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Audio Device Feature Suggestion

Any issues that are FireTV specific
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Posts: 24
Joined: 12 Dec 2015, 22:28

Audio Device Feature Suggestion

Post by VonMagnum » 24 Feb 2018, 20:27

I've got an older Technics outboard Dolby Digital decoder I use with a "high-end" Carver Sonic Holography preamp with Carver ribbon speakers in my "music" room (I have a Yamaha receiver in my home theater room where the audio device is not an issue) since I don't want to give up the analog pre-amp with Sonic Holography and have no need for a receiver as the main speakers are bi-amped already with an active crossover. The outboard decoder (quite old) let me connect Klipsch active sat/sub speakers for surround speaker use while retaining the pre-amp for my LP rig and other stereo inputs, etc.

The problem I'm having with the Technics unit is that being older, it doesn't instantly lock onto a stereo digital or Dolby Digital signal. There is a slight delay. During this time, I have one of two undesirable things taking place.

1> If I set the audio device to "Always On", I get music just fine, but if a video using Dolby Digital comes on, I'll get a burst of undecoded noise for a moment out of the speakers (like could happen before the IEC packing) until the decoder locks on and starts decoding Dolby Digital. This burst of noise is highly undesirable and not great for the speakers, etc.

2> If I set the audio device to "Always Off" (or On with a delay off of one minute or whatever after it turns off), then movies don't get the burst of Dolby Digital noise any longer (this is also how it generally functions if a real DVD/BD player is used) BUT when I'm playing music, the first second or so of music gets cut off as the DAC can't lock onto the signal instantly. With the audio device "always on" as in #1, it's ready to play whatever comes through and so it never misses the start of the song, but then as I said, it will also instantly play a burst of Dolby Digital signal undecoded until the processor recognizes the signal (same kind of delay).

Obviously, if I set the device "On with a 1 minute delay" that gives me some time to get to a new audio track, but it also means I have to wait a considerable time before starting a movie and/or in-between every video I start/stop or I'll get the Dolby Digital noise once again.

Newer receivers and DAC units lock onto the signal MUCH faster (usually near instantly; I've maybe heard that noise once on my downstairs receiver in the past 5 years or so regardless of setting as it's fast enough to lock the signal on either setting without noticing any real difference most of the time and that's a 10+ year old receiver. The Technics unit was from the late 1990s. They don't make many outboard processors (really any save some homemade looking gear on eBay or really REALLY high-end units) these days.

My suggestion would be an audio device option that leaves the audio device ON all the time EXCEPT when a video starts (or even only when a video with a Dolby Digital output is present). I can plainly see in the debugger that MrMC/KODI checks for such things when a video is started as it reports back the format, etc. So would it be possible to have an audio device option that disables the audio device when it sees it's about to start a video (or Dolby Digital output in general), but otherwise leaves the audio device ON? It seems like that would offer the best of both options above and avoid both any chance of a Dolby Digital undecoded noise playing AND also not miss the first second of a song when playing music that starts immediately.

Thanks for your consideration.

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