Axiim Q WiSA-compliant wireless AVR - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 133 Old 01-18-2016, 11:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Axiim Q WiSA-compliant wireless AVR

After much deliberation, I recently purchased an Axiim Q wireless AVR (as part of a 5.1 WiSA home theater bundle). I got everything set up yesterday, and so far I’m super impressed (configuration was dead simple, and it sounds awesome).

Since it looks like nobody’s started an Axiim thread yet, I figured I’d do the honors. I’ll try to keep the FAQ updated as time goes by.
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Last edited by spiralOut; 01-18-2016 at 11:42 PM.
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post #2 of 133 Old 01-18-2016, 11:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Faq

What is the Axiim Q?

The Axiim Q is, as far as I can tell, the first WiSA-based wireless AVR to reach market. Full specs and features are available on the Axiim web site, but here are some highlights:

  • 6-input HDMI switching (1080p).
  • 7.1 channel wireless audio output to any WiSA-compliant speakers from any manufacturer.
  • HDMI CEC support that actually works (unlike many other supposedly CEC-capable devices I've owned in the past).
  • Gorgeous, responsive UI for configuration, input switching, etc. Far nicer looking and more intuitive than anything I’ve used on previous receivers (Onkyo, Yamaha, etc.).
  • Ethernet and Wi-Fi connectivity for updated background images, Wi-Fi direct audio streaming, etc.
  • A fully-featured remote smartphone app (iOS/Android) that doesn't appear to be an afterthought like so many other marketing bullet-point apps. The Q is also completely controllable via IR and is compatible with Logitech Harmony remotes (I personally use it via a Harmony Elite).
  • One-click firmware updates for both the receiver and the wireless speakers.

What’s WiSA?

In short, WiSA is a wireless audio standard that doesn’t suck. Here’s the official pitch from the WiSA Association web site:

Quote:
WiSA technology transmits 24-bit audio at sample rates up to 96k/second, with robust error recovery for uninterrupted listening enjoyment. With extremely low latency and negligible speaker-to-speaker delay, it offers flawless wired-quality performance and reliability.

WiSA technology operates in the relatively unused 5.2 to 5.8 GHz UNII radio frequency spectrum, reliably transmitting uncompressed HD audio from 2-channel stereo to 7.1 surround, along with system configuration and calibration data. Older wireless technologies, by contrast, operate in the same crowded frequency band used by cordless phones, baby monitors, security monitors, wireless Internet hubs, and microwaves—resulting in interference and poor quality audio.

The WiSA Association was created to provide an interoperability compliance program for speaker brands and manufacturers of CE devices. Consumers purchasing products bearing the WiSA logo can be confident that these products will work together flawlessly in the home theater environment. This level of compliance is especially critical for new and emerging technologies such as wireless audio.
Can I buy the Axiim Q AVR standalone?

Currently, it appears that the Q can only be purchased as part of a 5.1 or 7.1 home theater bundle. However, the web site notes that "all items will be available individually in the future".

The Q looks a lot smaller than most AVRs. What gives?

Because the amplifiers are in the WiSA speakers themselves, the Q can have a much smaller footprint than a traditional AVR.

So you don't need any wires running to WiSA speakers?

I wish! With the Axiim Q, you don't need to run any wires from the receiver to the speakers, but each speaker does need to be plugged into a standard wall outlet. This is necessary to power the per-channel amp that's housed inside each WiSA speaker.

Is the UI any good?

I think it's pretty slick, but judge for yourself. Here's a quick video walk-through:

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Last edited by spiralOut; 01-29-2016 at 10:03 PM.
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post #3 of 133 Old 01-18-2016, 11:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Firmware Changelists

Axiim ships frequent updates to users who opt into their beta program by toggling "Beta" in Settings > More > Updates. After they've had time to bake, these changes are eventually released to the stable channel.

