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Beginner
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7i3BNH / W10 : E-AC3 (Dolby Digital Plus) passthrough broken in 24p (video OK but audio cutting out)

Hello Intel experts,

I did extensive testing on Windows 10 on my NUC 7i3BNH and came to the conclusion that E-AC3 (Dolby Pigital Plus) passthrough is broken (audio keeps cutting out) when using a 24p video mode (for instance 1920*1080 23p or 24p).

All other passthrough modes (Dolby Digital, true HD, DTS, DTS HD, ...) work perfectly, at any tested framerate (23p, 24p, 50p, 60p).

It happens with any player in passthrough mode (Kodi 17; Kodi 18, MPC-BE, Netflix App) when playing E-AC3 content @23p or 24p.

The easiest way to reproduce is to use the windows 10 Netflix app as all video streams use E-AC3 for the sound part :

First step : manually set 1920*1080p 23p or 24p with intel graphics tool on your windows desk

Second step : launch Netflix and try any series or film (ex : stranger things, orange is the new black,...)

-> You'll see that audio is heavily broken and cuts out very frequently

If you do the same test but use a 60p video mode, you won't have any audio issue.

The same test leads to the same conclusion if you play a video with E-AC3 audio with Kodi or MPC-BE in audio passthrough mode in a 23p or 24p mode.

My homecinema amplifier is a Pioneer LX59 and, to be sure the problem didn't come from it, I tried to play the same video with E-AC3 audio on it in 1920*1080 23p with a Raspberry Pi 2 and audio was absolutely perfect.

I guess the problem comes from windows 10 or the Intel display audio driver or the HDMI LSPcon firmware. I would tend to think it comes from the latter.

For information, I already tried to replace the Intel display driver by the Microsoft generic HD audio one and the problem was exactly the same.

Can you try on your side to reproduce and fix the issue ?

If you want me to do any other test or trace, please ask, I'll be very pleased to do it and post results here.

Thank you !

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16 Replies
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Community Manager
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Hello, GregFR. Thank you very much for contacting the Intel Communities Team. I will be more than happy to assist you.

 

 

In order for me to assist you better, please provide me with the .txt file that the https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/25293/Intel-System-Support-Utility-for-Windows- System Support Utility will generate. To attach a file, you must click the "Attach" option on the bottom right-hand corner of the response box.

 

 

Additionally, can you please share with me the model of your display and which type of cable are you using to connect the NUC to the display?

 

 

 

Antony S.
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Beginner
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Hello,

Here you are : I attached the output of the SSU tool.

To answer your questions : my NUC is connected through an HDMI 2.0 cable to my Pioneer 4K HDCP 2.2 SC-LX59 homecinema amplifier, which is itself connected to a Sony 4K 55X8505b TV.

Thank you.

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Community Manager
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Hello, GregFR.

 

 

Please test the NUC connecting it directly to your SONY* TV. Let us know if the issue persists with that connection.

 

 

 

Antony S.
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Beginner
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Hello Anthony,

I just tried to connect the NUC directly to my Sony TV but there is one problem : the only codec my TV supports on HDMI passthrough is plain Dolby Digital (no Dolby Digital Plus, DTS, or any HD variants).

I therefore can't manage to get a E-AC3 signal output in passthrough mode to my TV, so the test is not relevant.

As I stated, I already tested that my HDMI "chain" works well and that the NUC seems to be the one faulty : when using a Raspberry PI 2 and an mkv file played @24p with E-AC3 audio in passthrough mode, it works perfectly well on the exact same input of my homecinema amplifier. When the NUC plays the same file on the very same input (whatever the video player), it fails.

Thank you for your help again.

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Community Manager
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Hello, GregFR. Thank you for your response.

I will perform a deeper research into this issue. I will be back to you soon.

 

 

 

Antony S.
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Beginner
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Thank you Anthony.

If you need a video file (mkv with E-AC3 audio) to reproduce the issue on your side, I can provide you with one.

Best regards

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Beginner
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Hello Anthony,

I did more testing :

- I tried to use an USB-C to HDMI adapter on the NUC (Club 3D CAC-1504) and I got the exact same result : broken sound when using 24p and E-AC3

- I tried to use the same USB-C to HDMI adapter on my DELL XPS 9360 (core i7 7500u) with the exact same graphics drivers (the latest 24.20.100.6286) : no broken sound using 24p and E-AC3 passthrough

Conclusion : the problem is clearly on the NUC, but may not come from the HDMI component.

Thank you

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Moderator
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Hi GregFR,

I work for Intel Customer Support and we tried to duplicate the issue that you reported and it all (Dolby Digital Plus passthrough in 24p) worked fine.

We even did video recording to capture the results, I think I can post the video later.

This is what we tested:

- Sony* XBR43X800D 4K/HDR TV

- Yamaha* RX-A1050 AV Reciever

- Bluerigger* High-speed HDMI Cable with Ethernet

Regards,

Ronny G

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Beginner
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Hello Ronny,

Thank you for trying to duplicate the issue.

