Lip sync issues using optical (Sky Q to Nova)y

Hi,

ive always been unable to use the optical connections due to lip sync issues (prev. Using SU) but now I’ve upgraded to a Nova I’m determined to get it to work.

this is the case for Sky Q and Apple TV which I’m connecting using good quality optical cables - it’s like watching a badly dubbed movie, with lips moving then the words following much later through the Naim.

both the Naim and the source have options to introduce lip sync delay, but it’s in the wrong direction, it adds further delay to the gap between lips moving and words being audible, I need to reduce that delay.

Does anybody know the solution? that doesn’t involve buying anything!

Many thanks for any suggestions/advice, Carl

Original Post

No solution from me, I’m afraid. I have found the same problem with HDMI, and have mentioned it to Naim as an issue that they should address. With HDMI, lip sync is occasionally OK, but nearly always outside the range of adjustment available, sometimes by a very large amount. I would suggest that you contact Naim about this to ensure that they are aware that it is a problem they should look at. 

Are you able to delay the picture?  That's what you need - ideally you should have control of both picture and sound delay to ensure good lip sync.  Obviously you cannot speed things up, only add delay.

Otherwise, because of the latency involved in external digital to analog conversion, the only other option is to let that be done by the video device (assuming the maker has set it up to ensure it's synched to the video) and take an analogue output to the amplifier.

Thanks very much for the responses, yes the ability to have a negative delay for audio (1) or positive delay for picture (2) at the source would help, but given that I have the issue with two different sources (Sky and Apple TV), neither of which have an option of 1 or 2, I guess it’s just never going to work, the Naim may not be adding the delay, impossible to know.

ive read posts on Sky forums too, it’s quite common with other kit too, guess there’s just a minor time difference between outputs, which is very noticeable on some systems making them unusable for that purpose :-(

Yup, audio delay is useful where there's a lot of video latency - usually from picture processing/scaling - but if not then without the ability to delay the picture you have a recipe for loss of lip sync.  Any audio device can obviously only delay that audio - i.e. it can't make it arrive earlier - unless it also handles video processing, in which case it should have the ability to delay both audio and video to ensure a perfect synch.

I did used to have the same lip sync issue. Even with 0ms there was an audio latency.   I switched to using a decent quality spdif rca connection out from the Sky box to the audio device.

Although optical is always recommended to connect audio/visual sound to a digital device, it does have its issues.

The Sky box I have has no means to change delay with this connection type only optical, perhaps by having no circuit here allows the sound to arrive just that bit faster.  

Just remember to turn the Sky box Digital audio output - Optical to NORMAL and not DOLBY D.

Doppy1977 posted:

Hi,

ive always been unable to use the optical connections due to lip sync issues (prev. Using SU) but now I’ve upgraded to a Nova I’m determined to get it to work.

this is the case for Sky Q and Apple TV which I’m connecting using good quality optical cables - it’s like watching a badly dubbed movie, with lips moving then the words following much later through the Naim.

both the Naim and the source have options to introduce lip sync delay, but it’s in the wrong direction, it adds further delay to the gap between lips moving and words being audible, I need to reduce that delay.

Does anybody know the solution? that doesn’t involve buying anything!

Many thanks for any suggestions/advice, Carl

I am afraid it appears many people are suffering with SKY Q lip sync... especially when HDMI ARC is involved. You could complain to Sky or leave them and move to Virgin or BT TV like quite a few have. My workaround is HDMI to the TV, then optical SPDIF to my Naim from the TV and not the Sky Q STB. I set my TV to negative delay. With my LG TV that works generally ok. 

Doppy1977 posted:

Hi,

ive always been unable to use the optical connections due to lip sync issues (prev. Using SU) but now I’ve upgraded to a Nova I’m determined to get it to work.

this is the case for Sky Q and Apple TV which I’m connecting using good quality optical cables - it’s like watching a badly dubbed movie, with lips moving then the words following much later through the Naim.

both the Naim and the source have options to introduce lip sync delay, but it’s in the wrong direction, it adds further delay to the gap between lips moving and words being audible, I need to reduce that delay.

Does anybody know the solution? that doesn’t involve buying anything!

Many thanks for any suggestions/advice, Carl

Which AppleTV?

