Uniti Atom: first use...and first issues as well

Gents,

I struggle with audio dropout as well on my beautiful atom when used together with my Samsung 65 q7f. This occurs usually if has been on for along time( 3-6 hours of continuous tv watching). After restart it’s all good again. My focal 926 makes a “burping” sound first on the right channel and then on the left and then complete silence. I’m not using Naim cables and have always suspected this to be a software related challenge with the hdmi. 

This is not a challenge when listening to music. 

This really is of little use to the OP (apologies!) but I have a Nova which is connected via hdmi arc to a Sony Bravia tv and it has (and does) work flawlessly.

As this thread is quite old now, I gave it a quick skim, and the overall impression I am gaining is that the problem lies with the lower end electronics in the Samsung rather than the high end stuff in your Atom, not to mention your cables. And as it happens with all tv audio outs you have tried, the blame perhaps centres on the audio board of the tv.

Any electronics buffs on here able to put any meat on this (half baked) theory of mine?

Oh, and a late Merry Christmas to all. And an early happy New Year!

 

Bouba

For what it's worth my dealer refused to sell me an HDMI cable for the audio connection from the TV to my new Nova - because he sees this connection method cause many problems. 

I followed his strong recommendation to use the optical connection for TV sound and no problems encountered. 

Olly

Just to add to this post with information which isn’t very helpful perhaps... but ARC and CEC are often tedious to work with.  From my experience and research Samsung in particular can be a bit dodgy - it all worked fine with a Sony TV and my Arcam AVR400; the newer Samsung never quite works right.

So the Samsung might be working right as Samsung think it should work, that doesn’t mean it works right compared with how everyone else think ARC should work!  Googling “ARC Problems Samsung TV” shows you the extent of the problems.

Hi folks, 

thanks to all for your contribution to the topic here. 

Well, after spending 400 EUR in brand new sets of speakers cables, around 80 EUR on HDMI cables, swapping speakers and testing 3 different speakers with the Naim units and two additional returns to my dealer's shop and a complete and carefull examination of my beloved Atom, the answer of both my dealer and Focal's technicians is the following: 

'there is nothing wrong with your Naim kit, we tested it through HDMI with different TV sets, put it through it pace, cranking up the volume up to unreasonable levels, using both stellar priced cables and very cheap ones, and your unit did not break a sweat and everything sounded absolutely normal and even superb when the kit was paired with all those various partnering kits, including some entry level TVs and HDMI cables". They added "your tv is certainly the one to blame" 

I contacted Samsung helpdesk to find out a little more, no one there (and certainly not the not so skilled support-line technicians) could find a plausible explanation as to why I get those sound dropouts. My TV was bought back in 2013 and i've been using the optical with my beloved UQ2 with none of the aforementioned sound issues for the last 3 years I've used the UQ2. 

Straight from the box, that issue occurred with the Atom. Now, I tend to believe that the various issues you all mentioned with the HDMI ARC protocol are true and I might well be among the unlucky users of a TV set with an issue with the ARC protocol.

And like Derrik mentioned above, I ain't got any problem at all playing music through my ATOM: everything is crystal clear, I even changed my speakers cables for some TQ (Ultra Blue), as I initially also suspected  an issue with the former cables I used so far (even though I've been using those with my previous naim kits for 8 years with no issue at all). So just to be safe, I upgraded those for some other good cables, as I did want to avoid seeing this "overheating" alert I saw on my Atom's display once or twice, using it right from the box. And some here did point out that might have to do with low-quality cables could lead the amp to malfunction, etc. 

I can now confirm I'm so happy I changed the speakers cable because I did not see this alert being displayed on the unit since then. 

So I'm pretty sure that my previous cables did not help solving the problem either (but then, how come that the UQ2 and a NAP 100 both operated flawlessly for 8 years with these same speakers cables ?? still don't get that) 

did the same as regarding the HDMI cables of the TV, which were all really cheap ones and bought some other HDMI leads specifically built to work with ARC protocol. Guess what :  

That did not solve the problem with the HDMI input. 

I did a test using the OPT Out. Results: no sound dropouts at all; everything played for hours, without any issue at all. 

