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Original topic:

HW-Q80/70R + Atmos/TrueHD random audio pop

(Topic created on: 20/12/20 16:21)
Janitorus
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Issue: While playing TrueHD (Atmos) content on Shield Pro 2019 via Plex/Kodi, single audio pops can be heard. This can happen 10 minutes apart or longer and they seem completely random. Rewinding and going over the same portion of the video again does not replicate the issue. It's one "pop" or "tick" in the high/mid range. Sometimes louder than other times, but not deafening. It can be subtle.

 

TV: UE55MU7000, firmware 1280.6 and also on recently updated to 1290.3 (released december 16th, 2020)

Soundbar: HW-Q80R, firmware 1012.6

 

Shield is connected directly to soundbar, soundbar is connected via HDMI Arc to one connect box of TV. 

 

Tried so far:

 

  • Fully reset Shield, soundbar and TV plus smart hub for what its worth
  • New Monoprice HDMI cables for all connected devices
  • Powered all devices off overnight and let them drain
  • Any and all possible audio settings and combination thereof on the Shield
  • Framerate matching on/off in Plex/Kodi
  • Stripped MKV's of everything except for video and TrueHD track
  • Played videos from USB on Shield instead of over network;
  • Completely turned off router/wifi

Unaffected and sounds fine:

 

  • DTS-X, no issues at all!
  • Atmos over Dolby Digital+ on Netflix sounds fine
  • Spotify
  • Youtube etc. and many others I'm sure

 

Which leads me to believe that the hardware side of things is fine, only TrueHD seems to be affected by some sort of bug. 

At this point I am not sure whether this is a Shield issue or soundbar issue, or a specific combination. Cables have been ruled out. It doesn't sound like interference to me. It feels like some sync issue where some audio frames are messed up at random for some reason. It is unfortunate that we cannot downgrade soundbar firmware. 

 

Is this a known issue? Is there anything else I can try? This needs to be looked into by Samsung as well 🤔

 

Audio recordings of the pops/ticks while watching TrueHD Atmos via the Shield Pro 2019. Each clip is 6 seconds with the pop/tick happening at the 3 seconds mark:

 

 

Recorded with phone laying on the soundbar. Still happening at random, I'd say a minimum of 3 pops/ticks per hour.

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GreyMatter
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pops and clicks indicate a change or drop in bit rate. The reason they don't repeat at the same point is because that bit section is now cached/buffered . Try adjusting your settings to match the streaming bandwidth you physically have available
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Janitorus
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Hi @GreyMatter thanks for the tip, but I think caching/buffering issues have been ruled out as I've also tried playing video's from USB (Kodi) and the issue remains. So I think the settings you refer to are not relevant, or is there anything else I can try?

 

All files through Plex are "Direct Play" and I don't have a single pause because of buffering, network speeds are all in order. It's all 1:1 and no conversion is done anywhere.

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CaptainCruesly
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Hello there.

It's not a Shield issue.

 

I'm encountering this bug since day one.

The TV is LG OLED55CX, fully up-to-date and the soundbar is the HW-Q70R fully up-to-date also.

 

TV linked to soundbar via eARC.

Xiaomi Mibox 3 linked to TV (my "old" Android TV box).

Nvidia Shield Pro 2019 linked to TV (new Christmas gift).

 

The bug is seen heard:

- while playing Netflix from the TV app and when Atmos is used (for example on the 'Our Planet' serie from BBC)

- NOT while playing the same content on Netflix from the Xiaomi Mibox 3(seems logical since it doesn't support Dolby Atmos)

- while playing same content on Netflix and MKV files containing TrueHD from the Nvidia Shield Pro 2019 (which support Dolby Atmos)

 

Since we don't have the same screen brand, it's seems clear that it's indeed a Samsung soundbars problem with eARC/Dolby Atmos.

 

It pisses me off, but this forum doesn't seem to be read at all by Samsung Q&A team or whatsoever.

We need to escalate this.

CaptainCruesly
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@ChrisM Hello Chris, can you please convoy this post to a Samsung developper? It needs to be acknowledged and worked on 😕

CaptainCruesly
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@AndrewL @DannyT @CarlH @ChrisM @AntS @CarloL 

Hello you all. We really need this problem fixed.

Can you please escalate this issue and/or create a corresponding ticket in your bugtracker for the devs to look on this?

Janitorus
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Hello @CaptainCruesly thanks for the info and confirmation, so it seems it's a soundbar firmware issue. After all my troubleshooting I kind of lost track, but Im guessing this issue started when the eARC firmware update was rolled out for the soundbar. That was firmware 1010.5. Even though I don't have a TV with eARC, I wouldn't be surprised if on the soundbar side of things something was broken from that update onwards.

 

Interesting how you also have audio pop in Netflix DD+ lossy Atmos. But you have a different TV of course. Does this also happen when you connect the Shield directly to the soundbar and use the Netflix app on the Shield?

 

Thread title updated to better reflect the issue. 

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CaptainCruesly
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I'm not an expert with Dolby lossy/lossless but I can assure you that, when the show supports Dolby Atmos, my soundbar "switch" to this mode and display it (when played from LG TV app', or Nvidia Shield app').

 

With these shows, I can hear the poping/crackling sound.

 

I don't know if it's lossy but I guess it is for bandwith sake.

 

When playing the same show (even in 4k HDR) from the Xiaomi Mibox 3, I guess it fallback to another audio codec, and I don't hear the sound.

 

I'll try again this afternoon:

- playing a local file with Dolby TrueHD 7.1 for example from the Shied

- directly connect the Shield to the soundbar to avoid the TV factor, and re-run all the tests

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CaptainCruesly
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So I did some tests.

 

My Nvidia Shield Pro 2019 is now directly linked to the HDMI input of the HW-Q70R soundbar.

 

Dolby Atmos from Netflix got played/supported same as before.

 

But now, instead of the crackling/poping sound I got a longer "cut" about ~500ms.

It seems to be less frequent but much more noticeable.

 

So, since eARC is not used anymore in this setup (TV <==> soundbar <==> nvidia shield), it narrows down the problem to the Dolby Atmos codec to me.

 

@ChrisM @AndrewL @DannyT @CarlH @ChrisM @AntS @CarloL please take a look at these test results and forward it to the devs ASAP, thx.

 

Regards,

 

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Janitorus
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Thanks for testing @CaptainCruesly, so that's more confirmation that something is going on with Atmos/TrueHD on this soundbar series. It's strange how on your HW-Q70R you also have this issue with Dolby Digital+ Atmos, while on my HW-Q80R it seems isolated to just TrueHD Atmos. 

 

But that's up to samsung to figure out and I hope they will soon fix it 🤔

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