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Denon AVR 3313ci Zone 2 sound delay

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Denon AVR 3313ci Zone 2 sound delay
I am a novice so please don't assume I know what all the abbreviations are in your response.

Here is what I have:
Denon AVR 3313ci
Main zone room - Polk 5.1 speaker set up in main zone (only use 5.1 so that I can have a zone 2 - see below)
Other rooms - Two Polk speakers with wall OSD volume control in several other rooms.
I have Cox HD digital cable DVR (Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8642 HDC) that provides much of the audio/video content we use.
Everything works fantastic in the main zone. There are a few things I am either doing now, or planning for the future. But here is my immediate challenge.

Now: Our house has an entertainment/pool table room (pool room) adjacent to the main zone room. I have speakers in this pool room and, for now, want to simply have zone 2 audio in this room. My DVR is connected to the AVR by HDMI. I initially plugged my zone 2 speaker feed into the Denon surround back (assignable) terminals, assigned them to zone 2, and expected zone 2 sound. Only after hours of frustration and research on this site and others did I realize that these terminals will only pass analog audio. My DVR has every type of output immaginable, and I tried them all, but unfortunately, I only got audio in zone 2 when I connected the red/white RCA cables between the DVR and the AVR. This was disappointing, but would still be OK for what I am doing now. An example of my application is that I want to hear the football game audio broadcast loud and up close in the in the pool room while other people are also watching and listening to the same game in the nearby main zone room. This all works fine with one MAJOR issue. The sound coming from the Zone 2 speakers is a few fractions of a second ahead of the main zone sound. Since the two rooms are adjacent to each other, that tiny audio output offset undermines the value of having a zone 2 in the first place.

Objective: Determine some way to get main zone and zone 2 audio snychronized. Anybody have any ideas at all? I am willing to try anything. Even options involving pre-amp out where I have to buy another power source or something may be worth while. But I don't want to go to that extreme without knowing that is a viable solution.
post #2 of 10
your difficulties are a case where looking at the manual would have been helpful. Or even hanging out on the appropriate threads around here. A well known limitation (think about the complexity of having to take the input to two separate decoders so that one can output multichannel and the other can output stereo then into separate sets of digital to analog converters, . . . Anyway the manual might have saved yu a lot of time. NExt time before you drive yourself nuts, give it a shot . . .

I can't be much hwlp otherwise, either. I don't know if the delay you hear isbecause of differences in timing of the output from the source or differences in timingwithin the receiver because the digital input has to be processed before it can be output in th main zone, or simply due to the fact that sound takes a finite amount of time to travel through the air, so that speakers at significantly different locations will be out of sync unless you're right in the middle of them.
post #3 of 10
Welcome to AVS Forum! smile.gif

Changing the "Video Mode" setting from "Auto" to "Game" (p. 121 OM) should resolve your Zone 2 delay issue.

For more questions on your new 3313CI or to learn more about it, review posts #3-6 in the Denon AVR-XX13 Owner's thread linked in my sig which is also where you can post any additional questions so others can learn as well. Thanks.

Also the following post go into more detail on Zone 2 ....

post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Well, thanks for the advise about reading the manual. Don't worry, I did not take that as a slam. smile.gif
I am an engineer and problem solver, but not not one involved in electronics, or anything remotely related. Unfortunatly, sometimies that means I am compelled to try and solve all problems myself, instead of hiring and paying an expert. In reality, I am the kind of user that spends a bunch of time figuring out how to make things work for what I want to do, then once it works, I move on and never worry about it again, until at some point years later when I want to do something different. Me messing with my audio/video needs now is the result of me moving into a new house and also buying a new AVR. Since my previous set up in a different house with a much earlier model Denon did not expose this delay, and since the interworkings of AVRs is not where I spend my free time, this issue was not immediately obvious. Now back to the issue.

So, since the speed of sound is 768 mph, and my main zone and zone 2 are seperated by 20', I have ruled out the sound travel time as the reason for the delay. When I changed both the main zone and zone 2 output source to Pandora (i.e. not passing through DVR and not converted to analog) the delay is gone. As you said, this suggests that perhaps the output timing difference between the DVR HDMI out and from the RCA out are the source of the problem. I am looking for suggestions on how to overcome this timing offset.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Now that was direct and definitive advise from jdsmoothie. Thanks. I got excited and immediately changed video mode from "AUTO" to "GAME". The fired up zone 2 again, and unfortunately the delay is still there. Maybe ever so slightly less delay, but can't really tell for sure. Any other thoughts?
post #6 of 10
If you have an older HDMI unit not currently in use, you could also try connecting the Zone2(HDMI) output on the 3313CI to the 2nd HDMI AVR and then connect the Zone 2 speakers to that AVR. Doing so will allow you to pass HDMI 1-6 to the Zone 2 speakers.
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Do you think it is the difference between analog signal and digital signal that is causing the delay? Or is it more due to just not have full HDMI connection from beginning to end? My older 2nd AVR does NOT have HDMI, but does have optical input and the DVR has optical output. That is a digital signal, right? If I connected DVR to 2nd AVR by optical, then connected zone 2 speakers to 2nd AVR, would that achieve the same objective that you have suggested?
post #8 of 10
Correct, different processing. As noted in the Owner's manual the "Video Mode" to GAME setting should decrease the delay but not necessarily remove it all together. And yes, the configuration you suggest would likely resolve your issue as the audio would be coming only from the DVR and not having to pass through the AVR to get to the Zone 2 speakers.
post #9 of 10
In response to the suggestion of hooking up another AVR via HDMI to the Zone 2 HDMI OUT, just a word of warning. There are some serious limitations that are not spelled out in any of the marketing materials and even the user manual is very vague about the limitations. It says that you "may" lose sound and/or video if selecting the same input as the Main zone. I'm occasionally able to have both outputs show the same input but most often it does not work. The sad thing is that if you use the Zone 2 to watch something and forget to power it off, you are in big trouble if later (when you are not at home) your wife tries to watch that source input in the Main zone ( even though the Zone 2 equipment is powered off).

This was very disappointing to me since this feature was one of the main reasons for selecting this particular AVR.

To make matters worse, similar problems exist for the second HDMI output in the main zone. It does work to watch the same input on both output, however, if you turn off the equipment on one of the two HDMI outs, the other one goes dark. You have to go into the setup menu and choose which output you want active. The setting for BOTH only works if both TVs are on. What a pain!!!

So, anybody trying to use 2 or all 3 HDMI outputs, be aware of the limitations. I hope this note will save you hours of troubleshooting.

post #10 of 10
I had this same problem with my Onkyo, and in my case it was due to the audio processing. Try different sound modes, eg "all channel stereo" or "direct", and see if that helps.

I eventually ended up buying a used digital delay unit, since I didn't want to give up the audio options in the main room.
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