Interesting HDMI Problem: OPPO UDP-205

I have a McIntosh MX122, OPPO UDP-205, and a Sony Bravia OLED.   The OPPO is connected to the MX122 through both an HDMI connection (BluRay "in") and RCA patch cables (CD "in") so that I can use the OPPO DACs for listening to audio CDs.

The Sony is connected to the MX122 through the Monitor 1 output.

I've been having intermittent audio dropouts when using the analog connection to listen to audio CDs on the UDP-205.   I've finally traced the problem to the Sony Bravia.   The Sony implementation of Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) is called "Bravia Sync."

In the Bravia Sync menu, Sony does not provide an "OFF" setting.  They have "Enable" and...nothing to turn CEC "OFF."  What they have you do is delete the HDMI equipment list from the Sony CEC sub-menu.   This does NOT turn CEC "OFF" - it simply hides the expanded CEC menu as you no longer have an equipment list to control, while leaving the CEC feature / circuit active.

The CEC is active even when the Sony is turned "OFF," because, in reality - the Sony is on standby and only the screen has been turned off.  The electronics are still active because the Sony can be programmed to automatically turn itself "ON" when it senses a different piece of equipment turn on through the CEC / HDMI circuit.

What happens with the Sony turned "ON" or "OFF" is that the Sony constantly looks for equipment through the HDMI connection.   It's randomly looking for a friend and sending out a handshake signal.  This disrupts the UDP-205 as it's processing audio through its DACs and it momentarily times out to send a "Yeah stupid, I'm still here" response back to the Sony.

Haven't quite figured out where to go from I don't have a resolution to the problem - but, I thought this might help someone else if they're having the same type of problem.

I had a problem with my Sony SACD player (the last good one Sony made -can't recall the model number). It would truncate the first one or two seconds of music if using the HDMI out (oops!). The manual fessed up to the "condition" as nobody at Sony could figure out a fix. Also, my Philips 4K player uses some kind of fancy "helper" system. If you turn on the Philips player, it will automatically turn on the TV it is connected to and select the correct TV input. It doesn't, however, return the TV to whatever input it was set to and turn the TV off when you turn off the player (again, oops!). Guess Sony/Philips have their own ideas about what is acceptable convenience.
What a wonderful digital world we live in ;) Manufacturers (Sony in this case) releasing products with non-defeatable trolling software to "think for you" and it causes a very undesirable condition with another manufacturer’s product’s functionality. I thought only Microsoft did that.

BTW - your 205 uses only one of the two DAC chips for two-channel digital processing. The other one is used for multi-channel.

There's a fellow on the AVS Forum thread
who is rather knowledgeable with answering this type of question. He is also a Beta tester. Bob Pariseau. I've been on the thread since day one and I recall some questions very similar to yours. You may want to post there.

BTW - your 205 uses only one of the two DAC chips for two-channel digital processing. The other one is used for multi-channel.

Well...thanks for the information.  But, that information doesn't help solve problem at all.  But, I'm sure you feel much better knowing that you've educated the troglodytes with your clarification on how the DACs are used.

It would have been much better if you'd have said, "Why don't you try an Atlona Etude (EDID emulator) - that might solve the problem."

Then, I'd have said, "Yeah, good idea."  "I'm testing one right now and it appears to be working."

All the best...and thanks...

I did not see you asking for assistance in the OP. I did see you referring to "DACs" (plural) when referring to your 205's two-channel DAC chip and was offering a bit of clarification.  That's all.  

Lighten up and try to enjoy your day.

I recently changed Tv’s going from a Samsung to Sony. Here is the quote I received from Oppo. "Just leave the TV on when your using the music player section of the Oppo or disconnect the HDMI cable". I have a 105D and a Sony x900e and the sound drops out as stated above. Even though it’s not my primary spinner, I really like the Oppo player. It does so much so well. You would think that while the units offer a "Pure Audio" mode, that it would remove any "video feed" from the circuit.... in effect turn the HDMI portion off. Particularly if it is an audio only disc. I’m not sure who’s 100% at fault for the issue.

I suppose I’ll just use the Oppo’s Gracenote feature and utilize TV screen if playing SACD. However, the Sony remote does offer a "PIC OFF" button on my remote.

Here's the real problem from an email interchange with an OPPO tech. 

After I installed the EDID emulator, and the system worked, I emailed OPPO tech services with my solution to the dropout problem.  OPPO replied that they were aware of the dropout problem - and then went on to explain the real problem. 

The REAL problem is that the OPPO player is polling the display for a high-bandwidth digital content (HDCP) copy protection response.  When the set is "OFF" it will not respond to the OPPO query - and the OPPO drops 2-3 seconds of music because there is no response.

In the email, OPPO tech services said "We hope to fix the problem in a future firmware update."    Well, "hoping" and knowing how to fix something are completely different - as "hoping" has no fixed date and no promise that a solution will be forthcoming.

If you want to actually fix the dropout problem, you can leave the display turned "ON" and it will respond to the OPPO with the HDCP information.  When that happens, no dropout will occur.

