Don't have eARC? Get Atmos w/ HD Fury "Arcana" - Pre-orders now LIVE!



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Update for anyone here that is not on Discord:

HDFury just confirmed that they will start shipping on September 15th, approx. 400 units a day, to finish on the 19th. Pre orders are now at approx 1400, so by that math they would either finish early, or it means that they expect to have the 1900 units they refer to on their website ready to ship on the 15th.

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It would be nice if Sonos App can display Dolby Atmos “TrueHD” or “MAT” instead of the generic Dolby Atmos.  It is able to distinguish Dolby Atmos (DD+) in “About my system”.

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It would be nice if Sonos App can display Dolby Atmos “TrueHD” or “MAT” instead of the generic Dolby Atmos.  It is able to distinguish Dolby Atmos (DD+) in “About my system”.

There have been a couple of threads on this. I’d say most of us are in agreement that the now playing screen in the app could and should be much more descriptive than it currently is. At a minimum, I’d like for it to display whatever audio format is currently being displayed in the About My System screen. Such a simple thing but would be a nice touch. 

It may be a simple thing, it may not. It depends on the code. I’ve seen quite a few ‘simple’ suggestions that have not been implemented. I always have to assume it’s not because Sonos enjoys frustrating its users, but there are reasons that we don’t know, which could often be Code/path complexity. 

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It’s off topic, but I got a Shield over the summer and have rather impressed with it.  I got it as I wanted a 2nd streamer for various reasons, heard good things about it, and wanted something that was streaming service agnostic.   Performance wise, it’s much better than FireTV or my other option Samsung’s internal apps. I pretty much use it 90% of the time now  Much more customizable.  Didn’t even consider Plex at the time, but set that up and been very happy with that. I use plex primarily as a music server, but now I’m considering building a video library as well.  

I’m going to go pick one up today to try it out after all. I’ve got a buddy who speaks very highly of it and at this point I might as well have the ability to have the full audio quality from my ripped BDs. (Right? Right….? :no_mouth:)

Plus, I’ve been toying around with the idea of using it as a Plex server itself as supposedly it’s pretty capable. And that would get the Plex server off my daily driver iMac and onto something dedicated, so that could be good. We’ll see! 


Shield are very good bits of kit and seem to handle lots of formats without any wobbles

As you are beta testing the Arcana with our new favourite bit of kit (Sonos ARC) can you indicate how much difference there is between 5.1 and full fat True HD Atmos ? As that is why most of us without Earc TV’s will be wanting the Arcana. I have to echo your thoughts on the HD Fury guys they are fantastic at customer service which is one of the reasons why I took the plunge.

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Shield are very good bits of kit and seem to handle lots of formats without any wobbles

 

So far I’m very impressed with the Shield’s capabilities… as a Plex server. I’ve had up to 7 direct HD streams running locally at once and it can easily handle at least 3 direct local 4K streams (and even a couple of HD streams at the same time!) as well. Would never have dreamed that I’d get Plex server performance that good from “just” a streaming box. 

The client side is more of a question. I don’t really like the interface (Apple TV guy here), the images looked really washed out until I found an obscure and poorly worded setting, and it doesn’t transcode DTS to Dolby Digital like Plex on Apple TV will without changing a setting (which then basically turns off TrueHD/Atmos output, which was the original reason I got the thing). 

So a mixed bag, but high marks for Plex server performance! 

 

As you are beta testing the Arcana with our new favourite bit of kit (Sonos ARC) can you indicate how much difference there is between 5.1 and full fat True HD Atmos ? As that is why most of us without Earc TV’s will be wanting the Arcana. I have to echo your thoughts on the HD Fury guys they are fantastic at customer service which is one of the reasons why I took the plunge.

