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Audio delay between sony tv and playbar

  • 23 November 2019
  • 17 replies
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Hello,

 

I have a 2019 Sony XBR A8G connected to a Playbar (paired with two play:1s for 5.1) via optical cable. 

 

Whenever the source audio is Dolby Digital, there is a slight delay in the audio and is behind the video. When I override the audio to stereo or PCM, either through TV settings or source device (Amazon 4K Firestick), the audio syncs up perfectly. 
 

This leads me to believe that the lag gets introduced by the Sony TV when it “passes through” the Dolby digital signal to the playbar. 
 

Has anyone found a fix for this through the TV’s settings? Sony support isn’t very helpful. Potential workaround is an HDMI switch to split audio before it gets to tv, but not sure if that’ll introduce other headaches. 

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Best answer by trmahoney85 25 November 2019, 00:06

Got the hdmi switch today with optical out and it worked like a charm. I actually had the opposite problem where the audio was ahead of the video, but that’s easily adjustable within the Sonos app and is now synced up perfectly according to my overly discerning eye. 
 

No other major headaches that have come with it other than a few more wires to contend with behind the TV. 
 

Still disappointed that Sony hasn’t figured this out and will be expressing it to them. Ultimately, an extra $50 for the switch is a drop in the bucket on a $3,000+ entertainment system, but I probably spent a solid 10 hours researching and troubleshooting. This felt like a problem I would have grappled with 15 years ago but surprised me it’s still an issue. 
 

Thanks for your help! Your responses to some other posts have helped me troubleshoot a couple other issues as well :)

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I don’t own a Sony TV, but your supposition matches my expectation as well. The first thing, of course, is to check to see if there are any firmware updates from Sony. Then, in the Sony’s audio setting, be sure to turn off any “extras” that change the audio in any way. No SRS, no extra wide sound field, no speech enhancement, nothing. In fact, if they have a setting that says direct pass through, you want that. You’re basically removing any possibility that the TV is touching the audio stream at all, since anything it would be doing to it would be adding a tiny amount of delay. 

It appears some TVs can’t do that, there are hundreds of posts about both Samsung and LG TV’s in the Home Theater area of this forum that appear to only be resolved by pulling the audio stream out before it gets to the TV by using an HDMI switch with an optical out on it. 

Thanks for the advice. I turned off all the “extras” and there’s still a noticeable lag. Unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be any magic bullet “bypass” option on the Sony. 
 

It’s a pretty nice TV so I was surprised that this is a problem. Looking through this forum I saw many had similar issues with LGs and Samsungs, but didn’t see much for Sony so I was holding out hope that there was a setting that I was missing that’d do the trick. 
 

I’m going to order the hdmi switch linked below and see if that does the trick. Will report back. 
 

J-Tech Digital 4K 60HZ HDMI Audio Extractor Converter SPDIF + 3.5MM Output Supports HDMI 2.0, 18Gpbs Bandwidth, HDCP 2.2, Dolby Digital/DTS Passthrough CEC, HDR10 [JTD18G-H5CH] https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074HHSJVN/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_rVz2DbX88XHWP

Thanks for the try, I’m advising a friend on a new TV this week for the Black Friday sales, I’ll stay away from the Sony’s. Perhaps stick with the Vizio that I bought a few months ago, I’ve fortunately not noticed any issues. 

I do look forward to your report, but expect it will be in the positive. I just can’t figure out why it is so hard for TV manufacturers to simply pas through without alteration/delay the audio. I may need to find an electrical engineer who works in TV design to explain it to me. 

Got the hdmi switch today with optical out and it worked like a charm. I actually had the opposite problem where the audio was ahead of the video, but that’s easily adjustable within the Sonos app and is now synced up perfectly according to my overly discerning eye. 
 

No other major headaches that have come with it other than a few more wires to contend with behind the TV. 
 

Still disappointed that Sony hasn’t figured this out and will be expressing it to them. Ultimately, an extra $50 for the switch is a drop in the bucket on a $3,000+ entertainment system, but I probably spent a solid 10 hours researching and troubleshooting. This felt like a problem I would have grappled with 15 years ago but surprised me it’s still an issue. 
 

Thanks for your help! Your responses to some other posts have helped me troubleshoot a couple other issues as well :)

Glad to hear it’s all functioning for you. Enjoy your system, I’m envious!

