Hummy audio control doesn't work as expected with new Samsung TV

mike_m

Member
Finally bought a new Samsung TV to replace my 2014 model. I simply popped the new TV onto the wall mount and plugged in all the old cables as before, so the Blu-Ray player is plugged into the HDMI ARC connector on the TV (and thence to an AV receiver), and the 2 Hummys to the other 2 HDMI sockets.

How it worked with the old TV: After turning on the TV, it would start up with the TV's internal speaker, and after 15 seconds or so, the sound would turn off, and then reappear on the AV receiver's speakers. The volume setting on the Hummy worked additively with the volume setting on the AV receiver (via the TV's remote) - i.e, if the hummy was set to very low volume, the audio would still be fairly quiet even when the TV was set to high volume; if both the Hummy and the AV receiver were set to high, it would be ear-splitting.

How it works now: After turning on the TV, it's mute for 5 seconds or so, then the sound comes through the AV speakers, but now the Hummy's volume control has no effect on the output volume at all, and only the TV remote affects the sound level

This may not seem like much of a problem, but if I say that SWMBO normally has the TV remote, while I jealously guard the Hummy remote. And if, on some very infrequent occasions (no, honestly, very infrequent I assure you) I find that I can't quite catch what some mumbling actor is saying (don't get me started...) I can quietly tweak the volume control without having to ask somebody else's permisssion, if you catch my drift...

Anyway, I thought perhaps somebody might know about the ins and outs of the ARC system and shed some light on this...
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
It is known that if you have Menu >> Settings >> Preferences >> Audio >> Digital Audio Output = Multi-channel, the audio data sent to the TV is separate from the volume data (but possibly only for HiDef services - I don't recall). The audio data is at constant volume, and if the Humax handset is used to adjust the volume that information s sent to the TV to action.

The TV might or might not act on the volume data, depending on settings and whether the TV is capable.

If you want to ensure you have control of volume from the Humax, select Digital Audio Output = Stereo. That results in the audio being sent as stereo PCM and scaled by the Humax volume setting.
 
OP
mike_m

mike_m

Member
Many thanks for the info. I'll do some experimenting with settings on the Humax - so far I've only played about with the TV settings. I've also noticed that the new TV is eARC rather than ARC, which may account for the difference in behaviour.

On a related subject, I'd assumed that all terrestrial broadcasts were just stereo, but I gather that some HD broadcasts are multichannel HE-AAC. Is that preserved as HE-AAC when the Humax records it, or transcoded into some other format?
 

MartinLiddle

Super Moderator
Staff member
On a related subject, I'd assumed that all terrestrial broadcasts were just stereo, but I gather that some HD broadcasts are multichannel HE-AAC. Is that preserved as HE-AAC when the Humax records it, or transcoded into some other format?
I think the audio description uses HE-AAC but the main audio is AAC-LC (see BBC blog). The recording will be exactly what was transmitted. Any conversion takes place when playing the recording.
 
OP
mike_m

mike_m

Member
I think the audio description uses HE-AAC but the main audio is AAC-LC (see BBC blog). The recording will be exactly what was transmitted. Any conversion takes place when playing the recording.
Thanks for that - a very useful explanation from the BBC blog. I obviously didn't know my AAC-LC from my HE-AAC!

So the broadcast audio information is recorded as is, and on playout it's transcoded according to the Digital Audio Output setting. The only remaining issue for me is whether there are a lot of programmes broadcast on Freeview in 'real' 5.1, or whether they're mostly regular stereo.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
The only remaining issue for me is whether there are a lot of programmes broadcast on Freeview in 'real' 5.1, or whether they're mostly regular stereo.
Isn't the real issue how much you like dual volume control? Is the occasional 5.1 "experience" so wonderful that it beats convenience? You can always change the setting on the occasions it is relevant and worth it.
 