Unfortunately, I haven’t done any critical A/B listening tests yet. I’ve been more focused on getting everything working and then I got distracted by moving my Plex server over to the Shield, and the kids are doing school from home so I can’t have it loud during the day, etc. etc. What I’ve heard so far, though, has sounded great. However, what I’ve heard from Dolby Digital and Dolby Digital Plus has sounded great so far, too. In the little bit that I’ve heard so far, my ears can’t immediately tell a difference. Or certainly not a major one. When I do get around to critical listening tests, I’ll be surprised if I hear a difference that blows me out of the water. More than likely it will be an incremental improvement, but I’m happy to be proven wrong. 

Also, I’m not going to get myself too worked up over it. No one, hopefully, watches movies switching back and forth between sound formats so I’ll just be happy to choose the best available format and sit back and enjoy a movie or show knowing that I’ve got the best possible sound quality. YMMV, of course. 

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Thank you for the quick reply.

I agree the DD+ sounds great anyway but i kind of secretly hoped that being able to put full fat Atmos from a 4k disc via my OPPO might have the edge somehow.

As you say the knowledge that you will have the best possible sound whatever the source and without having to buy a new TV (mine is LG B7) is a warm feeling.

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Thank you for the quick reply.

I agree the DD+ sounds great anyway but i kind of secretly hoped that being able to put full fat Atmos from a 4k disc via my OPPO might have the edge somehow.

As you say the knowledge that you will have the best possible sound whatever the source and without having to buy a new TV (mine is LG B7) is a warm feeling.

Thanks to the Shield and my Plex collection, I’ve now got access to multiple pieces of the same content in TrueHD (with and without Atmos), Dolby Digital (transcoded from DTS), and Dolby Digital Plus / Atmos. I’ll see if I can start doing some critical listening tonight and will report back. 

I’ve heard others say that TrueHD is noticeably better than DD+ in general.  I don’t really know if that’s psychosomatic or if it’s actually better.  The other aspect of this, particularly when atmos gets thrown in, is that you quickly get into the territory where the rooms acoustic characteristics plays a very large role.  Trueplay helps with this a lot, but when you’re counting on audio reflecting off walls and ceilings, you’re going to have rooms where it sounds great and others where you can’t hear much difference between TrueHD atoms and DD 5.1.

For me, I do notice some difference with atmos audio coming through, but not as much as I originally thought.  I am overall happy with it, and like the improvement over the playbar, for sure.  

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I’ve heard others say that TrueHD is noticeably better than DD+ in general.  I don’t really know if that’s psychosomatic or if it’s actually better.  The other aspect of this, particularly when atmos gets thrown in, is that you quickly get into the territory where the rooms acoustic characteristics plays a very large role.  Trueplay helps with this a lot, but when you’re counting on audio reflecting off walls and ceilings, you’re going to have rooms where it sounds great and others where you can’t hear much difference between TrueHD atoms and DD 5.1.

For me, I do notice some difference with atmos audio coming through, but not as much as I originally thought.  I am overall happy with it, and like the improvement over the playbar, for sure.  

Yeah, that’s why I’m not getting too worked up about it all. On paper, I’m sure TrueHD blows DD and DD+ out of the water in terms of sheer specs. In reality, though, I’m willing to bet it won't matter all that much. If you’ve got a serious (and seriously expensive) home theater system that can wring every bit of sound out of it, I’m sure TrueHD is amazing. For the rest of us, even “plain old” Dolby Digital is still really damn good. 

I still think most people don’t understand just how damn good all of these audio codecs are these days. Dolby and DTS and others have been working on these compression algorithms and making psychoacoustic magic for decades now and they’ve gotten ridiculously good at it. 

Plus, there are so many variables at play. Even if there’s a subtle difference like the TrueHD mix simply being a little LOUDER than a Dolby Digital Plus mix for the same movie, it could cause a person to perceive that the TrueHD mix is better (or vice versa).   

But, again, I’ll be happy to be surprised. Maybe TrueHD will blow me out of the water. Regardless, I’ve got really, really good sound quality that’s making me quite happy. ;-) 

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I’ve heard others say that TrueHD is noticeably better than DD+ in general.  I don’t really know if that’s psychosomatic or if it’s actually better.  The other aspect of this, particularly when atmos gets thrown in, is that you quickly get into the territory where the rooms acoustic characteristics plays a very large role.  Trueplay helps with this a lot, but when you’re counting on audio reflecting off walls and ceilings, you’re going to have rooms where it sounds great and others where you can’t hear much difference between TrueHD atoms and DD 5.1.

