Smyth Research Realiser A16
Jan 8, 2022 at 9:56 AM Post #12,947 of 14,324

Dixter

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 21, 2011
Posts
1,433
Likes
536
HDMI fun.... so for Xmas I scored a Playstation 5 ... so I hooked it all up and went into the settings and for some reason it wouldn't let me turn on HDR to feed the LG TV thru the AVR.... so I go to the manuals and sure enough there are limited HDMI HDR ports in my system... so while I was trying to figure out a way to use three HDR sources at the same time ( Oppo, Apply TV, Playstation 5 ) I never even played with the A16... and it worked perfectly fine by just feeding the AVR with all of the inputs and having the AVR output go into the A16 HDMI1 and then back out of the A16 into the LG TV... like I said...everything was working fine, at least I thought so... then while trying out different hookups I now try to use the A16 like before... and for some reason the A16 isn't processing the audio , so no output to the headphones... so I take the A16 out of the loop and make sure all of the other components are doing what they should... still have not got the limited HDMI HDR port issue sorted and get everybody playing nicely again... then insert the A16 just like I had it and now no video out but the audio is perfect.... so I am trying to see how many HDMI switches I'm going to need to get this working... Oppo used to sell a HDMI switcher just for this issue... now if I can figure out where I put it so I can try out that solution... I was hoping to just feed the Playstation 5 into the TV HDMI ARC input but I can't get the ARC to send what I need to the A16/AVR.... HDMI fun....
 
Jan 8, 2022 at 2:08 PM Post #12,948 of 14,324

dsperber

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Posts
746
Likes
262
HDMI fun.... and it worked perfectly fine by just feeding the AVR with all of the inputs and having the AVR output go into the A16 HDMI1 and then back out of the A16 into the LG TV...
Hmmm... very interesting! Hadn't thought of this approach, but it seems plausible.

Feed all inputs to the AVR, rather than to the A16. Then feed HDMI1-OUT of the AVR to HDMI1-IN of the A16, and HDMI-OUT of the A16 to the LG TV. That would feed video from the sources through the AVR and then through the A16 to the TV. And speaker audio from the AVR is automatic. And that also would faciliate ARC/eARC audio back to the A16 from an app running on the TV. There might be a lip-sync issue to deal with, but that's allowed by the equipment settings.

And assuming the TV is set for HDMI-ARC output to "pass-through" (i.e. bitstream), and as long as the program audio is AC-3 and not AC-4, this would facilitate proper A16 headphone support for the multi-channel audio returned from the TV app (including Dolby Atmos).

Furthermore, utilizing the new "HDMI standby pass-through" of the A16, it would not need to be powered on for everyday speaker-sound (from the AVR itself), but only when you really wanted to listen through headphones (both coming from a source feeding the AVR or via eARC coming back from a TV app).

So now the real crucial question is whether the end-to-end HDMI handshakes will tell the source devices that multi-channel and object audio is supported, and is Dolby Vision video supported. If not the source may stop down the type of audio/video delivered. And we're talking about apps running on streaming devices that make that deicsion, e.g. Netflix offering only 5.1 audio instead of Dolby Atmos, or UHD video instead of HDR or Dolby Vision.

But it sounds promising. Technically every option is covered, and eARC is available without temporarily pulling any cables. That would be fantastic.

But the sources need to deliver DV+DA. We shall see.
 
Last edited:
Jan 8, 2022 at 5:15 PM Post #12,949 of 14,324

JonFo

Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 17, 2020
Posts
60
Likes
46
Location
Atlanta, GA
To support DolbyVision to the TV (LG C9 OLED), all my sources go to the AVR and then I take the output of the AVR and run it through a 4K splitter, with one output feeding the TV, and the other feeding the A16 with a 1080p down-res of the stream so it can perform audio processing via HDMI1.

Works great, no problems with DV, and I get Atmos via the AVR or the A16.

My AVR (Denon X3600H) has a feature whereby the last selected input is routed to the output when in standby, so using the A16 does not require the AVR to be on.
 
Jan 8, 2022 at 7:25 PM Post #12,951 of 14,324

miT

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 12, 2009
Posts
199
Likes
121
Location
London, UK
Hi guys,

Sorry to hijack the current conversation slightly but I have done some more testing and moved on to the PRIRs from the Google Drive... Wow!

I had been using the BBC room but then followed @jazzfan 's guide and started setting up the PRIR rooms. The clarity of the Surrey room was the superior of the factory ones to my ears, but the D&D system... A completely different league!! I will at some point try some others but that is one amazing system. I am definitely hitting the out of head experiences now!

