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Audio & Home Theater Related Updates & Tips - xlr8yourmac.com

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  • Go to the Latest News and Updates Post (Updated Dec. 1, 2022)
      (Below are TV/AVR/Player Firmware Updates & TV/AVR/Player Tips.)
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    iPod Classic Flash Storage Upgrades and iPod Battery Replacements
    Convert iPod Classic HDD to Flash Storage. Dual SD Card Slot Adapter!

  • Apple Audio/Video Setup Guides for iTunes, Airplay, Apple TV, Displays, More:
    Topic-based info at page of How-To Guides/Info for Mac & iOS/tvOS Users
  • Apple HomePod Setup, Usage, Tips and Troubleshooting Articles
    Apple HomePod support articles on Setup, Settings, Troubleshooting, Updates, more.
  • Set Up OS X to Output 5.1/7.1 Surround Sound via HDMI to a Receiver or HDTV.
    With general OS X Audio/Multichannel setup info & notes on Mac HDMI to AVR/HDTV config.
  • Tips for fixing HDCP Errors playing iTunes HD Content with Notes, Causes & Tips that have helped in the past. (HDCP compliant display is required of course - some are not.)
  • How to Combine multiple Mac audio interfaces by creating an Aggregate Device.
  • Room EQ Wizard (REW) software is free - donations appreciated. (There is a 1 time fee for a Pro upgrade.) REW 5.20.5 released Feb. 22, 2022 supports macOS 10.11 to 11.6 and is a Universal Binary for Intel & Apple M1 Macs. (Previous v5.19 supported OS X 10.8.3 to macOS 10.13.x. Mac download includes a private Java Runtime.) REW currently supports up to 7.1 speaker setups. (Does not EQ ATMOS or DTS-X height/overhead speakers.)
    Dolby Vision Info and Types
    - Dolby Vision FEL (Full Enhancement Layer) 12-Bit (Metadata + extra picture info).
    - Dolby Vision MEL (Minimal Enhancement Layer) HDR 10-Bit + Dynamic Metadata only.
    Dolby Vision Streaming is typically MEL. Dolby Vision can be "TV Led" (TV/Display does DV processing), or "Player Led" (the player does the DV processing), also called "Low Latency".
    ("TV led" Dolby Vision 12-Bit is sent over HDMI in an RGB 8-bit container.)
    Older Sony DV TVs used Player Led, LG DV TVs use TV Led (later models may work with both).
    (2016 LG OLED TVs are limited to 4K 30Hz Max Dolby Vision. Later models support 60Hz DV.)
    If you own a Sony Dolby Vision TV and buying a 4K/UHD Disc Player with Dolby Vision, check if the TV does DV Processing - if not, make sure the player supports "Player Led"/Low Latency DV. (Also some players have issues with certain DV discs, like Panasonic's DV players - see examples here. Turning off Dolby Vision in player's settings allows them to play in HDR10 mode instead of DV.)


    News, Tips and Updates: (firmware updates are USA region unless noted otherwise.)
    (FYI: There's now a separate page of LG TV & 4K/UHD Player Firmware Updates.)

  • Yamaha RX-A8A/RX-A6A/RX-A4A Receivers Firmware Update 1.80
    Available via Network update or this USA Yamaha Updates page.
    Change info from December 1, 2022 firmware 1.80 download page:
    • Stability improvement.
    There's an update installation manual link at the bottom of the download page.



  • (Nov. 1, 2022) Logic Pro X 10.7.5 Update (macOS 12.3 or later)
    - The release notes has a long list of fixes and improvements.


  • (Nov. 1, 2022) MainStage 3.6.2 Update (macOS 12.3 or later)
    - The release notes has a list of new features and enhancements.


  • (Oct. 11, 2022) Yamaha Steinberg USB Driver for macOS Monterey & Big Sur
    Yamaha's Steinberg USB Driver version 3.1.3 for macOS lists support for macOS 11.x/12.x (Intel/Apple silicon) and removes the requirement for Rosetta 2 on Apple silicon Macs.
      Changes in v3.1.1 to v3.1.3
    • Changed the system requirements to the following.
    • Rosetta 2 is no longer required for use on Apple silicon-based Macs.
    Yamaha also notes:
    "This driver is for macOS 11/12 only.
    To install this driver on Apple silicon-based Macs, the security policy of the Mac needs to be changed first. For the detailed installation procedure, please refer to this document https://download.yamaha.com/files/tcm:39-1588312."
    That document is titled "Yamaha Steinberg USB Driver Installation Guide for macOS 11 or later (Intel/Apple silicon)", dated Sept 2022, and at post time the upper right corner says "Confidential". (The previous v2.0.5 driver supports macOS 10.13.6, 10.14.x, & 10.15.x.)


  • Yamaha CD-S303/CD-S303RK Firmware Update 1.48
    Available at this USA Yamaha Updates page.
    Change info from October 4, 2022 firmware 1.48 download page:
    • Stability improvement.
    (There's an update installation manual link at the bottom of the download page.)


  • Firmware Updates for Yamaha Receivers and CX-A5200 Pre-Pro
    Available via network update check or the Yamaha US site download pages below.
    Change info from Sept. 8, 2022 posted download pages.
    • Bug fix for Internet radio playback issue.

    Download Pages for Firmware Updates

    (There's an update installation manual link at the bottom of download pages.)
    There may be updates for other models also. Use the receiver's network update check and/or the USA Yamaha A/V Firmware Updates page. (I prefer updates via a USB flash drive.)


