Originally Posted by grigorianvlad
Mark, have not done that, thanks. Any suggestion is a godsend to me , so appreciate it! Will try it let you guys know
Well, here is what had transpired with this refusal of the VSX-53 to play 7.1 from Asus Media Server.
Yesterday I decided to do what anybody does when they lose their keys - retrace my steps prior to noticing that something went wrong. Here is what I came up with (I actually wrote it down on a piece of paper, believe it or not).
1) On Asus - Windows update was run and PC was restarted. No other changes.
2) No cables were touched
3) On VSX-53 - nothing out of the ordinary was done.
As soon as I wrote that, that word "ordinary" started winking at me. Indeed, what did I mean by it? What do I do ordinarily that made it go "back to mono" (I am a Phil Spector fan)? But I could not place it so I went on with my futile attempts to correct the problem.
I tried to uninstall the Windows update, but I couldn't. So, I simply reverted the Asus back to when it operated properly. It came back after about 20 minutes and the problem was still there - Stereo output in HDMI signal to the VSX.
I ran driver update program which ran an exhaustive check, then refused to tell me its findings unless I upgrade to the full version for $29.99. This was a small price to pay for the possible resolution which has been bothering me for a couple of days. I don't just have an inquisitive mind. It is pathologically inquisitive. I may forget to pay the mortgage on time, but some small technical problem of no possible consequence will keep me up and bothered for days. When I was a child, my parents always gave me a hammer and screwdriver with every Christmas toy because I would start taking it apart immediately after unwrapping, without even learning what the toy was. So, $29.99 it was. The driver check program thanked me for the payment and happily assured me that all drivers are up to date and I had nothing to worry about.
I was at a standstill. Then I looked at the piece of paper and the word "ordinarily" wasn't just winking at me anymore. It was jumping up and down and shouting "You know what the problem is, you caused it, you stupid bastard!".
Now, what do I do all the time with my VSX without even thinking, automatically? Turning it on, switching inputs, volume, playing iControlAV2 or mcIntosh app from my iPad. Nothing else, unless... Then I had a feeling I knew what it was.
Have you seen those TV commercials for people with restless leg syndrome? Well, I have something similar. It is called the restless remote control syndrome. That means I would watch a movie or listen to HMG while changing audio or video parameters just to see if the sound or picture is better in this particular mode or feature. So, what have I absentmindedly changed in the VSX-53 that convinced the ASUS PC that it is unworthy of 7.1 signal? What I did next took a while. I changed every audio parameter on VSX-53, then rebooted Asus and checked if sound is still Stereo. One parameter at a time, every option for a parameter at a time, mind you, so it took a while. But I finally got it. It was "A. Delay". Once I switched it to "OFF", rebooted the Asus and played some song (just a stereo recording, wasn't even a 5.1 FLAC or movie) - and voila! The Asus is cured.
It was joy I can't describe. Still, I had to find out what happened. What is this mysterious "A. Delay" on my Pioneer VSX-53? The manual was clear as glass and left no room for interpretation:
"A. Delay (Auto Delay). This feature automatically corrects the audio-to-video delay between components connected by an HDMI cable."
What in the world audio-to-video correction has to do with the number of channels sent by the source? I am not 100% sure, but I think it has something to do with the fact that HDMI cable doesn't just sends signal one-way, as lets say an analog cable. Asus sends a signal that VSX has to acknowledge back. Instead, with Auto Delay set to on, it splits audio and video and tries to synchronize them. It then sends two different acknowledgements - one for audio, one for video back to Asus which has no idea how to interpret them both. Imagine two people reciting Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliette to you at the same time, only one shouts every even word, while the other one screams every odd word counting from the beginning. That is what Asus hears back from the VSX - a cacophony of an acknowledgement. All data is there, but it is not synchronous. It expects a simple "got it". So, the Asus just mistakenly assumes that 7.1 audio signal is too complex for the VSX since it did not send a clear and immediate ack and reverts to simple Stereo. This is just my guess. I could be wrong.
Any ideas on this, guys? Why would this happen?
While I wait for your input I will try to reproduce the problem again. A solution is not a solution unless the problem can be repeated and re-corrected again with it. Wish me luck. God knows I need it!Edited by grigorianvlad - 5/22/13 at 2:40pm