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Can a TV be used as a serious Audiophile source with an AVR?

Kustomize

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I currently have a Denon AVR X2400H, connected to a new Samsung 65" Smart LED TV via HDMI Arc.

I stream music from my TV's Spotify App, or even youtube videos.

I understand paid Spotify has better quality then youtube videos. What I want to know is, does a TV bottleneck any performance? is the DAC inside the TV being used or is it my AVR's DAC that is being used for Stereo?

The option under "digital audio out" is set to Auto, I tried selecting passthrough but it denies it!

If I am playing stereo, my system plays stereo, if I put on Netflix, it automatically switches to Dolby Digital on my AVR.

I am confused. Is it my TV doing the processing through HDMI Arc or is it my AVR?
 
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buz

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If you connect the TV by hdmi then the AVR DAC is used.
 

Plcamp

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You can also force tv to output pcm on optical out if you want to route to a separate DAC. I need to do that because Yamaha AVR’s don’t output 2v from their preamps, and they do not output a useful digital signal, except in the same format it arrived (an hdmi input won’t output toslink digital).
 

litemotiv

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The option under "digital audio out" is set to Auto

'Digital audio out' usually refers to the optical output on the TV, and not the HDMI ARC port. Setting it to auto or PCM (like the previous poster suggested) will generally mean that the TV may resample the signal, so this could potentially degrade sound quality. The passthrough option if available will relay the original signal without potential quality loss.
 
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Kustomize

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'Digital audio out' usually refers to the optical output on the TV, and not the HDMI ARC port. Setting it to auto or PCM (like the previous poster suggested) will generally mean that the TV may resample the signal, so this could potentially degrade sound quality. The passthrough option if available will relay the original signal without potential quality loss.
The options there are "Auto", "PCM", and "Passthrough". I select passthrough and it says unavailable. I have HDMI Arc enabled both on TV and on my AVR aswell.
 
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Kustomize

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If you connect the TV by hdmi then the AVR DAC is used.
This is what I thought aswell, but as you see what @litemotiv has mentioned in the post above, it has me confused.... is it possible that my TV is the one doing the work of a DAC even if I am connected through HDMI Arc?
 

Plcamp

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'Digital audio out' usually refers to the optical output on the TV, and not the HDMI ARC port. Setting it to auto or PCM (like the previous poster suggested) will generally mean that the TV may resample the signal, so this could potentially degrade sound quality. The passthrough option if available will relay the original signal without potential quality loss.
That’s true…but if tv gets a non pcm signal, it may cause an attached DAC to loudly complain! I believe someone in a different forum was able to listen to music from one app, but not others.
 
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Kustomize

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That’s true…but if tv gets a non pcm signal, it may cause an attached DAC to loudly complain! I believe someone in a different forum was able to listen to music from one app, but not others.
I am thinking the Passthrough option isn't available because my TV is the source of music itself....like I am playing music from my TV's Spotify app? Does that make any sense?
 

litemotiv

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That’s true…but if tv gets a non pcm signal, it may cause an attached DAC to loudly complain! I believe someone in a different forum was able to listen to music from one app, but not others.

Yes you're right, PCM is the most compatible option, so if there is no sound with passthrough then PCM will usually be the best option. When the original source is Dolby Digital or another type of codec with HDCP that the receiver cannot decode over optical, then passthrough will be silent.

Since @Kustomize has a receiver with HDMI that will probably be his best option to use, the Digital Out setting will have no effect in that case.
 

tonycollinet

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This is what I thought aswell, but as you see what @litemotiv has mentioned in the post above, it has me confused.... is it possible that my TV is the one doing the work of a DAC even if I am connected through HDMI Arc?
No

HDMI carries a digital signal, not an analogue one. It is not possible for the DAC in your TV to be used, and then transfer analogue to your AVR via HDMI.

