Delay on digital and analog inputs

This issue has been split off from ARC: audio and video are not in sync, ref#52 because it seems to be a specific use case besides ARC. Below the original conversation.

I finally got around to measure the stuff. Just couldn’t be bothered earlier and thought that FW update would fix it. Just installed 1206 as per manual.

Method: Play AV-Test and record with phone @60fps. Import clip into Logic Pro, measure time between “beep frame” and audio peaks recorded. Distance to speakers approx 9ms. Of course this isn’t scientific, tv and camera not in sync, not measuring signal out of television etc, but it’s definitely ballpark.

Measured results:
TV Speakers: 17ms
Arcam digital (Game) input: 189ms
Arcam analog (CD) input: 209ms
Arcam analog direct input (CD): 38ms

Taking off the 9ms of distance and the maximum benefit of a doubt of a full frame at 16ms, these results are still awful. Note that the delay of the digital unit is at least 150ms (difference of analog direct to the other arcade measurements). Like this amp for music, but it’s not what it claims to be (Stereo+TV). I’m pretty pissed to be honest. It’s been over a year. Should apply for refund.

@jvs1 can you reopen the ticket, please?

I have zero issues with delay/sync over ARC. This is the case for my previous TV (Panasonic CX700) and current one (LG G1).
Tried LG with optical in, and also haven’t had sync issues.

Hey Felix, have you measured or listened?

It was unbearable. I tried to RMA my unit but they did not accept my claim. I sold the unit an I will never buy a ARCAM again!!!

1 Like

@eeck curious as to what you ended up with? I’m in the market for a 2-channel digital solution here :wink:

I went back to my temporary solution with a pair of KEF Eggs. I was so frustrated I did not buy a proper replacement yet. I probably would choose a pair of KEF LS50 Wireless II now and maybe hook up one of their new Subwoofers.

I have listened, and that’s enough for me. 150ms is enough to be heard/seen. If i can’t hear it, means it’s not as bad for me, as it seemingly is for you. Of course there is some delay due to DSP processing, but as far as i cannot hear/see it, i don’t see it as an issue.

That’s why I asked. Great if it works for you. I’m just glad I finally got around to actually do some objective measurements to prove my point. It’s more than 10 frames behind at 60fps. I’m an audio engineer and I play competitive video games from time to time. That delay is unacceptable. Anything above 30 is imho.

Hello Aleister,

I feel sorry the issue isn’t resolved in its full extend for your particular use cases. I understand it must be very frustrating. Please note I’m not an Arcam employee and I’m in no position to steer priorities. What I can do is try to clarify relevant details and ask kindly if they want to have a look at it.

I have the following remarks / questions:

  1. Your issues seems to apply on more types of input (e.g. digital input, analog inputs with and without analog direct enabled). The initial issue in the topic start applies to ARC input only. I’m not mitigating your issue but trying to understand your use cases. Please confirm.
  2. I do not understand Distance to speakers approx 9ms?. Imho the unit ‘ms’ and the quantity ‘distance’ do not match. Please clarify.
  3. The first measured result refers to ‘TV speaker’. I do not understand this endpoint. What is this measuring result about? E.g. is this the measuring result of your setup without SA30 involved? Please clarify.

Hi jvs1,

thanks for jumping in. I know you are not with Arcam. Yes, the initial issue is with ARC and the most helpful measurement was going to be there, I just had no free HDMI cable around. Since my LG B7 will output to HDMI and optical at the same time I used that. Maybe I can do another clip when I have time, although I don’t expect there will be different results. Ruling out the TV putting out a late signal is quite difficult, as I would have to sync an audio recording to a camera.

  1. I’m recording a video clip of the display and sound through my speakers connected to Arcam. I’m measuring a digital input (optical, game) and the analog input with analog direct turned on and off. That is my current workaround to have video and sound in time (3,5mm jack from TV into CD input of Arcam, analog direct enabled.

  2. Distance to speakers is the point where the camera is held. At roughly three meters away sound will take approximately 9ms to travel to it and will increase the delay measured.

  3. The measurement TV speaker is just the television itself, no Hifi attached to it. I would assume that the TV would output audio digitally at the same time.

I think the measurements of the analog input with analog direct on/off show, that’s it’s the digital signal processing in the SA30 that is the culprit for the delay.

Does that help? Thanks for clearing up.

Hi Aleister, thank you for the additional information, it is helpful. I create a separate thread for it because I think it is related but not the exact same issue. From your writing I believe the digital domain adds some delay too. A had a look and it seems that your issue shows some resemblance with the issue @eeck has, refer to Async Issue with all digital inputs, ref#85. Unfortunately he sold his SA30 because of it and I cannot test your use case because I do not own any equipment to connect to the digital and analog input. I’ll ask Arcam to have a look at it, maybe they can assist you in solve the issue.

Hi Jvs1, thanks. What is certainly possible is that you send me a short clip of video playing the AV sync video on your TV with the SA30 connected via HDMI/ARC. I can load that into Logic Pro and measure for delay.

I just connected the TV via HDMI and and the delay is roughly 172ms. Maybe a comparison with a TV where users report delay is not present can show it’s the TV messing things up.

So, in a fit of rage I went and took out a Lyngdorf TDAI 1127 for demo. Delay is 34ms on listening position. Accounting for the speed of sound that’s 25ms.

I think I’m done with my Arcam if there’s no comment from them soon. Shame, the Arcam has twice the power.

I would not hold my breath. I wrote ARCAM Support on several occasions and they promised to look into the problem and address it in a future firmware update. That was more than 12 months ago.
It is possible that the delay will never be fixed because the processor is not powerful enough (just a guess). The long boot time and “sluggish” reaction time in the menu would suggest quite limited processing power.
I originally inquired if it might be a hardware limitation, but Arcam never answered the question.

Yeah. Got the same feeling. I’m really quite unhappy about it. The SA30 sounds much fuller than the Lyngdorf to me. Could be down to power.

Hi Guys,

I also suffer from the audio / visual sync issue… interestingly the effect of the delay is variable from annoying to unwatchable and seems to depend on the channel. I will try and take a video on my phone next time and post it…

@jvs1 do you know if there are more firmware releases in the pipeline?


be sure to make it 60fps please for analysis

I think you’re referring to the delays on digital and/or analog input channels and you’re not referring to delays on ARC?

Unfortunately I do not know when a firmware will be released (I’m not on the development team). It seems updates are on its way as announced in this post.

I inquired about the status of the issue in the TS and a similar issue (Async Issue with all digital inputs, ref#85). All I can say is Arcam is aware of a latency issue in the audio path. I don’t know if a fix is on the roadmap and when it will become available.

Certainly I can help to further analyze the issue. Unfortunately I found no time to perform a recording. I will record it, I don’t know when it will be available.

1 Like

Hi, we are aware of the issue and it is down to the latency in the audio module - unfortunately, a quick fix is unlikely, but it is still very much on our radar.