Another question for you now then: What bass / LPF (and APM bass shelf...?) settings have you all found to work best with the HD800S and your personal HPEQs? I watched Mad Max Fury Road and I believe my headphone drivers were clipping due to the intense LFE, but I could not work out why as adjusting the settings seemed to make no difference.

I did some more testing today and watched American Sniper as I am working my way through lots of Atmos films I missed... I have started to understand the LPF settings application more now as they apply differently with separate speakers and sub(s), so I had to reprogram my brain slightly... It improved considerably so I went back to Fury Road for a few scenes, but I occasionally get slight clipping from LFE. I appreciate that the film itself is likely extremely LFE-happy, but I thought it best to see if anyone else has experienced similar.

Thanks,


TIm
 
Jan 8, 2022 at 9:24 PM Post #12,952 of 14,324

dsperber

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Posts
746
Likes
262
To support DolbyVision to the TV (LG C9 OLED), all my sources go to the AVR and then I take the output of the AVR and run it through a 4K splitter, with one output feeding the TV, and the other feeding the A16 with a 1080p down-res of the stream so it can perform audio processing via HDMI1.
I don't understand the purpose of the down-res to 1080p for that split output feeding the A16. What is it that this enables in the A16, that would otherwise not be possible? If I simply place the A16 between the AVR HDMI output and the TV (such that the video would be 4K passing through the A16), why is that a problem? Is this because the single HDMI output of the AVR can't support two full 4K@60hz outputs via the splitter? If that's the answer, rather than something caused by the A16 itself, then now I understand..

Note that not having the A16 connected to the TV prevents ARC/eARC audio going back from the TV to the A16 when using apps on the TV, if you wanted to do that.

Also, as I thought more about my earlier comments I reminded myself of some real complaints I had about the initial implementation of the new "HDMI pass-through in standby mode" feature now available with 2.00+ firmware. At the very least, the ST/HT LED's for the head tracker remain on even when the A16 itself is in that semi-off reduced power state that keeps the HDMI sub-assembly powered but cuts power to everything else. Well they forgot to cut power to the head tracker circuits (assuming it is actually possible to selectively cut power to the head tracker items), which are obviously totally irrelevant to HDMI pass-through. Also, the display screen has the message about pass-through enabled for the last-used HDMI input permanently displayed while in this special standby state, and there's no way to make the screen go fully dark instead ir that's what you preferred.

And finally, they should have implemented a 2-step HDMI standby process, so that it doesn't have to remain in the one state permanently. Rather, you could just have in in HDMI standby state for as long as you were watching something and listening through speakers. But when you were done, and wanted to turn off all the lights and go to bed, you should have been able to push POWER a second time and now the A16 powers down 100%, fully disabling the HDMI pass-through facility. And then the third press of POWER brings the unit back to normal life. Unfortunately this is NOT what happens, and instead pressing POWER that second time actually powers the A16 fully back up! You've just turned it back on, although you really wanted to leave the room for the night. The only way to actually put the A16 to sleep is to get into Settings and disable HDMI pass-through, and then power it down!! Ridiculous, of course.

So, in the absence of an upcoming firmware upgrade to resolve these problems, I think the best compromise for now is NOT to set HDMI standby enabled normally. Keep things as they are without that feature, most of the time. And only if you have that special occasion where you'd actually rather listen through speakers would you then activate that setting, and de-activate it when you are finished with that one viewing session. It's unfortunate we have to compromise but for now I think leaving it OFF is the lesser of two inconveniences.

On the other hand... maybe that splitter idea is REALLY the best idea.

One way or another, simply passing the HDMI output from the AVR through the A16 is clumsy. Either you have to power the A16 on to pass through video even if you were listening through speakers, or you use HDMI standby and keep it "turned off" but with all of those other negatives I enumerated.

In contrast, the splitter trick allows you to keep the A16 powered fully off when you're not using headphones. Period. If/when you want to use headphones, you power it on as we've always done. It's much like I have right now from my Oppo 203 which runs essentially in "split-A/V mode" (which is what the 103 calls it). With the 203 HDMI1-OUT is for video only and HDMI2-OUT is for audio only, if the device on HDMI2 is powered on. If there's no active device on HDMI2-OUT then HDMI1-OUT sends both audio and video. Since my Yamaha AVR only 2.0 audio out its HDMI2-OUT, the only way to get full multi-channel HDMI audio to the A16 would be to use HDMI1-OUT running through the splitter, as you suggest. But the A16 is really totally independent of the video going from the same HDMI1-OUT of the AVR to the TV.

