02-22-202101:28 PM (Last edited 02-22-202102:46 PM) in
This has been quite the learning misadventure for me over the last few weeks. Here's everything I've finally figured out. Any audio decoding/conversion/processing by the TV introduces massive audio lag, and that's likely due to lack of sufficient computing horsepower inside the TV, so it's unlikely to be fixed by any firmware update. The magic feature you need to enable and use is Pass-through mode (as opposed to PCM or Bitstream). Sadly, these TVs are not spec'd to pass-through audio over the optical port; the best they can do is decode-and-reencode the audio to produce it on the optical output. To achieve Pass-through mode, you must use eARC -- but very few customers at this time have sound bars or AV receivers that support eARC. Most of us have devices that only support the older (and incompatible) ARC protocol, or that only support non-eARC HDMI or digital optical inputs. The only solutions to this predicament are: Use optical out directly from the device (game console, PC, whatever) directly into the sound bar or AV receiver (thus bypassing the TV entirely). Use an AV receiver (with built-in eARC support) connected to HDMI3(eARC), with the TV set to use HDMI-eARC audio output in Pass-through mode, with the source device set to output whatever format your sound bar or AV receiver best knows how to decode. Use a ThenAudio SHARC as an eARC audio device connected to HDMI3(eARC), with the TV set to use HDMI-eARC audio output in Pass-through mode, with the source device set to output whatever format your sound bar or AV receiver best knows how to decode. The SHARC provides multiple non-eARC output options (optical, HDMI, analog RCA) that you can feed into almost any old sound bar or AV receiver -- and it converts so quickly that no audio lag or lip-sync problems can be observed. I now own a ThenAudio SHARC and can confirm it works perfectly with my Q90T to finally provide lag-free surround sound (including DD 5.1 and LPCM 7.1) to my old Yamaha AV receiver (which supports neither eARC nor Atmos). One other IMPORTANT CATCH to be aware of: The TV utterly relies upon HDMI pins 13 (CEC), 15 (DDC clock), 16 (DDC data), and 19 (hotplug detect) to detect and initialize any eARC audio device... but some devices are poorly-behaved and erroneously hard-wire one or more of these HDMI pins to ground (especially when the device is turned off). If such a device is wired into your system anywhere -- even into a separate input port on the TV or AV receiver, or even into an HDMI switch in the signal path before the TV -- then the TV will fail to pop up its little "audio device detected" text or to show HDMI-eARC as an available audio output device in its menus. If you plug in a SHARC or other eARC device and the TV doesn't obviously detect it, then you may still hear audio out over the eARC device, but the TV will not show HDMI-eARC as the audio output device, nor will it allow you to select the oh-so-critical Pass-through option in its menu. If you find yourself in this situation, you must use process of elimination to identify the problematic HDMI device(s) in your system: Unplug ALL other HDMI devices from your system. Unplug and re-plug the eARC device into HDMI3(eARC). Wait several seconds to ensure the TV says it has detected the device. If not, and you have no other HDMI devices attached to your system, then your eARC device does not actually support eARC, or is mis-configured, or is defective. If not, and you have already successfully re-plugged other HDMI devices while going through previous iterations of this loop, then you have just found the problematic device. You will need to leave this device unplugged from HDMI whenever it is not in use. Add back one more HDMI device, and go back to step 2.
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"Full" and "limited" refer to the digital color range. It's possible that the HDMI cable you are using is of borderline quality/capability, such that bumping the range up to "full" is enough to exceed the cable's ability to deliver a stable picture. It's also possible that choosing "full" is somehow triggering the TV to think it's receiving and HDR picture when it's not. So I wouldn't rule out a firmware bug. That said, I've used my Switch with my Q90T just fine without having to drop the color range to "limited".
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Random signal drop-outs are usually a symptom of a faulty or insufficiently-spec'd HDMI cable. Insufficiently-spec'd HDMI cables can cause signal crosstalk and weakening that destabilize the TV's ability to latch onto the signal. Ensure the HDMI cable you are using is of good quality and is sufficiently spec'd for the resolution and audio format you're using.