For me, I do notice some difference with atmos audio coming through, but not as much as I originally thought.  I am overall happy with it, and like the improvement over the playbar, for sure.  

Yeah, that’s why I’m not getting too worked up about it all. On paper, I’m sure TrueHD blows DD and DD+ out of the water in terms of sheer specs. In reality, though, I’m willing to bet it won't matter all that much. If you’ve got a serious (and seriously expensive) home theater system that can wring every bit of sound out of it, I’m sure TrueHD is amazing. For the rest of us, even “plain old” Dolby Digital is still really damn good. 

I still think most people don’t understand just how damn good all of these audio codecs are these days. Dolby and DTS and others have been working on these compression algorithms and making psychoacoustic magic for decades now and they’ve gotten ridiculously good at it. 

Plus, there are so many variables at play. Even if there’s a subtle difference like the TrueHD mix simply being a little LOUDER than a Dolby Digital Plus mix for the same movie, it could cause a person to perceive that the TrueHD mix is better (or vice versa).   

But, again, I’ll be happy to be surprised. Maybe TrueHD will blow me out of the water. Regardless, I’ve got really, really good sound quality that’s making me quite happy. ;-) 

I agree it will come down to set up, room shape and size, then ears!

Whatever happens i am sure there will be some slight difference, however the big thing for me is the difference the Sonos ARC has made. it is a truly awesome bit of kit despite the odd little niggle like lack of DTS and only one hdmi

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I agree it will come down to set up, room shape and size, then ears!

Whatever happens i am sure there will be some slight difference, however the big thing for me is the difference the Sonos ARC has made. it is a truly awesome bit of kit despite the odd little niggle like lack of DTS and only one hdmi

Agreed! While DTS support wouldn’t suck, nor would more HDMI ports, that would make the Arc a different product. And it’s a pretty damn good product as it is. :-) 

Hi, 

I am about to buy Arcana to solve Arc audio issues but if Diva does everything that Arcana do, then I might want to get Diva for extra features. So my question is, can I use 4K Diva 18Gbps to solve the audio issues that Arcana suppose to fix?
My second question is, does Arcana or Diva add any latency due to processing. I'm asking because I want to use these devices for gaming purposes.

Edit: Also, in the Arcana features it’s mentioned: “Allow DV content playback from LLDV capable source on any HDR10 display for improved picture quality”. I wonder how this feature works? Is there a web interface for setting up these kinds of settings like in Diva?

Thanks,

Hi, 

I am about to buy Arcana to solve Arc audio issues but if Diva does everything that Arcana do, then I might want to get Diva for extra features. So my question is, can I use 4K Diva 18Gbps to solve the audio issues that Arcana suppose to fix?

 

 

Diva will not resolve the issues Arcana fixes. Diva does not have the capability of generating an eARC signal the way Arcana does.  Really, Arcana is the only device that isn’t a TV that can generate an ARC or eARC audio signal, and it does so without an extra processing and and such which can cause the audio and video to be out of sync.

HD Fury has hinted at the possibly that the next generation of their Diva/Vertex/Maestro products will have the Arcana functionality built in, but that next gen seems to be rather far off, at least a year I imagine.

 


My second question is, does Arcana or Diva add any latency due to processing. I'm asking because I want to use these devices for gaming purposes.

 

 

HD Fury’s website says that input lag is less than 1ms for each product.

 

Edit: Also, in the Arcana features it’s mentioned: “Allow DV content playback from LLDV capable source on any HDR10 display for improved picture quality”. I wonder how this feature works? Is there a web interface for setting up these kinds of settings like in Diva?

