Input lag from receivers? - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 11 Old 01-15-2013, 06:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey, gamer here with a low tolerance from input lag - I'm switching for a zero frame delay CRT RPTV to a plasma with a frame or two of input lag. This on its own is going to be a huge adjustment for me, but I'm also hoping to run the Xbox 360's HDMI through a receiver (Harman Kardon AVR1700) and I'm wondering if receivers will cause any additional lag, and, if so, how much? Sure, I could hook the Xbox up to the TV directly, but that sort of defeats the whole purpose of getting a receiver and having only one cable running up the wall to the TV.

Thanks for any info!
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post #2 of 11 Old 01-29-2013, 08:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Bump. Anyone own a Harman Kardon AVR 1700 and willing to test?
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post #3 of 11 Old 01-29-2013, 03:09 PM
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Good question and something I pondered greatly after changing from a CRT RPTV to a 3D LED a year ago. I too now run HDMI through a receiver, mainly to get the 7.1 audio from HDMI instead of having to go the optical route. I do have the cable box with a 2nd HDMI cable direct to the TV and then optical to the receiver for it. That makes it much more wife friendly as she is able to watch cable HD channels without having to use the receiver.

I haven't been able to find concrete measurements of how many ms of lag that a receiver will add, but I did find several settings that seemd to add lag. My receiver isn't the same brand, but let's take the 1000 foot view and generalize on features.

1. Receiver - audio delay. I keep this at 0ms so the receiver doesn't delay either the audio or video.
2. Receiver - HDMI CEC. IMHO I have less lip sync issues on the TV when I shut off the HDMI CEC on both the TV and the receiver.
3. TV - HDMI CEC. Turned it off.
4. TV - input mode - name the input to either "PC" or "Game" (as opposed to Blu-Ray etc)
5. TV - AV mode - also set it to "Game"
6. TV - turn off ALL processing. (120 Hz off. dynamic white off, auto-energy modes off, etc)


The receiver has a win7 PC, Blu-ray player and Game console HDMI connected. Lag was most measurable when using the win7 system and moving the mouse. If the TV's input mode lable is set to "Blu-Ray", I can move the mouse in a circle and take my hand off and then watch the pointer draw a circle on the screen. Setting input mode to "PC" I can draw the circle and not be bothered by it.
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post #4 of 11 Old 01-31-2013, 02:41 PM
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I'm a heavy gamer and my Sony receiver adds lag, its a lower end Sony with 7.1 and I'm unsure of the model. I don't know how to measure the lag but its noticeable as I play Uncharted 3. What I've done is route the HDMI cable from PS3 direct to my Sony KDL 52NX800. Then from the TV to the receiver via optical cable and live with the 5.1.

For watching movies, I unplug the PS3 HDMI cable and plug in another HDMI cable routed over to receiver, then HDMI from receiver to TV.

So due to lag, I run my system wired one way for gaming and another for movies.

I would love a lag free, 7.1 audio, 65" minimum HDTV gaming system and would pay substantial if available, but it's not.

Maybe higher end receivers don't lag but I doubt it.
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post #5 of 11 Old 11-24-2013, 09:05 PM
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This is quite frustrating that this is the case with 7.1 gaming!

Why even own a system like this if it's more of a pain to gain 2 extra channels. I am regretting my 7.1 purchase now.

Would a hdmi switch device solve the constant plugging / unplugging of the ps3 hdmi? I believe a splitter would degrade the sound, but a switch might not? not too sure about that.
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post #6 of 11 Old 01-20-2014, 11:29 PM
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Same dilemma here, I have my Xb1 which I game with, and a Marantz that used to connect both my HTPC and console via HDMI to my receiver, acting as a switch. What I've done now instead is just run a direct HDMI cable from both sources to the two HDMI inputs on my projector (I game from both), and use the 5.1 via optical on both my HTPC and Xb1. I think 7.1 is really not a very substantial difference anyway, and optical to my receiver directly allows me to listen to music while playing games, or even having the projector off when I'm gettin busy in the other room, if you know what I mean har har. HDMI for audio basically sucks because you lose the audio signal if you shut off the downstream TV or Display. 5.1 Optical is more than good enough, and though I agree it's a bit more tiresome to switch between sources like this, I really think receivers should only do audio, and you should have a direct connect to your display from your source, if you are hardcore.

I also sometimes wonder if a certified low-lag HDMI switch would work, but what it really requires is signal duplication, so the receiver gets the audio, and the TV or projector gets the videofeed, but HDMI doesn't actually work that way, your source will see the TV or Projector's built-in audio capability as 2.0 channels, and that will take precedence over the 7.1 that your receiver is capable of.