Thanks!

Thought I should add, for the record, there were a couple headaches I came across last night (one of them I should have foreseen). Nothing to do with the HDMI switch itself and may not be universal to everyone. 

  1. I’m a cable cutter, so in conjunction with the Amazon 4K firestick for streaming, I have an HD antenna (mostly to watch live sports) plugged into the tv via coaxial cable. This is probably obvious, but since I no longer have the optical cable coming from the TV to the Playbar, there was no sound when I flipped to Sunday Night Football on NBC last night. I can use the TV’s speakers, but I have them disabled because of the Playbar, so I have to enable them in the TV’s settings when I flip to HD Antenna, and then disable when I flip back to the firestick. The workaround here (best I can tell) is to get a “2 in, 1 out” optical splitter, but man, this is starting to get quite complex and introduces another remote to the equation.
  2. Since the firestick is no longer plugged directly into the TV’s HDMI, but is still powered by the TV’s USB, when I turn the TV’s power off the firestick exhibits odd behavior and is constantly turning rebooting every 15-30 seconds. I can tell this because, when the firestick first turns on it’ll play a short jingo, which gets broadcast through the Playbar. This renders the Playbar useless for music streaming when the TV is off. I have yet to troubleshoot this, but hopefully if I power the firestick directly through an outlet instead of through the TV, it’ll be fixed.

The first one I should have anticipated, but the second one was quite the curveball. Either way, I'm rethinking if I even want to try for 5.1. Alternative options would be:

  1. Change the source audio to Stereo or PCM, keep the 5.1 Sonos setup, and let Sonos try it's best to provide a quality surround sound experience with a 2.0 signal.
  2. Change the source audio to Stereo or PCM, keep the Playbar but get rid of the Play:1’s so I have a 2.0/2.1 setup (I can put the Play:1’s to good use elsewhere).

Maybe Sony will provide a firmware update at some point to address the lag. It's too noticeable of a lag to accept and not sure it's something I can “get used to". We’ll see.

If it’s possible….I’d certainly be putting pressure on them for such an update. I do know either LG or Samsung did provide an update that helped at least some people, although perhaps not all. I would think it depends somewhat on the way the electronics works internally, in some cases it just may not be possible….but I’m not an engineer. 
 

No comments on the firestick, I don’t use one, and have no knowledge to impart ;)

Thanks for the advice. I turned off all the “extras” and there’s still a noticeable lag. Unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be any magic bullet “bypass” option on the Sony. 
 

It’s a pretty nice TV so I was surprised that this is a problem. Looking through this forum I saw many had similar issues with LGs and Samsungs, but didn’t see much for Sony so I was holding out hope that there was a setting that I was missing that’d do the trick. 
 

I’m going to order the hdmi switch linked below and see if that does the trick. Will report back. 
 

J-Tech Digital 4K 60HZ HDMI Audio Extractor Converter SPDIF + 3.5MM Output Supports HDMI 2.0, 18Gpbs Bandwidth, HDCP 2.2, Dolby Digital/DTS Passthrough CEC, HDR10 [JTD18G-H5CH] https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074HHSJVN/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_rVz2DbX88XHWP

 

Hey I was looking at the same tv and just luckily saw your post before purchasing.  
 

can you share exactly how you hooked up the cables? I’m not so tech savvy and having some instructions or point me to where I can get some would be GREATLY appreciated 

 

also surprised Sonos hasn’t weighed in on this issue if it’s such a widespread problem!

Also wondering.  Did you try to fix this through the Sonos app by adjusting the Audio Delay setting?

Hey -- sorry for the delay. You hook up the Sonos Playbar to the Sony TV (or any TV, for that matter) using a digital optical toslink cable. That’s the only option the Playbar has to hook up to a TV (there is no HDMI slot).

 

The Audio Delay setting in the Sonos app only goes in one direction -- it can delay the incoming audio by a certain amount of milliseconds. It can’t speed it up because it’s technically impossible to do (it can’t make the TV send the signal faster). In my case. the sound is what is being delayed, so using the Audio Delay only made it worse.