I'm opted into the beta, so I'll keep a best-effort log of the updates I'm offered:

16.331.318 (March 31, 2016)
------------------------------------------------
  • Support for Bluetooth headphones/speakers
  • Improved music screensaver
  • Bug fixes

16.328.2157 (March 28, 2016)
------------------------------------------------
  • Bug fixes
  • Better bass management
  • Screensaver for Bluetooth audio and music

16.317.427 (March 17, 2016)
------------------------------------------------
  • Improved speaker discovery
  • Improved navigation
  • Bug fixes

16.312.1638 (March 12, 2016)
------------------------------------------------
  • Improvements to waking up CEC-enabled devices via remote
  • Bug fixes

16.305.1501 (March 5, 2016)
------------------------------------------------
  • Audio return channel (ARC) improvements.

16.216.956 (February 16, 2016)
------------------------------------------------
  • Bug fixes

16.205.1932 (February 5, 2016)
------------------------------------------------
  • Bug fixes
  • Improved input device compatibility

16.127.1456 (January 27, 2016)
------------------------------------------------
  • Bug fixes
  • Better feature descriptions
  • Update notifications

16.121.1617 (January 21, 2016)
------------------------------------------------
  • Bug fixes
  • Improved speaker sound

16.115.2203 (January 15, 2016)
------------------------------------------------
  • Bug fixes
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Last edited by spiralOut; 04-03-2016 at 01:03 PM.
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post #4 of 133 Old 01-18-2016, 11:28 PM - Thread Starter
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My Impressions

First, some pictures. Here's the Q sitting on top of an Xbox One (and next to a TiVo Mini) to give you a sense of its size. Compared to a traditional AVR, it's tiny!



Here's the back of the Q:



Center channel speaker (XM.4211CS):



Surround speaker (XM.4111SS):



Here's the back of the center channel speaker (note that there are no speaker posts - just an input for the power cable):



Getting set up is dead simple:



And finally, here's a shot of my theater. Thanks to WiSA, I didn't need to cut a ton of holes in my new cabinets to route speaker wire (only needed a couple to route power):

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Last edited by spiralOut; 01-19-2016 at 01:01 AM.
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post #5 of 133 Old 01-20-2016, 06:40 AM
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Hi @spiralOut , thanks for making this thread! I'm part of the axiim team. Let me know if you have any questions, glad to help.
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post #6 of 133 Old 01-20-2016, 10:53 AM
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Looks really nice! Thanks for sharing the pictures.
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post #7 of 133 Old 01-22-2016, 05:48 PM
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After hearing about Axiim and what they were building, it wasn't a hard sell. I wanted to reduce the number of wires in my condo and place speakers in locations that would have resulted in having to run a lot of speaker cable. Luckily I have no shortage of AC outlets so placing the speakers was easy.

spiralOut has gone over a lot of the key features of the Q, so I'll go over some of the reasons why I decided to get one:

1. WIRELESS! - Using the WiSA standard, the Q provides great wireless audio with audio/visual sync with no lag and no popping or dropouts.

2. Small AVR footprint - The Q is replaced an aging Onkyo TX-SR606 which served me well for many years but began to suffer from from image degradation and some other issues. Like most other receivers, the Onkyo was a boat anchor and generated a great deal of heat. The Q solved this by providing a sufficient number of HDMI inputs in a small package.

3. Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) - Often referred to as the "hidden feature" of newer HDMI systems, the Q supports CEC. This has allowed me to control my PS4 directly from the Q remote (either via the provided remote or using the iOS/Android app). The PS4 and other CEC compliant devices can actually be turned on by simply selecting their input from the Q menu. When I first heard about this feature I didn't really get it, but after using it for a few weeks, I can't live without it. It's pretty nice being able to navigate Netflix/Hulu/HBO Go from my phone without having to reach for the PS4 controller that has since idled off.

4. Bluetooth - It's great walking into my living room and being able connect my phone to the Q using bluetooth and playing music and podcasts from the system.

Will post some screenshots of the iOS app below at some point.
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post #8 of 133 Old 01-22-2016, 07:02 PM
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Almost all receivers have cec and bluetooth now. The wireless part is the difference.
Looks like competition for Bose stuff. Four inch woofers=ho hum.
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post #9 of 133 Old 01-22-2016, 10:43 PM - Thread Starter
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I've added a quick UI walk-through at the beginning of the thread.