My dealer for instance told me that they hooked my ATOM to various Sony's, LG's and even other Samsung without any of the issues I described. 

Despite having no evidence the TV's HDMI ARC output is the one to blame, every time I hear my speakers goes scrrrrrriiiii for a 1 or 2 seconds(sorry but did not find a better word to describe the sound the speakers produce before muting completely for a few seconds) I'm really worried and fear to damage whether the Atom or the speakers (or even worse, both) every time I turn the tv to watch a show or a film. 

Very frustrating, as I initially chose the HDMI equipped Atom precisely for its ease of use (remotely ON/OFF, volume operations using a single remote etc.) of the CEC. That's 110 EUR extra off the standard ATOM. I'm not a TVholic, nor am I a cheap person, however, given the price we get charged nowadays for a TV set or a hifi gear, I expected it to be usable straight out of the box without the nightmares I went through lately, including spending almost 600 EUR on cable alone (I do thank all that recommended changing the speakers cables though, won't regret that) 

So to make this long story short, I completely abandoned the idea to have it working properly. However, if I was told the "struggle" I went through lately I'd had simply bought the standard ATOM with NO HDMI output, given that I now can use only the OPT out of the unit. 

 

Things just get even weirder here: I’ve been extensively testing  my Atom OPT out for 3 continuous days now and I’ve been watching tv since i came back from office and guess what : sounds also muted twice in 3 hours whereas it did not during the 3 previous days! !!!! 

I’m speechless and puzzled.

‘And the best is yet to come: Hooked the UQ2 back to the tv and it’s been playing christal clear without any dropout through its optical output.... 

if someone here or at naim has an idea about what’s happening I’m all ears 

I played tunes for hours during the Christmas Eve streaming wirelessly from my NAS, and the sound was just Dope, I.e no interruption no matter the volume and even cranked up the Atom just kept singing wonderfully and driving my B&W PM1 without breaking a,sweat with headroom to spare! 

I’m telling you, I’m speechless and don’t understand what goes wrong as soon as I switch back to the hdmi output 

Really any idea ? 

Could Naim help us out, as apparently, another forum-member just described exactly the same issue with its HDMI output to a Sony TV under the Streaming audio section. 

I contacted several times both my dealer and Naim for this same issue and until now no one could tell me what's going on, the Uniti support team just mentioned that if my dealer or Focal did not find anything, then there's nothing that be done. 

Still, it seems this is not related to a specific TV brand or model. 

So please Naim, could you please help us with this, maybe having the units sent back to the factory (and not simply, at least in my case having tests done by the Dealer or Focal France) 

Bouba, I feel your pain. We've all been there - car faults that disappear when you reach the garage, symptoms that do the same when you reach the surgery....

Except, this is getting expensive. Bouba, has your dealer a Nova he can let you have? Then you can test the hdmi and see what happens then.

Otherwise, I agree - Naim could come forward on this one by approving a factory return..

Bon chance, mon ami

My dealer won't send a NOVA to me as he's convinced the Naim kit is not the culprit here.

I do suspect this is all due to a software rather than hardware issue. The frequency and symptoms of the issue are always consistent throughout time. It's just not happening randomly. 

Well, for the 3rd time, I contacted Naim using the Feedback section of the app, hoping to have an answer from them and something else rather than "everything's ok" 

The Weirdest is that, as mentioned by Granthar here, using a UQ2 OPT Out, I never encountered those problems, even once. However, using the ATOM through HDMI AND OPT out does not make any difference, the sounds keeps muting. 

DerRik posted:

Hi guys!

The Company importing Naim to Norway called me yesterday and confirmed that Naim is working on a software upgrade for the Atom. He didn’t know when it was ready, but Naim is working on it as we speak. 

Hi Derrik, 

I quite don't get: do you mean that software update will likely solve our problems, would have been interesting to have more insight about what that update is supposed to address? 

Hi Bouba,

yes sir, it seems that the upgrade will solve our problem, but he wasn’t sure when they would release it. That is unfortunately all the info I got. But it’s good news aye? For me as a tvholic it’s like getting 2 x gallon bottles of gin in one drink. 