Ok thanks for that. I have a playbar connected to an older Samsung. Once I get the Sony I may be back in touch for more info on booking up the hdmi switch if I have same problem.  Interesting I asked Crutchfield about this and they said they’ve never heard of this issue and sell the Sony tv and playbar a lot

I’ve had the a Sonos 5.1 set up now for probably the best part of 5 years and keep revisiting the audio lag issue periodically but have always come to the same conclusion and that is simply that there are too many different variables that influence the outcome, all of which are beyond Sonos control. Although they are not entirely blameless in my opinion.

Essentially from the outset the Playbar is sold as a system that you can simply connect via an optical connection to you TV. Yep great that works fine. Time goes by and you add the Sub, great all is good. The issue really comes when you want to add rear speakers and your expectation is that you will now get surround sound WRONG. What you find is that your TV will only output PCM audio i.e. Stereo so not surround. Sonos take note you know this!!

Okay you are now left with a choice. Either buy a HDMI splitter which takes the audio/HDMI signal and essentially splits it from the parent source (in my case a Virgin Tivo box) costs around £30 and works or a treat or buy a new TV that has 5.1 passthrough. I’ve done both and the very disappointing thing to report this that even if your new shiny TV has passthrough it can also add latency/lag through the various upscaling/processing it does on certain channels mainly HD in the UK although not all.

Personally turning much of these features off does not make a difference at all!!. Luckily in the UK at least the newer Virgin V6 box has a decent optical output SO THE ONLY WAY TO RESOLVE THE LATENCY ISSUE IS TO CONNECT THE V6 BOX DIRECTLY TO THE PLAYBAR. This fixes your issues if you have just the one source, if you don’t then you will only get this to work by using the splitter. However, if you want use the SmartTV services built into your TV you are screwed and you will have to switch your TV speakers back on again to hear the sound.

The UK Virgin V6 Tivo box has now picked up Netflix and Amazon Prime TV so its is becoming less of an issue. This is just my experience with living with the Sonos system for the last 5 years. I really love it and it adds a lot to the TV/Movie experience but its not without its frustrations. Perhaps if Apple did TV, Surround Sound & Content then it would probably work seamlessly as they would be in control of all of the moving parts, but at the same time I would probably have to sell one of my kids to pay for it!!

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I too have this audio lag HDMI ARC problem from a 2019 Samsung 75” Q80R set.  My solution as @User553703 described is to use the Optical output from the Xfinity DVR (US) cable box.  And the Optical from the TV for internal apps.  I then have a J-Tech 3-1 Optical switch going to the Optical/HDMI adapter to the Beam.   No ‘Real’ solution to the HDMI ARC audio lag, but this works.

I too have this audio lag HDMI ARC problem from a 2019 Samsung 75” Q80R set.  My solution as @User553703 described is to use the Optical output from the Xfinity DVR (US) cable box.  And the Optical from the TV for internal apps.  I then have a J-Tech 3-1 Optical switch going to the Optical/HDMI adapter to the Beam.   No ‘Real’ solution to the HDMI ARC audio lag, but this works.

Hey, I have a Sony TV and Sonos system. The lagging sound has gotten worse. I’m not very tech savvy so I just wanted to ask, if I use the cable box through Xfinity and an Apple TV for Disney plus hbo Max etc. what all do I need? The 3-1 and then the adapter? So I run cable box and Apple TV right into the 3-1 then through the adapter and then into the beam? Thanks for your help!

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I also have a Sony TV, a 900E series from 2017.  I have the same problem off and on. Sometimes it happens and sometimes it looks as if I’ve fixed it.  The E series doesn’t have a pass through but it does have a PCM setting and an AV sync setting.  That doesn’t seem to solve it consistently so I tried the optical adapter, have the same problem.  I think, not sure, if the TV had eARC then we would have this problem solved, but maybe an expert could confirm that.  I may try the HD Fury option, not sure.  The switch listed above isn’t really an option for everyone since it only has one input and I’d rather not use optical.  Maybe another HDMI splitter is available. 

I just sent back a brand new Samsung Q90T for this very reason, no matter what I did could not get Playbar and video in sync from external HDMI sources although it worked with Samsung’s built-in apps. I got a Sony Bravia X950H as a replacement and within 15 minutes had it working perfectly with my Tivo Bolt and Firestick set to Dolby Digital and TV audio set to passthrough mode. Voila! Working as it should in glorious DD 5.1 surround. I’m finally happy! :grin: 

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