fixed it with the 3109 update - if the file they are testing with is one of the official Dolby test or demo files it may well be working for them...

 

Are you able to re-share the test file circulated earlier in this thread - or point me roughly to the right page?  I would be keen to try it out and see exactly what codec is being used.

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dfensom
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Simon,
This is exactly what I have found. Before the update, I couldn't get 5.1 working over wi-fi. Since the latest update, I am able to play some films with 5.1 over Wi-Fi, but not all.  This is with the sound bar at 0, and the R1's at full volume.  Even then, it could do with a little bit more volume at times.

The film I am playing is 'Central Intelligence'. The beginning soundtrack is very good for the surround effect :smiling-face:  (the actual film isn't too great though).
Really good to have somebody with your knowledge and experience on the forum. Hopefully Samsung might start to listen to what everyone has been telling them...

David

 

 

 

@simon_w wrote:

OK - the plot thickens...

 

With the latest update to the soundbar under certain circumstances I am now getting 5.1 over WiFi.

 

I have just played a Dolby test file which works correctly in 5.1.  This is an H264 MP4 file with Dolby AC3 5.1 surround and with the rear speakers at max and the sound bar at minimum it plays with pretty balanced surround.

 

You can download the file here: https://thedigitaltheater.com/index.php/dolby-trailers/ - it is the top one in the list - load onto a mempry stick and play via the USB on the TV.

 

This is exactly the sort of file engineers use to test setups are working correctly...

 

However other sources are not decoding in surround with the correct rear level...

 

Interested to know if others are seeing / hearing the same...?


 

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Robbienobs
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Testing done....... Pretty much came up with same results as everyone else so won't repeat too much. 

 

Summary is wifi and hdmi give same results with next to no volume on rears, and definatly no audible sense of surround regardless of the source.  

 

Various test files used with varying results and only one constant in that the optical/D.in connection is the only set up to give good volume from rears and full surround sound. 

 

I will email samsung now regarding the visit and at least I can replicate the issues most are repprting; my fear in a way was it would actually work! And I will ask if the engineer is in fact a direct employee and not a "partnered" repair centre. 

 

I will also enquire as to what the latest soundbar update was for; it maybe something completely unrelated as they point Blankly stated there would be no more updates to firmware for the rear volume issues. 

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Robbienobs
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Email sent........ Will let you know once they have responded tomorrow. 

 

BTW some Very interesting posts on the complexity of Dolby 5.1 and great to see new input and more people joining the cause.........it's giving me some new energy to keep going with Samsung

 

Still strange to me that even with all this complexity it works fine for me on optical, but not on hdmi. I could understand if it was just a wifi issue and hdmi worked as optical does. 

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Robbienobs
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Surely the actual decoding is the same for all output methods 😕
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simon_w
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@Robbienobs wrote:
Surely the actual decoding is the same for all output methods 😕

Yes and no...

The optical connection - TosLink doesnt support as many formats and bit rates as HDMI as it doesnt have the same bandwidth.  It can carry PCM stereo, and Dolby Digital 5.1 / 7.1 and DTS equivalents but not the True HD versions or more than 2 channels of PCM

 

HDMI 1.3 and later can carry up to 8 channels of PCM (lossless) audio up to 24bit 192kHz and Dolby True HD / DTS-HD streams.  HDMI also supports ARC - where the audio and video travel in opposite directions to one another.

 

Because of the above and the fact that most devices have multiple HDMI inputs and only one optical input it is quite possible they have separate decoding paths running separate firmware.

 

The WiFi system will be quite different because it is effectively having to piggyback on another system with knowing how resilient or fast it is.  With any IP based audio system the key is minimising the amount of data sent and adding lots of redundancy to ensure that the receiver can "keep up".

 

My suspician is that some piece of code in the soundbar, shared by the HDMI and WiFi codecs but not the optical path, is failing to honour the Dolby protocol properly and is reporting incorrect dialnorm level information in the surround signals. (Dialnorm is defined when you author in surround and says what level the mix was done to). What I am going to attempt to do is author some test files Adobe Media Encoder and try and find out where it breaks down - for example does DTS work but not Dolby - or is it related to the bitrate or the DialNorm setting...

 

This sort of problem is more common than you think - the simplest things can get missed... When Philips launched the first CD player with both analogue and digital outputs nobody noticed that the digital out had the left and right channels reversed - very embarassing and before the days of a "firmware fix"...!

 

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Ciechom
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I see expertise knowledge here :smiling-face: so maybe it will not be too much if I ask you guys to not focus only on the sound level in rear speakers but also on the Digital Dolby & DTS decoding and surround sound it self which is produced by this setup. 

I tried several sources recorded in DD 5.1 and at least for me this is not a real DD 5.1 but something which only sound like a surround sound ie in one of my sources speaker says "this is the right side" and I hear sound from right side of soundbar but also from right rear speaker.

A moment later speaker says "this is right surround side" and the same as previously I hear sound from rigth side of soundbar and rihgt rear speaker as well. Only level of the voice is different and in second situation a little bit louder in rear. IMHO this should not work like that. On my "proper" old audio system the same test was played properly and when speaker said "right side" I heard only right front, when said "right rear" I heard only rear speaker ... unfortuantely can not back to old system anymore 😞

 

Can anyone make similar tests ? Maybe my sound sources are not correct or I made some other mistake in my setup


PS:
In TV -> Sound settings -> Expert settings -> Sound Format ... i tried both options: PCM and Dolby Digital ... same also combination with HDMI sound format "PCM & Bitstream" ... all combinations gave me the same results.

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Robbienobs
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Great explanation thanks.

Good to have you on board and will certainly show this to the engineer when he/she arrives........ May roll out some red carpet and put a banner up............ Oh and lock the door behind him hehe

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Robbienobs
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Hi Ciechom

I had exactly the same issue with channel crossover during tests until I tried an MKV file sent to me by Podavies by email; I think originally it cam from Leelazer.

I will have a look on my emails and see if I can find it, it was back in December so make take some time.

Unless the guys mentioned above have a copy hand. This was the only test file I got a good clean surround sound result from.
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