I looked up tons of switches that could accomplish splitting out the 7.1 audio into its own HDMI feed, while keeping the source funnelled to my projector directly, however it won't work due to the HDMI spec. E.g. I had my PS3 outputting 3D stereo, but my receiver wouldn't pass both 3D and audio at the same time, due to it being HDMI 1.3 and my receiver only being HDMI 1.3. So even with an HDMI 1.4 switch, capable of passing through 3D + 7.1, it still wouldn't work, because the lowest common denominator of your downstream device capabilities is the one that gets sent back to your original source. Meaning, in your case, even with a switch or a splitter, your TV's 2.0 channels of audio will tell the switch it can do 2.0, and that will combine with the 7.1 capability from your receiver to tell the console or HTPC, sorry dude, you only have 2.0 channels of audio, have fun!

HDMI = worse POS spec ever. Whoever designed it should be dragged out into the street and shot. As it is, if I want to watch a 3D movie with surround sound, I have to use optical and the 3D directly to my projector, even if I bought an expensive HDMI splitter or switch, it wouldn't pass through 1.4 3D to my projector and the 7.1 audio to my receiver, because my receiver doesn't support HDMI 1.4 and the signals are different. When I look at the audio output on my HTPC, if I plug it directly into my PJ to do some 3D, I can only play back 2.0 channels, so I have to use optical.

They really need a new optical spec for 11.2 channels at 24/96 or even just 16 / 48 (more than good enough for human hearing). That's why I say screw receivers, just wait for WISA speakers with 7.1 24 /96 uncompressed with no lag, directly from your source transmitter (with lots of direct inputs), and say goodbye to receivers.
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post #7 of 11 Old 01-21-2014, 07:42 AM
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Timely post, we were just talking about this in the PS4 thread.

Not sure if we want to post settings here or start a separate thread, but I'll share what I found helpful with reducing lag using an Onkyo TX-NR616. Of course these options will vary for each receiver, but it doesn't hurt to poke around in the menus

1) Disable any automatic picture enhancement or video up-scaling settings: On the 616, this is under the Monitor Out settings. If using the main output, select 'Direct', which will disable picture enhancement and up-scaling

2) Enable 'Game Mode' if you have it: On the 616, this is under the picture adjustment menu. Select either 'Game' as the preset or select 'Custom' and set 'Game Mode' to 'On'

3) If you have dual hdmi outs, use the one that bypasses the image processor (if applicable): On the Onkyos, the 'sub' hdmi out doesn't benefit from the image processing chip enhancements. Set the Monitor out to either 'Sub' only (which means you'll lose the menu output to your display, you'll have to make all your adjustments on the receiver LED) or 'Both'. Use the sub output exclusively for gaming and you won't need to mess with the other settings.

I found that using either main with 'Direct' and game mode enabled or the sub hdmi out both significantly reduced lag on my onkyo.

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Instead of the usual 2 minutes, give her 5 minutes of nothing but that Jeep ecstasy. She will be exhausted and fall right to sleep. You are now free to play.

Thats what I do.

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post #8 of 11 Old 01-21-2014, 03:42 PM
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Can anyone comment on the Yahama RX-A2020 receiver and any inherent video processing lag? Yamaha says using the Video Direct Mode by passes processing completely and saves 2 frames/sec of latency due to processing. Link for that info...

Since I am running headphones for gaming on the PS4 most of the time, I could simply use the #2 HDMI input on my Sony VW90 projector and avoid the receiver all together. Thoughts?


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post #9 of 11 Old 01-22-2014, 07:59 AM
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I have a HK 1710 , XBOX One and Vizio 70" LED and have not really noticed any "lag"....however I do not play very many FPS which is where I think input lag would most matter.

What I did is XB1 -> AVR then both HDMI outs on the AVR to the HDMI1 and HDMI2 on the TV. On the TV HDMI2 is setup for "game mode"...i.e all the processing turned off, Game Mode turned on, etc. TV HDMI1 is setup for watching movies,etc.

Set the AVR lip sync to 0....disabled any auto-sync, CEC stuff on the TV.
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post #10 of 11 Old 01-22-2014, 11:55 AM
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As a long time gamer, I can very much understand the frustration of gaming lag. It is like the manufactures put us at the bottom of the list, sigh.

I've been lucky so far in not experiencing any lag but I also test my equipment after purchase to make sure no significant lag is introduced. Refer to this thread which has instructions on how to use your PC/Laptop to measure input lag:

By using your PC, you can individually test the various settings that impact the lag and see the results. So far my experience has been Vizio is solid with no delays. I have an Onkyo 709 which also hasn't caused any delays but an example of missing the bullet is my projector. Epson 8500UB, the 8500 series has no issues but the very next generation from Epson caused lots of lag for people. Very hit and miss with manufactures.
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post #11 of 11 Old Today, 07:37 PM
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Has anyone tried to measure receiver lag by loopback playback/record from a PC? Play a short test sound and simultaneously record it back using a microphone. I think a multichannel sound editor should do. Compare the playback/record delay of analog speakers connected directly to the PC versus going through the receiver, in various modes.
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