Samsung MU8000 TV => Marantz SR5014 receiver setup: grr...

R

rlk

Audioholic Intern
I'm trying to find the right setup for this combination for both movies/TV and music. Where I think I'm hung up is the audio format from the TV to the receiver, but my troubles may lie elsewhere.

I'm using the TV as the core of the system, with the receiver connected via HDMI with ARC, a Samsung 4K blu-ray player, and an RCN cable box connected via HDMI. I would *think* the receiver, with more HDMI connections and more flexibility, should be the core, but if I do that, the TV won't talk to the blu-ray player. But if I could figure out how to do that correctly, I might be able to solve my other problems. I also have a Synology NAS set up as (among other things) a media server.

I have the receiver set as 5.1, with B&W 603s2 mains, a B&W 6-series center, and older Morel surrounds, plus a new Hsu Research ULS-15mk2 sub. The sub is crossed over at 100 Hz. I'm not using Audyssey because it insists on deciding that the mains are large, full range speakers (which they are...but just because their ports are tuned to 30 Hz doesn't mean their pair of 6.5" woofers will actually produce much output down below maybe 50-60 Hz) and setting the crossover to 40 Hz. The sub has a much beefier amp than the receiver, not to mention that while 40 Hz is no problem for this sub it's pushing the mains pretty far if I'm trying to listen loud. I used the Audyssey setup as a starting point and modified it from there.

The receiver offers me two choices of digital output format: PCM and DTS Neo 2:5. It also offers two different Dolby Digital settings and DTS, all three of those are grayed out.

Anyway, the issue is that I'd like the following audio output:
  • For material in native 5.1 or similar output (e. g. blu-ray discs), play in that native output.
  • For stereo music, play that in native (stereo) without surround or center. Among other things, synthesizing surround channels from a stereo master isn't actually going to be what the mastering engineer heard, and it also means engaging the center and surrounds, further reducing amplifier power for the mains and also possibly running into distortion in the center channel.
  • For TV and DVDs, synthesized surround is fine.
If I set the receiver output to DTS Neo 2:5, then blurays probably play correctly, and there's certainly surround, but then music doesn't play correctly (setting the receiver to Pure mode doesn't solve this; I think I can solve it by using Music or Game mode with processing set to stereo and turning off all of the other processing I can find, but then I've gone 2 -> 5 -> 2 channel, introducing more processing). If I set the receiver output to PCM, then no problem with music, but presumably that will clobber the surround channels from a bluray (since PCM is two channel), only for the receiver to then synthesize them, probably incorrectly.

What I really want is for the TV to do no processing on the audio signal at all, and send the channels from the original source to the receiver, and for the receiver to then decide what to do based on the original information (and my choosing Pure or Music mode on the receiver vs. Movie). But that option doesn't appear to exist when routing the sources through the TV.

Testing out with some music (Dull Knives from Queen of the Murder Scene by The Warning, as a lossless FLAC transcoded from the 96K .wav original -- this band takes its sound seriously -- served by my media server), the sound quality seems to be better at high volume with the processing mode set to stereo, and best yet with the TV set to PCM output and the receiver set to Pure mode. Even there, at high volume it sounds like there's some clipping taking place in the midrange (guitar). The drums and bass are fine; the real power there is going through the sub. But if I don't ensure that the receiver is playing stereo, it's awful as I turn the volume up. And if I'm listening to classical music mastered for stereo, I really don't want a fake center channel intruding on the sound stage, whether it's chamber or orchestral.

Thoughts, anybody?
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Why would the tv need to talk to the bluray player directly? Audio is always better thru an avr IMO. Does this tv have ARC or eARC? You can always set your speakers to small after you run Audyssey....I do it all the time. You just don't want to lower a suggested crossover, which wouldn't be an issue in this case.
 
R

rlk

Audioholic Intern
I'm trying to remember what didn't work correctly when the bluray was connected to the receiver rather than the TV. It might have simply been that the TV didn't switch to the bluray when I put a disc in it, but there might have been something else that didn't work.