  • Yamaha RX-A8A/RX-A6A/RX-A4A Receivers Firmware Update 1.73
    (See above for a later firmware update.)
    Change info from September 1, 2022 firmware 1.73 download page:
    1. To support HDMI® VRR and ALLM gaming functions.
    2. To support cross format upmixing between Dolby and DTS.
    3. To support Auro-Matic processing for Dolby Atmos/DTS:X
      (only for RX-A8A and RX-A6A models).
    4. Bug fix for Internet radio playback issue.


  • Yamaha RX-V4A/TSR-400, RX-A2A/RX-V6A/TSR-700 Firmware Update 1.58
    Available via Network update or download pages below.
    Change info from September 1, 2022 firmware 1.58 download pages:
    1. To support HDMI® VRR and ALLM gaming functions.
    2. Bug fix for Internet radio playback issue.

    (There's an update installation manual link at the bottom of download pages.)

  • (Aug 22, 2022) Sony Z9D, A1E, 2016-2019 TVs Firmware Update 6.7210
    (The firmware update download page has a complete list of "Applicable Models".)
    USA D/L page says "for US, Canada, Argentina, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Chile, and Peru".
    (Of course it includes the previous updates.)
    You can also search by TV model number at Sony Electronics support page.


  • Yamaha YAS-109/ATS-1090/YAS-209/ATS-2090 Firmware Update 5.31
    Available from this Yamaha US site download page posted Aug 3, 2022.
    Change info from the Yamaha page:
    1. Stability Improvement.
    2. A bug fix causing update failure at version 5.30.
    Firmware Installation Manuals are linked at the Bottom of firmware download page.


  • Yamaha RX-A8A/RX-A6A/RX-A4A Receivers Firmware 1.66
    (See above for a later firmware update.)
    List of changes in the June 8, 2022 version 1.66 firmware update:
    1. Improvements to Internet radio and Podcast playback
    2. Bug fixes:
      - MusicCast Surround/Stereo setup or connection error issues.
      - SiriusXM Talk list browse issue.
      - Reboot issue under specific situations.


  • Yamaha RX-V4A/TSR-400, RX-A2A/RX-V6A/TSR-700 Firmware Update 1.53
    (See above for a later firmware update.)
    Change info from June 8, 2022 firmware 1.53:
    1. Improvements to Internet radio and Podcast playback
    2. Bug fixes:
      - MusicCast Surround/Stereo setup or connection error issues.
      - SiriusXM Talk list browse issue.
      - Reboot issue under specific situations.


  • Firmware Updates for Yamaha Receivers, Sound Bars & CX-A5200
    (See above for a later firmware update except for models below.)
    Change info from June 8, 2022 posted download pages.
    1. Improvements to Internet radio and Podcast playback
    2. Bug fixes:
      - MusicCast Surround/Stereo setup or connection error issues.
      - SiriusXM Talk list browse issue.
      - Reboot issue under specific situations.

    Download Pages for Firmware Updates

    (There's an update installation manual link at the bottom of download pages.)


  • (May 30, 2022) Sony UBP-X700, X800M2, & X1100ES (US) Firmware Update
    Linked pages have firmware M43.R.0292 for X700, M45.R.0058 for X800M2,
    and M46.R.0058 for X1100ES with these changes listed:
    • Improves the color quality of some SDR content.
    • Improves general functionality.
    Download pages have instructions on update via internet, or download/USB Flash Drive.
    (I previously posted some Sony 4K player Settings Tips for the X800. The M2 model added support for Dolby Vision via a manual On/Off setting.)


  • (May 30, 2022) Sony UBP-X800/UX80, & UBP-X1000ES (US) Firmware Update
    Linked pages have firmware M36.R.0345 for X800/UX80** and M37.R.0345 for X1000ES
    with this change:
    • Improves the color quality of some SDR content.
    Firmware update pages have info on installing via internet or USB flash drive (download).

    ** Some retailers sold the UX80, it's the same as the X800 but included an HDMI cable.
    (There's previous Settings Tips for Sony Players Audio & Stability Problems below.)



  • (Apr. 27, 2022) Yamaha RX-A8A/RX-A6A/RX-A4A Receivers Firmware 1.65
    (See above for a later firmware update.)
    - Changes in version 1.65 firmware were:
    1. 8K60Hz/4K/120Hz and HDR10+ support.
    2. Improvements to Internet radio and Podcast playback.
    3. New MusicCast CONTROLLER function:
      Seek bar functionality with select streaming services.
    4. Bugs fixed:
      - Dolby Vision playback error issue on specific streaming services.
      - MusicCast Surround / Stereo setup or connection error issues.
      - SiriusXM Talk list browse issue.
      - Reboot issue under specific situations.


  • (Feb. 6, 2022) Yamaha RX-A8A/RX-A6A/RX-A4A Receivers Firmware 1.59
    (See above for a later firmware update.)
    List of changes in the version 1.59 firmware update:
    • Support of AURO-3D (RX-A8A, RX-A6A only)
      - Please refer to owners manuals of RX-A8A and RX-A6A.
    • Bug fix for no video output during Dolby Vision playback.
    • Bug fix for SURROUND:AI when playing video streaming contents.
    • Other stability improvements.
    Some owners say this update also fixed DD+ Audio dropouts.

  • Yamaha YAS-109/ATS-1090/YAS-209/ATS-2090 Firmware Update 5.10
    (See above for a later firmware update.)
    Change info from Feb. 1, 2022 v5.10 download page:
    • Bug fixes for the network connection.


  • (Dec. 27, 2021) Yamaha AV Controller iOS App version 5.60 Update.
    • Compatible with new OS.
    • Bug fixes.
    Requires iOS 10 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, & iPod touch.


  • Yamaha YAS-109/ATS-1090/YAS-209/ATS-2090 Firmware Update 5.02
    (See above for a later firmware update.)
    5.02 Change info was:
    • Increased stability of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections.