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02-18-202106:20 PM (Last edited 02-18-202106:32 PM) in
ARC and eARC are completely different protocols, and they are not compatible with each other. I have the exact same TV and receiver. They only "accidentally work" together in some situations, for some people, due to a bug in the Samsung firmware that causes digital audio to still get sent out over the pins on the HDMI3(eARC) when you have selected an audio output other than HDMI-eARC. If your selected audio output and format yield a 2-channel PCM audio stream, then you'll erroneously get a 2-channel PCM digital audio stream out of the HDMI3(eARC) port despite not having an eARC device attached to it, and some sound bars or receivers may think that's an ARC audio signal and happen to process it as such. To use this TV optimally with this AV receiver -- meaning, to get surround sound out of the TV without it introducing horrible audio delay due to the TV struggling to decode/re-encode the audio to send it over the optical port -- you'll need to purchase a Thenaudio SHARC, connect it to HDMI3(eARC), and then ensure your TV has detected the eARC device and automatically selected HDMI-eARC for you as the audio output device. That will finally enabled the magic Pass-through option. Then you just configure your source device (game console, cable box, whatever) to send the best-quality audio format that your receiver knows how to decode.
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02-16-202110:14 AM (Last edited 02-18-202112:35 PM) in
> With audio set to TV speakers optical is PCM 2.0 Yes, because even when you have not selected Optical as the output, the optical port will still always send audio in whatever format is being used for the selected output. Regardless of whether this behavior is a feature or a bug, it's caused a lot of user confusion (e.g. Why can't I get DD/AC-3 to come out of my optical port while the selected audio device is TV Speakers?). I'd expect the optical port to output nothing unless Optical is explicitly selected as the output. Even more confusingly, the same thing holds true of the HDMI3(eARC) port: even when you have not attached an eARC device to HDMI3(eARC) or the TV has (for whatever reason) failed to recognize that an eARC device has been attached and neglected to automatically override the output device to HDMI-eARC, the port will still always send audio in whatever format is being used for the selected output. This behavior is definitely buggy; some ARC or eARC devices will try to play that audio despite no eARC connection having been correctly established, which can lead to all kinds of user confusion and frustration (e.g. Why can't I select Pass-through even though I have an eARC device attached?). I'd expect the HDMI3(eARC) port to output no audio unless an eARC device has been detected and initialized correctly by the TV and the selected audio output is HDMI-eARC. > to get AC3 over optical you have to enable eARC in the settings Not true. I get DD 5.1 (although very lagged) over the TV’s optical port just by setting the audio output to Optical. Optical has absolutely nothing to do with eARC -- it's not even possible to select (or see) HDMI-eARC as an available audio output without an eARC device attached to HDMI3(eARC) and successfully recognized (initial eARC handshake) by the TV. > does connecting an eARC device (like the Thenaudio) un-gray out the Pass-Through option Yes, because Pass-through is only supported over eARC. This TV does not support pass-through of audio over the optical port, by design. > if so, when you select that can you also use the TV speakers? No. The entire point of Pass-through is that the audio is not decoded or processed by the TV in any way — not even to play through its own speakers.
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02-15-202102:08 PM (Last edited 02-18-202112:54 PM) in
These Samsung TVs are not capable of doing Pass-through over optical, only over eARC. Running anything other than Stereo uncompressed over the optical port in Auto or PCM mode will result in bad audio lag, because the TV must decode the incoming audio stream and then re-encode it to send it over the optical port (that is what Pass-through avoids doing), which takes some very noticeable processing time (due to either a Samsung firmware defect OR an anemically-underpowered CPU inside the TV). I bought a Thenaudio.com SHARC to solve this problem. I can confirm it works great with the Q90T, enabling the TV to pass through DD 5.1/7.1, and even 7.1 LPCM from my PS5, over HDMI3(eARC) to the SHARC, which then passes it through to its own optical output (straight into my old non-eARC non-Atmos AV receiver) with no noticeable audio lag.
