IMPORTANT WARNING: "Test" Firmware V2.02c has just been withdrawn. It contains a new speaker level bug that breaks both manual and ARC speaker level calibration! Do not install "test" firmware V2.02c! In the unlikely event you've already installed it (it just came out, so dang! you're quick!) you should simply re-install your prior firmware version.
I'm leaving the rest of this post intact so folks can know what we're talking about. The new "test" ARC software also described below can still be used.
*************************************************New "Test" Software Appears on Password Protected Download Page!
Lots of news this morning!
First, "test" firmware V2.02c for the D2v and AVM 50v has just appeared on Anthem's password protected download page. The release notes for the V2.xx firmware stream read as follows:
1. Further fixes for audio DSP stability.
2. Fix for deep color output.
3. Fix for menu 5 manual test noises.
1. Fix for audio dropouts with PCM input.
2. Fix for ARC test sweeps.
v2.00 D2v / v2.01 AVM 50v:
In addition to these typically sparse release notes, I've just received an email from Nick on this software. He says that the fixes span the new DSP (audio) code, the motherboard (basic system functions like front panel), HDMI code, and the video processor. He says it is believed to fix most of the problems reported in the original software with two notable exceptions:
First, there is a problem with HDMI YCbCr gray scale levels (blacks and whites). The gray scale that typically results is too low -- i.e., you have to raise Brightness and Contrast to get things back to where they should be. What's worse is that there is more than one incorrect result meaning that if you force a new handshake you may end up with different blacks/whites levels that are still wrong. The problem appears to be on the HDMI input side, meaning that the work you do using the Anthem's internal test charts to set the video levels in your display is still correct, but adjustments you then make in the Video Source Adjust menu to account for each source device are different from what they should be. Clipping of Blacker than Black data can also result from this. This is a nasty one, and Anthem is focussing on fixing this as quickly as possible.
At the moment, a workaround if you are seeing this is to use RGB video input. HDMI input gray scale levels for both Studio and Extended RGB input appear to be correct and stable. Another workaround is to cycle inputs away from the source and back to force a new handshake as necessary when a handshake results with different gray scale levels than what existed when you did your Video Source Adjust setup for it.
I don't have an ETA for a proper fix.
Second, Anthem has determined that reverse telecine can be made to work correctly in the D2v if only one HDMI output is live. Rather than release that, they are awaiting a VXP firmware fix from Sigma Designs that allows it to work properly with both HDMI outputs live.
Reverse telecine is the stutter free conversion of 480i/60 or 1080i/60 input to 1080p/24 output when viewing film-based content, i.e., content that was originally captured at the film frame rate of 24 frames per second and then "raised" to 30 frames per second (60 fields per second) for broadcast or for putting on SD-DVDs through the telecine process that has been used since the dawn of TV.
Attempting this right now produces stuttering video. The workaround is to use 1080p/60 output instead of 1080p/24 output for all 480i/60 or 1080i/60 input video.
I don't have an ETA on the finished fix for this, but it is good to know they are actively working on it.
Although the release notes don't mention it, since DSP fixes are involved I think it would be wise to assume you need to re-Measure, Calculate and Upload new ARC results for use with the V2.02c "test" firmware.===========================================
Next "test" ARC V220.127.116.11 has also just been released on Anthem's password protected download page. This is for all ARC capable Anthem units, not just the D2v and AVM 50v. The release notes for changes since the current "official" version of ARC, V2.0.1, read as follows:
Fixed gain matching for frequencies above max EQ frequency. If updating from v2.0.1, it must be uninstalled through Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel before this version is installable.
This was not the fix I was expecting, but could easily be related to that expected improvement of lowest frequency bass results for those rare folks who are lowering the Max EQ Frequency Target below the default 5KHz value. The problem referred to in the release notes is that ARC only uses Measurements up to the Max EQ Frequency when analyzing the speaker volume trims. That means if you lower Max EQ Frequency and your average speaker output above that frequency is much louder or much softer than your average speaker output below that frequency then the speaker volume trim calculated by ARC doesn't get set to the optimal value.
Please note the warning in the release notes: The installer won't let you install this version on top of ARC V2.0.1 directly (apparently it shows as the same version to the installer), so you have to uninstall ARC V2.0.1 first using Windows Add/Remove Programs. Uninstalling ARC, in the past, has left your pair of serialized licensing/calibration files still in place in the Program Files > Anthem > Anthem Room Correction folder. If that remains true then there is nothing special you will need to do to get those two files in there for the ARC V18.104.22.168 install. If not, just copy those two files in.
The release notes do not mention if re-Measurement is necessary, so it would be wise to assume that you DO need to re-Measure to get the full value of this fix.==============================================
As usual, "test" software is still being field tested and may have some surprises in it. Generally speaking you should not install "test" software versions unless you are fighting one of the mentioned problems (in which case Anthem tech support will ask you to try the test software) or you have an unusual tolerance for potential software problems. Keep copies of your Anthem settings, and be prepared that you may need to back out the "test" software and re-install the previous version.
Also, since we have so many newbies entering this thread at the moment, take careful note of the firmware install instructions that come on screen when you run the firmware installer. If you have not completed any of the prep instructions, exit the installer and do those steps before allowing the install to continue. In particular you must make sure you have no powered HDMI connections during a firmware install. Many HDMI source and display devices leave their HDMI sockets powered even though the device appears OFF. Rather than pulling the delicate HDMI plugs, I recommend you remove wall power from everything in your system except for the Anthem and the computer you are using for the install. Also be aware that you must Reload Factory Defaults prior to the firmware install. If you have up to date values in Saved User and/or Installer Settings, or if you have Setup menu and Video Source Adjust menu settings saved to PC files, you can reload from those after the firmware install.