How to fix audio/video mismatch between HDTV and speakers?
October 20, 2011 11:22 AM   Subscribe

How can I fix a lag between the HDTV image and the audio coming through the speakers?

I have a Samsung LED HDTV which works great except for this video/audio lag. When I play a DVD, the video comes into the TV from the DVD player (obviously), and the audio goes through an Onkyo A/V receiver to a pair of speakers.

When I do this, the audio comes out of the speakers first, and then the video follows after about a quarter-second lag. I'm guessing the TV needs some extra time to render the image while the audio flows instantly through the receiver to the speakers. (This lag also occurs if I watch video from the TiVo, i.e., it's not a DVD player issue.)

Is there any way to fix this? I don't suppose an A/V receiver has a setting to add a delay... but then I figure other people must have similar setups (HDTV and an A/V receiver) and have addressed this issue.
posted by mark7570 to Technology (13 answers total)
I don't suppose an A/V receiver has a setting to add a delay

Yes, many receivers have a setting like this, though sometimes it's only available for the surround speakers in order to compensate for different room sizes. Poke around your receiver's menus, bearing in mind that some menu options may only be accessible via the remote (this is an issue with my Onkyo receiver).
posted by jedicus at 11:27 AM on October 20, 2011

I had this problem when I first got my HDTV. I tried fixing it via the delay setting on my receiver but it was hard to get a perfect match. Ultimately I upgraded to a new HDMI receiver and blueray DVD player, which was an expensive fix but did the trick.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 11:32 AM on October 20, 2011

Your television might have something called "Game Mode" which will turn off the fancy video processing that maybe causing this lag. This might be an easier alternative than trying to tune it through your receiver.
posted by hoboynow at 11:38 AM on October 20, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks, will check for the delay setting on the receiver and "Game Mode" on the TV.

BTW this is an HDMI-enabled receiver, and the DVD player is blu-ray.. so I hope one of those solutions works!
posted by mark7570 at 11:40 AM on October 20, 2011

Instead of connecting the audio out from the DVD player straight to the receiver, try running it through the TV's audio in and then use the TV's audio out to connect to your receiver. The TV at that point would manage the delay.
posted by damn dirty ape at 11:44 AM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]

I came to say what Damn Dirty Ape said. I run our audio off the TV and don't have a problem.
posted by bitdamaged at 12:09 PM on October 20, 2011

Wait a minute.

So you've got a bluray player, which seems likely to have hdmi out, and a receiver that's hdmi-capable, and I really have to think that any LED tv will have hdmi in.

And you're running one not-hdmi connection between the audio out on the bluray player and an audio-in on the receiver? And an entirely separate video connection directly between the bluray player and the tv?

Well, don't do that!

Run one hdmi cable from the bluray to an hdmi-in on the receiver, and another from the hdmi-out on the receiver to the tv. The tv and receiver should talk to each other about the correct delay setting, at least if everything's hdmi 1.3. Even if not, your receiver should have delay or lip-sync settings to manage it over hdmi-out.

hdmi cables are available at inconsequential prices from monoprice.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:11 PM on October 20, 2011 [3 favorites]

(do the same with the tivo, for that matter)
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:20 PM on October 20, 2011

Yeah it sounds like you're not really taking advantage of what receivers actually do. You run all of your sources - all of them - into the receiver, and then feed all of your output devices (i.e.: TV and speakers) from the receiver. This is the whole point of having a receiver. It receives.
posted by kavasa at 1:27 PM on October 20, 2011

Response by poster: Oh frack. I just went back there and discovered the Onkyo receiver isn't HDMI-enabled. Everything else in the rack is, but not the receiver. Apart from now feeling like a genius... I'll look into whether it may have a delay setting (which I sort of doubt at this point). Argh..
posted by mark7570 at 1:38 PM on October 20, 2011

Your TV might well have a digital and/or analog audio output, and running that to the receiver might possibly solve your issue, while providing some switching (between the tuner and the DVD player) at the same time. That's how it works here, in a setup where the receiver is the Methuselah of the whole A/V rig.
posted by ftm at 3:23 PM on October 20, 2011

The issue is probably that the TV is adding its 120hz or 240hz or whatever number of hertz LCD/LED TVs are up to these days. As others said, a "game mode" might fix this, as might simply turning off the 120/240/whatever processing.

That stuff drives me crazy, personally, and makes the picture look very un-cinematic.
posted by The Lamplighter at 3:42 PM on October 20, 2011

Yeah, unless you're really married to some of your TV's signal-processing features you're better off disabling everything -- noise reduction, frame interpolation, etc. Most of them actually degrade your real picture quality (although they may impart an artificial smoothing effect that some find pleasing) and will exacerbate any issues you're having with delay.

My pre-HDMI Yamaha home theater receiver did actually have an adjustable delay, so make sure you read that manual/search those internets for info on your specific model.
posted by Joey Bagels at 8:38 PM on October 20, 2011

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