I’ve also found that some channels are worse than others for delays. Bloomberg sound can be weeks behind the picture (well not literally). I use optical out from TV into NDS, seems to work fine most of time although my SKY  HD box has delay settings IIRC

overprint posted:

I’ve also found that some channels are worse than others for delays. Bloomberg sound can be weeks behind the picture (well not literally). I use optical out from TV into NDS, seems to work fine most of time although my SKY  HD box has delay settings IIRC

Yes the Sky HD box does have delay settings but this invariably isn't what you want because the sound is behind the vision. Although taking an optical feed from the TV as I said above works for me, the Sky HD box sometimes has its own lip sync problems, invariably when it's on an HD channel or playing something from the planner. Switching to a non-HD channel for a few seconds usually fixes that and a restart of the Sky box also fixes it, but you have forgotten what programme you were watching by the time the box has gone through it's very slow reboot.

best

David

I thought the idea with HDMI ARC was that the connection would be Sky Q HDMI Output into Nova, then an output from Nova to TV - I now learn that isn’t possible (no HDMI output port on Nova), and it isn’t possible to take an HDMI output from my TV either, all very frustrating/disappointing. I expect things to be straight forward in this day and age!

Apple TV is 3rd Gen, using optical out for Netflix or Apple movies is unusable.

Doppy1977 posted:

. I expect things to be straight forward in this day and age!

I am not sure that is a wise expectation. These days of mass cheap consumer electronics following industrial association profiles and ‘standards’ rather than following internationally ratified and tested standards I would expect complexity and lack of interoperability to become more prevalent.  The whole area of digital consumer TV is a complete mess, it used to be very straight forward... don’t even get started on colour profiling and HDR profiling, and of course there is not even a standardised way of managing lip sync.. as the OP has discovered.

To be honest I would not buy a new high end TV right now until the industry has decided over the next year or so on a direction. For example LG and Samsung are going separate ways with UHD and HDR. There is more momentum, but absolutely not assured, going the way as  LG right now. It feels like VHS and Betamax all over again.

Doppy1977 posted:

I thought the idea with HDMI ARC was that the connection would be Sky Q HDMI Output into Nova, then an output from Nova to TV - I now learn that isn’t possible (no HDMI output port on Nova), and it isn’t possible to take an HDMI output from my TV either, all very frustrating/disappointing.

I think you might be confused, the idea of ARC is that it avoids the need of having separate AV cables. ARC allows two way communication on a single HDMI cable when both connected devices support ARC on the connected ports. So if devices support ARC you simply need a single HDMI cable to connect devices. If a device has only one ARC HDMI socket then it needs to be at the end of chain of devices or simply between two devices. Typically a TV will have a single ARC socket .. sometime labelled HDMI ‘Out’ ARC. This should connect to your ARC supporting audio device. The whole idea is the HDMI control and audio data goes down a single HDMI ARC activated cable as opposed to needing a separate SPDIF cable. If your TV doesn’t support ARC, which it sounds like it doesn’t you will need to use the traditional way of using SPDIF Toslink or coax and perhaps manually setting up the audio device with a remote or equivalent.

Lip Sync problems are incrediblely frustrating.  I'd assumed it was one of the earlier AppleTVs as they ditched optical out after AppleTV 3.

Oddly I've recently used Airplay to send audio to my Nova with AppleTV 4 4k and the sync seems excellent, not sure if the Airplay 2 capability has somehow improved things on the AppleTV end but in the past lip sync was very bad when I tried to Airplay audio to the Nova.

With AV material going through an AV amp/processor as standard the problem used to be one of the audio being processed quickly onboard the amp/processor but image processing on the attached display (no audio or audio muted) taking several tens of ms longer thus the sound would be ahead of the lips - depending on video processing modes this could be better or worse, the more processing generally taking longer and making lip sync worse. Of numerous DVD/BluRay/media players I've had, and AV amps I've used, as far as I can recall the majority only had the ability to delay audio playback which would compensate for slower image processing on the display device.

Your issue clearly needs a source/intermediate box which can be adjusted to send the audio ahead of time - potentially however  the setting on your TV allowing +/- 100 delay may help .  What surprises me is how slow the optical audio out/processing must be compared to the TV's video processing which would generally be slower.  I don't recall the menus exactly but could the delay be caused by downmixing a 5.1 or higher audio track to stereo on the source devices to output over optical?  If the boxes have such settings it may be worth ensuring you are playing stereo audio tracks not multi-channel down mixed - I don't think the Nova etc handle multi-channel audio themselves, though if they do ensuring they are not having to down mix themselves might help.  Naturally on the sources you'd want all lip sync settings to be at 0 ms if you can only slow audio as any higher would make it worse.

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