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Smyth Research Realiser A16

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by jgazal, May 7, 2016.
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  1. arnaud Contributor
    So, it seems FW1.75 partly fixed issue with USB connection to iMac:
    - I could get AC3 stream sent to A16 and decoded there as 5.1
    - I still could not adjust the speaker layout for good in midi settings, and probably as a result of that unable to play surround track properly from vlc

    As for connection to iPad pro 10.5in (that's 1 generation before current, still using lightning connector and no support for atmos):
    - I could also send 5.1 soundtrack to the A16 and don't notice any lag (it's going through as 6 channel PCM though)
    - I am using the apple lightning to AV adapter (bloody expensive and terrible reputation but well...)
    - There's a specific sequence to follow in order for this to work which I guess is part of the HDMI handshake protocol
    - e.g. need to start to play the movie first on the iPad and only then connect the A16
    - If I start the movie with the connector in place it actually sends both audio and video stream to the realizer (black screen on the iPad) despite no receiving device being connected to the A16 video passthrough HDMI port

    Last edited: Oct 19, 2019
    jgazal likes this.
  2. sander99
    Do you mean you actually see those changing volume numbers on the A16 screen, the same as if you are changing the volume manually? That would be very strange. If you repeat it, do you get the same numbers with the same scenes? Or is it somehow random?
  3. sitting listener
    It appears to be random. And what happens is that I set the volume, the volume screen disappears. Then I will notice the volume getting quieter., when I go to change the volume again it will be at a different number than what I set it at.
  4. sander99
    And are you sure the volume screen did not come on again for a moment when the volume spontaniously changes? (I'm thinking of the A16 reacting to some other remote or other infra red source).
  5. romainhc
    Hi guys,

    I'm Romain from the HCFR french forum. I've received my A16 #37 last Tuesday from Gilles.
    I've done some tests, with asynchronous capture. And no, the files can't be shared for the moment but it works.
    The asynchronous mode is very touchy with the quality and timing of audio file. My file contained some clicks (just 2 short moments) and the PRIR was not working. Gilles send me back new files and it worked. I'm not sure that a simple recording of the audio sweeps would work. There are DTMF at the beginning to configure the capture. And I believe the timing is very important in synchronous mode.

    I said that for HC use, the image/sound ratio is important for a pleasing result. When talking audio only, music for exemple, i agree it's not that important. And it's a matter of taste at the end.

    I've find many bugs very annoying. Some preset are sometimes recalled/overwritten silently when playing with 2 users and navigating through different menus. Listening room selection in a preset can be changed in background. No listening room has been silently modified in my case.

    I've also captured a 9.1.6 room with a stereo system, by combining different PRIR using my 2 loudspeakers.

    I've tried AIX PRIR yesterday and the LCR is very good in my case ! But unfortunately, the C and R are weighted to the right ...

    I also noticed a hum in the center of a PRIR I've made. It appears only when signal is present. I suspect that I forgot to use the ground wrist while capturing.

    Finally, the HT needs to be calibrated before using it. Otherwise, it's very annoying. I had different behaviours with it. I have only one HT, and sometimes it drives both users azimuth ...
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2019
    Richter Di likes this.
  6. Richter Di
    Hi, first of all welcome. It is great that you share your experiences with us. French is quite proprietary for us non French speaking. So thanks for making the effort to share in English.

    What is the deal with this asynchronous files? Do Gilles own them? Did he create them? I thought this would be a feature of the A16 and something Smyth Research would come up and provide.
  7. audiohobbit
    Played back a normal Bluray with DTS converted to PCM yesterday and had to go back to the 90 ms delay setting as before. I did through the Realiser this time, so I can confirm it works.
    As you mention the frame rate: Actually the Panasonic player output of Netflix and Prime is always 60 Hz. So I think it has to with that and seems that the projector has a lower lag when receiving 60 Hz opposed to 24 Hz.
    Tonight I'm going to watch an Atmos Bluray and see if delay will be the same 90 ms as with DTS-PCM.
    So has nothing to do with FW updates but only with netflix and the 60 Hz, which I haven't tried before with the A16.

    @romain: Thanks for sharing this. So you are beta testing for Gilles/Smyth?
    What was the format of the async signals? What is DTMF if I may ask? Since they're still working on it maybe they're impoving it more.

