Are any HDMI reveivers adding lag? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 01-26-2008, 11:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Just curious if anyone's had any experience with this. If running an Xbox 360 or PS3 through your receiver over HDMI and outputting to an HDMI source, is there any lag added?

Just afraid to buy a receiver, and have it be useless because it makes my games unplayable!

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post #2 of 15 Old 08-21-2009, 11:17 AM
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post #3 of 15 Old 08-21-2009, 11:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tommyv2 View Post

Just curious if anyone's had any experience with this. If running an Xbox 360 or PS3 through your receiver over HDMI and outputting to an HDMI source, is there any lag added?

Just afraid to buy a receiver, and have it be useless because it makes my games unplayable!

As long as you are just passing the video through, not scaling it for example, the extra lag should be negligible. Most low end receivers can't scale HDMI video anyway, and the more expensive ones typically have a pass through option.

But you should also consider the audio lag going through a receiver. There will be some delay added to the sound, and it varies by model. It could easily be 30 or 40ms, and can be more. Usually it's no more than the video delay in your display, but in extreme cases it can be.
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post #4 of 15 Old 08-21-2009, 12:55 PM
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Plenty of lag issues without passing through an avr as well you know. Both audio and video.
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post #5 of 15 Old 08-21-2009, 01:08 PM
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Just bring up your Guitar Hero calibrator if you think it's the lag which is causing you to suck

"But this one goes up to 11"
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post #6 of 15 Old 08-21-2009, 01:46 PM
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Yeah that's it.. it's the lag causing me to suck!!!

You know with Guitar Hero, I was a professional guitarist for a couple of decades, I do much better with the sound off.
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post #7 of 15 Old 08-22-2009, 12:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelJHuman View Post

Just bring up your Guitar Hero calibrator if you think it's the lag which is causing you to suck

In fact, that is what I did with GH World Tour on my current Denon and this is my result.

With the video processing on and auto lip sync off, I get around 123ms for audio and 167ms for video.

With video processing off along with source direct passthrough and auto lipsync on I hit 0MS for audio and 76ms for the video. Why the still somewhat high delay on the video? I guess I would blame the TV display for I still got the same result by hooking the Xbox 360 directly to it, but with around 30ms added back to the audio part. Looks like the auto lip sync feature really does work as far as the Denon goes. This is just to rule out any possibility that doing pass through will still cause lag. I would also figure certain receivers will present more lag than others because when I had a Yamaha receiver, it did not present as much lag issues with my Rock Band game like my new Denon does now. With Rock Band, I averaged a respectable 5 to 15ms delay with the Yamaha and now I get a nasty over 115ms averages. I use the Playstation 3 for Rock Band, if that makes any difference. I have not tried the GHWT on the Yamaha since I got that game after I got the new Denon AVR. But, I suspect it would fair better on my older Yamaha. Don't get me wrong, I love my new Denon, but when it comes to music games, it is pure hell with it. It makes me want to snub the Yamaha back out of the closet just for that reason.
I still think the only way to get around the lag issue is to go old school and hook up everything analogwise to a CRT Tv display and run stereo audio to your receiver. I have noticed when looking at you tube videos, expert players are using analog tvs when playing GH or RB. But that makes sense when timing is critical when playing those type of games.
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post #8 of 15 Old 08-22-2009, 01:02 AM
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All very interesting. I have lag issues all the time, but I admit I have been too lazy to really analyze them in an attempt to assign blame.

Tivo often seems to lose audio/video sync. Is it in the shows, from Tivo's own VP, from my receiver's VP or my TV's VP?

My DVD player is the worst. I blame it on a poor HDMI implementation. Don't buy DVD players from Yamaha - I have had nothing but problems with this POS.

XBox on the other hand seems great. I would guess it's because you don't normally watch people talking on XBox - and if someone is talking during a cut scene, I usually am just wanting to get past it to get back to shooting or blowing up stuff ( who needs story lines?

A lot of receivers can't video process HDMI yet, so I would guess lag issues are generated at the source, or at the TV. There's no reason I can think to blame an AVR for lag, when does not appear to have an HDMI video processing.

For those receivers which can, it's certainly possible some are adding lag.

"But this one goes up to 11"
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post #9 of 15 Old 08-22-2009, 06:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyphrex View Post

In fact, that is what I did with GH World Tour on my current Denon and this is my result.

With the video processing on and auto lip sync off, I get around 123ms for audio and 167ms for video.

With video processing off along with source direct passthrough and auto lipsync on I hit 0MS for audio and 76ms for the video.

The only way to get close to 0ms for audio delay through a receiver is to use its direct mode (e.g. "Pure Direct" on Yamaha). It sounds like that's what you found on your Denon too. But that mode bypasses a lot of the useful features of the receiver, like bass management and equalization. As soon as you want the receiver to do any kind of audio processing then you'll see a significant delay, even if you only feed analog stereo to the receiver (because the stereo analog input gets digitized in the receiver so that it can be processed).