@babgvant: your handle seemed strangely familiar. It took me a long second, but then I realized that you're the DVRMSToolbox guy. Please accept a ten-years-belated thank you - you helped me skip a lot of commercials in Media Center back in the day!
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post #10 of 133 Old 01-23-2016, 08:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kikkenit2 View Post
Almost all receivers have cec and bluetooth now. The wireless part is the difference.
Looks like competition for Bose stuff. Four inch woofers=ho hum.
WiSA is the main difference, but don't write-off the Axiim's CEC implementation. Personally, I think that it could be one of the main reasons why you'd want to get it over an other WiSA AVR (and potentially other AVR as well).

I am a huge advocate of CEC. It has so much potential, but so many A/V OEMs don't implement it properly or only test it with their kit. When it works, it's like magic, but when it doesn't it's so, incredibly frustrating! In my setup I have to leave it enabled because of an issue with my TV and AVR, where the TV in OTA modes always ends up the selected input (even though I don't have an antenna attached to the TV).
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post #11 of 133 Old 01-25-2016, 08:40 AM
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The iOS app provides substantial functionality and basically supplants the remote control provided by Axiim. Here are some screenshots of the app and uses.


The app home screen provides immediate control of key features. Volume throttle and mute being the ones most used. The play/pause and forward/reverse buttons provide CEC control:





Selecting the "4-box" button in the previous menu brings up some additional controls. Here you can turn off the Q, channel audio currently being played by the Q directly to the phone. You can still hear what's going on in the bathroom! The four colored buttons provide programmable shortcuts. As an example, I have two of them assigned to selecting specific input sources. Another is assigned to the "Party Mode" feature which sends all channels to all speakers. These four colored buttons are also provided on the Axiim Q remote:





The touch pad interface option lets you use gestures to navigate the Q AVR menus:





The input interface option provides an easy way to select available inputs:


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post #12 of 133 Old 01-29-2016, 10:15 PM - Thread Starter
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There were a couple of interesting firmware updates on the beta channel this week. 16.121.1617 is the first update I've seen that includes a bundled wireless speaker firmware update - it took a while longer (maybe an extra minute per speaker?), but the process didn't require any extra user input and went smoothly.

I'm not sure I've noticed any "improved speaker sound" (they sounded good to me before the update), but cool to know that this is even possible.
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post #13 of 133 Old 01-30-2016, 05:05 PM
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spiralOut - I got the update the other day as well and was surprised to see the speakers getting updated. That's pretty cool. I took a shot with my phone since I don't expect to see it very often. My front left speaker had finished updating by the time I thought to take a picture:

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post #14 of 133 Old 02-01-2016, 04:02 AM
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So with all the most recent receivers in the market today having 4K support and with the prices of 4K TVs dropping into the more 'affordable' ranges, does anyone know if Axiim support 4K?
It would only make sense that it did no? But I can't find any information regarding any mention of it on their site. For the price they're putting at 'retail' ~ $3000+, I would hope it would
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post #15 of 133 Old 02-11-2016, 01:05 AM - Thread Starter
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As far as I can tell, the Q does NOT support 4K (although I don't have a 4K source to confirm). I fretted about this for a while before I purchased, but then I decided that one of the following would be true in a couple years when I actually need 4K support:

  1. The Q supported 4K all along and it just wasn't documented (probably not very likely ).
  2. Axiim added 4K support to the Q via a firmware update (this doesn't seem all that implausible given the current rate of substantial firmware releases).
  3. I buy a new, 4K-capable WiSA receiver (but my speaker investment is still good because WiSA). If there were a "Q+" by then, I'd hope that Axiim would make it relatively painless for loyal Q owners to upgrade. And if not, presumably by then, there'll be a lot more receiver options on the market.
  4. I buy a basic, 4K-capable HDMI switch and HDMI splitter and put them between my devices and my Q (and use the Q for audio only). HDMI switches are pretty cheap - I can imagine this being a <$100 proposition in 2018.

