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 ☹️