Best settings for viewing Apple TV 3 and/or Apple TV 4K on NEC PlasmaSync 50MX3G via HDFury 3

phillipwj

Novice Member
Hi all

Apologies in advance from a total newbie to this site for asking questions that may have been answered a hundred times somewhere else, but...

...For years I've been trying to find a solid quality solution to bringing my beloved NEC PlasmaSync 50MX3G Monitor into the 21st Century, with more connectors than you can shake a stick at but no HDMI.

I finally grabbed myself a bargain price HDFury 3 the other day and I've set it up via the monitors Component YPbPr connectors with audio from the Fury audio output into my hifi (alas no cinema sound yet for this particular setup).

So far it's all apparently working well, though I still need to try a 3 hour film and see whether I get any audio dropouts like I used to with my old Logilink HDMI/Component connector.

My question is, can anyone offer any advice as to what would give me the very best video performance from this current setup, in terms of connection cable (eg would using RGB 15 pin VGA cable be better than the current Component, or indeed RGBHV through the 5x BGN connectors), settings on the Apple TV (it's currently set to 720p at 60Hz, which I think is the best the monitor can handle apart from 1080i, but the Apple TV 3 doesn't output that apparently), settings on the HD try 3 (currently I set it to only allow 1080i max via the dip switches, not 1080p) and settings on the monitor - (if anyone happens to be familiar with it, it's a behemoth industrial monitor usually meant for commercial video wall displays and has so many connectors and settings it's a bit of a mind bend working out which is the best to use, despite reading the user manual for days on end).

Also, I just tried sticking my NOW TV stick into the second HDMI slot on the HD Fury, hoping I could also get all the Freeview stuff on this monitor alongside the limited ATV3 lineup while allowing me to keep the fuller offering of the ATV4K on my main lounge TV, and hey presto I seem to have instantly bricked the Now TV into a NO TV stick. No LED lit up. nothing on screen, dead as a doorpost, even after trying the button reset multipole times and on multiple HDMI inputs on my main TV. Of course as per my usual luck out of warranty even tho I managed to use it only ONE DAY in it's lifetime. If anyone has any ideas what I could do to resurrect that, even more appreciated!

Many thanks

Phil

** UPDATE: I am now also getting fairly continual interference/sound break/drop off and switching from side to side across the speakers through my hifi stereo system. If anyone has any ideas/suggestions as to how I can remedy this that would be amazing ***
 
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Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Assuming no DVI with HDCP 1.4 support on the Display then HDMI to YUV/RGBHV is your best option.

YUV is usually preferable for a 'video' source as the Monitor will offer you more options in the video settings menu when receiving a YUV signal vs. RGBHV, most monitors usually assume RGBHV is from a PC and the Source (PC) has all the video setting adjustments you would ever want.

NOW TV - be wary of connecting and disconnecting HDMI kit whilst devices are powered on or in standby, you can be unlucky and cause damage to teh circuitry behind the HDMI sockets.

You may find NOW TV will be defaulting to a video mode the Display does not support - what message do you get onscreen when you try to view the NOW TV box? Is there a way to force it into a low resolution 576/480p mode when it is not displaying a signal?

Audio - ensure the Source is set to 2.0PCM.

Joe
 

phillipwj

Novice Member
Thanks for your reply Joe 🙏

That's correct, the monitor does have digital DVI-D input but no HDCP support. I guess the HDFury4 would provide the ultimate in quality allowing me to use that DVI input but alas that was out of my price range.

Thanks for clearing up the YUV vs VGA input quality question. I will stick with what I've got and not bother buying a VGA cable in that case.

I think I was definitely unlucky with the Now TV stick. I bought a Roku Premiere HD yesterday and that's working great visually, set to 720p output.

I've also set the Roku to 2.0 PCM but audio is still not playing ball. I can't work out whether it's some sort of static interference or even loose wires. It's very odd and seems to get worse the longer the system is all switched on. I'm going to pull everything out again today and rewire the speakers with some more shielded cable that I happen to have spare to see if that helps. Crossing my fingers that that will sort it 🤞

As a matter of interest, if I was to upgrade to 5.1 sound, would the Fury3's audio out be able to cope with that? And I guess I'd have to change the audio out setting of the Roku and/or Apple TV back to dolby digital and not 2.0PCM of course?). Tho I'll try not to get ahead of myself at this stage and just try to get the plain vanilla stereo working, that would be a step in the right direction.

Many thanks

Phil
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
The HDF3 Headphone socket doubles up as a Optical Digital Audio output which allows you to send up to 5.1 DD/DTS to the HDFury device and then split out the 5.1 DD/DTS via an optical cable to a suitable audio system.

As you surmise you would then change the Source device audio to ‘up to‘ 5.1.

Joe
 

phillipwj

Novice Member
Well I’ve refitted the speaker cables and having checked and wiggled all other cables to check for any loose connections the only one that makes any difference is the 3.5mm jack connector into the HDFury audio out. If I wiggle that a bit or pull it out and then back in again that seems to solve the issue for another 20 mins or so and then the audio issues gradually begin to come back again.

I just wondered whether this is a known issue or any obvious things I can do to try snd alleviate this as I have no option but to use the audio output from the HDFury 3 since the streamers I’m using have no other audio output options.

Are there some preferred makes of cable, perhaps with slightly thicker 3.5mm jack that might provide a better/firmer connection into the HDFury audio out socket? I’ve tried 3 different cables so far and they made no difference but they’re not especially good quality cables and there is some wiggle room when I insert them into the HDFury audio output.

