LG SN11RG - LG C9 - PS5 - No Sound After Booting SDR Game

ryanstras

Novice Member
PS5 -> LG C9 -> LG SN11RG (eARC)

~ TV Settings ~
eARC- On
Digital Sound Out - Passthrough
HDMI Input Audio Format - Bitstream

~ PS5 Settings ~
Audio Format - Linear PCM
HDR - On When Supported
(All other video settings set to “Automatic”)

I’m having issues losing sound to my sound bar when switching from HDR to SDR games. Specifically I will load Final Fantasy XIV or Kingdom Hearts and there will be a long pause where the screen will go black and then to the “No Input” screen while switching to SDR. The game will come up but no sound will emit from the sound bar; testing with only the TV speakers I can confirm that this only occurs with the sound bar. The sound bar is still on and showing E-ARC at this time, but no sound. Sometimes I get lucky and the time it takes to switch to SDR is shorter and this doesn’t occur (if the “No Signal” screen doesn’t come up).

I have found 3 band-aid fixes to the problem. Power cycling the sound bar, turning off HDCP, or leaving HDR always on. The first is self explanatory, turning off HDCP seems to prevent the “No Signal” screen from appearing, and leaving HDR always on prevents this video input “switch” from occurring completely.

Side Note: Getting the PS5 to Passthrough 7.1 LPCM has been a nightmare but for the most part I believe I’ve got that ironed out, although I need to go through a roundabout method of turning off and on settings to get sound out of the left rear speaker. I’m at the point where I’m going to set the output to Dolby or DTS because even though it might be lossy, at least it seems to work consistently.

to;dr: Sound cuts out after switching to an SDR game. Seems to have to do with the switch to and from HDR or HDCP. Does anyone have any ideas on how to resolve this?
 

next010

Distinguished Member
LG's eARC implementation is known to have issues, now whether those issues all get sorted out on older models is hard to say (probably not).

There are no firmware updates for the SN11RG device.

You could contact LG tech support and try to file a complaint in the hopes it will get resolved that LG's own equipment doesn't work correctly, supply all of the firmware version used by devices.

As to remaining options
1) sticking with DTS or Dolby if the audio is in sync.
2) Use the Sharc to replace the eARC duties of the SN11RG, the Sharc was designed with 9/X series in mind, it uses HDMI input of the sound system.

HD Fury are rumoured to be working on HDMI 2.1 video/audio splitters but the cost of those will likely be quite high, maybe late this year or early next year.
 

ryanstras

Novice Member
LG's eARC implementation is known to have issues, now whether those issues all get sorted out on older models is hard to say (probably not).

There are no firmware updates for the SN11RG device.

You could contact LG tech support and try to file a complaint in the hopes it will get resolved that LG's own equipment doesn't work correctly, supply all of the firmware version used by devices.

As to remaining options
1) sticking with DTS or Dolby if the audio is in sync.
2) Use the Sharc to replace the eARC duties of the SN11RG, the Sharc was designed with 9/X series in mind, it uses HDMI input of the sound system.

HD Fury are rumoured to be working on HDMI 2.1 video/audio splitters but the cost of those will likely be quite high, maybe late this year or early next year.
LG Support was no help, but I guess that is of no surprise.

Dolby does introduce quite a bit of latency so that’s a no go. I can test DTS but I’m a little bummed out because I wanted the uncompressed audio, which the hardware “should” be able to handle.

Are there any cons to using the Sharc, such as added latency? I can go this route, just sucks to spend an extra $200 to achieve what the setup should already be capable of; specially at such premium prices.
 

next010

Distinguished Member
LG Support was no help, but I guess that is of no surprise.

Dolby does introduce quite a bit of latency so that’s a no go. I can test DTS but I’m a little bummed out because I wanted the uncompressed audio, which the hardware “should” be able to handle.

Are there any cons to using the Sharc, such as added latency? I can go this route, just sucks to spend an extra $200 to achieve what the setup should already be capable of; specially at such premium prices.

Dolby causes latency on LG is another problem with their ARC/eARC system.

Try DTS and see if its any better, if its in sync thats the best you can hope for, try changing the mode from pass-through to auto as well.

The Sharc shouldn't add latency, it has auto latency control via eARC or a fixed mode if you read their FAQ but there are is no 100% guarantee it will work properly in your scenario.

I get the feeling LG's own sound bar division does not actually test their products with LG TV's, the Dolby lag issue has been going on years and not been solved. No-one is perfect but other vendors are not as bad as LG in this area.
 

ryanstras

Novice Member
Dolby causes latency on LG is another problem with their ARC/eARC system.

Try DTS and see if its any better, if its in sync thats the best you can hope for, try changing the mode from pass-through to auto as well.

The Sharc shouldn't add latency, it has auto latency control via eARC or a fixed mode if you read their FAQ but there are is no 100% guarantee it will work properly in your scenario.

I get the feeling LG's own sound bar division does not actually test their products with LG TV's, the Dolby lag issue has been going on years and not been solved. No-one is perfect but other vendors are not as bad as LG in this area.
So I pulled a manual update for the C9 on LG’s website last night in the hopes that it would help but I did notice while doing further testing that at least as of right now, Dolby is no longer giving me any sort of latency issues.