Even for non gamers this might be a problem, because receivers only give you the option to add extra audio delay, not video delay. There have been some cases with a low-lag display and a high-lag receiver where there's no way to get the sound perfectly in sync with the picture when watching a movie. This is pretty rare so far but more display are supporting a low-lag game mode which might turn out to be faster than the audio path through the receiver. It would be good if someone did more testing of receiver audio lag in different processing modes (with any extra lip sync delay forced to 0ms). This is something that you never see reported in equipment reviews, but it would be useful to know.
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post #10 of 15 Old 08-22-2009, 07:13 AM
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I've noticed on my RX-V1500 that different audio processing settings add different amounts of lag. Pure direct has the least (near 0ms), the "standard" modes add a little (10-20ms), and the more complex modes (especially THX) add an unusably large amount for games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band (150ms+).

Edit: By the way, the RX-V1500 is pre-HDMI and it still adds audio lag. HDMI receivers probably add both audio and video lag. Also, I bought a PS3 because the Wii version of Guitar Hero 3 didn't have any ability to adjust the audio calibration (it only had video calibration). This made it very difficult to play with the delay I was getting through the analog input to my AVR (which seemed to be in the 100ms range with dolby prologic enabled).
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post #11 of 15 Old 08-22-2009, 07:25 AM
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Check your display menu. Some have lag settings.
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post #12 of 15 Old 08-22-2009, 08:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dzhokhar View Post

Edit: By the way, the RX-V1500 is pre-HDMI and it still adds audio lag. HDMI receivers probably add both audio and video lag. Also, I bought a PS3 because the Wii version of Guitar Hero 3 didn't have any ability to adjust the audio calibration (it only had video calibration). This made it very difficult to play with the delay I was getting through the analog input to my AVR (which seemed to be in the 100ms range with dolby prologic enabled).

The audio lag is not specific to HDMI, it's the DSP processing in the receiver and that applies even to stereo analog inputs. 100-150ms is more than I've heard of before, and if that's an accurate measurement would probably mean that the audio lags behind the video when watching movies (with no way to correct it).
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post #13 of 15 Old 08-22-2009, 08:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kriktsemaj99 View Post

The audio lag is not specific to HDMI, it's the DSP processing in the receiver and that applies even to stereo analog inputs. 100-150ms is more than I've heard of before, and if that's an accurate measurement would probably mean that the audio lags behind the video when watching movies (with no way to correct it).

Like I said, it made guitar hero completely unplayable (on difficulty levels above medium, I can tune out the audio and play strictly by eye on easy and medium). Movies really aren't too bad because the lag is constant and still small enough not to be distracting (sort of like lower difficulty levels in Guitar Hero).

The setup I used before my current Yamaha was a housemate's NAD (I don't know the model but he bought it used in 2003) and it had audio lag that ranged from unnoticeable to a full second that was time-varying (over periods of minutes). That was totally unwatchable.

As for my mentioning HDMI, I just wanted to be clear because of the thread title.
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post #14 of 15 Old 08-22-2009, 09:17 AM
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By the way, my numbers are mostly from memory, they could be off by a bit (+/-50ms). I did find this link which is interesting and relevant though.

http://www.pixelinstruments.com/articles.htm

This particular paragraph was particularly interesting.

Quote:


In 1993, The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) was apparently thinking along the same lines. In its Draft New Recommendation [DOC. 11/59] (4) the ITU reported that errors of +20 ms (audio advanced) and -40 ms (audio delayed) were "detectable" and errors of +40 and -160 ms were "subjectively annoying". The draft recommendation suggested that an overall tolerance (for production, presentation, distribution and transmission) of +20 ms to -40 ms was appropriate.

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post #15 of 15 Old 08-22-2009, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kriktsemaj99 View Post

The only way to get close to 0ms for audio delay through a receiver is to use its direct mode (e.g. "Pure Direct" on Yamaha). It sounds like that's what you found on your Denon too. But that mode bypasses a lot of the useful features of the receiver, like bass management and equalization. As soon as you want the receiver to do any kind of audio processing then you'll see a significant delay, even if you only feed analog stereo to the receiver (because the stereo analog input gets digitized in the receiver so that it can be processed).

Even for non gamers this might be a problem, because receivers only give you the option to add extra audio delay, not video delay. There have been some cases with a low-lag display and a high-lag receiver where there's no way to get the sound perfectly in sync with the picture when watching a movie. This is pretty rare so far but more display are supporting a low-lag game mode which might turn out to be faster than the audio path through the receiver. It would be good if someone did more testing of receiver audio lag in different processing modes (with any extra lip sync delay forced to 0ms). This is something that you never see reported in equipment reviews, but it would be useful to know.

No, I had not engaged any type of Pure direcmt mode on my Denon, otherwise I would not have any video coming off HDMI, so that mode is pretty much worthless at least to me for what I want to do with my sources. I still had Audyssey EQ with a simple multichannel sound output on (no DSP mode such as NEO, Stadium, etc.) however. My theory is the auto lipsync feature engaged is what caused the 0ms audio delay. I guess the receiver is taking the audio and video HDMI signal and somehow lining them up correctly. The reason I say that is I get the same video delay whether I hook up the Xbox directly to the TV or through the Denon with source direct (video passthrough) turned on and when I have it hooked directly to the Tv, an audio delay averaging around 30ms shows up when I recalibrate. Of course with video passthrough on, any GUI overlay over video is disengaged as well as any AVR video processing. Perhaps I will play around some more with both GHWT and Rock Band with the Denon and see what else happens. I tell you this is a screwball way with dealing with lag issues. The engineers of HDMI really need to address this issue more in future iterations of the HDMI spec, perhaps maybe HDMI 1.4, that would be nice.
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