  • Yamaha RX-V4A/TSR-400, RX-A2A/RX-V6A/TSR-700 Firmware Update 1.48
    (See above for a later firmware update.)
    Changes in firmware version 1.48 were:
    • Support of 4K/120Hz, HDR10+.
    • Stability improvement of eARC.
    • Bug fix for no video output during Dolby Vision playback.
      (before this fix, workaround was to switch the input & then switch back.)
    • Other stability improvements.


  • Firmware Updates for Onkyo TX-RZ730 and TX-RZ830 Receivers
    - See post for info on Nov. 24, 2021 dated firmware updates list of changes.
    (linked page also has many useful Tips & Tricks for Onkyo RZ Receivers.)


  • (Nov 8, 2021) Yamaha MusicCast Controller (US) iOS App v4.60.
    • Compatible with new OS.
    • Bug fixes.
    (Requires iOS 12.0/iPadOS 12.0 or later.)


  • (Nov. 11, 2021) Yamaha RX-V385/HTR-3072 AV Receivers Firmware Update
    Version 1.10 update download at the USA Yamaha Updates page.
    • Noise reduction during HDMI standby through.


  • (Nov. 1, 2021) Yamaha RX-A8A/RX-A6A/RX-A4A Receivers Firmware Update
    (See above for a later firmware update.)
    The v1.22 update had this change note.
    • Bug fix of power management.


  • (Oct. 21, 2021) Yamaha RX-S602/RX-S602D slimline AV receiver
    (See above for a later firmware update.)
    Change in version 1.40 firmware was:
    • Bug fix for the network update error.


  • (Oct 6, 2021) GarageBand version 2.3.12 for iOS/iPadOS 15.0 or later.
    - See the GarageBand release notes for a long list of improvements.


  • (Oct. 4, 2021) Firmware Updates for 2015-2017 Yamaha Receivers & CX-A5100
    Available via network update check or the Yamaha US site download pages below.
    Info from the Oct. 4th dated Firmware Update download pages:
    1. SiriusXM playback stability improvement (U.S.A. and Canada only)
    2. Spotify connection stability improvement

    There may be updates for other models also. Use the receiver's network update check and/or the USA Yamaha A/V Firmware Updates page. (I prefer download updates via USB flash drive.)


  • Yamaha RX-V481/V481D/V581/A660/HTR-4069/5069/TSR-5810 Firmware Update
    Available via network update check or the Yamaha US site download pages below.
    All the models below have version 2.87 Firmware with these changes:
    1. SiriusXM playback stability improvement (U.S.A. and Canada only).
    2. Spotify connection stability improvement.

    There may be updates for other models also. Use the receiver's network update check and/or the USA Yamaha A/V Firmware Updates page. (I prefer download updates via USB flash drive.)


  • Panasonic DP-UB420/UB820/UB9000 Firmware Update 1.69
    - See details, notes and update tips, including download links and flashing my USA UB420. (Also verified the region bypass trick still worked.) For models that support it, v1.69 reportedly fixes the previous problems with some Dolby Vision 4K/UHD discs. (Details on linked page.)


  • (Aug 24, 2021) Sony UBP-X700, -X800M2 & -X1100ES (US) Firmware Update
    (See above for later firmware updates.)
    M43.R.0284 for X700, M45.R.0056 for X800M2 and M46.R.0056 for X1100ES had this change:
    • Improves the ability to play Ultra HD Blu-ray discs.


  • (Aug 24, 2021) Sony UBP-X800/UX80 and UPB-X1000ES (US) Firmware Update
    (See above for later firmware updates.)
    Firmware M36.R.0342 for X800, and M37.R.0342 for X1000ES had this change:
    • Improves the ability to play Ultra HD Blu-ray discs.


  • (Aug. 23, 2021) SVS Subwoofer Control iOS App version 1.3.57 (iOS 8.0 or later).
    - "Improves performance and fixes minor bugs".
    Users had complained about issues with swiping up from the bottom to change apps.
    "We updated the app to improve the swipe-up feature.
    It can be used from any menu screen within the app. - Ed M. (SVS)"
    The App store requirements also lists an Apple M1 chip Mac with macOS 11.0 or later.

    FYI: To turn Off "Performance Monitoring", go to the App's "System Settings" and select "About this App" at the bottom of that screen.



  • Yamaha YAS-109/ATS-1090/YAS-209/ATS-2090 Firmware Update 4.01
    (See above for a later firmware update.)
    Version 4.01 Change info was:
    • To support Alexa Multi-Room Music.


  • Dirac Live® version 3.1.1
    Downloads for macOS 10.14 or later at https://www.dirac.com/live/downloads/.
    - See changelog for details.


  • Firmware Updates for Yamaha Receivers, Sound Bars & CX-A5200
    (See above for a later firmware updates.)
      Change info from Aug. 5, 2021 update
    • SiriusXM playback stability improvement (U.S.A. and Canada only)


  • Firmware Updates for Yamaha Receivers, Sound Bars & CX-A5200
    (See above for a later firmware update.)
      Change info from July 15, 2021 posted download pages
    1. MusicCast Wireless connection stability improvement.
    2. Fix of Surround Decoder function in AV Controller.
    3. Fix of Bluetooth TX function.
    4. Qobuz for Australia and New Zealand.
    5. Other bug fixes.


  • (July 7, 2021) Yamaha RX-A2A/RX-V6A/TSR-700 Firmware Update 1.35
    (See above for a later firmware update.)
    Changes in firmware 1.35:
    • Bug fix (Addresses loss of sound in certain instances while in Party Mode or All-Channel Stereo Mode).


