Contributor
  • 0
  • 4
  • 1
Registered since

Jan 10, 2021

Sound sync issue with Lifestyle 550 and Sony TV

Hi there,

 

Last week I excitedly setup a Lifestyle 550 system with my Sony TV (KD-49XD8099) - my first foray into surround sound system having moved up from a 15 year old Bose Companion 3 system which I loved and couldn’t fault (aside from the lack of surround sound!).

 

The initial excitement and amazement at the sound quality soon turned to disappointment and irritation when I noticed a delay between the audio and video on all programmes that I played on the TV (using its built-in apps) - the audio is always slightly behind the picture, something which is especially noticeable when people are speaking (so someone’s mouth moves and the sound comes fractionally later).

 

I’ve tried every trick I could find to try and fix this:

 

  • Disabling all image and sound processing on the TV in case this is somehow slowing down / adding a delay to the sound. No difference.
  • Switching from a digital audio connection to HDMI ARC. No difference.
  • Adjusting the AV Sync option which popped up on the Bose Settings menu once I’d changed to ARC. No difference, in fact increasing the delay from 0ms made the problem worse (making the sound lag even further behind the image).
  • Trying to find a setting on the TV to delay the picture slightly to compensate for the delay in the audio. No such feature on the TV.

 

From what I can see, most times this problem is caused when a TV is placed between a device (like a digital tuner, Blu-ray player, etc) and a system like the Lifestyle 550, and a common solution appears to be to put an HDMI splitter between the device and the TV to extract the audio and send it directly to the Bose system via an optical cable ... but I don’t believe this solution will help if there is already a sync problem when using the TV’s built-in players (like Netflix, Disney+, etc).


Connecting using eARC seems to be a possible solution but this would require a new TV or a separate set-top box. Apparently eARC has a higher bandwidth and has mandatory lip-sync management built into the protocol, and it seems to be the ultimate solution to all audio sync issues ... but I haven’t seen any information saying that eARC is supported by the Lifestyle 550 system, nor is it available on current TV.

 

So it seems the only options I’m left with are to buy a newer TV with the hope that it doesn’t have the sync issue (seems like a stab in the dark), or to buy a separate set top box and hope this doesn’t have the sync problem if plugged directly into the Bose system via an HDMI splitter ... again there’s quite a risk that this won’t work either.

 

Please can you advise what I can try next to solve this problem? At the moment, I’ve gone from a TV and sound system that was very good, to one which has amazing sound quality but a sync issue that constantly bugs me the entire time I’m watching the TV ☹️

Many thanks,

 

David

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions
Contributor
  • 0
  • 4
  • 1
Registered since

Jan 10, 2021

Re: Sound sync issue with Lifestyle 550 and Sony TV

Author Accepted Answer selected by DavidHogg

Well I'm pleased to say the new TV (a Sony KD-55A85) has no sync problems at all when playing my sync test video on YouTube – so chances are there won't be any sync issues with any other apps too! 🥳

 

During setup I turned on all the 'audio sync' options I could find and so far it seems to have worked! Only time will tell once I've had a chance to watch more content on the other built-in apps ... content which has helpful scenes like car doors slamming which make for an easy scene for checking the sync! 😁


David

View solution in original post

5 REPLIES 5
Moderator

Re: Sound sync issue with Lifestyle 550 and Sony TV

Hey @DavidHogg

 

Thank you for reaching out to us and welcome. 

 

This is some great research and troubleshooting you have tried already. Thank you for giving this a go and I'm sorry to hear that it was unsuccessful. 

 

Have you tried looking on the app (such as Netflix) to see if there is an option to sync the audio? 

 

Can you also tell me if you experience this issue with other sources? Are these sources connected to your TV or directly into the console?

 

I look forward to hearing from you! 

Feel more. Do more. Be more.
Come check out my profile here. New to the community? Check out the Getting Started board.
Help others find answers to your questions by clicking on 'Accept as Solution' at the bottom of a reply.
If you see a post you like, make sure to give it a thumbs up!
Contributor
  • 0
  • 4
  • 1
Registered since

Jan 10, 2021

Re: Sound sync issue with Lifestyle 550 and Sony TV

Hi Jessie,

 

Many thanks for your reply.

 

Unfortunately I can't find any options for adding a delay to the image (or change an audio sync) within the apps on the TV.

 

I have however made a bit of progress in tracing the source of the problem and so far it seems to be the TV itself.

