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?