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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is an annoying HDMI issue that I have not been able to figure out.

Configuration:
  • Music Server PC with Windows 7 and foobar2000, and an AMD Radeon Graphics card running the latest version of the AMD Catalyst Control Center.
  • HDMI connection, 5.1 configuration.
  • Onkyo TX-SR705 AVR.
Starting out, with no music playing, the Onkyo front panel indicators say PCM Multich HDMI. I have selected that to be the default mode for all HDMI inputs. In the PC, when I select a track to play, there is a very quick HDMI handshake that takes place, like so:
  • A relay click inside the Onkyo, and the above 3 indicators switch OFF.
  • Another relay click inside the Onkyo, maybe 0.25 sec later.
  • The front panel HDMI indicator flashes on and off a couple of times and there is silence for about 1.5 sec.
  • The front panel display of the Onkyo switches back to say PCM Multich HDMI, and the music begins to play, and about 1.5 seconds of the beginning of the track has been missed.
This does NOT occur when a tracklist is allowed to play through from one track to the next, only when manually starting a track or selecting a new track.

It is trying my patience. I have read through the manual and searched for solutions online. The only suggestion that even hinted at fixing it was to make that mode the default for HDMI inputs, but it did not help. Does anyone know of a solution?
 

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I'm inclined to believe the clicking relay activity results from normal HDMI handshaking coupled with CEC (Consumer Electronics Control) communications and possible internet activity (such as checks for firmware updates).
  • Some AVR's and TV's allow specific CEC operations to be configured, so if one doesn't change system behavior, try the other. Likewise, your foobar software may be configurable through its setup menu.
  • As for internet activity, you might want to try disabling the player's network connection--though I'd attribute significant playback delays more to newly loading movie previews than I would to firmware checks.
 

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So I understand the basic problem to be delayed playback of songs which are started manually as opposed to those started in a playlist. I'll assume you've already enabled exclusive mode using WASAPI (or ASIO equivalent) in conjunction with foobar2000. This problem then seems to exhibit characteristics of the "Silent Stream Bug". Seems to, but not quite, since playlist functionality is intact.

I normally try to help with specific info rather than send someone packing with a bunch of homework, but here's what I've unearthed and hope they're not repeats of your efforts:
  1. Introducing the Silent Stream Bug
  2. Silent Stream Bug Fix1
  3. Silent Stream Bug Fix2
  4. Keep SPDIF output active
  5. Re-detecting bitstreams
  6. Foobar2000 has a known issue of delayed start when media files played through 3rd-party apps.
  7. Foobar2000 loads metadata for each file, potentially causing delays each time.

And here's a discussion that may foster some food for thought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sounds like possibly another reason to move to JRiver. That move would probably solve another headache that I have been living with, that switching the AVR to a different source and back again causes the configuration in the PC to break, and it has to be re-set again in several places.

Thanks for the info.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you again for all of the ideas.

I tried the utility designed to fix the silent stream bug, but it would not work with WASAPI. There was contention over which program would get control of what at different times and, although I tried a zillion configurations, it would never take over and relinquish control when it needed to.

However, the idea let me another directions and I found a foobar2000 DSP add-on component designed to do exactly what I needed. It is an older component, not part of the regular depository of components, but it works just fine with newer foobar2000 versions. It is called Pregap DSP v0.2, and is located here.

I added it to my foobar2000 setup and configured it for 1.5 seconds of silence before play begins. The AVR still clicks and the HDMI still does its crazy thing figuring out what is coming, but the song does not start to play until after all that is done. It is still a minor annoyance but only a teeny tiny fraction of the annoyance of having the beginning of the song cut off, so I am 99.9% happy for now. JRiver is probably the next step, where this is most likely not an issue at all.

By the way, the silence is only inserted when a manual change is done like accessing a new track. Normal play through a playlist, where it is not uncommon for a track on an album to play directly into the next one with zero gap, is totally unaffected, so that still works just fine.

Anyway I am happy, and thank you very much for sending me in a direction that got me to a solution.
 

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Wow, that is a lot more than I ever found about it, & I really looked.
Thank you for the research.
Glad to help out the SS&I Maestro for once instead of the other way 'round. :R


....I found a foobar2000 DSP add-on component designed to do exactly what I needed. It is an older component, not part of the regular depository of components, but it works just fine with newer foobar2000 versions. It is called Pregap DSP v0.2, and is located here. JRiver is probably the next step, where this is most likely not an issue at all.

Anyway I am happy, and thank you very much for sending me in a direction that got me to a solution.
No problem, Wayne--never had a doubt you'd nail it! The Pregap DSP Plugin implicates AVR latency as the culprit. Just think, you could have replaced your AVR instead of patching Foobar2000 :devil: :bigsmile:


Sounds like possibly another reason to move to JRiver. That move would probably solve another headache that I have been living with, that switching the AVR to a different source and back again causes the configuration in the PC to break, and it has to be re-set again in several places.
It's good to hear Foobar2000 didn't do an "about face" on you and start acting up for playlists. FWIW, JRiver has always acted in a polite plug-n-play fashion for me--no tinkering required for any playback issues. Your hookup and application are different from mine, so I can't speak for JRiver's switching behavior. But I am sure JRiver accommodates configurable pre-gap silence and gapless playback via UPnP or DNLA. My only complaint lies with JRiver's automatic discovery/tagging of newly added songs. I think power users can write/modify code to customize new song detection and track/title assignment. The rest of us are resigned to adhering to expected naming conventions (sigh), or to manual data entry. Not a huge ordeal, but annoying nonetheless. Most misfires I've encountered occur for albums with multiple artists. Its almost guaranteed that Classical selections will need massaging to smoothly fit in. But I imagine most software utilities would have as difficult a time.
 

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This is true Lumen, JRiver is the bomb when it comes to housing, sorting and playing back...well anything. But when letting it auto name compilations and such, it could house them in different genres as well as sorting each tune on its own, making them hard to find. One does have to go in and do some work but it is worth it.

Wayne, I would highly recommend JRiver especially since the first 30 days are free to try. I have been using it for a good number of years and it makes me smile everyday.
 
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