  • Sony A8/A9 OLED TVs Firmware Update v6.5066 (A8H, A9G, Others)
    Firmware version 6.5066 download page dated June 23, 2021.
    (The update download page has a complete list of "Applicable Models".) The download page has info on installing the update.
    You can also search by TV model number at Sony Electronics support page.


  • Yamaha RX-V4A/TSR-400, RX-A2A/RX-V6A/TSR-700 Firmware Update 1.34
    (See above for a later firmware update.)
    Changes in firmware version 1.34:
    • Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization support.
      (Above feature only in RX-A2A/RX-V6A/TSR-700 update.)
    • Qobuz support in Australia and New Zealand.
    • Stability improvement.


  • (June 14, 2021) Yamaha RX-A8A/RX-A6A/RX-A4A Firmware Update 1.13
    (See above for a later firmware update.)
    Changes in firmware 1.13:
    1. Qobuz support in Australia and New Zealand.
    2. Stability improvement.


  • (June 2021) Apple articles on Lossless Audio and Dolby Atmos in Apple Music Both articles have requirements and how to listen to Lossless or Dolby Atmos in Apple Music with Macs, iPhone/iPad, or Apple TV 4K, plus a frequently asked questions section.


  • (June 8, 2021) Firmware Update for Onkyo RZ740, RZ840, NR797 Receivers
    - See details on firmware version R125-0810-1141-0029 for changes.
    (Linked page also has Tips and Tricks for Onkyo RZ Receivers.)


  • Sony Z9D, A1E, 2016-2019 TVs Firmware Update 6.7165
    (See above for a later firmware update.)
      May 24, 2021 Version 6.7120 changes:
    • Improves general performance of the TV.
      (The EU change notes have more details)
    • Fix issue where the TV can't connect with specific wireless subwoofers.
    • Fix Issue where TV does not turn off when turning off HDMI devices connected via BRAVIA Sync (HDMI CEC).
    • Fix issue where an information banner appears randomly while watching content through HDMI connected devices.
    (Of course it includes the previous update.)

  • Yamaha YAS-109/ATS-1090/YAS-209/ATS-2090 Firmware Update 3.21
    (See above for a later firmware update.)
    Change info for version 3.21:
    • Fix minor bugs which make the sound bar out of operation.


  • (April 2021) OPPO MediaControl iOS App for UDP-203/205 Players
    - App updated by Apple to use the latest Apple signing certificate. No version change.
    (Last update was v1.1.2 from March 3rd, 2018 "Bug fixes & improvements".)


  • (April 2021) OPPO MediaControl iOS App for BDP-10x Players
    - App updated by Apple to use the latest Apple signing certificate.
    (No change in version number. Last update was v4.0.1 "Optimized for iOS 9".)

    Tip: Problems playing CDs from the App? Press "Home" button twice, then press Play.



  • (April 2021) GarageBand version 10.4.3 update for macOS Big Sur
    - Includes bug fixes and a security fix.



  • Yamaha RX-A2A/RX-V6A/TSR-700, RX-V4A/TSR-400 Firmware Update 1.31
    (See above for a later firmware update.)
    March 8, 2021 v1.31 Firmware had these changes:
    1. Stability improvement for HDMI ARC (Audio Return Channel) function.
    2. Other improvement. (No details)


    Yamaha YAS-109/ATS-1090/YAS-209/ATS-2090 Firmware Update 3.12
    (See above for a later firmware update.)
    Change info for the 3.12 firmware update:
      Bug fix
    • The connection issue that Wi-Fi can be disconnected under particular circumstances.


  • (Feb. 25, 2021) TF Editor V4.50 for Mac - macOS 11 (Intel/Apple M1), 10.15-10.13.
    - Added Direct IP address entry capability for device connection & synchronization.
    - See "System Requirements" down the linked page.
    Yamaha also posted TF5/3/1 TF-RACK Firmware V4.50 update.


  • Sony A8/A9 OLED TVs Firmware Update v6.5042
    (See above for a later firmware update.)
    Firmware version 6.5042 download page was dated Feb. 23, 2021.


  • Firmware Updates for 2018 Yamaha Receivers & CX-A5200 Pre-Pro
    (See above for a later firmware update.)
      Change info for the Feb. 17, 2021 Update
      A) Performance improvements to music streaming services and internet radio.
      - Amazon Music HD *1
      - SiriusXM compatibility with new server *2

      B) Other stability improvements.

      *1 Amazon Music HD Account is required. Available in US, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Japan. (as of February 2021).
      *2 With this firmware, 30-Day Free Trial offers will no longer be available. Any active 30-Day Free Trial subscriptions will immediately end.
      You will need to re-login after the update. Any Preset(s) that you've already registered will be deleted, therefore you will need to re-register your Preset(s). Available in US, Canada.
      *Music streaming service availability varies by region and product.


  • (Feb. 2, 2021) Yamaha Steinberg Mac USB Driver Update
    Yamaha Steinberg USB Driver v2.0.5 for Mac changes:
    • Changed the system requirements to macOS 10.13.6, macOS 10.14.x, macOS 10.15.x
    • Solved some minor problems
    See notes on linked driver update page for more details.
    (There's a later v3.x driver with macOS Monterey & Big Sur support.)


  • (Jan. 14, 2021) Firmware Updates for Onkyo RZ830/730/630, NR787 Receivers
    - See details on Jan. 14, 2021 firmware updates for changes.
    (That page also has Tips and Tricks for Onkyo RZ Receivers.)


  • Yamaha RX-V481/V481D/V581/A660/HTR-4069/5069/TSR-5810 Firmware Update
    (See above for a later firmware update.)
    Changes from Jan. 13, 2021 posted version 2.86 Firmware were:
    • Bug fix of volume control by using Spotify app.


