TIDAL issue with ATMOS...

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Bob Romano

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So I got a trial subscription of Tidal now that it will play Atmos to my receiver though Apple 4k TV. However, when switching tracks the display on my receiver will switch from Atmos to stereo at each track change. Then it goes back to Atmos. This causes a glitch and each track start is cut off. Is there a setting on the 4k box that will fix this. I have the box plugged into my receiver via HDMI. Is there a better connection to be made somehow? I really wanted to see if there was any difference between apple music and tidal at this point. Thanks
 

fredblue

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So I got a trial subscription of Tidal now that it will play Atmos to my receiver though Apple 4k TV. However, when switching tracks the display on my receiver will switch from Atmos to stereo at each track change. Then it goes back to Atmos. This causes a glitch and each track start is cut off. Is there a setting on the 4k box that will fix this. I have the box plugged into my receiver via HDMI. Is there a better connection to be made somehow? I really wanted to see if there was any difference between apple music and tidal at this point. Thanks
the start of tracks gets cut off with Atmos in Apple Music as well.

i guess some (thanks to HDMI, that Steve Jobs hated so much!) handshake implementation issue in the Apple TV makes the Atmos decoder in an AVR kick in, momentarily kick out and then kick back in again, causing the bursts of silence and cut-off's?

why do i think this? well, for at least three reasons;

firstly, at some point there was an ATV update where it magically stopped cutting off the start of tracks!
however with the next update the cutoff's were back and further updates have done nothing to address it.

second, if you try Dolby Labs' Atmos test material which is on Apple Music (and was on Tidal back when i had a Subscription), the Dolby test tracks have gapless playback tests and they work ok.
however, the Dolby test tones in that same album get cut-off at the beginning while the Atmos decoder locks on. so the first test tone and announcement get cut-off! it goes "Right, Centre, Left Surround, Right Surround.." etc., rather than "Left, Right, Centre, Left Surround, Right Surround.." etc. as it should, kinda rendering the tones useless unless you rewind back to the start of the track everytime while the AVR's Atmos decoder is engaged and then the tones play properly.

third is that with Atmos streaming on the Music App on the Mac desktop computer nothing ever gets cut-off, even using an HDMI connection, i suspect because the Computer is doing the decoding rather than the AVR.
 

LuvMyQuad

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On my setup, if I start an Atmos album and play it through, only the beginning of the 1st song is cut off due to handshake issues. All of the rest of the album plays with no issue. However if I skip around, even within the same album, the first few seconds of every new track is cut off. Oddly it does not happen with Apple curated playlists either, unless of course, I skip around within the playlist.

This is not exclusive to Apple/Atmos for me. If I play ripped 5.1 tracks through Kodi, the same thing happens. 1st song has a cutoff, but none of the rest do, unless I skip around, then every skipped track does. I always thought it was at least partly the fault of the AVR/AVP being slow to recognize a new format.

I assume what is happening is, when you play the tracks in order there is no perceivable time gap between tracks. So nothing triggers a format change. But when you stop and start, the AVP is continuously falling back to its default format (stereo) and then going through an evaluation for what the proper format is. Hence the late song start.

Kodi does have a way around this though. You can set it to always output 5.1, regardless of what the actual format is. In which case it will never change formats, and it will never retard the start of any 5.1 track. But it will also take stereo and convert it to 5.1 (stereo with 4 channels of silence), which causes additional problems with the AVP since it wont upmix what it senses as full 5.1 to faux 5.1.

The answer would be a short pause that kicks in whenever a new format is sensed. This could be made adjustable to account for different AVRs/AVPs. But then I guess some people might complain about the pause.

Its an inconvenience I just live with. You can always restart the track. There is no cutoff on the restart.
 
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