Synchronizing audio (FM) and video (TV)

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by W i l l, Sep 6, 2004.

  1. W i l l

    W i l l Auditioning

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    I'm looking for advice and recommendations for adding a digital delay device to my home theater setup. Here's my situation.

    I like to watch college football on TV while listening to it on the radio. (After all, who wants to listen to an unbiased commentator if your own team is playing?) With my Denon AVR-2805, this is easy enough to arrange, but the TV signal lags a few seconds behind the radio. So how can I fix this?

    My receiver will allow me to add 200ms of delay to the radio, but this isn't nearly enough. The receiver has 7.1 total channels, two of which can be used independently, so my next plan is to output the FM signal to some sort of digital delay, and then input the output of the digital delay device back to the receiver.

    Has anyone figured out a way to do this? What equipment would you recommend?
     
  2. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    You’ll have to look to the pro audio world for something like this. Most rack mounted effects processors have digital delay, although I’m not sure if they’ll delay that long or not. Alternately, guitar players use “stomp boxes” that do delay as well, although once again I’m not sure if they’ll delay for several seconds.

    Once you find one, implementing it will be the next challenge. Forget 7.1 – you’ll be lucky to get stereo. You’ll have to connect the processor (or two of them, if the one you end up using is single-channel) between your pre-outs and main-ins, assuming you have both.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  3. ScottLR

    ScottLR Stunt Coordinator

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    Consider yourself lucky...my baseball TV broadcasts lag a full 7 seconds behind the radio! Cablevision...grrrr
     
  4. W i l l

    W i l l Auditioning

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    7 seconds would drive me totally crazy, but maybe you get a lot of streakers in your area and they need time to edit them out.

    I've been finding a lot of pro equipment (just search for digital delay on ebay), but almost all of that equipment is designed for people who want reverb and echoes and other sonic effects beyond delay.

    There doesn't seem to be much overlap in the pro and home audio/video markets. As far as I can tell, companies like Harman Kardon that sell in one market sell under a different name (Lexicon) in the other market.

    At the end of the day I hope to find some sort of box that costs $150, gives me a selectable stereo digital delay without affecting sound quality.
     
  5. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Yes, the pro (rack-mounted) processors will have lots of other effects besides delay. You might try posting a question at the LAB Lounge section at ProSoundWeb.com. The folks there are knowledgeable about all kinds of pro audio equipment. Just pretend to be a guy who mixes bands on weekends or something and you’re looking for this thing for your home system. (Whatever you do, don’t use the main LAB Forum. Those are the professional users and they don’t take kindly to questions about home stereo systems.)

    Did you look into any guitar processors? It shouldn’t be hard to find a delay-only box. I know that some car audio people were using them for their rear fills a number of years ago. Only problem with those is that they’re going to be mono, so you would have to feed it from one pre-out channel of your receiver and split that back into both main-ins. You would get the delay you need, but you wouldn’t get any surround sound.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  6. John S

    John S Producer

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    $150 for 7 seconds of decent quality delay? Better look used / refurbished. 7 seconds or more are only available on some fairly high end delays.

    The other stuff the delays do, isn't really of to much consequence, as they will all do just delay and nothing else once setup/programmed.

    I may post back, if I find something. The stomp boxes are of terrible quality when providing that much delay and not reccomended by myself for this particular application. You can get away with it for say guitar only, because guitar just doesn't go into higher frequencies that much really.
     
  7. W i l l

    W i l l Auditioning

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    Well I'm limping along checking out various digital delays. Sure enough 2 seconds is about what you find on sound effects processors. For what it's worth (and that would be precisely $5995.00) this (I can't post the URL, but it can be found by googling pixelinstruments and AD3100) is exactly what I need.

    My next scheme is the check out TiVo type digital recorders. Perhaps I can record, and almost immediately play back the FM signal on one of these?
     
  8. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Will,

    You were on the right track with the Pixel 3100. What you need is a broadcast delay. I’ve come across several items on e-Bay – none of them dirt cheap. Even older used gear will set you back a few hundred.

    But keep checking, you might get lucky. Some brands to look for are Lexicon, Orban, Eventide, Symetrix and Airtools.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  9. W i l l

    W i l l Auditioning

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    I’ve finally found, and bought, a digital effects box that does what I wanted. I ended up buying a Digitech Studio Quad 4. It gives me 5 seconds of stereo delay or 10 seconds of mono delay, and piles of pitch shifting, reverb adding, and other special effects that I’ll never use. The Quad 4 sells for $350 new, and you can get them on ebay for roughly half price. If you buy on ebay, you have to pay attention to what you are bidding on. There are two older versions with less delay that sell for about $100.

    If you are the sort of person who finds setting up a home theater fun, you’ll probably like the challenge of figuring out what the Quad 4 can do. You have 4 mono inputs and outputs, and a choice of 4 independent effects that can be added in mono, stereo, quad, dual stereo, etc. 100 or so effects come predefined, and you can add another 100 of your own. If you’ve ever found your system wanting a bit more tremolo, or you’d like your living room to sound like a cathedral, this is for you.

    I’ve used the ability of the Denon AVR-2805 to output one signal to Zone 2 while playing another signal in Zone 1 to insert the effects box in the signal path. Specifically, I send FM to Zone 2, and then run cables from the Zone 2 output to the input of my digital effects box. For my use, I have the box add several seconds of delay, and then I take the output of the effects box and send it to one of the unused inputs, e.g. Tape Deck, on the AVR-2805. Back in Zone 1 I choose Tape Deck as my audio source, TV for video, and the net effect is that I can watch TV while listening to local announcers on FM, and the delay is gone.

    In case anyone is interested in sounds quality, well, let’s just say it is good enough for sports broadcasting. Thanks for your help.

    Will
     
  10. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    Sounds like you found a way to work it, but i think the tivo would have offered a way to do it for similar money and also add alot of other functionality to your system. You could have use the Tivo timeshift feature on the FM audio out of Zone 2 (it's recording video too, but that doesn't really matter) and then input it back into an input on Zone 1. Only drawback is you'd have to set the amount of delay every time you want to watch a game, where with your setup the delay can be kept constant.
     

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