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Maybe you all can help -- Input lag from HTPC when going through receiver, but I want 7.1 audio...

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I have a Panasonic P60ST50 plasma and Onkyo HT-RC360 receiver.

I went with the ST50 over the ST60 specifically for the reduced input lag. I had the PC connected through the Onkyo receiver so that I could play blurays and games on Steam. I noticed input lag yesterday while playing some side-scrolling/2D indie games and while using the mouse on the computer desktop. "Game" mode was enabled on the plasma, and on the receiver I set "through" for the HDMI output, and "direct" for the HDMI input. From what I understand, this should disable the receiver from doing any processing on the video stream. Still, it was enough to annoy me.

I directly connected the PC to display, and struggled to notice any input delay. So, lag problem fixed, but the downside to this is that the TV only outputs stereo back to the receiver. Unacceptable for 5.1/7.1 movies and games frown.gif

Can anyone explain the difference between "Game" and "Direct" mode on the receiver and which is faster? What are my options for getting 7.1 audio from the PC to the receiver, while also having a direct video feed from the PC to the display?

I'm assuming only 2-channel works through the HDMI, because the TV's EDID information tells the PC it's only 2 channel. Is there a way to "hack" the EDID to use the TVs display information with the receiver's audio information?
post #2 of 13
A few things:

-Unless Panasonic has really changed things up Game Mode on a Panasonic is just color settings. It isn't like the Sharp Vyper Drive where it actually does (or more accurately doesn't) manipulate the image in a way that introduces lag.

-TVs can't pass surround sound through. The only surround sound you can get out of 99% of tvs (there might be a few models I'm unaware of) is from the ATSC/QAM tuner inside the tv connected to an antenna or cable line. No other sources will pass through.

What connections do you have on your PC? DVI and HDMI? Send DVI to your TV, HDMI to your receiver.
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Game mode, from what I understand, bypasses a lot of the video processing so that the image gets to the display without going through as many hoops and delays -- however disabling the motion smoothing and such in non-game modes may accomplish the same. Yes, it will only send 5.1 from "internal" sources, such as OTA or the smart apps.

I understand the TV reports itself as a 2-channel audio device to anything connected to it through HDMI, which it should do. However, currently it's set to use home theater for audio and not the TV's speakers. I'm hoping that if I can edit the EDID from the TV to say it supports 7.1 surround, and if the audio is just passed from the source straight to the ARC output, that it will send all the channels. I know it's unlikely but I figure I'll give it a shot...

What would be nice is -- if the TV is set to Home Theater only for audio and the TV's speakers are disabled -- that it would pass the home theater's EDID for audio support on to whatever is connected.

Hope this all makes sense. Tough for me to explain in a clear manner.
post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jorsher View Post

I What are my options for getting 7.1 audio from the PC to the receiver, while also having a direct video feed from the PC to the display?

This is what I was answering. Do you have a DVI output in addition to your HDMI?
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pittsoccer33 View Post

This is what I was answering. Do you have a DVI output in addition to your HDMI?

Sorry, forgot to answer that.

Originally, the desktop was connected to three 24" monitors. I disconnected one of them to connect the TV. It's hard enough adjusting to only two displays, and I refuse to step down to a single monitor. Also, will I be able to do 1080p 3D gaming at a high framerate through DVI?

I'm going to try editing the EDID and seeing what happens. I'm not expecting the TV to completely ignore the audio signal and thus send the full DTS-MA/TrueHD stream to the receiver, but it's worth a shot.

Second option I'm considering is a second, cheap, video card. In that case, I can hook all three monitors back up, while still having the TV as a fourth display, and be able to send audio straight to the receiver through the HDMI port.

Yeah, a lot of effort when I could simply connect the PC to the receiver, but the added input lag, no matter how small, is annoying.
post #6 of 13
Not to interrupt the discussion but there is also a dedicated HTPC Gaming forum on avsforum.
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
I thought this may be basic enough. I understand I'm connecting these things this way because of gaming, but I want the audio for anything I do on HTPC. Videos, gaming, music, whatever.

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1227161/edid-overrides-to-solve-bitstreaming-issues-for-ati-5xxxs

I'm going to try this and see what happens.
post #8 of 13
Why not just go HTPC >> HDMI cable >> AVR >> HDMI cable >> HDTV?
post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

Why not just go HTPC >> HDMI cable >> AVR >> HDMI cable >> HDTV?

Because he detects input lag that way.
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
I think I've just given up and will get a second video card merely to pass DTS-MA/TrueHD audio.

Thanks.
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by pittsoccer33 View Post

A few things:



-TVs can't pass surround sound through. The only surround sound you can get out of 99% of tvs (there might be a few models I'm unaware of) is from the ATSC/QAM tuner inside the tv connected to an antenna or cable line. No other sources will pass through.

Not true anymore. Pretty much every TV that has HDMI ARC will pass Dolby Digital and may pass DTS. My old Samsung would pass True HD.
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by bryansj View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

Why not just go HTPC >> HDMI cable >> AVR >> HDMI cable >> HDTV?

Because he detects input lag that way.

There's always lag using HDMI initially while all the DRM stuff is negotiated. I don't notice any lag during playback but I do not game with my HTPC either.
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

There's always lag using HDMI initially while all the DRM stuff is negotiated. I don't notice any lag during playback but I do not game with my HTPC either.

It's different. A lot people don't seem to notice or be bothered by input lag, but I seem to be sensitive to it.

Think about the delay between hitting a button on your controller to jump, and the character actually jumping on the screen. It won't necessarily make the game unplayable, but for me is a constant source of annoyance...

My solution?

Dual video cards. This will let me run HDMI directly to the TV for video, HDMI to the AVR for audio, and allow me to set the triple monitors up again without disconnecting the TV. Oh, and improved game performance, which is great since I'd like to play games in 3D...

Also, instead of the ridiculously thick and heavy 25ft monoprice HDMI cable I'm using, which concerns me about causing damage to the ports and is a pain to maneuver... I'm going to try the monoprice cables with redmere.
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