I don't know why your test worked : maybe your setup doesn't exhibit the problem because it's more "tolerant" and it may be a complex interoperability issue ?

Would you mind telling me what content you managed to play successfully ? (Netflix ? other file and if yes with which player ?)

Anyway I did more testing on my side :

- I completely reinstalled windows 10 from scratch and installed only the intel graphics driver -> I got the exact same issue

- I got in touch with club 3D and asked them if they had a new firmware for the CAC-1504 usb-c to hdmi 2.0 adapter. They sent me the 0x55 firmware of the Parade PS176 chip (I had an old 0x1e). And guess what ? I flashed it and now I can have DDplus working @24p in Netflix and all other video players with the NUC when using this adapter. And of course on the exact same cable leading to the exact same input of my homecinema amplifier.

So now I think the problem is narrowed down to an HDMI firmware issue... I have seen that my NUC has a Megachips 2800 chip and I use the "latest" 1.72 firmware. So, is there any newest firmware for the Megachips that I could try ?

Thank you for your help

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Beginner
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For information, I tried to downgrade the HDMI firmware to version1.66 but it didn't solve the issue.

I'm back on firmware 1.72 but really would like to try a new one.

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Moderator
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Hi GregFR,

I didnt do the testing myself due to some limitations at my lab but one of my peers helped my out with the issue duplication and he has great audio/graphics knowledge so even better than having me testing.

See the attached files for your reference. This is originally a video but I put it in a document due to attachment size max of 2Gb.

I hope this helps,

Ronny G

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Beginner
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Hello,

I appreciate the effort and fully believe you when you say it worked for you in DD+@24p (audio not cutting out).

On my side, I do the very same tests with my 7i3BNH and my Pionneer SC-LX59 amplifier and get audio cutting out a lot.

As I already stated, I can get DD+@24p perfectly working on my setup with a Raspberry PI 2 or even with the NUC 7i3BNH but with an external USB-C to HDMI 2.0 adapter (Club 3D CAC-1504 with PS176 chip)...

So I really think there must be some issue in the HDMI firmware that you can't see with your setup but I can with mine.

Could you verify if there is any new HDMI firmware I can try ? I'm ready for testing anything.

Or maybe you could tell me which debug/traces I could make and how to see what happens on my side ?

Thank you for your help

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Moderator
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Hi GregFR,

These kind of issues are very difficult to troubleshoot and also difficult to duplicate because I dont have the exact same hardware you have (in this case external USB-C to HDMI 2.0 adapter Club 3D CAC-1504 with PS176 chip and Pionneer* SC-LX59 amplifier). HDMI firmware available is version 1.72 https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/26609/NUCs-HDMI-Firmware-Update-Tool-for-Intel-NUC-Kit-NUC... Download HDMI Firmware Update Tool for Intel® NUC Kit NUC7i3BN, NUC7i5BN, NUC7i7BN, NUC6CAY We dont have any other more recent version or beta version available that we can test.

Honestly, I dont know what else to do to help you figure this out, I also checked internally and I couldn't find any other existing case reporting the same issue. Do you need to use the USB-C strictly? Can you rule out the adapter?

Regards,

Ronny G

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Moderator
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Hi GregFR,

We reviewed this issue again and we believe it has to be something environmental related, that's very difficult to replicate due to the lack of the same conditions.

I would recommend that if possible try to test without the USB-C to HDMI 2.0 adapter.

I am keeping this community thread opened as you may get recommendations from other community members but I am closing the internal case we created for this issue.

Let me know if you have any other question.

Regards,

Ronny G

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Beginner
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Hello Ronny,

I appreciate a lot the efforts you put in trying to duplicate the issue on your side but I think there is a misunderstanding : my problem occurs with the native HDMI port of the NUC, not with the Club 3D CAC-1504 usb-c to hdmi adapter. The reason I tried this external adapter was only for comparison purposes and I observed that :

- The problem occurs with the native HDMI port (Megachips 2800 based) of my 7i3bnh (without anything else plugged on the NUC usb-c port)

- The problem is not present when using the HDMI port of the Club 3D CAC-1504 usb-c adapter (Parade PS176 based) plugged into the NUC

My conclusion is that there is an issue with the internal LSPCON Megachips 2800 in the 7i3BNH, that's why I asked for a potential new firmware, too bad there is none yet...

If you want me to help you and Megachips identify precisely the issue, I'd be happy to help with any test/traces...

Thank you for your help

Best regards

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Highlighted
Moderator
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Hi GregFR,

Thanks for the clarification, I still believe our issue duplication is applicable, please correct me If I am wrong. I guess the misunderstanding happens when I recommended you to try without the Club 3D CAC-1504 usb-c to hdmi adapter.

I will keep an eye on any potential firmware update that may alleviate this issue, however keep in mind that we were not able to experience this issue.

Regards,

Ronny G

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