I have a very strange audio issue that I'd like advice on.
I recently replaced my NUC DC3217BY with the NUC6i7KYK. The computer sits under my TV for media playback, video calling, and gaming.
My TV is a Panasonic plasma from 2008 with Full HD resolution. The surround amp is a Marantz NR1601 (HDMI1.4a) with 7.1 surround.
Windows is set up to output 7.1 with 24-bit audio @ 96kHz. This setting is common between the two NUCs.
For media, I stream YouTube or Netflix, play video files using VLC, and play DVDs/Blu-Rays using WinDVDPro.
With my DC3217BY I used WinDVDPro11, on the NUC6i7KYK I use WinDVDPro12. The drive is a Pioneer BDR-XU03 connected to one of the rear USB3.0 ports of the NUC.
The DC3217BY setup was flawless. It is only nearly flawless with the NUC6i7KYK.
I can play everything, but when I open WinDVDPro12 to play a DVD or Blu-Ray, I notice the PCM indicator on my amp blinks off for about half a second every 10-20 seconds with an accompanying break in audio from the speakers. There is no issue with the video playback at all.
If I close WinDVDPro, the audio glitch continues on the same cadence regardless of what programs I open or what media I play.
The only way to get it to stop is either to put the computer into and out of standby or select a different audio playback device from the Windows 10 volume dialogue and then switch back to HDMI.
While WinDVDPro is open, if I change audio output to the headset jack or my Bluetooth headphones, there is no glitching on those outputs. When I revert to HDMI, the glitching resumes.
I have downloaded the Intel Driver Update Utility. However, when it scans my computer it keeps throwing up the same software and drivers as out-of-date. Attempts to install recommended versions fail. The graphics driver and the audio driver, however, are up-to-date. The chipset, Thunderbolt and a couple of others (including CIR) are flagged as wrong (I am not using the Thunderbolt port yet, the CIR seems to work without issue).
I have tried to run the HDMI v2.0 firmware update, but it will not install until I connect a HDMI v2.0 compliant device, which I do not have.
I don't believe I can blame WinDVDPro for the glitching as all it has to do is decode the audio and video from any disc that is playing, which it does correctly with all my other audio devices and there is no issue with the video at any point.
The fact that the issue starts when WinDVDPro starts is suspicious, but closing WinDVDPro does not fix it (I have to adjust audio output or put the computer to sleep).
The HDMI cables are all 1.4 high-speed and are 3' or 4' in length, so signal distortion does not seem likely (and anyway, audio is fine with every program except WinDVDPro).
My Marantz receiver is compatible with the audio settings I have.
Are there any known incompatibilities with HDMI audio that I can investigate?
Why doesn't the driver update utility work correctly to update all the drivers it says are outdated?
I have tried altering the settings for audio in Windows, but no sample rate or dynamic range bit-depth has any different effect. I have tried changing the way WinDVDPro works with audio from the DVD/Blu-Ray discs, but again no change.
I am using a Club3D USB-C-to-HDMI 2.0 adapter (see here: https://www.amazon.com/CAC-1504-Chromebook-Thunderbolt-Supports-3840x2160/dp/B016QO8186 Amazon.com: Club3D CAC-1504 USB-C to HDMI 2.0 Adapter), am connected at 4K@60Hz and I have not seen any issues with audio at all.
Hope this helps,
I have heard of issues when using external graphics card, but nothing affecting the use of DP through TBT3/USB-C port (and that's all we are doing, taking the DP stream on the TBT3/USB-C connector and converting it to HDMI). Where did you read about this issue?
There have been no acceleration issues that I have heard. (Doc) is playing with an adapter (MST Hub) that allows him to connect two HDMI monitors via the USB-C connector (allowing a total of three monitors to be connected to the BN NUC). I would think that he would notice if acceleration was disabled (Al?).
Recently bought a NUC6i7Y7K as a portable workstation which has worked out well except for HDMI audio issues. I am getting the sound dropouts as described in this forum - the sound dropouts briefly every few seconds on HDMI audio. No problems with analog audio or Bluetooth audio and HDMI video is fine. Previous to this NUC the setup worked fine with same HDMI cable.
I have varied sampling rates using PulseAudio and VLC and can go from almost no sound out at high sampling rates (96000 and higher) to a dropout every few seconds (48100 sampling rate).
The NUC is running Fedora 27 Linux. Firmware / Bios is version 50. As I am running Linux it looks there is no way to update the HDMI version, which is also a bit of a disappointment.
The HDMI sound is not a huge issue for me as this is a work machine but wanted to post this info in case it's useful for anyone after spending some time trying to figure out what was happening.
Adding to this topic again.
It turns out that the audio issue had improved after my last Windows re-installation, but not been fixed.
When I play any Blu-Ray with DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack through WinDVD Pro 12, I get the glitches. They happen much less frequently with other surround formats and not at all with stereo.
I have WinDVD Pro 12 set to output the bitstream direct from the Blu-Ray so that nothing is processed before the amplifier (if there is any processing then the original audio stream and is downgraded to some other surround format).
VLC still plays glitch-free, but doesn't pass the original audio through to my amp.
In a fit of pique, recently, I decided to upgrade my telly and amp. I now have a Panasonic TC-65FZ950 coupled with a Marantz NR1609. The cable between the NUC6i7KYK and the amp is a high-speed one, of only 1m length. The image is set to 4k to match the TV.
The image quality is flawless but I still get the glitches when playing discs with surround sound tracks.
There are no glitches with Bluetooth to headphones. I will experiment further with other audio ports, but it's a bit of a shame to have to compromise audio just to get things working.
Right, last update to this as I have a working solution, but not the way I intended.
I purchased a USB-C to HDMI adapter (one of those that uses the alternate function to send Display Port over USB-C) this was connected to the spare Thunderbolt port on my Thunderbolt dock.
Video was automagically redirected and worked the same as the HDMI output from the computer. I inserted a Blu-Ray (John Boorman's "Excalibur" is my test disc as it has a DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack). This was set to play with WinDVD Pro 12. Glitches were the same.
Plainly, in my setup, even with my new TV and amplifier, the issue is not with the NUC6i7KYK.
Frustrated, I put the HDMI back to the NUC port and confirmed everything was the same. It was.
Then I delved in to VLC and found an option that I had not seen before where it can detect Dolby audio and output it directly. I enabled this and it takes a little while to think about it, but the audio comes out correctly for my amp to decode.
Now I can uninstall WinDVD Pro 12 and just use VLC.
There is an issue with playing a disc and it defaulting to audio disabled (so I have to select the audio from the menu), and it reverts to 'disabled' when I seek within the playbar, but it works and there is no glitching. According to a forum post, the lead developer at VLC is aware of this audio issue.
RE "...lead developer at VLC is aware of this audio issue" --> As an issue specific to Intel HD Graphics/Intel HD Audio or as an issue specific to VLC ???
Specific to VLC. When running the video player and selecting to open a disc, then selecting Blu-Ray and 'Play', the movie will start but with no audio. If you look in the audio menu, the selected audio track is 'disabled'. I have to manually change it to the one I want (except they are all numbered so the first one is the safest bet). If I scrub through the timeline then the video will pick up from the new location but audio will revert to 'disabled'.
Each time I select the audio track I want to play, the audio takes some time to start playing but is in sync and the correct format. I presume this is to do with my having the option to output Dolby directly if detected.
The fact that there is no glitching means the issue is something to do with an interaction between WinDVD Pro 12 and the NUC6i7KYK in my case. I don't know what that was, but I have a way around it.