The TV has ARC; I'm not sure that it has eARC (there seem to be differing comments on that).
 
R

rlk

Audioholic Intern
Anyway, I have a bunch of vacation time between now and March 15 I have to take, so I'll have time to experiment.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
I'm trying to remember what didn't work correctly when the bluray was connected to the receiver rather than the TV. It might have simply been that the TV didn't switch to the bluray when I put a disc in it, but there might have been something else that didn't work.

The TV has ARC; I'm not sure that it has eARC (there seem to be differing comments on that).
I wouldn't call that working correctly....maybe conveniently. Just because a disc is inserted it doesn't mean even the avr is on the correct input (and I usually set my players not to start playing immediately on inserting a disc, I find that annoying when I'm just trying to get ready for later), maybe hdmi control type features might get you something along those lines....better to use a remote with macro activities to turn various gear on/off IMO.

ARC is the older version, and was limited to lossy audio codecs (like Dolby Digital, DTS, Dolby Digital Plus) and most of that can be played with an optical connection from your tv to avr as well, eARC is the newer version and can handle lossless codecs (like Dolby TrueHD, DTS:X, Dolby Atmos).
 
R

rlk

Audioholic Intern
So part of the issue here is that the source I was using (DLNA) was going through the TV; the receiver also has a DLNA source available, so (when my wife's not around) I can try that to see it makes for an improvement. That should at least avoid the re-encoding issue.

But even if I can get the cable box (say) to work correctly plugged into the receiver, it won't solve the problem if we're using any of the apps on the TV; the audio's still going to get transcoded through the TV vs. being passed as-is to the receiver. I'd still rather use the receiver as the hub if practicable (taking into account convenience), but first things first.

Maybe I need to ask on the Samsung forum
 
R

rlk

Audioholic Intern
The receiver's DLNA works (at least for music). But that doesn't solve the problem for TV apps or videos.

I'm asking on the Samsung forum. It looks like the TV (MU800D aka MU8000) only supports ARC, not eARC.
 
T

Trebdp83

Audioholic Field Marshall
There are a few options available to you with your setup. I think you are referring to BD Wise when you speak of the TV talking to the blu-ray player. For best audio, hook all of the devices to the receiver. Use ARC from the TV. This will require turning on HDMI-CEC in all of your devices. You will notice Samsung's nickname for it is Anynet+. If you can, post the make and model of the cable box. Older boxes can be of the HDCP 1.4 variety and you can have issues with a newer TV and receiver. The MU8000 does not support eARC and connecting the blu-ray to the TV will rob you of lossless audio.
 
S

snakeeyes

Audioholic Ninja
The older gear like the Satellite TV box will probably not work with ARC.

Time to consider Firestick or Roku and get rid of Satellite TV for HuluTV or Sling or YouTubeTV.

Then plug Firestick or Roku into AVR and enable ARC and Anynet+. Also plug Blu-ray player to AVR. My Sony players all play nice with ARC. Not sure which Blu ray player you have. You need to enable ARC on the Blu-ray player and each brand has their name for ARC. :)
 
T

Trebdp83

Audioholic Field Marshall
Not sure which apps you will be using on your TV, but the best audio output for them when using ARC on your TV will be Dolby Digital+ with a couple of things available from Amazon in Atmos. Your model may have Atmos available in other apps. Start a show in say Netflix and then go to the TV Sound settings and then onto expert settings. The options available to you will be highlighted. If DD+ is available, select it. If there is atmos metadata in it, the Marantz will show an atmos signal detected. If not, DD+ will be displayed. Make sure your TV is on the latest firmware.
 
R

rlk

Audioholic Intern
This is an RCN (terrestrial) HD cable box, vintage early 2018; the markings indicate Motorola DCX-700M. It is connected by HDMI.

Next day off, I'm going to experiment with this more.

The TV appears to only offer PCM and DTS 2:5, with Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital+, and DTS grayed out.
 