Well, if this update aims at solving the issues I think that'd be really great because as I'm really pissed of right now by this. I'm a tvholic as you are Derrik, and having bursting then mute sound from my speakers every 1 hour or so while watching my favorite shows got me mad and is really painful. 

And I second Gazza's veiw, totally agree, Naim shall provide more information about the various updates throughout the entire range. 

This does not necessarily has to be very detailed, but just a summary of main issues fed from users and the fixes to address those, Cambridge does that on its website, and every single bug reported and the right fix is disclosed within a dedicated firmware updates, including the various versions and what they were released for. 

From a more general perspective, I really find that Naim is not really communicating very well (whether on this forum or elsewhere) regarding support to provide to the owners of the new Uniti range. Don't get me wrong; i'm not saying the customer support is poor, it's far better than what i've seen from some other manufacturers in this industry. 

I'm talking about poor communication as regarding the way to handle and address the various issues since the new range's launch. As an example, I'm not sure or don't know whether the Uniti dedicated support team or helpdesk is outsourced or work internally but last time I get in touch with the team, the person I have had on the phone, simply read to me the Uniti's troubleshooting section of the online manual. I was puzzled as it was obvious to me that was the first thing I did even before calling on the phone.

So I'm not saying they're completely ignorant, but if Naim was communicating in a more transparent manner, I would not be that suscpiscious and wondering whether the person I dealt with did even know about what I'm talking about, giving me the feeling I called a kind of support hotline located abroad and simply reading to me the troubleshooting section of the manual. 

So come on Naim, you certainly can do better than this, the products you're selling desserve it. 

Bouba posted:

My dealer won't send a NOVA to me as he's convinced the Naim kit is not the culprit here.

I do suspect this is all due to a software rather than hardware issue. The frequency and symptoms of the issue are always consistent throughout time. It's just not happening randomly. 

Well, for the 3rd time, I contacted Naim using the Feedback section of the app, hoping to have an answer from them and something else rather than "everything's ok" 

The Weirdest is that, as mentioned by Granthar here, using a UQ2 OPT Out, I never encountered those problems, even once. However, using the ATOM through HDMI AND OPT out does not make any difference, the sounds keeps muting. 

Bouba

If your dealer or Naim or both are not solving your issues to your full satisfaction, I suggest you return the item and find yourself a new dealer.

Insisting pressure is pretty much what should help, don't and never be satisfied with half answers, from what I can read they blame other product but perhaps are providing a software upgrade ! Hows that eh !

I do understand though, the tiring in all this, but you purchased an expensive item so please don't give up because Naim released what seem to be an unfinished product.

Well, Perol, my dealer has been very helpful and kind to me so far, and he would have gladly replace the item if Naim's representative had not decide against it arguing that after testing (without ever specifying what those tests consisted of exactly) they did not find anything wrong with the Atom. 

Now my only hope is Naim to whether replace the product if it is evidenced there's something wrong with it, but again how is that going to happen when I'm not even sure they tested the unit the right to identify the issue, I don't want to sound rude but I'm seriously questioning the French Focal's team technical skills in the matter. I asked Focal for a factory return to investigate further but Focal just keep refusing arguing they did not find anything wrong or disfunctioning within the Atom.

Or alternatively, hoping as discussed here, that the next firmware update is indeed the cure to the issue.

 

 

I sent him an email with a link to the thread but haven't heard back.  Unfortunately I'm not based at the factory so can't just pop round to the next door office to see who's in or have a chat. I'll try him again...

Edit:  OK, seems Phil is away at the moment.  I'll try elsewhere.

I'm having the same issue with an optical in from my LG TV and... my Rega phono stage. The TV connection is exactly as described above, right channel crackles then off, occasionally both go. The phono input, just the right channel sound quality degrades with distortion on high notes. Pull the power on the Atom then reconnect and fine again.

I think my similar issue with the phono input from my Rega Fono Mini AD2 must be relevant to show its not just a HDMI or TV model specific issue... The audio hasn't yet completely gone via this input but the right channel increasingly distorts to a crackle - pull the plug, restart and fine... Until the next time.

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