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01-24-202111:17 AM (Last edited 01-24-202111:19 AM) in
A newer firmware updates IS available, but you have to download it from Samsung's web site to a USB thumb drive using a computer, and then manually install it yourself, because Samsung's built-in firmware updater is hot garbage. You'll also need to do a factory reset on your TV after applying the firmware update, otherwise you'll get all kinds of weird bugs and misbehaviors from the TV. And no, this doesn't require a service visit. Samsumg reps here just say that as a standard lazy cop-out because they are utterly incompetent.
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No. Most people who shelled out the insane scalper prices for PS5 and the rather expensive Q80T/Q90T televisions ALSO use a standalone 5.1-capable device (either via eARC or via the TV's optical out) to try to get surround sound, and are then utterly frustrated by having to choose between horrendous audio lag (if using Dolby Digital) or no surround sound whatsoever. Neither of those are an acceptable choice. And it's not just PS5 owners who hit this; the same issue exists with Xbox Series X, any PC equipped with an Nvidia RTX30x0 series GPU, and even with Xbox One S (running in 4K VRR mode). This is BASIC ADVERTISED FUNCTIONALITY which is COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY BROKEN by Samsung's buggy firmware. They should have fixed this and made sure it worked right before ever releasing these TVs in the first place. As things currently stand, the product features and capabilities as stated by Samsung are simply FALSE ADVERTISING. If they don't fix it pretty soon, I'd be happy to join onto a class-action lawsuit to force them to refund their customers. Their lack of attention to this issue is nothing short of unethical.
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Samsung, please get off your lazy silent laurels and fix this. Your hardware is garbage without correctly-working firmware, and you are flat-out FALSE ADVERTISING the features and capabilities of your TVs due to multiple horrendous firmware bugs like this one. FIX YOUR FIRMWARE!!
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My setup: Xbox One S (4K HDR VRR + Dolby Digital bitstream) >> Samsung Q90T (game mode on, audio output optical) >> Yamaha RX-V673 receiver (DD decode to 7.1) Audio lags a distracting amount behind the video. It's so distractingly bad that 4K UHD content with surround sound is basically unwatchable. The only "solution" I've found is to completely bypass the TV audio by connecting the Xbox One S optical output directly to the Yamaha receiver's optical input. But this isn't a general-purpose solution; I have other devices (HTPC and PS5) that do not provide optical audio outputs at all. I cannot run HDMI through the receiver and into the TV because the receiver can't handle or pass through 4K video at any refresh rate other than a fixed 24Hz. I cannot extract optical audio off any HDMI 2.1-producing device, because nobody in the world right now makes an HDMI 2.1 audio extractor. I cannot use eARC to the receiver, because the receiver does not support eARC... and even if it did (or I were to use a ThenAudio SHARC eARC converter), that apparently wouldn't work due to another known Samsung Q90T bug wherein it won't pass anything other than uncompressed stereo over eARC. So, the optical output off the TV is my only option for using my PS5 or HTPC with this combination of TV and receiver... and I'm stuck choosing between horrendously obnoxious audio lag, or no surround sound, neither of which is acceptable. Samsung needs to quit being lazy and/or opaque about this problem. They need to publicly acknowledge that it is a known defect with this series of TVs and tell customers when we can expect an updated firmware that will fix it. The optical audio output lagging behind the video is unacceptably broken functionality, especially for a television that costs this much. Do any Samsung employees actually read these forums? If so, can you please provide a status update regarding this problem? I see numerous similar community reports that all boil down to this same issue... and they all have pages and pages of irate customers saying "me too!", but zero acknowledgement from Samsung. I need to know when I can expect to see an updated firmware that fixes this issue. And if you aren't ever going to provide one, then I need to know what you're going to do to make things right by me -- such as refunding 100% of my hard-earned money so I can go buy some other brand of TV that actually works correctly.
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