    What you said about synchronous mode I agree, timing is important and I can't imagine that this really works well with the recorded signals. At least you should end up with relatively long delays recorded in the signals.

    @headtracking: magnetic stabilisation has to be calibrated, yes. Optical works fine without, at least for me, and it should, as Smyth said it is pre calibrated in the factory.
    But optical works only for user A so far.
    I tried magnetic but got no good results. Sound image always drifting after a certain timee and I had to reset with the button on the head top. Can't watch a movie that way.

    I should not forget to put this on my list that optical stabilisation should work for both.

    I already asked here if others tried magnetic stabilisation and how their results were, but got no reply so far.
  8. romainhc
    DTMF is the tones you can hear when using keypad on telephones. It configures the A16 while capturing. I'm not beta testing, but maybe we can access those files because Gilles is a beta tester. It's written that's we're not allowed to share the docs and files we have when purchasing by Gilles.

    Optical stabilisation is working for me too, and magnetic is very erratic for the moment. I dont know what you have on your list for the Smyths, but here's what I'd like :
    - muting A or B by short press volume button
    - separate azimuth when only 1 HT is used (or it's a bug ...)
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2019
  9. romainhc
    I think they're still testing it, but it will be available of course. The files are m2ts with dolby atmos only (5.1 to 9.1.6).
  10. sander99
  11. audiohobbit
    I don't understand. There are separate mute buttons for both users.

    Possibly a bug. How is your setup? 2 headphones, 1 headtracker only plugged in for user A? HT settings?
    Hm. Don't know if these work with AVRs that don't decode Atmos but they should?
    What I and many others would need also in async mode are possibilities to record PRIRs with only a few loudspeakers, e.g. LCR, Surrounds separate and Tops separate.
    In async mode who tells the A16 which channels are to be measured? Do you set this up in the A16 like in Sync mode? Or is this coded in these pilot tones. The latter one would be not so good.
    What's also bad with async mode is that HT assist for the look angles doesn't work.

    To something else: I had an idea, since A16 PRIRs can not be used with the A8, can't you record an A8 PRIR through the A16?
    Someone already said he knows how to feed line signals to the A8 mic ins.

    So connect the 8 analog outs of the A8 to the corresponding analog ins of the A16, connect the HP line out via adapter to the mic in of the A8. Select a 7.1 PRIR in the A16 combined with a flat HPEQ. Set the headtracker of the A16 to optical and put it on something that can rotate. Rotate it to 0 deg. Start PRIR measuring in the A8. When it says look left (AFAIK its also written on the display) rotate the headtracker to - 30 deg, and so on.
    Could this work?

    Problem would be the delay that adds up, but at least with line input delay of the A16 should not be as huge as with Dolby for example.

    If you don't want to risk the mic ins of the A8 you have to use the A8 mics in your ears and headphones connected to the A16 with the correct HPEQ. But this would of course be another step that could degrade the signal.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2019
  12. romainhc
    On the rotary buttons, not the remote.

    I have 2 headphones, 1 HT only, and it was in both modes (magnetic / optical), but I'm not sure. I have to investigate. I also was in HPA -> HPB comparison mode, and I think it links the azimuth.

    The DTMF tones are used to make this configuration in async mode. But I dont think all the combinaisons will be available. Unless we can generate them or record them. Async can't be as "interactive" by definition.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2019
  13. Dixter
    I finally got your files to work this morning... not exactly sure what was causing the issue but I went through all of the settings on the OPPO and restarted everything and it started working the way it should... was strange though as I did put the Atmos Test Disk in to verify separation of all speakers before trouble shooting and it worked fine... thanks again for the files...
  14. sitting listener
    I just tested this today from an Xbox outputting Atmos and got the same result. At one point my volume went from 86 to 74. At no point did the volume screen appear. I’m wondering if there is some sort of dynamic audio information in the Atmos decode?
  15. sander99
    There is a setting Dolby Night mode (and DTS Night mode), page 55 of the manual. You could check if they are on or off and if changing them makes a difference. But it would be a very, very strange implementation if these simply changed the (user-) volume setting! I'd sooner believe it is a bug than that it is the night mode, but please do check.

    Edit: but it would not be random if it's the night mode, that's why I asked before if repeating the same sequence of scenes gives the same (relative to be exact) changes.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2019
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