If you want to listen to music with the display "OFF" - then the solution is the EDID emulator between the OPPO and the display.  In my case, I inserted the EDID emulator between the McInstosh MX122 HDMI output and the Sony display.

The Atlona EDID emulator is 4K compliant and does not affect the image quality.
It does so much so well. You would think that while the units offer a "Pure Audio" mode, that it would remove any "video feed" from the circuit.... in effect turn the HDMI portion off.


Just so you are aware, *if* the 105D pure audio mode functions identically to the 205 (and I believe it does), in Oppo’s "defense", they do clearly document that pure audio mode does NOT shut down or otherwise remove the video feed, deactivate the HDMI port, etc. Instead, what happens is that a "black" screen is transmitted via HDMI. That said, I agree with you that ideally - and assuming there is no technical reason this couldn’t be the case - the video should completely shut down and act as though nothing is connected to the HDMI port.
Good thread--thanks. Buckhorn’s use of the the Atlona emulator in this case is good to know about. Although perhaps not a "solution," my way of handling the cd-interrupting handshake between the UDP-205 and my Bravia is to turn on the tv and select Action Menu--> Picture Off from the remote--no interruptions to playback then and dead black screen on the monitor.

I had a problem with digital playblack truncation over HDMI at the beginning of cd tracks with my BDP-103 and Cambridge Audio 651r very similar to what dweller describes above: Cambridge now calls this little lapse "expected behaviour," but it is certainly not menioned in the manual any more than the Oppo/Sony concern can be found in a manual from either of those manufacturers. No solution to be had there but analog playback, which I found to be a pretty unhappy avenue with that player compared to the 205.

Whatever would we do with all our free time in a perfectly synchronized world?
@GDHAL: thanks for the contact person you listed regarding the 205. I sent him an email
You’re welcome @don_1
Interesting thread which has helped me resolve an audio issue!

I have the UDP-205 connected to a Sony 65x9005b TV which i had setup with ARC so the TV could play audio through the hifi, and CEC for convenience of control - and had never had an issue.

I recently added an Nvidia Shield to the HDMI input of the Oppo which runs Kodi / Plex to play stuff locally on my network (this is entirely to circumvent Cinavia).

What i noticed was that with passthrough enabled for a TrueHD 7.1 audio track the Nvidia was tripping out and sending LPCM 2.0 with no audio, however the 5.1 DTS or Stereo tracks would work with no problem.

Disabling passthrough on the Kodi or Plex client resolved the issue, but it was clearly the Shield doing the decoding and passing LPCM to the Oppo.

Fine in theory as should be the same, but it was annoying me the Oppo wouldn't decide the TrueHD source, and it seemed silly to just be using it as a pre-amp!

What fixed the issue was sticking the HDMI CEC setting on the Oppo to Limited rather than On - and suddenly everything works as it should with passthrough enabled! Et Voila!

The only downside is that the Oppo doesn't automatically turn on/off anymore when the Shield is turned off, and i can't find a way to get the receiver IR setup correctly with it.
Was watching a video on the Philips 4k player (see top of post) and heard a distinct "pop". Must have blown some kind of chip as my Sony 4k TV no longer turns on and switches to correct HDMI input when Philips is turned on. I hate technology...
Just received this player and have the same problem.

While CD is playing, if tv is turned off or on, audio repeatedly blinks in and out, the last time in went on for about a minute so I had to unplug the HDMI to stop it.

Also 10 ft of digital coax in also blinks in and out from direct tv genie.this I figured was related to length or the genie .

Battle of the smart devices?
I’ve read reviews where the reviewer had to try out different makes of HDMI cable to get the proper "handshake" to occur. Not all HDMI cables are made the same.

Also, there seems to be a lack of consensus from makes of gear on just how those handshakes are done. Between some products, nothing can be done. For some, completely turning everything off and only turning them on after connecting the HDMI cable will work.

All the best,
Yes, but if I am watching an HDMI connected tv in mute while listening to CD on the oppo....if I just turn *off* the tv it shouldn't cause problems with the CD playing. 

I kind of understand if I were to turn *on* the tv there wiuld be some smart confusion - that would be more acceptable defect imo.
The HDMI cable IS NOT the problem.   No cable will solve the dropout problem with the OPPO 205.

When the screen is "OFF" the OPPO senses the hardware (display) in the HDMI chain and queries the screen for its high-bandwidth digital content (HDCP) license response to make sure it can send copy protected digital content to the display.

When the UDP205 does not get an answer from the display because it is  "OFF,"  the UDP205 momentarily drops out as it resets and then begins playing again.

If you have the display turned "ON" you should not have the problem because the screen can answer the UDP205 HDCP query.

The solution is to either turn the display "ON" while you're playing music content (CD's, SACDs, etc.) or implement the Atlona EDID emulator.  The EDID emulator copies the displays information (HDCP license, etc.) into its memory, and since it's always turned "ON," will respond to the UDP205 HDCP queries with the required information.