  • Yamaha RX-A2A/RX-V6A/TSR-700, RX-V4A/TSR-400 Firmware Update
    (See above for a later firmware update.)
    All the models above had version 1.26 Firmware with these changes:
    1. Bug fix of color banding issue with 4K/HDR video signal.
    2. Bug fix of audio dropout when connecting via ARC.
    3. Support of Qplay (Chinese market only).
    4. Other stability improvements.


  • (Dec. 22, 2020) Firmware Update for Onkyo RZ740, RZ840, NR797 Receivers
    - See details on firmware version R122-0708-1141-0029 for changes.


  • (Dec. 21, 2020) SVS Subwoofer Control iOS App (iOS 8.0 or later).
    (See above for a later version update.)
      Version 1.3.52 update
    • Upgrades to enhance performance and fix minor bugs.
    • Makes the app compatible with iOS 14.
    • Improves performance and fixes minor bugs.

  • (Dec. 15, 2020) Firmware Updates for 2015-2017 Yamaha Receivers & CX-A5100
    (See above for a later firmware update.)
    Info from Dec 2020 version 2.85 firmware update
      A) Performance improvements to music streaming services and internet radio.
      - Support of Spotify Free account, along with playback stability improvements **.
      - Qobuz list browsing improvement.
      B) Other stability improvements.
    ** With this new firmware, any Preset(s) that you've already registered will be deleted, therefore you will need to re-register any existing Preset(s). Some models with an integrated OSD (On-Screen Display) will no longer display "Now Playing" content on the OSD.


  • Sony A8/A9 OLED TVs Firmware Update v6.4960 (A8H, A9G, Others)
    (See above for a later firmware update.)
      About Dec. 1, 2020 Version 6.4960
    • Improves general performance of the TV
    Two Sony A9G owners reported ARC problems after this update. OK before it.
    (ARC Tip: Check the TV's speaker settings to see if External Audio is enabled.)


  • Notes on HDMI 2.1 Chip Bug in some A/V Receivers (Updated May 2021)
    Yamaha: Update for HDMI 2.1 Compatibility of Select 2020 AV Receivers with Certain Gaming, Video Devices (May 2021). Affected models: RX-V4A, RX-V6A, RX-A2A, TSR-400 and TSR-700, for certain pass-through compatibility with Xbox Series X, NVIDIA RTX30. See article for details on "A free update program will be available starting in fall 2021 to update the HDMI board on these AV receivers...".
    (earlier posts from 2020 follow. Yamaha info below was from Oct. 2020 article.)
    Yamaha posted comments on HDMI Compatibility with AV Receivers, New Gaming Devices, regarding HDMI 2.1 chip 4K/120Hz issues in A/V Receivers. (see posts below.) Below is a clip from the Oct. 2020 article, before it was updated in May 2021:
    "From the time we first announced the newest AV receivers from Yamaha, such as the RX-V4A, RX-V6A, RX-A2A and TSR-700, we have stated that we will support emerging HDMI 2.1 capabilities (such as 4K/120Hz pass-through) via future updates. We will address the reported HDMI 2.1 issue via these planned future updates in order to provide customers with the best solution available.
    Please monitor this page for updates."
    (An earlier post from Oct. 2020 follows, with a Dec. 9th, 2020 update below.)
    Bug in HDMI 2.1 chips Affect AV Receivers, XBOX Series X & NVIDIA Cards
    "A bug in the latest HDMI 2.1 chipsets sourced by Panasonic and utilized in the new Denon, Marantz and Yamaha HDMI 2.1 AV receivers. This bug can inhibit pass through of 4k/120Hz HDR and 8k/60 HDR for some devices like NVIDIA's newest graphics cards and the latest XBOX Series X gaming console. When engaging these resolutions with these source devices directly connected to an HDMI 2.1 capable receiver utilizing the Panasonic HDMI 2.1 chipset, the user can experience a blank screen."
    Dec. 9th, 2020 Update: An updated reply from Sound United (Denon/Marantz)
    "Sound United completed additional testing and is pleased to report that 4K/120Hz passthrough works without issue on Nvidia and PS5 devices. Outside of what was originally reported regarding Xbox at 4K/120Hz output setting, we have had no further HDMI 2.1 device interoperability issues reported as of this writing..."
    They've also posted a YouTube video guide on how to configure a 2020 Denon or Marantz receiver, a Playstation 5 and HDMI 2.1 compatible TV for 4K gaming at 120fps.


  • (Nov. 11, 2020) Sony Android TVs (Z9D, A1E, Others) Firmware Update
    (See above for a later firmware update.)
    The update download page has a complete list of "Applicable Models".
      Version 6.7140 update changes
    • Combines the Video, Album, and Music apps into the Media Player app
      Note: After the update, the App menu will display the Music and Media Player apps only, but will contain all the content from the Video, Album, and Music apps.
    • Adds support for HEVC 100/120Hz in USB video playback.
    • Removes the WPS function.
    • Adds support for the Android™ 9.0 Pie Setting menu tree.
    • Redesigns the Setting menu.
    • Improves general performance of the TV.
    Some Z9D owners said this update enabled Atmos from the TV's Netflix app.
    If you have ARC problems, Check if External Audio enabled in TV speaker settings.
    (As always, it includes fixes in the previous updates.)
    A Z9D owner whose TV would reboot after power-on with this update, said he was told by Sony Support until a fix is released to turn on "IP Control" in
    Home > Settings > Network & Internet > IP Control > Simple IP Control (turn ON).

    The D/L page says "for US, Canada, Argentina, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Chile, and Peru".
    You can also search by TV model number at Sony Electronics support page.



  • (Oct. 6, 2020) Sony Z9D, A1E, and Other Android TVs Firmware Update
    (See above for a later firmware update.)
      Version 6.6575 had this change note
    • Improves general performance of the TV
    (As always, it includes fixes in the previous update.)

