Troubleshooting audio dropouts over ARC on 40ft run - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 7 Old 09-15-2017, 07:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Troubleshooting audio dropouts over ARC on 40ft run

Trying to resolve this issue I've been having and not 100% sure of the culprit but willing to try some inexpensive options to sor it out.

Current setup is fairly basic.

Sony Bravia X700D
Onkyo HT-R390 receiver
40ft Monoprice HDMI cable

Primary media consumption is all on the TV itself using its own apps. Full use of HDMI-CEC and ARC back to the receiver. All I have on the other end of the receiver is a Steam Link with low use and a Dreamcast going through a VGA-HDMI adapter.

What I am running into is that no matter the application on the TV it will drop the audio out for a brief moment every so often. Hard to nail down the exact interval. This is on everything from Live Channels (pulls in HDHomeRun Prime channels, bit-streams audio), Plex, Netflix, and Amazon. The Steam Link and Dreamcast are flawless however and are going straight to the AVR.

My first thought is possibly a marginal signal on the HDMI cable. Considered trying to get an HDMI extender but not having any luck finding a device that is confirmed to be compatible with CEC/ARC. Optical audio is also an option but would need an equally long cable. The 40ft HDMI has about 1-2ft of slack and the only other routing option is straight down the middle of a high traffic floor.

Getting an alternative source device is also problematic:
a) I prefer Android TV devices. That limits me to basically the Shield TV and the Mi Box for 4k. The former is prohibitively expensive.
b) The AVR is also 1080p only, requiring an upgrade if going to a 4k media player.

Thoughts?

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post #2 of 7 Old 09-15-2017, 09:45 PM
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Disable ARC/CEC on all your connected devices and see if that works. ARC/CEC is a nice idea but is poorly implemented across mfrs. A lot of folks just use an optical out from the tv to the avr for SmartApps and use a Harmony remote for total HTS control. ARC and optical are both limited to 5.1 audio so you're not losing anything. 40' is a bit long even for 1080p but problematic for 4K and 4K HDR.
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post #3 of 7 Old 09-16-2017, 06:12 PM - Thread Starter
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I'll try and bypass ARC. I went and bought a 40ft Toslink cable from Monoprice and will give it a go. Should have it mid-week next week. Pretty cheap option. I'm keeping CEC though. Never had a problem with it even with our last TV for remote control/power control stuff over the same 40ft HDMI. I'd rather not have to drop significant money down on a Harmony remote at this point.

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post #4 of 7 Old 09-16-2017, 07:08 PM
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Good luck with CEC. Quite often it is associated with ARC, so disabling one disables the other. CEC is a major pain the in *ss. Nice idea but there are no standards that the mfrs have to follow so they can do whatever they want. Standardization is supposed to happen with HDMI 2.1 (CEC Extensions) but until the various mfrs adopt that, you're screwed. An optical cable will work just fine for sending audio from your tv to the avr. However, you still need to select the source. Again, ARC and optical still send the same audio. The only advantage of ARC is that you can eliminate an extra cable.
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post #5 of 7 Old 09-20-2017, 12:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Got the toslink cable today. So far so good. One of the easily repeatable scenarios to cause the audio to chop is simply changing the volume (via the TV, controlling the AVR over CEC). Not happening this time around. Will be able to confirm later tonight during more extended viewing.

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post #6 of 7 Old 10-06-2017, 09:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Otto Pylot View Post
Good luck with CEC. Quite often it is associated with ARC, so disabling one disables the other. CEC is a major pain the in *ss. Nice idea but there are no standards that the mfrs have to follow so they can do whatever they want. Standardization is supposed to happen with HDMI 2.1 (CEC Extensions) but until the various mfrs adopt that, you're screwed. An optical cable will work just fine for sending audio from your tv to the avr. However, you still need to select the source. Again, ARC and optical still send the same audio. The only advantage of ARC is that you can eliminate an extra cable.
Just wanted to post a more long term update. The Toslink cable has solved the issue. Still using CEC for the remote functions but have ARC disabled. Haven't had any audio dropouts since.

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post #7 of 7 Old 10-07-2017, 08:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vchat20 View Post
Just wanted to post a more long term update. The Toslink cable has solved the issue. Still using CEC for the remote functions but have ARC disabled. Haven't had any audio dropouts since.
A lot of devices don't allow you to separate ARC for CEC so it's either all or none. Glad yours does because that can make life a bit easier. Good luck.
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