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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
    To be clear, I do not have a latest gen tv with support for eARC but that was the intent to have all sources fed to the tv directly (not using an AV processor now) hence using eARC to pass dolby atmos and such uncompressed audio throught (uhd > tv > a16 hdmi in).

    The realiser does not have audio passthrough capability (and never will I guess) so this is either that or using an AV processor with dual hdmi out etc.
  2. arnaud Contributor
    For instance: https://developer.dolby.com/blog/dolby-audio-over-hdmi-part-3-reality/
    <<HDMI ARC does not have enough data capacity to support the transmission of Dolby Atmos content that is encoded using Dolby TrueHD, which is the format used on Blu-ray Disc and UHD Blu-ray Disc. To support Dolby Atmos over HDMI ARC for Blu-ray Disc playback, a television has to decode Dolby TrueHD and transcode it to Dolby Digital Plus before output. Today, this feature is only supported in televisions that have native Dolby Atmos decoding.>>
    <<Currently, one of the most reliable connection options is to connect your source device to your home theater system, and then connect your home theater system to your television, When choosing this connection option, look for home theater systems that support Dolby Vision passthrough to ensure that your system supports both the ultimate audio and video experience.>>

    The way I understand this:
    1) unless the TV (and A16?) both support eARC, it defaults back to DD+ codec (compressed stream) instead of uncompressed Dolby TrueHD when going over hdmi 2.0 connection (eARC required 2.1 afaik)
    2) if only the A16 supported audio passthrough (with Dolby vision), I could imagine feeding the sources to it but that would drive my family nuts given how unintuitive the A16 is. But anyhow, it has not audio passthrough so this one is out anyway (the mix down option is a possible workaround but pita to setup nevertherless)

    @audiohobbit , are you suggesting that you can verify you get Dolby TrueHD content being fed uncompressed to the realiser when you connect UHD player directly to the realiser?

    ps, and about codecs supported by object based dolby atmos: https://developer.dolby.com/blog/dolby-audio-over-hdmi-part-1-codecs/
    <<Dolby Atmos is not a codec! Dolby Atmos is an immersive audio format that can be delivered via multiple audio codecs including Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby TrueHD (but NOT Dolby Digital). Blu-ray Discs deliver Dolby Atmos using Dolby TrueHD (with Dolby Digital Plus as an available alternative), and broadcast and streaming services deliver Dolby Atmos using Dolby Digital Plus. In order to maintain compatibility with millions of devices in consumer homes, Dolby Atmos in these codecs is implemented as a backwards-compatible extension.>>
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2019
  3. sander99
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2019
  4. arnaud Contributor
    @sander99 , I did try the switch and splitter route. The switcher works fine but It’s been really difficult to perform the handshakes with the splitter. Ended up taking the a16 out of the loop and leaving just the switcher (I barely use the a16 now given the limitations above).

    in regards to eARC, it does require support on both the source (tv) and receiver end (A16) so we can also forget about this one...
    <<Today, many TVs dumb down and compress audio signals before passing them through an HDMI cable, while others do support more channels and even Dolby Atmos, albeit using a more compressed codec like Dolby Digital Plus instead of Dolby TrueHD, which requires too much bandwidth. With eARC, the original, full-resolution audio signal can be sent via the HDMI cable — again, producing the very best sound with no compromises.>>
    <<The “e” in eARC stands for enhanced Audio Return Channel, and is a new standard feature of HDMI 2.1 that aims to provide the best possible audio resolution from your TV. The new configuration requires eARC support from both your TV and your audio device, which means both devices must support HDMI 2.1 — older HDMI versions do not support eARC.>>
  5. Richter Di
    27 is also the lowest I can get with SPDIF in. Strange. You would think that you can decrease to output volume to “0”.

    At least with the FiiO FH7 inEars the noise floor (clear hum) of the A16 is too much. Also with the switch on low.
    Not enough added value of the A16 for this listening situation. Much more fun to plug the inEars directly in my FiiO M11 player.
    So far the two channel performance with the A16 is not that good. I will see what my own PRIR changes.
    The performance for film watching is much then I expected. So cool.
    So mixed emotions.
  6. frank2908
    Dang it, I will be out of Dusseldorf for 2 weeks. Had my A16 one week ago.
    Richter Di likes this.
  7. audiohobbit
    Leather will reflect high frequencies. I don't see too much damping in this room except the acoustic ceiling, that may help a bit. But not much absorption (open foams) elsewhere. There will still be lots of treble energy in the room I think.
  8. Eich1eeF
    That device is probably insufficient. First of all, it doesn't mention Atmos at all (not sure if explicit support is required), it's limited to 4k 30Hz, and, worst of all, it always uses the EDID of the first output for both inputs. Since the TV and the Realiser have different audio capabilities, that's unlikely to yield optimal results. I assume that all of the current hdfury products might solve this problem, albeit at 10 times the price, and even then it may be necessary to manually switch between EDID sources (or automatically with a Harmony or other remote).
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2019
  9. sander99
    Well, good to know. I was even thinking about buying a 4 x 4 matrix but that would be asking for even more trouble then. 4 outputs: 1. av receiver, 2. A16, 3. TV, 4. beamer (on my wishlist).
  10. Leiser
    I have this splitter for using an Apple TV 4k with my A16 and a Denon AV Receiver.
    The only downside is that you only have one input but works goo so far.
  11. audiohobbit
    I started experimenting with creating PRIRs.
    To get a good input gain (I'd say something between 0.6 and 0.95) the sweeps have to be very loud, hopefully not too loud for the speakers.
    What I forgot though was to increase the gain of the mics. This was at +3 dB. Will boost this to 9 dB or so next time. 12 is max.

    What I noticed: When setting up the PRIR sound room for measurements it seems that you can assign any speaker label to any (output) channel.
    In my opinion you don't have to unplug and replug then all the time if measuring many channels with just 2 loudspeakers.
    I just made a "dry" run (can't do a real measurement now) and it seemed to work.
    First create a sound room where you assign L and R to channels 1 and 2, measure and save. Then change the assignment to Ls, Rs on channels 1 and 2 (or should be the other way round if you turn 180 deg and sit with your back to the speakers.) and so on. And you don't have to unplug etc.
  12. Eich1eeF
    I don't think the Apple TV supports DTS at all, so for this specific use case, that splitter is good enough. As long as the A16 doesn't support DTS, even a HDMI Matrix switcher with independent audio won't do the trick unless it does some EDID auto mixing, for example the KeyDigital KD-MS4x4G won't work since it only has a handful of static EDID choices. I'm honestly surprised that this is so complicated.
  13. Richter Di
    It is artificial leather and the surface is not completely smooth. I have lots of carpets and also 5 big 1 m X 0,5 m https://addictivesound.eu/raumakustik/schallabsorber/, 4 diffusors https://addictivesound.eu/raumakustik/akustik-diffusor/ and 2 https://addictivesound.eu/raumakustik/bassfalle-bass-trap/bassfalle-durchm-30cm-standard-1m/.

    Take into consideration a jungle of plants, I guess I will be okay :)
  14. Richter Di
    Great tips. Thank you. I still wish you could do a short video showing how to do this. So one can more easily follow the steps.
  15. Richter Di
    Any ideas how to get the A16 to play 48, 96 or 192. Is there a trick`
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