I still have that Monoprice matrix splitter I bought last year and never used. I think I maybe could make use of it here. But I will look into the one you use.
 
Last edited:
Jan 8, 2022 at 10:00 PM Post #12,953 of 14,324

dsperber

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Posts
746
Likes
262
Well, I placed an order for that splitter as well. It absolutely does seem like the right solution where a compromise is required for any approach. The downside here is the loss of ARC/eARC capability (at least without doing some rewiring if you need to) but that's really of very very very little consequence when all these streaming devices are available to feed the AVR/A16/TV in that forward direction.

I looked at my A860 manual regarding "HDMI through", which is that same feature you mentioned for your Denon AVR. In Yamaha's implementation they not only retain the last-selected HDMI input to pass through when you power the unit off, but they also keep the remote SOURCE keys (and IR receiver) enabled so that you can actually change HDMI inputs on the AVR without having to power it back up first. Furthermore, they save power smartly by placing the AVR in full-standby (with no pass-through possible) if there are no active source devices. But if one is still active (say you just turned it on to watch something) then minimum pass-through power is enabled.

If only our friends at Smyth had been so thoughtful.

HDMI-through.jpg
 
Last edited:
Jan 8, 2022 at 11:35 PM Post #12,954 of 14,324

arnaud

Stax and Sushi
Joined
Nov 26, 2002
Posts
2,994
Likes
1,486
To support DolbyVision to the TV (LG C9 OLED), all my sources go to the AVR and then I take the output of the AVR and run it through a 4K splitter, with one output feeding the TV, and the other feeding the A16 with a 1080p down-res of the stream so it can perform audio processing via HDMI1.

Works great, no problems with DV, and I get Atmos via the AVR or the A16.

My AVR (Denon X3600H) has a feature whereby the last selected input is routed to the output when in standby, so using the A16 does not require the AVR to be on.

I did not realize the A16 passthrough doesn’t support dolby vision. What you found here is a way to keep hdr/dolby vision feed to the tv while passing the atmos/dt-x soundtrack to the a16 from a source with a single hdmi out, is that right?

I’m using a uhd player with 2 hdmi outs (to tv and to a16) so not facing issue with that but I can’t get atmos from apple tv app on the tv (no earc and such to output atmos back to a16), nor do I have an atv app available on the uhd player so I’ve been just giving up on apple tv uhd content really.

Now that I’ve ordered your splitter, I think it’d make sense to get an atk4 and use that for apple tv, netflix and other streaming content as I’m hoping I will then be able to make use of the hdmi splitter to realize the same functionality as the dual hdmi output of my uhd player!

cheers,
arnaud
 
Jan 9, 2022 at 10:17 AM Post #12,955 of 14,324

dsperber

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Posts
746
Likes
262
I did not realize the A16 passthrough doesn’t support dolby vision. What you found here is a way to keep hdr/dolby vision feed to the tv while passing the atmos/dt-x soundtrack to the a16 from a source with a single hdmi out, is that right?
I don't believe this is correct.

My current stable configuration is to pass all four of my sources through the A16, into HDMI1-4 and HDMI out to a single input on my AVR. Then the AVR feeds HDMI out to my TV. All sources are capable of delivering Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, subject to the apps or devices completing the requisite HDMI handshakes satisfactorily. Otherwise I might see 5.1 instead of DA, or UHD instead of DV, etc. I do not. I see DV+DA whenever the source can deliver that option.

And the LG OLED TV "lights up " its "Dolby Vision" badge when receiving DV video, which is always.

I am 100% certain the A16 in ordinary mode passes received DV source video out its HDMI feed to the AVR, such that the TV fed from the AVR will receive DV video as well.

And of course at the same time, the input source with DA audio into the A16 is processed properly by the A16 to feed the headphones.

I don't think the splitter-based alternate cable topology being discussed (with splitter placed after the HDMI-output of the AVR, one 4K-side feeding the TV and the other 1080p-side feeding the A16) is due to DV/DA consideration. It's just that one split output only cares about audio, hence DA. And the other split output only cares about video, hence DV.