    A reader said the EU v6.6575 update had different change notes:
    - Solves a network error caused by incorrect system time setting.
    - Fixes a blinking LED issue on AG8 models & improves system performance.



  • Important Firmware Update for Yamaha THR10II/THR30II Wireless Guitar Amps
    "Yamaha has become aware of four incidents of extreme overheating during charging of the THR-compatible Line 6 products Relay G10, Relay G10S, and Relay G10T wireless devices. To prevent any possible risk of extreme overheating, Line 6 is issuing a firmware update of the Relay G10 family of products. To ensure continued compatibility of your THR product, please follow the firmware update instructions.

    Products

  • THR10II Wireless
  • THR30II Wireless"
  • Linked page has Firmware Update Procedure, update flashed using the "THR Remote" app.
    (Current v1.1.0, macOS 10.15-10.14 download linked, a Windows version also available.)


  • (Feb. 13, 2020) Sony UBP-UBP-X800M2 & X1100ES (US) Firmware Update
    (See above for a later firmware update.)
    Firmware M45.R.0052 for X800M2 and M46.R.0052 for X1100ES had change listed:
    • Fixes issues that may occur when using network services.
    I previously posted some Sony 4K player Settings Tips for the X800. (The M2 series added support for Dolby Vision via a manual On/Off setting.)


  • (Jan 28, 2020) Firmware Updates for 2018 Yamaha Receivers & CX-A5200 Pre-Pro
    (See above for later firmware updates for these models.)
    Available via network update check or the Yamaha US site download pages below.
      Change info from the Jan 28, 2020 Update
    1. Security measures on 3PDA (Amazon Alexa Skill) functionality.
    2. Stability improvements on eARC related functionality.
    3. Other stability improvements.

  • RX-V385/HTR-3072
    (See above for a later firmware update.)
    - version 1.08 update had "Stability improvements on eARC related functionality".


  • Onkyo RZ series Receiver HDMI 4K Enhanced Mode Settings Tip
    - See guide to setting HDMI 2.0 Enhanced mode & info on Enhanced vs Standard mode.

  • How to Backup/Save your Receiver Settings (and Restore if needed)
    - See this guide to storing a settings backup in the AVR and restoring them.

  • Onkyo RZ series Receiver Easy Switch Speaker Configuration Tip
    - See this guide to easy speaker configuration switching.
    (I easily switch between 5.1.4 to 7.1.2, with no speaker wire changes.)


  • (Dec. 17, 2019) Pioneer UDP-LX500 Firmware Update version 01.16
    Available for download at Pioneer's UDP-LX500 home page, downloads section.
    Change History notes:
    • Improve playback compatibility of certain 4K UHD Blu-ray discs.
    The same note as the previous version 01.13 firmware.
    May also be available now via network update check.
    (They say see page 47 of the Operating Instructions for how to update.)


  • (Aug.-June 2019) Guides to Creating a Pro Audio Studio at Home
    Sponsor OWC has a series on Pro Audio: Your First Home Studio (part 1), 2, 3, 4 & 5.
    "This is a five-part series designed to offer you some guidance should you decide to join the community of millions who have discovered the joy of recording at home. Whether you are a beginner who has never recorded before, or if you are more advanced with years of experience, I hope you find value in this series. If you have any questions or would like me to cover a specific topic, please drop a comment at the end of the article. I read them all and will respond!"


  • (July 31, 2019) Panasonic DMP-BDT220/320/321/500/BBT01 Firmware v1.67
    Linked page has self-extracting .exe D/L or Update via Network Update check.
    As with the previous update, version 1.63 firmware change note simply says:
    • "Playability of Blu-ray Disc".
    The linked page includes a guide to installing firmware updates.
    (Below are notes on the previous 1.63 Firmware from Nov 25, 2013.)

    Panasonic UB420 Player Firmware Update Tip
    - See notes on updating the UB420 model, which has no display.

    My Experience with the Panasonic DP-UB420
    - My notes and tips on the UB420, including tests with 100GB discs.

    Panasonic Trick to Play (Some) Region B Blu-Rays (YMMV)
    - Details. (Firmware 1.69 didn't break it.) Tip doesn't work with all discs,
    so I have a Region B Sony S6700, which also plays Region 2 DVDs.



  • The Region B Blu-ray 3D Player I use in the USA
    Just a FYI for anyone like me that wants to play region B locked Blu-Rays (and 3D blu-rays) in the USA, without having to buy a region-free/all-region player (or a UK to US AC power transformer). I'm very happy with a Sony BDP-S6700 from the UK, which required only a US power cord (read on). I did some checking before buying, as a friend ordered it for me (I paid him cash) who said up front he would NOT do a return. I saw the player had a 12V DC input, and I already had a US Sony 12V/1A AC adapter from a previous Sony player. But since the UK PDF user manual listed a separate (removable) AC power cord was included, I hoped the AC Adapter (AC-L1210WW) was compatible - it was (marked as "100-240V, 50/60 HZ"). So all I needed was a (US) AC plug to 2 pin (flat figure 8) power cable (which I already had) to plug into the supplied AC adapter.

       It was great to be able to watch region B locked 3D discs of Terminator 2 and Ratatouille on my LG OLED (3D/4K) TV. (Unlike some other discs like Valerian 3D, the "Stop, then Top Menu" trick I often used with my Panasonic UB-420 and DMP-BDT500 did not work with the region B Terminator 2 3D & Ratatouille 3D blu-rays.) Region 2 DVDs (PAL) also played fine - it appears the Sony does the PAL conversion. (I tested with a Region 2 Peaky Blinders series 1+2 DVD box set bought at a Goodwill for $2.)

