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Issue with Yamaha RX-A850 or design limits? (1 Viewer)

ecoboost_xsport

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So about a year ago, I began massing more and more 4K (HDR, Dolby Atmos stuff) content on my HTPC server.

This issue started creeping slowly and I am not sure if it is a limitation of the receiver or it is failing:

When playing 4K content in my living room that has a pretty high-end setup, I keep getting the audio momentarily going out. I can visually see on the receiver that it will "blip" from whatever format is being utilized (Dolby Digital +, Atmos, etc) to PCM briefly but come back in.

At first I thought this was my HTPC, but I then connected it directly to the TV, bypassing the receiver and the media plays fine. I've changed out HDMI cables etc, but to no avail. Now, in my media player program, I have the ability to have my server transcode the media into other sizes and the largest size I can have it trasncode to is 1080 (10MBs) and not the native 4K playing directly without transcoding.

I've isolated it to the receiver as it, as mentioned, will not repeat this behavior when taking the receiver out of the equation. It also will not repeat this behavior in other rooms with other clients playing the same media without a receiver. I've messed with many of the settings in the receiver, but nothing fixes it. It makes 4K movies unwatchable.

Is the signal processor of the receiver beginning to fail (I feel this is happening more frequently) or s the receiver just not capable of passing through the content without dropping the signal?
 

Dave Upton

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Hi John,

There are a couple of potential causes here. I would start with looking at your HDMI cables - as a bad cable can often cause these issues.

I would also consider upgrading the firmware of your receiver, if you haven't already updated to the latest version available.
 

JohnRice

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I second Dave. Something that's intermittent indicates it's not an incompatibility, or it simply wouldn't work. You need to make certain your hdmi cable are certified at least 18Gb/s, a reputable brand and not too long. Monoprice has reasonably priced ones
 

ecoboost_xsport

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Both first things I checked.. I've done both these steps. Cables are certified and high end cables. Short 3' runs and I've updated to latest firmware. Reason why I'm thinking it's the receiver is, when I bypass it and connect the HTPC straight to TV (using same cables), I have no issues.
 

JohnRice

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You're having some sort of handshake problem, and yeah it can definitely be a failing hdmi board.
 

ecoboost_xsport

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You're having some sort of handshake problem, and yeah it can definitely be a failing hdmi board.
Any fix for that? I'm pretty handy with electronic repairs if its a board swap or similar process? Anywhere online they sell replacement boards? Or am I looking at getting a new receiver, which I'm not really opposed to?
 

John Dirk

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Your receiver has 8 HDMI inputs but only 3 of them are HDCP 2.2 compatible. Make sure you're using one of those.

1616712010759.png


 

ecoboost_xsport

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Your receiver has 8 HDMI inputs but only 3 of them are HDCP 2.2 compatible. Make sure you're using one of those.

View attachment 93338

Yup...using the proper one.
 

John Dirk

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Yup...using the proper one.
Reread your initial post. I should have asked before but, have you tried playing 1080P content? If that plays fine then you can pretty much conclude the receiver cannot handle the transcoding for whatever reason. I'm assuming it works when connected directly to the TV because the TV isn't trying to decode the audio as the receiver is? Not really sure but transcoding is usually not very reliable in my experience.
 

ecoboost_xsport

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Reread your initial post. I should have asked before but, have you tried playing 1080P content? If that plays fine then you can pretty much conclude the receiver cannot handle the transcoding for whatever reason. I'm assuming it works when connected directly to the TV because the TV isn't trying to decode the audio as the receiver is? Not really sure but transcoding is usually not very reliable in my experience.
Yes, 1080p content plays fine. Wasn't sure about the transcoding as the server is doing the transcoding and not the receiver. But it makes sense. Is this an issue with this model receiver as a design limit or is it a failing component on the receiver? Wondering if a newer model will work better or if repairing this is the way to go.
 

John Dirk

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Yes, 1080p content plays fine. Wasn't sure about the transcoding as the server is doing the transcoding and not the receiver. But it makes sense. Is this an issue with this model receiver as a design limit or is it a failing component on the receiver? Wondering if a newer model will work better or if repairing this is the way to go.
I don't think the receiver is actually the problem. Speculating of course but I think the receiver is doing its best to process an inconsistent [and likely incomplete] data stream caused by the transcoding.