Thanks,

 

Arcana does not have a web interface.  It has it’s own LED screen and a dial on the side that allows you to change configurations.  If you’re asking how Arcana is able to accomplish this technically, I barely understand HDR and LLDV, much less how to convert between the two.  I’m not sure HD Fury wants to really share how they do though.

 

You can get answers from HD Fury directly by connecting to their Discord channel.  The information for that is on this thread somewhere.  HD Fury will also answer questions on the AVS forum.

Arcana - https://www.avsforum.com/threads/hdfury-arcana-earc-adapter-for-sonos-arc-and-bose-700-soundbars.3153792/page-14

Diva - https://www.avsforum.com/threads/hdfury-diva-owners-thread.3033360/page-96#post-60073685

There is probably more details in those threads regarding lag/latency, or you can just ask.

 

FYI, I it’s not as visible on the Arcana product page as it used to be, but if you pre-order Arcana + Diva (or some other options) you get a rather deep discount.  The ‘Quantity’ drop down list shows the discounts.  Don’t know if there will be a discount once Arcana is shipped.

Hi, 

I am about to buy Arcana to solve Arc audio issues but if Diva does everything that Arcana do, then I might want to get Diva for extra features. So my question is, can I use 4K Diva 18Gbps to solve the audio issues that Arcana suppose to fix?

 

 

Diva will not resolve the issues Arcana fixes. Diva does not have the capability of generating an eARC signal the way Arcana does.  Really, Arcana is the only device that isn’t a TV that can generate an ARC or eARC audio signal, and it does so without an extra processing and and such which can cause the audio and video to be out of sync.

HD Fury has hinted at the possibly that the next generation of their Diva/Vertex/Maestro products will have the Arcana functionality built in, but that next gen seems to be rather far off, at least a year I imagine.

 

Thanks for your detailed reply. The reason I asked about whether Diva supports the same feature is that I saw this on the Diva’s product page:

Diva allows any HDMI source (Blu-ray, UHD Blu-ray, media players, satellite receiver, game consoles, PCs, etc.) to be shown on any of the connected displays and any sources Full HDMI audio to be played on ANY AVR.
World First: Diva is also capable of extracting full audio from any TV ARC or eARC (HDMI2.1) up to Atmos High Bit Rate over True HD and forward it via 720p/1080p HDMI to ANY capable AVR input!

And also:

Full Audio port: Full HDMI/ARC/eARC Audio extraction via 720p/1080p self generated stream to feed any AVR input

 

Why not contact HDFury directly with your question?

Why not contact HDFury directly with your question?

I emailed them and I’m waiting for their response. Meanwhile, I asked the same question on avsforum as well.

@Hunt3r Regarding the statement on Diva, the Arc is not an AVR, though I suppose it could be more clear if they explicitly excluded audio equipment that only take HDMI-ARC/eARC.  What Diva is doing is essentially just passing the normal audio HDMI signal from source to audio equipment.  It does not convert that signal to HDMI-ARC/eARC.

Regarding the mention of ARC/eARC extraction, this means that the connection between your TV and Diva allows Diva to read the audio signal coming back through ARC/eARC signal, convert it to a normal HDMI audio signal, and send it to your audio equipment.  Essentially, it’s the opposite of the main function of the Arcana.  

Hopefully not confusing, but Arcana does have the ability to do ARC/eARC extraction as well, but instead of converting it to a normal HDMI audio signal, it just passes it on as ARC/eARC signal to the Sonos Arc.

 

@melvimbe Perfect and clear explanations. Correct me if I’m wrong. Since I’m going to use the Arcana/Diva with an AVR I think both can fix my problem. Either use Arcana connected to AVR’s Arc output or use Diva connected to one of the AVR’s inputs. But since I still need to use my TV’s remote and rely on its CEC to control my AVR, I think it’s a safer bet to stick with Arcana + ARC path.

I was tempted by this, but by the time I add postage and tax I am at $250 Canadian. So I am going to hold off and see if Vizio update their firmware as my TV is a 2019 model. I get Atmos from USB’s plugged into the TV (DD+) so it can do it. It passes DD+ from my Roku but not atmos. So it’s almost there, if they chose (ha!) to do it. 