I also saw mention on one of the forums about some potential audio interference when using short HDMI cables and stating that a 2m long HDMI is preferred length also ensuring it’s a quality high speed version etc. Would that make any difference? Or using ferrite cores on the power supply cables and HDMI cables?

Many thanks and sorry for the ongoing issues/questions..
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
I’d try and avoid wiggling cables too often - tends to over stress the socket the cable is plugged into, one option would be to report the issue with your supplier.

If you have Optical In on the AVR I would try an optical cable from the HDF3 - if it didn’t come with a mini optical adapter you will require a cable with a mini connector on one end or an adapter plus a regular Optical cable.

Joe
 

phillipwj

Novice Member
Hi Joe, yes I've reported it to HDFury Tech support and they basically said it's either an issue with the audio cables or a faulty jack socket in the HDF3 itself (🙈).

I've now tried three different standard analogue audio rca cables from HDF3 direct into my stereo hifi and get the same dropout/interference issues. So I'm guessing not the cables and maybe more likely my settings at fault.

I dont have an AVR with optical inputs only standard stereo with standard rca analogue inputs, but, based on your advice above instead I've fed the audio from the HDF3 into an external DAC (CYP AU-D3-192) using a quality optical/toslink cable (which also seems to fit far more snugly into the HDF3 3.5mm jack socket) and then from the CYP DAC into my hifi inputs using the cheapo analogue audio rca cables. I also changed the audio output from the Roku back to HDMI digital from stereo 2.0PCM and now, somewhat surprisingly to me, it sounds VASTLY better and I can't detect any more interference, dropouts or channel swapping. ie:

Roku set to 2.0PCM Stereo > HDMI cable > HDF3 > analogue rca cables > stereo = interference/dropouts

Roku set to HDMI audio > HDMI cable > HDF3 > optical toslink cable > CYP DAC > analogue rca cables > stereo = sounds much better

Makes me wonder what was going on. One thing that strikes me is that this second route means there is now absolutely no metal connection between the HDF3 and my stereo system (that's now optical fibre). Could it be that, or was it just me misunderstanding the settings? Most likely! :) I did say I was a newbie!

Cheers

Phil

UPDATE: I spoke too soon. After a short while with no dropouts etc, it's back doing the same thing again under this new audio setup
 
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Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
If you can test with a different Source that will give you a better indication if the HDF3 audio socket is the issue or not - it sounds like it is.

Joe
 

phillipwj

Novice Member
If you can test with a different Source that will give you a better indication if the HDF3 audio socket is the issue or not - it sounds like it is.

Joe
By Source do you mean the actual source equipment or the source inputs on my stereo system?

I've tried with the Apple TV3 and Roku and both have resulted in the same issues.

Although to be fair, I did also have these exact same audio problems when using the Logilink CV0053A cable before I went ahead and bought this HDFury, which maybe points to it being an issue with the input ports on my stereo system (?), but again I have also tried different input ports on that (AUX and Tape) and again, have had the same symptoms on each of them.

I must say it's beginning to feel a bit like finding a needle in a haystack, with so many possible permutations of equipment settings, cables and input/output connectors.

Thank you ever so much and sorry for taking up your time with this. It's slightly blowing my mind now. 🙈

** Update: I decided to try NOT using the HDFury sound output altogether.

Found another toslink cable and connected the AppleTV3 optical out via the CYP DAC into my stereo jacks.

With the Dolby Digital switched Off or to Auto on the Apple TV3 this time the audio actually worked (assume the previous cable I tried must have been a dud) but alas I'm STILL getting the same audio dropouts.

With Dolby Digital Switched on I get system sound but NO film/tv content sound at all and with Dolby Set to Auto I get same dropouts as above. ie I'm still getting Audio issues even without the HDFury Sound output in play.

Is this all beginning to point to a more likely issue with my stereo than with everything else? **
 
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Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
What is your 'Stereo' system and do you have any other Sources (Tuner, CD ...) connected to it?

Joe
 

phillipwj

Novice Member
What is your 'Stereo' system and do you have any other Sources (Tuner, CD ...) connected to it?

Joe
It's a very old, small Denon mini system UD-M3 which is a combined amplifier, CD player and tuner all in one. Nothing else is attached to it. Its basically my bedroom AV setup.

I do have the option to connect speakers directly to the NEC monitor and bypass the stereo altogether but I assumed this would result in lower quality sound than the Denon amp.

** After all this, I finally managed to borrow a friends stereo today to test the overall setup and it looks like it was in fact the RCA inputs on my own stereo system that were causing the issues 🙈, since having connected to the friends stereo I've not heard any dropouts or interference, yet.

I guess I'm just glad to have hopefully finally tracked down the issue and I will now connect some spare speakers direct to the PlasmaSync and feed the audio through the monitor instead of out to my Denon system. Thanks for all your help Joe, you were a goldmine, much appreciated! 🙏 **
 
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phillipwj

Novice Member
Just as my final sign off on this subject, hopefully of use to others, I did find that using the HDFury3 to output the signal as RGB and using a 15 pin D-SUB VGA connector into the NEC Plasma monitor has given even better quality video than the YPbPr component inputs. I didn't even get any of the image shift issues that others have reported, it just plugged in and worked a treat after I'd selected the right DIP switch settings. Re audio, I've ultimately chosen to use an optical toslink cable from the HDFury into a 5.1 system and the audio has (touch wood) so far been great. Many thanks.
 

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