Smyth Research Realiser A16
Oct 31, 2021 at 11:08 AM Post #12,736 of 14,309

dsperber

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Two issues on the new HDMI pass-through functionality (facilitated by setting the option active and then powering the A16 off, to enter standby mode):

(1) Supposedly all unnecessary A16 processing is shut down in order to minimize power consumption. Presumably only the minimal circuitry needed to pass-through HDMI-carried audio and video is all that should remain active.

However the head-tracker circuitry remains active, with the LEDs on both the set-top and head-top units remaining illuminated. Surely this seems wrong.

(2) The documentation provides a technique for (I assumed) temporarily turning off the HDMI pass-through (i.e. putting the A16 fully in standby mode for the current situation, I assumed). It states:

"To exit HDMI pass-through the user can either press the remote-control power button or momentarily depress the user A or user B volume knobs."

Reading this I assumed that the display screen would go dark and the message previously displayed about "HDMI x pass-through" would disappear, and the A16 would now be totally powered down and in full standby state. The next time the A16 gets powered on and then powered off, it would once again enter HDMI pass-through mode state, and once again be eligible for the full-standby using the same method described above.

Well, either I'm misinterpreting what "exit HDMI pass-through" is supposed to mean, or it's also programmed incorrectly. What actually happens when you press the remote-control power button or momentarioly press user A/B volume knobs is simply that the A16 powers back up! Sure, that will exit HDMI pass-through because now the unit is powered on and HDMI pass-through is only active when in standby mode. But it's not at all what I thought should happen.

Thoughts?
 
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Oct 31, 2021 at 2:29 PM Post #12,737 of 14,309

makan

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Two issues on the new HDMI pass-through functionality (facilitated by setting the option active and then powering the A16 off, to enter standby mode):

(1) Supposedly all unnecessary A16 processing is shut down in order to minimize power consumption. Presumably only the minimal circuitry needed to pass-through HDMI-carried audio and video is all that should remain active.

However the head-tracker circuitry remains active, with the LEDs on both the set-top and head-top units remaining illuminated. Surely this seems wrong.

(2) The documentation provides a technique for (I assumed) temporarily turning off the HDMI pass-through (i.e. putting the A16 fully in standby mode for the current situation, I assumed). It states:

"To exit HDMI pass-through the user can either press the remote-control power button or momentarily depress the user A or user B volume knobs."

Reading this I assumed that the display screen would go dark and the message previously displayed about "HDMI x pass-through" would disappear, and the A16 would now be totally powered down and in full standby state. The next time the A16 gets powered on and then powered off, it would once again enter HDMI pass-through mode state, and once again be eligible for the full-standby using the same method described above.

Well, either I'm misinterpreting what "exit HDMI pass-through" is supposed to mean, or it's also programmed incorrectly. What actually happens when you press the remote-control power button or momentarioly press user A/B volume knobs is simply that the A16 powers back up! Sure, that will exit HDMI pass-through because now the unit is powered on and HDMI pass-through is only active when in standby mode. But it's not at all what I thought should happen.

Thoughts?
That’s unfortunately how it is working for me too. Not ideal.
 
Oct 31, 2021 at 5:01 PM Post #12,738 of 14,309

phoenixdogfan

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There are Restore factory setup and Full factory restore among settings. The first option is described in the user manual at pages no. 45-46 and the second one at page no. 44. The Full factory restore is more comprehensive than the Restore factory setup, which “returns some of the core A16 settings to the factory default condition.”
So which one is required for the new firmware?
 
Oct 31, 2021 at 6:22 PM Post #12,739 of 14,309

dsperber

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I've written James with my comments about those two "usability" issues that make the new HDMI pass-through feature operate in a less-than-ideal implementation, to my perspective. No answer yet.

I suppose in the meantime I'll just have to manually keep the setting disabled unless I genuinely want to make use of it. My three streaming sources plus Oppo player are the four HDMI inputs, and normally I would be using headphones to listen and the A16/DAC/amp would all be powered on so pass-through is not wanted. It's only more occasionally when I feel in the mood to just watch and listen more casually, through actual stereo loudspeakers managed by the AVR, that I would want to make use of the function. So at that time I will just enable the switch and use it, temporarily.

Hopefully they will tweak the behavior to address these two reasonable observations. Obviously the head-tracker circuitry has no reason to remain powered-on if headphones are not being used by a human. And there really should be an easy and convenient 2-step way to get the A16 from full powered-on all the way to full powered-off even with the HDMI pass-through function switch enabled:

(a) go into semi-standby, with HDMI pass-through active but all else powered down, via a single first push of the remote power button, and then

(b) go into full-standby, with everything powered down and HDMI pass-through inactive, via a single second push of the remote power button.
 
Nov 1, 2021 at 11:05 PM Post #12,741 of 14,309

Camano

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Survey question - how many of you turn on "Dolby Surround" when listening to 5.1 surround mixes to upmix to more speakers?

I've tried it and don't understand why in a 9.1.6 room the top speakers are active and seem to muddle the location information.
 