I am curious how it works for those of you that get it. 

The problem isn’t with your Vizio...it’s your Apple TV. Sonos Arc is backwards compatible with HDMI ARC and Dolby Digital + and your Vizio TV will pass that fine. Its the fact that Apple TVs will only pass Dolby True HD which your Vizio TV can’t pass and this capability likely won’t be given in a firmware update. 

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Just posted this over on the HD Fury Discord, FWIW: 

For anyone looking for a simple, inexpensive HDMI switch, I can confirm that this ROOFULL 5 port switch works beautifully with Arcana:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07CF793HQ/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

It’s handled everything I’ve thrown at it so far from both an Apple TV and Nvidia Shield

Dolby Vision, HDR 10, Atmos, TrueHD, all confirmed.

And, interestingly, it doesn’t seem at all picky about cables. I just used whatever I had lying around to test it out and it all worked swimmingly.

Can’t speak to the auto switching as I’m controlling it from a Harmony Hub (which works great here) but overall I’m very pleased. Will update here if I run into any issues But for the moment I can recommend.

FYI to all.

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I am excited and curious to hear what Atmos sounds like at last.

So far I have only been able to hear Atmos on a handful of Netflix series, and I don't really think tv shows are the best showcase for state of the art audio technology. 

I am sitting on unwatched UHD blu rays of Blade Runner, 2001 and Gravity and cannot wait to see if Atmos is the real deal or just the emperor's new clothes.

Can’t speak to the auto switching as I’m controlling it from a Harmony Hub (which works great here) but overall I’m very pleased. Will update here if I run into any issues But for the moment I can recommend.

FYI to all.

 

For the Harmony Hub, was the switch listed for easy setup or did you have to train Harmony to use it?

 

Also, I saw HD Fury’s comments regarding cables working fine on Discord.  I think the discussion of what cables work and don’t work (same with switches) gets over simplified a bit.  There really is two factors in picking a switch or cable to work in your setup.  The first is, is the product have the right specs for your needs.  18 gbps is great, however, if you don’t have any sources or TV/PJ that requires it, you don’t absolutely need it.  Is it a good idea to get it for future proofing?  Sure, as the cost difference usually isn’t that different, but if you already have cables/switches than nothing wrong with using what you got.

 

The other factor is product reliability.  There are lots of high quality brands out there and some that’s not so good.  Depending on your setup, the extra cost for the higher quality is usually worth it.  Again though, if what you have works for what you need in terms of specs, use what you got.

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For the Harmony Hub, was the switch listed for easy setup or did you have to train Harmony to use it?

 

I plugged in ROOFULL and the model number and the Harmony added it no problem. Sees it as “ROOFULL AV Switch” and gives direct access to each of the five inputs (e.g., no cycling through - if you select input 3, it goes directly to input 3, which is nice). 

 

Also, I saw HD Fury’s comments regarding cables working fine on Discord.  I think the discussion of what cables work and don’t work (same with switches) gets over simplified a bit.  There really is two factors in picking a switch or cable to work in your setup.  The first is, is the product have the right specs for your needs.  18 gbps is great, however, if you don’t have any sources or TV/PJ that requires it, you don’t absolutely need it.  Is it a good idea to get it for future proofing?  Sure, as the cost difference usually isn’t that different, but if you already have cables/switches than nothing wrong with using what you got.

 

Yeah, I saw that too. I’ll test a little bit more but honestly I rolled my eyes a little when I saw the response. I get that HD Fury is super concerned about this stuff because it’s literally what they do, but for 99.98% of people (ESPECIALLY Sonos Arc customers who just want stuff to work), as long as it works it works. The Apple TV / Shield reports that it’s sending Dolby Vision, the TV reports that it's displaying in Dolby Vision, the Sonos app reports that’s it’s receiving Atmos - what’s the problem? If I didn’t have an Arcana telling me the MHz of the signal I wouldn’t know anything more than what my equipment is reporting, so I don’t feel like getting too wrapped around the axel about it. 