OP
mike_m

mike_m

Member
Isn't the real issue how much you like dual volume control? Is the occasional 5.1 "experience" so wonderful that it beats convenience? You can always change the setting on the occasions it is relevant and worth it.
Yes, the dual volume control is the original issue - and, as you say, I'm not particularly interested in a surround-sound experience with regular TV programmes. After all, who cares whether the police sirens come from behind the sofa in Line of Duty? I'm happy to leave that for movies on DVD and the occasional major production on the streaming services.

It was just that after reading up about the whole multi-channel audio thing in the last couple of days, I was curious - in a purely academic way.
 

Rodders53

Member
All HD programmes are transcoded to Dolby Digital (DD) on the fly by all Freeview HD devices... that DD is fixed level and decoded to analogue sound either in the TV where they support that decoding, and/or an AVR.
Note DD can be stereo 2.0 or surround 5.1.

Likely your old TV couldn't pass DD through its hdmi connections to the ARC connection (it was very commonly thus)... therefore when hand-shaking set the Humax to stereo PCM output... where the volume control works as you describe.

My Foxsat-HDR sends stereo PCM through my AVR to my TV speakers (TV speakers are stereo only) and the Humax volume then works on both SD and HD programmes; but if I use the AVR to listen, it becomes DD and fixed level on HD programmes.

BBC feature 5.1 on some programmes, many feature films and sports. Channel 4 ditto. ITV is stereo DD 2.0 only. Channel 5 is permanently flagged 5.1 on satellite but 2.0 on Freeview. Sadly none tell us what programmes / films / sports events are surround so one has to suck it and see.
 
OP
mike_m

mike_m

Member
All HD programmes are transcoded to Dolby Digital (DD) on the fly by all Freeview HD devices... that DD is fixed level and decoded to analogue sound either in the TV where they support that decoding, and/or an AVR.
Note DD can be stereo 2.0 or surround 5.1.

Likely your old TV couldn't pass DD through its hdmi connections to the ARC connection (it was very commonly thus)... therefore when hand-shaking set the Humax to stereo PCM output... where the volume control works as you describe.

My Foxsat-HDR sends stereo PCM through my AVR to my TV speakers (TV speakers are stereo only) and the Humax volume then works on both SD and HD programmes; but if I use the AVR to listen, it becomes DD and fixed level on HD programmes.

BBC feature 5.1 on some programmes, many feature films and sports. Channel 4 ditto. ITV is stereo DD 2.0 only. Channel 5 is permanently flagged 5.1 on satellite but 2.0 on Freeview. Sadly none tell us what programmes / films / sports events are surround so one has to suck it and see.
Many thanks for all that info - it's all making a bit more sense now.
 

Rodders53

Member
AFAICR nobody has suggested that before. Are you sure?
With my Foxsat-HDR connected to my Onkyo-515 and Panasonic GT60:
AVR in standby (with CBL/SAT input passthrough to TV) Hummy volume control works on both HD and SD channels. When AVR on the Hummy remote volume only affects SD channels.
What else could be happening except the Hummy decoding to PCM stereo?
If it passed DD to the TV to decode it'd be fixed level (and the -HDR doesn't have a DD encoder inside to allow HD/DD volume level change).

I've not connected my -T2 to that system. It lives in the kitchen on a DVB-T only set. So that might not work identically - but suspect a TV saying 'stereo only please PVR' over hdmi might have the desired effect on that, too? {It works like that for me in the kitchen and caravan, another DVB-T only TV with no DD decoder and the -T2 volume controls both SD (MPEG2) and HD (HE-AAC / DD transcodable) audio.}
 

Rodders53

Member
Eurovision last night was 5.1 As was the Football before it (probably, I don't watch sports) that overran and force Pointless over to BBC 2. Any feature film is likely to be 5.1 on BBC & C4. Quite a few of the recent 'big' dramas have been 5.1 (BBC, C4 - ITV and C5 are stereo only).
Life After Life is one Gentleman Jack another.

I'd not guarantee Jools to be in 5.1 ... Strictly was always 5.1 in the live show (but not the edited results show - too difficult in the edit ;) ) ... so that could change without notice.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
One swallow does not a summer make, or (for statisticians) correlation is not proof of causation. Evidence would comprise a written undertaking.
 
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