In the end, I decided I'd be able to figure out something reasonably palatable.
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post #16 of 133 Old 02-11-2016, 01:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spiralOut View Post
As far as I can tell, the Q does NOT support 4K (although I don't have a 4K source to confirm). I fretted about this for a while before I purchased, but then I decided that one of the following would be true in a couple years when I actually need 4K support:

  1. The Q supported 4K all along and it just wasn't documented (probably not very likely ).
  2. Axiim added 4K support to the Q via a firmware update (this doesn't seem all that implausible given the current rate of substantial firmware releases).
  3. I buy a new, 4K-capable WiSA receiver (but my speaker investment is still good because WiSA). If there were a "Q+" by then, I'd hope that Axiim would make it relatively painless for loyal Q owners to upgrade. And if not, presumably by then, there'll be a lot more receiver options on the market.
  4. I buy a basic, 4K-capable HDMI switch and HDMI splitter and put them between my devices and my Q (and use the Q for audio only). HDMI switches are pretty cheap - I can imagine this being a <$100 proposition in 2018.

In the end, I decided I'd be able to figure out something reasonably palatable.
5. Plug the 4K source directly into the 4K display and use ARC to push audio to the Q.

HDMI-CEC should allow the Q to enumerate and control devices attached anywhere on the bus's topology. So in theory it could list the devices attached to the display and select them.
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post #17 of 133 Old 02-11-2016, 07:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by babgvant View Post
5. Plug the 4K source directly into the 4K display and use ARC to push audio to the Q.

HDMI-CEC should allow the Q to enumerate and control devices attached anywhere on the bus's topology. So in theory it could list the devices attached to the display and select them.
I like the fact that axiim built in Web-based upgrades/support via ethernet or Wifi on the hub - as opposed to Klipsch with USB-stick based upgrades.

Seems like a very basic item in todays market- Even if they (klipsch) are offfering 'one free HW upgraded' at some point down the road.
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post #18 of 133 Old 02-11-2016, 07:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by babgvant View Post
5. Plug the 4K source directly into the 4K display and use ARC to push audio to the Q.

HDMI-CEC should allow the Q to enumerate and control devices attached anywhere on the bus's topology. So in theory it could list the devices attached to the display and select them.
We currently do not show CEC devices plugged into the TV in our Input list but we've discussed adding and depending on beta feedback will add it.
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post #19 of 133 Old 02-19-2016, 12:47 AM
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All,

I'm interested in trying the paid beta. But do have a few questions.

Will the system support HDR content sent into its hdmi inputs? This is probably the feature that l will be looking for in my next TV.

So 4K input is really not supported? I'm not chomping at the bit for 4K as the difference between it and 1080p isn't all that special for my tv sizes and viewing distances. With that said because I will be getting a tv with HDR support it most certainly will be a 4K tv. This seems to shorten the shelf life of a receiver that's not even fully out yet.

How long will the Beta (and its associated pricing) be scheduled to last? Will the price really DOUBLE and increase to $3100?
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post #20 of 133 Old 02-26-2016, 07:51 PM
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Hi @gustovier , we are a HDMI 1.4a device so HDR is not supported. HDR requires HDMI 2.0a.

@babgvant Did a first look of the axiim Q over at Missing Remote http://www.missingremote.com/review/...theater-system

And htguys ( @arad and ?) did a podcast about axiim Q: http://www.htguys.com/podcasts/2016/...er-system.html

Check them both out when you can, they help answer some questions on the axiim Q.

At this time we do not know how long the beta will last. We have had very helpful feedback from customers and have strived to fix any issues reported as quickly as possible.
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post #21 of 133 Old 02-28-2016, 01:02 PM
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I just saw the missingremote review today, which is kind of ironic, since just last night I removed everything from my TV entertainement setup and was trying to figure out what to do with the craziness of wires I have going everywhere. Now I'm really interested in the Axiim Q setup, and love the fact that they spent considerable time on proper CEC control (so many device have such halfassed implementations of CEC).