 

I've made the following simple sync test video of an alternating white and black screen with a clap sound appearing exactly in sync with the white frame appearing:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdsvfCkyoMU

 

First I tried putting this onto a USB stick and playing it directly from the TV, and there was an approximately 175ms delay from the screen going white and then the clap sound following it.

 

I then uploaded the same video to YouTube and played it using the TV's built-in YouTube app and the delay was much the same.

 

I then tried connecting my laptop to the TV via HDMI (the sound then going via HDMI ARC from the TV to the Bose system). Same delay.

 

I then connected my laptop to the Bose system via one of the HDMI ports and selected this as the output to show on the TV ... NO DELAY!

 

So it seems any setup that involves playing content directly on the TV, either via the built-in apps (ok I've only tried YouTube for now, but I guess it's safe to assume the delay is present in other apps too) is subject to a sync issue. But sending an HDMI feed via the Bose system seems to remove any delay.

 

All that said, it seems I still have two options:

 

  1. Buy a new TV – but do I know it won't suffer the same sync problem when playing content directly from the built-in apps or a memory stick?
  2. Buy an external set-top box and connect this to an HDMI input port on the Bose Lifestyle unit. I guess there's no guarantee this would work but it seems likely to work better than my current setup.

I came across this website which allows you to compare numerous features of modern TVs, including whether or not they support a variety of audio pass-through features:

 

https://www.rtings.com/tv/tests/inputs/5-1-surround-audio-passthrough

 

Which of these features do you think would be most likely to enable delay-free audio when connecting to the Bose system?

 

The passthrough feature refers to the TV's ability to pass through 5.1 audio from an external source unaffected to a sound system, but I could imagine it's an indicator of whether audio is likely to have sync issues in general? Or not?

 

Unfortunately my current TV isn't listed on that page and the specs on the Sony website don't mention the TV having any kind of passthrough feature ... maybe that's part of the problem?

 

https://www.sony.co.uk/electronics/support/televisions-projectors-lcd-tvs-android-/kd-49xd8099/speci...

 

Many thanks for your help!

 

David

 

PS. Does the Lifestyle 550 system support the eARC protocol? From my earlier research it seems this is a bulletproof way to avoid sync issues as it’s a mandatory part of the protocol, whereas it isn’t for normal ‘ARC’. If it does support eARC it would make sense to get a TV or set-top box that supports it ... thanks!

Moderator

Re: Sound sync issue with Lifestyle 550 and Sony TV

Thanks for the update David!

 

It does definitely sound as if this delay is being introduced by the TV, but having looked at the specs you linked to there is something else I would recommend looking at before you start considering replacing the TV or buying a set-top box.

 

The page you linked to shows that your TV supports a number of different audio formats, including Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Pulse, and DTS. Which of these audio formats is your TV currently using? If you were to select a different audio format on the TV, would you still have a delay between the picture and the audio? The Lifestyle supports all of these formats apart from Dolby Pulse, so test with any of the other formats and let me know if there is any difference to the delay. The option to choose which format the TV uses is normally in the sound settings on the TV.

 

The Lifestyle does not support eARC, so having eARC on the TV would not guarantee avoiding any sync issues.

 

 

Feel more. Do more. Be more.
Come check out my profile here. New to the community? Check out the Getting Started board.
Help others find answers to your questions by clicking on 'Accept as Solution' at the bottom of a reply.
If you see a post you like, make sure to give it a thumbs up!
Contributor
  • 0
  • 4
  • 1
Registered since

Jan 10, 2021

Re: Sound sync issue with Lifestyle 550 and Sony TV

Hi Keith,

 

Many thanks for your reply.

 

I decided to buy a new Sony TV which I just setup yesterday evening – it's been a good opportunity to upgrade and hopefully the newer hardware and software, as well as the updated audio protocols, will remove any audio sync issues – I'll test it more thoroughly in the coming days and report back!

Thanks again for your help,

 

David

 

PS. From memory though and to answer your question, I tried all the audio options that I could find (including changing the audio format) and it made no difference ...

Contributor
  • 0
  • 4
  • 1
Registered since

Jan 10, 2021

Re: Sound sync issue with Lifestyle 550 and Sony TV

Author Accepted Answer selected by DavidHogg

Well I'm pleased to say the new TV (a Sony KD-55A85) has no sync problems at all when playing my sync test video on YouTube – so chances are there won't be any sync issues with any other apps too! 🥳

 

During setup I turned on all the 'audio sync' options I could find and so far it seems to have worked! Only time will tell once I've had a chance to watch more content on the other built-in apps ... content which has helpful scenes like car doors slamming which make for an easy scene for checking the sync! 😁


David

View solution in original post