       Exchange rates vary, but at the time the player (new) cost appx $105 (US) after VAT removal, plus shipping. (Best price I'd seen on an all-region S6700 was just under $200.) I already have several region A players, and a 4K/UHD player. (All standard 4K/UHD movie discs are region free. And of course some blu-ray movies are all region also, but not all.)

        The Sony BDP-S6700 has 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi with 2.4/5GHz support, Bluetooth v4.1, Ethernet (100BASE-T) and a USB 2.0 port. I like the Sony's options/features and 3D support, but use it only for disc playback, not streaming/apps or bluetooth. (And I'm not using any network connections.) As I've mentioned with other Sony players, I set the output mode to "Direct" (via Options menu during playback) - the setting is persistent. (I've not noticed any DNR with that setting personally.) This UK BDP-S6700 shipped with firmware M32.R.0486, which isn't the latest (.0527 from 3/12/2019 is, as of this post date), but I don't plan on updating unless I have to.



  • (May 8, 2019) Sony UBP-X800M2, UBP-X1100ES (US) Firmware Update
    (FYI: See above for later firmware update from Feb. 2020.)
    May 2018 firmware M45.R.0050 for X800M2 and M46.R.0050 for X1100ES had this change:
    • Improves image quality in specific scenes.
    Tip: A Sony X800M2 owner said it would not power on after several hours of being off. Just like his original X800, disabling "Quick Start" solved it. This is one of many player settings tips I posted for the original Sony UBP-X800.


  • Sony UBP-X700, UBP-X1000ES, UBP-X800/-UX80 (US) Firmware Update
    (See above for a later firmware update.)
    Firmare M36.R.0338 for X800/UX80, M37.R.0338 for X1000ES, and M43.R.0277 for X700 had this change:
    • Removes the Gracenote® function.
    (There's some previous Settings Tips for Sony Players Audio & Stability Problems below.)


  • (Mar. 5, 2019) Sony BDP-S7200, S6200 (US) Firmware Update
    New firmware M21.R.0181 with this change:
      (change from previous M21.R.0180)
    • Removes the Gracenote® function
    (Download button (again) doesn't work for me on my Mac/Browser, but I found the firmware file at hav.update.sony.net/BDP/data/UPDATE_M21R0181.zip.)

    I've not been able to test if this possibly fixes the hard freezes from Dolby Atmos Intro/demos noted with previous firmware versions. (An issue for years, never fixed.)



  • (Feb. 8, 2019) OPPO UDP-203/205 4K UHD Player Firmware UDP20X-65-0131.
      Note: For players with firmware 42-0329 or earlier, install firmware UDP20X-45-0605 first.
      - Once installed, you can't revert to a previous firmware version.
      Compared to previous Official release UDP20X-60-0625, the major changes are:
    1. Added the "HDMI IN BYPASS" mode for Dolby Vision passthrough via HDMI In.
    2. General fixes and disc compatibility improvements based on recent and upcoming UHD Blu-ray releases as well as user-submitted samples.
    Although not listed, I assume HDR10+ Support like the previous BETA firmware.

    FYI: Reportedly even in Bypass mode the Oppo HDMI Input can't pass Dolby MAT (Metadata-Enhanced Audio Transmission) PCM Atmos that Apple TV uses. (It can pass bitstreamed Dolby Atmos and bitstreamed DD+ Atmos.) If your Apple TV has Atmos enabled, you won't get any audio using the Oppo's HDMI Input even when set to Bypass.

    (If you missed it earlier, there's info on Oppo's HDR to SDR modes below.)

    Fix for Pink/Red/Purple Tinted Screen with Dolby Vision on Oppo 203/205
    If you see pink or red/purple tinted video during Dolby Vision playback after the above firmware update, try changing the Oppo's Dolby Vision setting to "TV Led" processing instead of "Auto". (Early Sony DV TVs used "Player-Led" Processing, later models use TV Led.) Several owners (typically LG TVs) have reported problems with Dolby Vision (Pink/Red tinted video) after the UDP20X-65-0131 update with Oppo's Dolby Vision set to "Auto", typically if the Oppo HDMI video was connected to a Receiver. ("Auto" may be OK if player directly connected to the TV.) The fix is to set the Oppo's Dolby Vision to "TV-led processing" unless your Dolby Vision compatible TV is an early Sony DV model, which used "Player-Led" Dolby Vision processing. (The "Auto" setting worked fine with previous firmware versions they said.)
    Note: Later LG Dolby Vision TV Models may not show the pink/red tinted screens if Oppo set to "Auto", but should still be set to "TV Led" processing. Some say the "Auto" setting actually used Player Led and that also caused a problem with playback of some Dolby Vision UHD Movies, like the Daniel Craig Bond Movies. (And also causing banding in some cases.)



  • (Jan. 23, 2019) iTunes 12.8.2 released:
    "Resolves an issue that may prevent iTunes from playing media to third-party AirPlay speakers. It also includes minor app and performance improvements."
    Mojave installs include iTunes updates. (iTunes 12.9.5 includes security fixes for Windows version.) Available via software update (for compatible OS's) or download at apple.com/itunes/download/. (See system requirements on linked page.)
    If you want the last iTunes version with built-in App store, see here.