So the DAC in your AVR is the one being used. It is possible some resampling goes on in your TV, but that is done digitally, and I am pretty certain you will be unable to hear any quality impacts coming from that - unless it is a broken implementation.

The fundamental question - are you happy with the sound? If so, then you don't really need to worry further.
 
D

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I have a Panasonic Viera (see link), doesn't matter what I try I can only get a very washed out sounding 48hz signal from it (optical into Topping D90). The only options on the TV menu are Auto/PCM/Bitstream so I've resigned myself to the fact that there's no audio passthrough and everything must be up/downsampled by the TV's internal DAC.

If anyone has any idea how to bypass this it'd be very much appreciated.

We bought this pretty expensive TV as it was touted as reasonably future proof. The OS was promptly discontinued and then the sound issues.

Setup: Onboard Apps&Firestick4K - Optical to D90 - Boxem Amp.

Simple 2.1. No AVR involved


 

Plcamp

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I suspect that if you use ARC, pass through is disabled. But just a guess.
 

litemotiv

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Auto/PCM/Bitstream

Bitstream is the same as passthrough.

When the sound quality over PCM is very poor, then it could mean that either the DAC in the TV is resampling very poorly, or in some cases it could mean that the output signal is too low volume and needs to be amplified a lot by the Topping, audibly degrading the quality.

If you use PCM then make sure that the manual volume setting on the TV is set to maximum.
 

tonycollinet

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Is a DAC chip generally used for resampling? And then passing the resampled digital signal to the optical out before the actual analogue conversion.

I'd have expected the resampling to be done by some other DSP device in the TV.
 

litemotiv

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Is a DAC chip generally used for resampling?

Yes the internal DAC does this in most cases, the same chip that would also playback audio through the speakers. Only in rare cases will there be a separate DSP to handle this, but i don't think this is very common in consumer models.
 
D

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Bitstream is the same as passthrough.

When the sound quality over PCM is very poor, then it could mean that either the DAC in the TV is resampling very poorly, or in some cases it could mean that the output signal is too low volume and needs to be amplified a lot by the Topping, audibly degrading the quality.

If you use PCM then make sure that the manual volume setting on th
20220108_130333.jpg
e TV is set to maximum.
20220108_130333.jpg

As soon as the TV Speaker is deactivated the volume function no longer works, using the volume buttons just says "speakers are off". There's a PCM Optical Level option in the menu but it's set to the highest.

All of which means I can't see a way of by passing the crappy internal DAC.
 

tonycollinet

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Yes the internal DAC does this in most cases, the same chip that would also playback audio through the speakers. Only in rare cases will there be a separate DSP to handle this, but i don't think this is very common in consumer models.
Thanks. My learning for the day. :)
 

tonycollinet

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View attachment 177540
As soon as the TV Speaker is deactivated the volume function no longer works, using the volume buttons just says "speakers are off". There's a PCM Optical Level option in the menu but it's set to the highest.

All of which means I can't see a way of by passing the crappy internal DAC.
What makes you think the internal DAC is crappy - from a perspective of resampling (if this is happening at all), rather than analogue conversion?
 
D

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View attachment 177540
As soon as the TV Speaker is deactivated the volume function no longer works, using the volume buttons just says "speakers are off". There's a PCM Optical Level option in the menu but it's set to the highest.

All of which means I can't see a way of by passing the crappy internal DAC.
In fact, just discovered that if I enter the TV menu when using onboard apps there is no bitstream option: just auto or pcm

If I enter the menu white using the Firestick4K via HDMI I get a further menu option (see pic) with Bitstream included (Auto/PCM/Bitstream). However selecting it produces a sound like a hammerdrill drilling into concrete.
20220108_131135.jpg
 

Plcamp

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As far as I know, optical SPDIF is always a full scale digital out absent of volume control. When you constrain the SPDIF to always be pcm, it will pass through any received pcm signal, and convert all others to two channel pcm.

Am I wrong?
 
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