7.1 LPCM eARC seems to only break when switching from HDR to SDR and it is intermittent. ONLY occurring I’d the PS5 takes long enough for the No Signal image to display. Other times on the same exact game it could go quick enough to only display a black screen. The eARC does not break then, this whole thing is so frustrating to me and odd. I have searched the web relentlessly and no one else seems to have this problem.

eARC set to Auto “technically” works but the rear channels are no longer active. eARC On, Passthrough, and HDMI Input Bitstream seems to be the de facto settings for the C9 to passthrough LPCM 7.1, which does indeed work 100% of the time for HDR for me; just the above intermittent issue is the only wildcard. I’m just about at the point where I want to settle for leaving HDR Always On because then LPCM 7.1 works 100% of the time with no issues, but I know this can cause SDR content to not be displayed correctly.

Like I said above, Dolby is no longer causing latency in the audio but I did notice something odd with the output of both Dolby and DTS. With the above C9 settings everything seems to sound good with both Dolby and DTS, but the C9 when going to Video Info is still showing PCM for the audio on both of these settings. SN11RG info is correctly showing Dolby or DTS respectively. I don’t remember this being the case prior to updating the C9 FW to 5.10.25. Changing the eARC setting to Auto or PCM will then cause Dolby or DTS to be correctly shown in the C9 Video Info. This reintroduces the latency of Dolby and for DTS it no longer utilizes the rear channels, so it may show the “correct” values in Video Info but it is clear that the above C9 settings are still the de facto for passthrough of 7.1 audio whether it is LPCM, Dolby, or DTS.

The above tells me, with my limited knowledge, that the PS5 is set to Dolby but it’s sending the uncompressed PCM signal through (with the correct eARC passthrough settings) to the SN11RG where it is then doing all the work of converting it to Dolby. I don’t know if this is correct and I don’t know if I should still be shooting for LPCM to work correctly. Digital Trends just released a video recommending Dolby because they enjoyed the sound produced even if it is compressed. Although it seems as if the PS5 is sending the SN11RG the uncompressed PCM signal where it is then being processed into Dolby so maybe it’s not so bad, but the entire PS5 and AV communities seem to agree on LPCM above all.

tl;dr: Dolby or DTS will work for now but this is way too big of a headache for expensive pieces of equipment that is stated to work the way I want it to. Also why is no one else on the internet experiencing this?

Note: Sorry for the long post and repeating some info from my previous post. I wrote this in the hopes for possible further insight and in the hopes that it can assist anyone else facing similar issues.

EDIT: Dolby or DTS does NOT resolve my intermittent issue of eARC audio loss. It appears that no matter what the setting is, if I am sending 7.1 audio to the SN11RG through eARC and an SDR game takes too long to boot (to the point that the No Signal screen shows) then I will lose eARC audio until closing the game and trying again (hoping it boots fast enough).

My only options at this point is to leave HDR Always On or HDCP Off. These are the only current setting changes that seem to prevent it from ever happening. I am considering switching the Zeskit Lite cables to Zeskit Maya cables just to reconfirm that it is not the cable and I will consider the Sharc.
 
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ryanstras

Novice Member
HDCP is content protection that can't be turned on or off?
You can turn it off within the PS5 settings, but it blocks the ability to use any media apps or DVD/Blu-Rays until turned back on. I use the PS5 primarily for gaming so this isn’t a big deal I guess. Just one of those things that I would have to swap on and off occasionally.

I don’t know why it effects the issue I’m having, but turning it off seems to allow the PS5 to switch from HDR to SDR quicker. The No Signal screen never has time to display so the eARC sound is not broken.

The whole thing is weird to me. My only guess with limited knowledge is that the eARC handshake is broken during that moment where the PS5 loses a signal to the TV.
 

ryanstras

Novice Member
Reference Video

Above is a video showing exactly what the issue is. I was able to capture both scenarios back to back. One where the No Signal image is displayed with audio lost and the other where the No Signal screen is NOT displayed with audio intact. Both are under the same conditions, HDR to SDR and 7.1 dARC passthrough (LPCM, Dolby, and DTS are all affected).

I also attached an image of the C9 stating that it is receiving PCM audio, but the SN11RG is outputting Dolby. I assume this is intended as it seems to be passing the PCM audio to the SN11RG where the sound bar then does the processing. This isn’t an issue as far as I can tell as this setup now has zero perceived latency and sounds perfect.

Although Dolby and DTS are optional now as it seems these settings are affected the same way as LPCM with my original issue. Dolby to my ears does kind of sound better and more full, but LPCM is uncompressed so I don’t know. At this point that seems to be just up to personal preference I guess.

For now I am just going to settle for playing everything in HDR. I know there are complaints about the PS5 SDR tone-mapping to HDR, but as of right now the SDR games that I have tested look good to me. Hopefully a fix will come up in a FW update or I’ll give the Sharc a go.
 

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