Stubborn audio-sync problems - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

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post #1 of 9 Old 01-03-09, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 120
Stubborn audio-sync problems

Hello fellow Shackeroonies,

I've spent two weeks grappling with a Popcorn Hour A-110, and I'm delighted with it. It took a whole lotta fiddling and faffing, but the effort I've made is definitely showing...

... there's only one respect in which playback is less-than-stellar, and that's audio-sync. It's not a very common problem, and I know it's not the A-110's fault. Some of my DVDs date back to 1997/8 when DVD was new, and at that time certain discs were known to have audio-sync problems with certain (usually cheaper) DVD players. Now that I'm ripping these DVDs for playback on the Popcorn Hour, I'm noticing this problem again for the first time in years. And it's terribly annoying!

Normally my remuxer of choice would be tsmuxer, but that only outputs .ts and .m2ts files, and I need to output .vobs because my DVDs are arranged in video_ts format. I was advised on another forum to try avidemux and/or videoredo... and, basically, I've found them to be useless. Yes, they output compatible files, but they insist on compressing them (I absolutely HATE video programs that don't have an easy-access "lossless" option...), and the audio-sync is still bad even though they insist that it's been corrected. Like I said - useless.

Is there any way to pull .vobs out of .ts or .m2ts containers? If there is, I can user tsmuxer (which works excellently).

Thanks a lot, as ever.

dh2005 is offline  
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post #2 of 9 Old 01-04-09, 11:31 AM
Join Date: Sep 2006
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Re: Stubborn audio-sync problems

Which program are you using to rip them? I usually use dvddecrypter to go to vob or iso and haven't had any sync issues, even with older titles.
eugovector is offline  
post #3 of 9 Old 01-05-09, 11:05 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 120
Re: Stubborn audio-sync problems

Hey dude,

I used DVD Shrink (mostly through habit), and every now and then I come across a disc that it can't rip and then I use Decrypter.

But the plot has thickened. I've noticed today that, sometimes, these problematic discs don't display any audio-sync problems at all, and that it's possible to predict when it will happen...

... have you (or anyone else) noticed that, sometimes, when you skip between chapters on the A-110 that the audio doesn't kick-in immediately? Like, you'll get half a second or so of silent video before the audio catches up? Because, when this happens, the audio-sync problems disappear. Yet, when the A-110 skips chapters without any silence, these discs have audio-sync problems.

It seems to me that, sometimes, the A-110 takes half a second to error-correct any audio/video timecode mismatch. But, for some bizarre reason, it doesn't do this all the time. Last night, Crimes & Misdemeanours was playing with some really distracting sync issues - this afternoon (and I've not changed any settings since...), it plays perfectly, but for half a second of silence between chapter skips.

Is there any way to make the A-110 do this permanently? Whether there's a brief silence between chapter skips makes no difference to me, because rarely do I skip chapters. I almost always watch films from beginning to end.

This thing's great, but it's VERY quirky...!
dh2005 is offline  
post #4 of 9 Old 01-05-09, 12:11 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 120
Re: Stubborn audio-sync problems

Wait a second...

... I was wrong about not having changed anything. I think I'm onto it, now.

D'you remember I was having audio drop-out problems when I first used the A-110? One of the things I changed when I was trying to fix this was my means of connecting the A-110 to my speakers - it had previously been connected to my TV via HDMI, then out of my TV through its phono-outs and into my speakers; but I changed this to connecting the A-110 directly to my speakers via phono, just in case my TV's internal AV decoder was to blame for the drop-out...

... then, that same day, you and another user advised me to update the firmware, which I did, and when the dropout disappeared I assumed that the firmware update was responsible for the improvement.

What if the TV's internal AV decoder, which does an excellent job of sync'ing the audio, turns out to be the cause of the audio-dropout?! Man, that would be a nasty irony... either I can have all of my movies running without dropout but with sync problems, OR, I can have all of my movies running without sync problems but with dropout.


Well, the only thing to do is to run the A-110 with the audio connected via the TV and see whether the dropout returns. If it does, that will really sting. I was sure I'd turned the corner on that issue...
dh2005 is offline  
post #5 of 9 Old 01-06-09, 03:58 PM
Join Date: Sep 2006
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Re: Stubborn audio-sync problems

Can't say I've noticed any sync problems with the PH100 or 110 running to the AVR with a digital audio cable.

Try running the audio path as neatly as you can to your AVR, i.e. a single toslink or digital co-ax cable. Then, when you notice problems via your TV connection, switch over. If the problem, disappears, you'll know the Popcorn Hour/file aren't the problem.
eugovector is offline  
post #6 of 9 Old 01-07-09, 12:12 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 120
Re: Stubborn audio-sync problems

Seems pretty nailed-on that it's the TV's audio decoder. As you've suggested, I swapped two setups over with a paused movie, and the sync appeared and disappeared as I did so. And I've watched four complete movies without a single incidence of audio drop-out. So, looks like that issue actually is dead.

But there's yet another new quirk... intermittent problems with certain rips.

A few of my rips are showing this problem - well, only two currently, but I'm only halfway through checking my library. Apocalypse Now Redux and Requiem For A Dream sometimes play, sometimes don't. They both start to play, but they hang during the pre-menu stuff; like "Warning - this disc is only for use in private homes etc." And they hang the machine, so that I have to reset it.

Glengarry Glen Ross doesn't even start, but that's less of a problem - that's clearly a bad rip that I need to redo. But why would rips work only some of the time?! There's nothing I'm doing that could explain it - all I do it navigate to the movie through YAMJ, press Enter to choose it, then Enter again to play it.

If anyone has any thoughts, I'd love to hear them.


dh2005 is offline  
post #7 of 9 Old 01-07-09, 08:16 PM
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Posts: 3,772
Re: Stubborn audio-sync problems

I've no real answers for you DH, but I have similar problems on some of my DVD rips that I play on my PC with VLC. Not all DVD's are authored the same way, or using the same software.

I have also noticed that on the DVD's that I author myself using an older version of DVD Lab, some DVD players will play them fine and others are problematic, and yet others won't play them at all - and it's not all media related (some older DVD players choke on playing some recordable media).

Some like to think that making DVD's, even commercially, is a cut-and-dried thing, but it just ain't so.
Harpmaker is offline  
post #8 of 9 Old 01-08-09, 12:22 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 120
Re: Stubborn audio-sync problems

Sure, I guess that's a good point.

I'll rip them again with Decrypter when I'm home next. It hasn't let me down at all, yet.
dh2005 is offline  
post #9 of 9 Old 01-09-09, 10:47 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2006
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Re: Stubborn audio-sync problems

I am finding that AnyDVD HD from Slysoft is practically a neccessity for getting purchased optical discs (DVD, HD DVD, Blu-ray) reliably played directly on a HTPC or ripped to hard drive and played by my Popcorn Hour A-110.

Lately I grown to like using EAC3TO and MKVMERGE to make a .mkv file with legacy DD (AC3) or DTS audio -- and the chapter title info -- the most reliable, easy to use format for A-110 or Media Player Classic playback. I leave the video in its native video codec format (MPEG2, H.264 AVC or VC1) so making the .mkv directly from the optical ROM drive does not take too long (approx 1 hour total).

No audio sync playback problems with the resulting .mkv movie file using optical S/PDIF (Toslink) 5.1 bitstream (legacy DD or DTS) connections to the AVR from the A-110 or the HTPC.
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