What media player are you using? Perhaps there are better options.
 

JohnRice

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My gut feeling is the same as John's. The symptom might be showing up with the receiver, but I suspect it is being caused by the HTPC.
 

ecoboost_xsport

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It is not the HTPC, this only happens when the media is not being transcoded but while playing DIRECTLY, so the data stream is complete and consistant. Ironically, it actually plays fine when the media is being transcoded to a format less than 4K. It plays fine with the receiver OUT of the system and directly to the TV in any format. I've even tried to play media locally from the HTPC (usually I'm playing it from a server over the network and the HTPC is a client), but to rule out any issues with my network, I loaded an exact media file directly onto the HTPC and the behavior is the same. Whether locally or over the network, it does the same thing.

I use Emby as my media player, but I've also done the troubleshooting with attempting to diagnose this issue. I've gone through troubleshooting on the HTPC side of things (my wheelhouse) but came here looking for assistance on the receiver side of things (NOT my wheelhouse) but this same symptom happens with ALL media players (VLC, etc...)
 
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JohnRice

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With all your troubleshooting, it does seem to point to the receiver.

At this point I can't think of anything to do other than at least try a new receiver.

As far as replacing an hdmi board, I don't know how complicated it would be, or where you would get a replacement. It very well could be fairly simple, but that'll require knowledge of the specific brand design, which I don't have. That kind if info is probably available. The receiver isn't that old, but hdmi board problems seem to be something that is becoming more and more common.

Again at this point, the most logical step seems to be trying a new receiver.
 

ecoboost_xsport

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With all your troubleshooting, it does seem to point to the receiver.

At this point I can't think of anything to do other than at least try a new receiver.

As far as replacing an hdmi board, I don't know how complicated it would be, or where you would get a replacement. It very well could be fairly simple, but that'll require knowledge of the specific brand design, which I don't have. That kind if info is probably available. The receiver isn't that old, but hdmi board problems seem to be something that is becoming more and more common.

Again at this point, the most logical step seems to be trying a new receiver.
Yeah, I kinda figured it was the reciever...but I guess my question is more...should the receiver be able to handle what I'm throwing at it and it's just a design limit (and hence, a board replacement would do nothing) or is it supposed to be able to handle this and the receiver is just failing somewhow (and a repair/replacement of a component would be a viable option)?
 

JohnRice

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Yeah, I kinda figured it was the reciever...but I guess my question is more...should the receiver be able to handle what I'm throwing at it and it's just a design limit (and hence, a board replacement would do nothing) or is it supposed to be able to handle this and the receiver is just failing somewhow (and a repair/replacement of a component would be a viable option)?
The problem is the HTPC could be contributing to the glitches. So I really can't give a reliable answer. I don't think that running the signal without trouble through a TV necessarily eliminates the HTPC as being a possible contributor. To me, the only way to definitively answer that is to try a new receiver. You'd want to borrow one or find one you can return if the problem persists.
 

John Dirk

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It is not the HTPC, this only happens when the media is not being transcoded but while playing DIRECTLY, so the data stream is complete and consistant. Ironically, it actually plays fine when the media is being transcoded to a format less than 4K. It plays fine with the receiver OUT of the system and directly to the TV in any format. I've even tried to play media locally from the HTPC (usually I'm playing it from a server over the network and the HTPC is a client), but to rule out any issues with my network, I loaded an exact media file directly onto the HTPC and the behavior is the same. Whether locally or over the network, it does the same thing.

I use Emby as my media player, but I've also done the troubleshooting with attempting to diagnose this issue. I've gone through troubleshooting on the HTPC side of things (my wheelhouse) but came here looking for assistance on the receiver side of things (NOT my wheelhouse) but this same symptom happens with ALL media players (VLC, etc...)
When the receiver displays Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital+ etc., it is decoding a compressed bitstream from the HTPC. When it displays PCM it believes the signal it is receiving is no longer compressed.

Try intentionally switching the decoding duties to the HTPC instead of the receiver by selecting PCM in your player settings instead of bitstream. This is not an ideal configuration but, if it resolves the problem, then you can safely conclude there is something going on with the receiver that is preventing it from properly decoding compressed audio bitstreams.
 

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