The splitter is not critical to delivering DV+DA from the HDMI output of the AVR, which is truly what it always is putting out because the source delivered it to the HDMI inputs of the AVR. And passing it through the A16 with a single un-split cable would also work perfectly, with DA seen and handled by the A16 and DV seen and handled by the TV (from the pass-through HDMI output of the A16). But the use of the splitter affords very convenient operational advantages over the single cable through-the-A16 design, allowing the A16 to be powered off (and NOT with its clumsy new "HDMI pass-through" enabled, because it is a "dead end" in the cabling) when you don't want to listen to headphones.
 
Jan 11, 2022 at 4:39 PM Post #12,956 of 14,324

jaykay1967

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Apr 24, 2014
Posts
112
Likes
84
Folks, are Smyth still shipping A16 units to backers?

James is not replying to messages since early December. Despite asking a few times in the past James has never confirmed the number of my place in the queue.

I ordered via the website and paid in late 2017.

Just a sign that i will receive a unit in 2022 is all I am asking.
 
Jan 11, 2022 at 4:59 PM Post #12,957 of 14,324

JonFo

Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 17, 2020
Posts
60
Likes
46
Location
Atlanta, GA
I did not realize the A16 passthrough doesn’t support dolby vision. What you found here is a way to keep hdr/dolby vision feed to the tv while passing the atmos/dt-x soundtrack to the a16 from a source with a single hdmi out, is that right?

I’m using a uhd player with 2 hdmi outs (to tv and to a16) so not facing issue with that but I can’t get atmos from apple tv app on the tv (no earc and such to output atmos back to a16), nor do I have an atv app available on the uhd player so I’ve been just giving up on apple tv uhd content really.

Now that I’ve ordered your splitter, I think it’d make sense to get an atk4 and use that for apple tv, netflix and other streaming content as I’m hoping I will then be able to make use of the hdmi splitter to realize the same functionality as the dual hdmi output of my uhd player!

I wanted the most reliable link to my LG C9 OLED, so going through the A16 seemed risky (from a stability standpoint, and also usability) so the splitter seemed like the easy answer, and it sure has been. And yes, a single out from the AVR supports all my sources, and works for AVR listening OR A16. Basically, the AVR is the switcher.

FYI- I do not use apps on the LG, as the networking (wired) and app quality is sub-par, I've yet to see a TV have as good a quality App implementation as the ATV. I have all the set-tops, ATV4K, Shield Pro, FireTV 4K, and 99% of my usage is the ATV4K (wired), and all content streams in max quality with zero interruptions. DV works like a charm, you will not regret that purchase.

In my setup, the Panasonic 820 UHD player feeds the avr, and UHD/DV + Atmos is great, whether I use the AVR or A16 for audio.
 
Jan 11, 2022 at 5:16 PM Post #12,958 of 14,324

Camano

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 23, 2018
Posts
108
Likes
53
Location
WA, USA
Folks, are Smyth still shipping A16 units to backers?

James is not replying to messages since early December. Despite asking a few times in the past James has never confirmed the number of my place in the queue.

I ordered via the website and paid in late 2017.

Just a sign that i will receive a unit in 2022 is all I am asking.
While Smyth says they intend to fulfill all kickstarter and preorders, they haven't shipped any to these folks in more than a year. You might be able to upgrade your preorder to full price to get one.

The last word from James is that some parts are now backordered up to 52 weeks.

So no, don't expect you're get yours this year.
 
Jan 13, 2022 at 6:55 PM Post #12,959 of 14,324

jaykay1967

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Apr 24, 2014
Posts
112
Likes
84
While Smyth says they intend to fulfill all kickstarter and preorders, they haven't shipped any to these folks in more than a year. You might be able to upgrade your preorder to full price to get one.

The last word from James is that some parts are now backordered up to 52 weeks.

So no, don't expect you're get yours this year.
Thanks for response. I'll try james again
 
Jan 14, 2022 at 12:28 AM Post #12,960 of 14,324

Sanctuary

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 19, 2011
Posts
445
Likes
86
While Smyth says they intend to fulfill all kickstarter and preorders, they haven't shipped any to these folks in more than a year. You might be able to upgrade your preorder to full price to get one.

The last word from James is that some parts are now backordered up to 52 weeks.

So no, don't expect you're get yours this year.

Sigh. Just can't win with this company. Could have paid full price two years ago, but instead decided to wait another year, expecting the slowest moving train in existence to finally pick up some speed, only for setback after setback after setback to happen. When I finally decide to just bite the bullet and pay the difference from my pre-order, it turns out I'll have just wait yet another year anyway. Unless they actually have a few units just sitting around waiting to be sold at full price, but I doubt it.
 
Last edited:

Users who are viewing this thread

Top