Nov 1, 2021 at 11:12 PM Post #12,742 of 14,309

esimms86

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Survey question - how many of you turn on "Dolby Surround" when listening to 5.1 surround mixes to upmix to more speakers?

I've tried it and don't understand why in a 9.1.6 room the top speakers are active and seem to muddle the location information.
I listen to 5.1 in 5.1 and Atmos in Atmos. I’m not a fan of upmixing.
 
Nov 2, 2021 at 2:15 AM Post #12,743 of 14,309

GeorgeA

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Survey question - how many of you turn on "Dolby Surround" when listening to 5.1 surround mixes to upmix to more speakers?

I've tried it and don't understand why in a 9.1.6 room the top speakers are active and seem to muddle the location information.
I’ll second @esimms86 ‘s opinion. Why would anyone want to enable Dolby Surround, just because it’s possible? I think it’s more important to hear the audio exactly as the producer intended. Any other gimmick is pointless most of the time.
 
Nov 2, 2021 at 5:36 AM Post #12,744 of 14,309

castleofargh

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I don't have any belief that one choice is right or wrong(isn't the enjoyable option, the best one?). I happen to dislike the upmix so I don't use it, and that's that.
 
Nov 2, 2021 at 8:53 AM Post #12,745 of 14,309

kh36267

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Survey question - how many of you turn on "Dolby Surround" when listening to 5.1 surround mixes to upmix to more speakers?

I've tried it and don't understand why in a 9.1.6 room the top speakers are active and seem to muddle the location information.
I keep Dolby Surround turned on. I enjoy the upmixing when available. Was watching 'The Shining' the other day and the added speaker detail made the experience even more errie.
 
Nov 2, 2021 at 11:57 AM Post #12,746 of 14,309

KMann

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I keep Dolby Surround turned on. I enjoy the upmixing when available. Was watching 'The Shining' the other day and the added speaker detail made the experience even more errie.
I have not experimented with it as much on A16, but I have a 7.2.4 HT setup and on Xbox I think the Dolby Atmos App upmixes 5.1/7.1 to Atmos by default (I don't know if this can be turned off). I quite like it for the movies, never found it distracting and when it worked, it worked well at providing the illusion of things going over the head or providing more immersion. I do not game so I am not sure how good it is for localization.
I’ll second @esimms86 ‘s opinion. Why would anyone want to enable Dolby Surround, just because it’s possible? I think it’s more important to hear the audio exactly as the producer intended. Any other gimmick is pointless most of the time.
For music I fully agree, it may muddle the sound, for movies I do not think this is an issue and 'artist intended' may not be applicable as there is a lot of movies that were mixed in both Atmos and downmixed to 5.1 and for streamed movies, Atmos is not always available (at least not on Amazon prime).

I use both Xbox and Nvidia Shield with A16 and I use A16 only for movies. The last time I was watching 5.1 content from Xbox, I believe A16 showed the Atmos logo without me turning on upmixing.
 
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Nov 2, 2021 at 12:15 PM Post #12,747 of 14,309

Got the Shakes

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I have not experimented with it as much on A16, but I have a 7.2.4 HT setup and on Xbox I think the Dolby Atmos App upmixes 5.1/7.1 to Atmos by default (I don't know if this can be turned off). I quite like it for the movies, never found it distracting and when it worked, it worked well at providing the illusion of things going over the head or providing more immersion. I do not game so I am not sure how good it is for localization.

For music I fully agree, it may muddle the sound, for movies I do not think this is an issue and 'artist intended' may not be applicable as there is a lot of movies that were mixed in both Atmos and downmixed to 5.1 and for streamed movies, Atmos is not always available (at least not on Amazon prime).

I use both Xbox and Nvidia Shield with A16 and I use A16 only for movies. The last time I was watching 5.1 content from Xbox, I believe A16 showed the Atmos logo without me turning on upmixing.
Do you have Dolby Atmos for home theater enabled on your Xbox? If you do it will send all sound in an Atmos wrapper regardless of whether your content has an Atmos track or not.
 
Nov 2, 2021 at 3:36 PM Post #12,749 of 14,309

Camano

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I’ll second @esimms86 ‘s opinion. Why would anyone want to enable Dolby Surround, just because it’s possible? I think it’s more important to hear the audio exactly as the producer intended. Any other gimmick is pointless most of the time.

Thanks for the comments - I've decided the same for myself.

General reading on Dolby Surround seems to verify what I was hearing on the A16 with Dolby Surround enabled - it seems to mix ambient sounds into the top speakers, only differentiating left and right, not front to back. No wonder I felt that the sound field was muddled.
 
Nov 3, 2021 at 12:49 AM Post #12,750 of 14,309

phoenixdogfan

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I decided to download and load the 2.05 firmware tonight. When I attempt to load the firmware it goes through its entire routine, and in the end shows the firmware is still 2.0.

I'm truly stumped here. I did this three times. I am positive I downloaded 2.05, I saw all the correct messaging, it ? Do I need top do the factory restore before it will show I have 2.05 on the system? What's going on?
 

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