 

The other factor is product reliability.  There are lots of high quality brands out there and some that’s not so good.  Depending on your setup, the extra cost for the higher quality is usually worth it.  Again though, if what you have works for what you need in terms of specs, use what you got.

Normally I’m in complete agreement with you. I almost never regret spending MORE money to get something better. If I end up regretting a purchase it’s usually because I cheaped out. As for something like this, however, it either works or it doesn’t. And if it works it was a great value at the whopping $38 I paid for it. I’m sure HD Fury’s switches are wonderful, but they’re also 10x the price and massive overkill when all I need is to hook up three devices to an Arcana. I can re-buy this thing ten times over if it breaks - and I really kind of doubt it will. 

 

For the Harmony Hub, was the switch listed for easy setup or did you have to train Harmony to use it?

 

I plugged in ROOFULL and the model number and the Harmony added it no problem. Sees it as “ROOFULL AV Switch” and gives direct access to each of the five inputs (e.g., no cycling through - if you select input 3, it goes directly to input 3, which is nice). 

 

 

Very Nice.  I actually got Vertex 2 along with Arcana, and I’m not looking forward to getting it controlled by Harmony.  I know it will work, but you have to send an email to Harmony and such like that.

 

Also, I saw HD Fury’s comments regarding cables working fine on Discord.  I think the discussion of what cables work and don’t work (same with switches) gets over simplified a bit.  There really is two factors in picking a switch or cable to work in your setup.  The first is, is the product have the right specs for your needs.  18 gbps is great, however, if you don’t have any sources or TV/PJ that requires it, you don’t absolutely need it.  Is it a good idea to get it for future proofing?  Sure, as the cost difference usually isn’t that different, but if you already have cables/switches than nothing wrong with using what you got.

 

Yeah, I saw that too. I’ll test a little bit more but honestly I rolled my eyes a little when I saw the response. I get that HD Fury is super concerned about this stuff because it’s literally what they do, but for 99.98% of people (ESPECIALLY Sonos Arc customers who just want stuff to work), as long as it works it works. The Apple TV / Shield reports that it’s sending Dolby Vision, the TV reports that it's displaying in Dolby Vision, the Sonos app reports that’s it’s receiving Atmos - what’s the problem? If I didn’t have an Arcana telling me the MHz of the signal I wouldn’t know anything more than what my equipment is reporting, so I don’t feel like getting too wrapped around the axel about it. 

 

 

What I find interesting is that HD Fury tends to have a different attitude with switches than they do with cables.  They generally have no comment on switches and say that any cheap one will do.  I suspect it has more to do with before Arcana, HDMI switches were not normally part of their customer’s setup.  Not really a point of failure.  Cables are, and they have surely had people with issues, blaming an HD fury product, when the cable was the issue.  I suspect they will start talking about recommend switches soon when people start reporting issues with what they suspect to be an Arcana issue.

 

 

 

The other factor is product reliability.  There are lots of high quality brands out there and some that’s not so good.  Depending on your setup, the extra cost for the higher quality is usually worth it.  Again though, if what you have works for what you need in terms of specs, use what you got.

Normally I’m in complete agreement with you. I almost never regret spending MORE money to get something better. If I end up regretting a purchase it’s usually because I cheaped out. As for something like this, however, it either works or it doesn’t. And if it works it was a great value at the whopping $38 I paid for it. I’m sure HD Fury’s switches are wonderful, but they’re also 10x the price and massive overkill when all I need is to hook up three devices to an Arcana. I can re-buy this thing ten times over if it breaks - and I really kind of doubt it will. 

I wasn’t trying to imply that your switch wasn’t high quality, as I actually think it is.  Price wise it’s actually double the price of what Amazon recommends, and it’s worth it I think.  You say you cheaped out, but you actually did not.  The reason I went with HD Fury’s vertex 2 is because I actually wanted a matrix instead of a switch and intend to use many of the features you can’t get  in other products.  If I did not need that, I would have gotten the same sort of switch you did.