T

Trebdp83

Audioholic Field Marshall
If you are referring to the audio from the cable box and the TV only allowing PCM or DTS 2:5 as options, you need to go into the cable box’s Additional HDMI Settings and change the audio output. It may be set to Auto or L-PCM. Set it to Passthrough so that Dolby Digital 2.0 and 5.1 signals can pass to a connected device, either the TV or the receiver. If still connected to the TV, check the sounds options again. Dolby Digital should now be selectable.
 
R

rlk

Audioholic Intern
The only options my cable box offers are PCM and Dolby AC3.
 
T

Trebdp83

Audioholic Field Marshall
AC3 is Dolby Digital. Set the audio to AC3 so that Dolby Digital 2.0 and 5.1 tracks can be output.
 
T

Trebdp83

Audioholic Field Marshall
I forgot to mention that you need to set the HDMI Input Audio Format in the TV to Bitstream and not PCM or the Digital Audio Output Format will be limited to PCM and DTS Neo 2:5 and Dolby audio will not be sent from devices to the receiver when going through the TV.
 
R

rlk

Audioholic Intern
The cable box is set to AC3 output.

The TV's HDMI input is set to bitstream. The digital audio output format is limited to PCM and DTS Neo 2:5.

I'm going to have Friday off. I'll have to try again to get the DVD and cable box working with the receiver as the hub.
 
R

rlk

Audioholic Intern
OK, so I have the DVD and RCN box working with the receiver as the hub now. It seems to make some improvement for music and significant improvement for movies, since the receiver is now getting the audio directly from the blu-ray.

The one thing I don't have working yet is that the receiver doesn't turn on when I turn the TV and cable box on from the cable remote. The TV turns on and the cable box audio is passed through to the TV, but the receiver doesn't get turned on and the audio plays through the TV speakers. I either have to turn the receiver on manually or turn off HDMI control and leave the receiver on continuously, which isn't very appealing. Or figure out what else I need to do here.
 
T

Trebdp83

Audioholic Field Marshall
Do you still have HDMI-CEC and ARC on in the receiver and TV? If they are still on, power everything off. Then, turn on the TV. The cable box should pass through by default. If sound is coming out of the TV, bring up your Smart Hub and move over to the Settings tile. Some quick settings will come up. Move over to the Sound Output tile. If it says TV Speaker, click on it and it should move to Receiver selection. The spinning ring may come up for a bit while it thinks about it and the receiver should turn on and play the audio instead of the TV.
 
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R

rlk

Audioholic Intern
Do you still have HDMI-CEC and ARC on in the receiver and TV? If they are still on, power everything off. Then, turn on the TV. The cable box should pass through by default. If sound is coming out of the TV, bring up your Smart Hub and move over to the Settings tile. Some quick settings will come up. Move over to the Sound Output tile. If it says TV Speaker, click on it and it should move to Receiver selection. The spinning ring may come up for a bit while it thinks about it and the receiver should turn on and play the audio instead of the TV.
Doesn't help, and the problem's actually even worse than I thought.

To be specific: I went to the TV setup (hit the Home button on the remote, scrolled to the left to the Setup tile). The Sound Output was set to TV; I changed it to Receiver (HDMI).

If I turn the TV off and back on, whether or not HDMI Control is enabled on the receiver (CEC aka Anynet+ is enabled on the TV), the TV sound output is set to TV speaker. If HDMI Control is enabled on the receiver, the receiver turns off when I turn the TV off and doesn't turn back on when I turn the TV on; if it's disabled on the receiver, the receiver stays on. In either case, the TV turns on with sound output to the TV speaker (even if the receiver is still on) and I have to manually set it back to Receiver HDMI.

I've tried one supposed cold boot procedure on the TV by holding down the power button on the TV until it turns off and then a few seconds later back on. That seems rather fast for a true cold boot procedure.

I suppose the next step would be a hard power cycle of the entire system.

I really do want to use the receiver as the hub. The sound is a lot better without it going to the TV and back and getting reprocessed. But the present situation is simply not tenable.
 

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