As was previously explained by another poster, some displays have the ability to be turned "ON" and put in a standby mode with the display powered up, but the screen dark.  That will also work.
Thank you for the explanation.

I have the front screen on now and there is only a 1 second blink when turning off and on the tv.

I can live with that. You saved me a headache- thanks again

Good news bad news

Just bought a Sony XBR 900e TV and had the same problem. My 2012 Panasonc had no issues.I own a Marantz 8802a pre-pro it has two HDMI outputs. All I have to do is use HDMI 2 which is not connected to any devices and all works well.It's to bad that the movie industry is so concerned with pirating. I also had an issue with my Logitech universal remote and a new 4k apple TV. I managed to fix that by re-setting my the Sony back to factory settings. It seems TV manufactures keep trying to build as much into a TV so we will not use another manufactures device. I would never use a TV's streaming apps, or other builtin apps. That's what I buy a Roku or Apple TV for,they do it right. 

I have had the same problems. Audio cutting out briefly. Only started when my Pioneer plasma of 15yrs decided to die. Replaced with Sony KD65A1. Only solution so far is to unplug hdmi. I don't really want to keep Sony TV screen on whilst listening to music.
A bit disappointed with this set up but what else can you do. Never had the problem with Pioneer. Also, on a different gripe, I'm still not sure if the oppo 205 sounds much better through anologues into my Denon avc a1d than an optical off the 205 and letting the Denon do the DAC duties. The Burr brown DAC in the Denon has a lovely sound. I find the Oppo harsh. I'm going to change out levels from Oppo to see if that improves things. So far, not hugely impressed.
With a suggestion from Dan Wright (Modwright) and this thread I was able to solve my Oppo 205 issues simply. It's strange how even when the Sony television was off and the only connection between the Oppo and TV was through a Marantz 8802, also powered off, I would still get the drop out in sound. So far the simplest solution was pulling the hdmi cord from the back of the Oppo. I haven't tried the other solutions on here...but thanks to all for the investigation and advice.... 
Newer Sony TV's remain ON even when powered down for firmware updates. So the unit is never really OFF. When your OPPO is playing music, it sends a signal to the HDMI output of the player. The "HDMI Handshake" between the Oppo and Sony does not connect properly and causes the dropouts. You'll can either unplug the HDMI, turn on the TV and use the Gracenote function or use the screen off function on the Sony TV remote. 


No such issues with my 205 and Sharp  60" LED. Started playing CD, turned on TV, one short blurb from Oppo, nothing more while TV playing or with TV turned off again.
Maybe my older Sharp not smart enough :)
I have been struggling with my Oppo UDP205, Sony XBR75 940d, and Marantz 8805. At first, I could watch 4K Blu-Ray discs but when I tried to play an SACD it would play for a few minutes and then stop. Then, the same problem started with 4K discs. I sent the unit back to OPPO. They replied:

Your OPPO product is ready! We will ship your OPPO product back and send you a shipment notification e-mail with tracking information. We performed the following on your OPPO product:

  • Diagnostics – Unable to confirm reported problem.
  • Problem Resolution - Based on the problem description, replaced decoder board. Please note that your player now has a new serial number: B210U81823123945.
  • Upgraded firmware to revision UDP20x-65-0131.
Passed standard post-repair diagnostics.

I just received the replacement 205 yesterday. Beautifully packed. I enjoyed a 4K movie, but when I tried an SACD, same problem. I wondered whether I needed to use analog interconnects instead of the HDMI connection for music. 

Any thoughts.    
Analog interconnects would solve it, or if you look up higher in this thread, an Atlona Etude will solve the issue for HDMI. I am going through this right now, just picked up a used Etude on eBay, placed it between my Oppo 203 and Sony XBR-65X850, and can confirm it works. I use the HDMI to stream DSD directly to the Marantz, which is only possible via HDMI. Does it sound that much different? I don't think so, but it's fun to play around with and pretend it sounds better.

For anybody still reading this thread that ever got an Oppo 20x player to work with an Etude and Sony TV, how was it connected? Per Atlona support, the Etude should go between the Oppo and the AVR (a Marantz), with the Oppo as HDMI in and the AVR as HDMI out. This is my config, but it only works with Audio out HDMI output from the Oppo and even then, it still cuts out about every 10 minutes. I learned the EDID of the TV directly cabled to the Etude and also whatever EDID I get when directly cabled to the AVR. I can't believe what I've already gone through to avoid leaving the TV on when using the Oppo to play music, but here we are.
I'm sorry it has taken me so long to find this thread.  I have the same problem with my Oppo UDP-205 connected to my NAD M17 which is connected to my Sony XBR-65X940D.  The problem occurs whenever I play audio discs (CD's, SACD's).  It isn't a problem with the TV turned on.  I just don't like having it on when not necessary.  For CD's, I resorted to using a digital cable but for SACD's, I guess I will just have to have the TV on.  Not a good solution but it is what it is.
 @esmurrell - Look on your TV remote for a button called "Pic Off" (mine is on the bottom-right corner). The TV remains on but the picture is cut off.