Quick question for those that have the system. Will a device, such as Android TV, wake the Q, along with the TV? Right now I have a Marantz NR1602 AVR, and with my whole system off, if pick up my shield TV remote and hit some buttons, it will turn on my Samsung TV, but not AVR, which is a PITA. Samsung decided not to allow their TVs (at least on my UN55D8000) to automatically turn on CEC devices. They make you go through a bunch of menu's on their TV to manually toggle CEC devices. So to clarify, can the complete system (TV, AVR) be woken by an Android TV device's remote?
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Yes, axiim Q fully supports One Touch Play and Standby Control via CEC. So from our perspective it is possible. That said, not all TVs support it. For instance, Samsung TVs if you have Energy Saving mode enabled the TV will eventually go into deep sleep which does not allow itself to be turned back on via CEC.

I don't have a Shield to test against but I suspect you'd have no issues but if you did we can resolve.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikinho View Post
Yes, axiim Q fully supports One Touch Play and Standby Control via CEC. So from our perspective it is possible. That said, not all TVs support it. For instance, Samsung TVs if you have Energy Saving mode enabled the TV will eventually go into deep sleep which does not allow itself to be turned back on via CEC.

I don't have a Shield to test against but I suspect you'd have no issues but if you did we can resolve.
I'm pretty close to ordering a setup... I'll be surprised if I make it through the day without hitting the checkout button.

Are there any plans to show current audio mode on the overlay for current content that is playing? For example; on a traditional AVR you'd have your DTS,DD,DD+, PCM, surround sound modes, ect, displayed on the front of the unit. I think it's good to have this info readily visible, and since the Q has no display or notification lights, it would be nice to see such info in the overlay.

edit: Also, is the Q name in memory for the Ceton Q that never was?

Last edited by Diverge; 02-29-2016 at 06:06 AM.
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post #24 of 133 Old 02-29-2016, 06:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diverge View Post
Are there any plans to show current audio mode on the overlay for current content that is playing? For example; on a traditional AVR you'd have your DTS,DD,DD+, PCM, surround sound modes, ect, displayed on the front of the unit. I think it's good to have this info readily visible, and since the Q has no display or notification lights, it would be nice to see such info in the overlay.
Right now if you pull up any menu next to the clock you will see either a DTS or Dolby icon depending on the source. We do not have an icon for PCM or to differentiate between different levels of DTS or Dobly but we can absolutely add that.
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Well I didn't last too long, placed an order within 2 hours of being at work
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikinho View Post
Right now if you pull up any menu next to the clock you will see either a DTS or Dolby icon depending on the source. We do not have an icon for PCM or to differentiate between different levels of DTS or Dobly but we can absolutely add that.
It would be awesome if more detailed format info was exposed in the app as well.
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@mikinho

The AVR (Q) has gigabit ethernet, and wireless AC; what does it use the connection for, just firmware updates?
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post #28 of 133 Old 02-29-2016, 08:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by babgvant View Post
5. Plug the 4K source directly into the 4K display and use ARC to push audio to the Q.

HDMI-CEC should allow the Q to enumerate and control devices attached anywhere on the bus's topology. So in theory it could list the devices attached to the display and select them.
Are current TV's better than the past ones, where most only support >stereo out over ARC when the content originates from the TV itself (smart TV apps, ect), and limit HDMI inputs to stereo?

I know that is how it is on my samsung UN55D8000. And at the time I bought it, most TV's were similar. I'm not really interested in 4K, just curious how ARC is implemented in new TVs, compared to 5 years ago.
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post #29 of 133 Old 02-29-2016, 08:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diverge View Post
Are current TV's better than the past ones, where most only support >stereo out over ARC when the content originates from the TV itself (smart TV apps, ect), and limit HDMI inputs to stereo?

I know that is how it is on my samsung UN55D8000. And at the time I bought it, most TV's were similar. I'm not really interested in 4K, just curious how ARC is implemented in new TVs, compared to 5 years ago.
ARC is limited to the same formats as S/PDIF. So lossy compressed formats (DD, DTS) and stereo PCM. AFAIK, some TVs will not pass through the lossy formats, but I'm not sure how widespread that is.
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post #30 of 133 Old 02-29-2016, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Diverge View Post
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The AVR (Q) has gigabit ethernet, and wireless AC; what does it use the connection for, just firmware updates?
Firmware updates and mobile TCP\IP control of the Q.
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