  • (Dec. 28, 2018) OPPO UDP-203/205 4K UHD Player BETA Firmware UDP20X-64-1221B.
      Note: For players with firmware 42-0329 or earlier, install firmware UDP20X-45-0605 first.
      - Once installed, you can't revert to a previous firmware version.
      (See notes on linked page regarding BETA firmware and how to report problems.)
      Compared to previous UDP20X-60-0625, the major changes are:
    1. Added the HDR10+ support. A HDR10+ enabled TV is required to view content in HDR10+.
    2. Added the "HDMI IN BYPASS" mode for Dolby Vision passthrough via HDMI In.
    3. General fixes and disc compatibility improvements based on recent and upcoming UHD Blu-ray releases as well as user-submitted samples.
    FYI: Reports say the Oppo HDMI Input still can't pass Dolby MAT PCM Atmos that Apple TV uses. (It can pass bitstreamed Dolby Atmos and bitstreamed DD+ Atmos.) If your Apple TV has Atmos enabled, you won't get any audio using the Oppo's HDMI Input even when set to Bypass.

    Also some Apple TV 4K users said the new Bypass mode still didn't work for Dolby Vision in their setups. Black screen on TV after Dolby Vision icon appeared. Some tried both a single HDMI cable (Audio and Video) through an AVR that supports Dolby Vision, and the dual HDMI cable method - HDMI video only connection to TV, HDMI audio only connection to AVR. (I'm assuming they're using HDMI 2.0 certified cables and that they tested Apple TV Dolby Vision function with a direct HDMI connection to the TV to verify that works.)

    Update: I saw posts from 2 Apple TV users that wrote Oppo Support about the Dolby Vision problem (noted above), that said they were sent a download link for a revised Beta Firmware (same version number) that solved the problem. (It did not solve the Dolby MAT Atmos issue however.)



  • (Oct 16, 2018) Sony UBP-X1000ES, UBP-X800, UBP-UX80 (US) Firmware Update
    (See above for later firmware update.)
    Firmware M36.R.0239 for X800/UX80 & M37.R.0239 for X1000ES had this change:
    • Improves HDMI connection stability.
    They recommend using in-player update method, but also listed a USB flash Drive method which I prefer. (On my Mac, the download button didn't seem to work, so viewing the page's source, I found the .zip file links. X800 update was hav.update.sony.net/BDP/data/UPDATE_M36R0239.zip. X1000ES file was hav.update.sony.net/BDP/data/UPDATE_M37R0239.zip)

    (There's Sony X800 Player Settings tips below.)



  • (Oct 10, 2018) Sony STR-DN1080 / STR-ZA810ES AVR Firmware Update
      Info on firmware version M41.R.0442 from the linked Support page:
      - Adds support for the eARC feature.
    There may be eARC updates for other models also. (TV must also support eARC.)
    (Earlier firmware M41.R.0374 from 9/27/2017 added Dolby Vision Pass Through.)


  • (Sep. 12, 2018) Download of iTunes 12.6.5 with Built-In App Store
    - For those that want to use the last iTunes version with built-in App store, this Apple article on deploying apps in a business environment with iTunes includes links to download iTunes 12.6.5 for Mac and PC (64-bit or 32-bit). (I'm guessing 12.6.5 supports iOS 12 devices, since v12.6.4 update allowed syncing of iOS 11.x.)
    NOTE: This version is NOT compatible with macOS Mojave.


  • (June 29, 2018) OPPO UDP-203/205 4K UHD Player Firmware UDP20X-60-0625.
      (Release notes are same as the April 5th UDP20X-60-0601B Beta.)
      Note: For players with firmware 42-0329 or earlier, install firmware UDP20X-45-0605 first.
      (Once installed, you can't revert to a previous firmware version.)
      (Changes compared to previous official UDP20X-56-0224 release)
    1. Added the Dolby Vision "Player-led processing" mode for compatibility with early Sony Dolby Vision TVs and firmware updates.
    2. Added the "Dolby Vision" mode under the HDR Setting menu, which allows the player to convert the output to Dolby Vision when possible.
    3. Added the "Dolby Vision Processing" setting under the HDR Setting menu. This setting allows customers to choose whether Dolby Vision processing is handled mainly by the TV or the UDP-20x player.
    4. Added MQA support via the USB DAC In for the UDP-205 players. (More info can be found in the "USB Audio DAC Firmware" section on the UDP-205 support page.)
    5. Added the "Up-Sample DAC Input" setting under Audio Processing menu for the UDP-205.
    6. General fixes and disc compatibility improvements based on recent and upcoming UHD Blu-ray releases as well as user-submitted samples.
    (Note: Dolby Vision "Player-led processing" mode is not meant to be used on most DV TVs. Some LG/Vizio DV TV owners tried that and as expected, it's not the proper Dolby Vision mode for those TVs. Normally just use "Auto" mode - the player will automatically use the correct Dolby Vision mode based on the TV's capability. If that fails, select "TV-led" processing for Dolby Vision TVs other than some older Sony DV models.)

  • (June 26, 2018) Sony BDP-S7200 (US) Firmware Update
    (See above for later firmware.)
    Firmware M21.R.0180 had these changes listed:
      (changes over previous M21.R.0164)
    1. Resolves SSL security issue
    2. Improves BRAVIA® Internet Video connectivity
    I'd hoped this update would fix hard freezes after Dolby Atmos intro/demo on some Blu-Ray Discs like early Game of Thrones seasons. (GoT Season 1 Atmos intro hard locks S7200. Had to unplug power cord.) Problem posted in Sony's UK forums in the past, long before the update. Tests with M21.R.0180 firmware (reset system settings after update), S7200 still locks up after GoT S1 Atmos Intro. (Black screen after Atmos intro plays - player frozen.)


  • (June 20, 2018) Sony UBP-X1000ES, UBP-X800, UBP-UX80 (US) Firmware Update
    (See above for later firmware.)
    M36.R.0238 for X800/UX80 and M37.R.0238 for X1000ES lists these changes:
      (changes over previous M36.R.0178)
    1. Adds support for Prime Video service HDR10 content playback
    2. Improves Blu-ray Disc playback operation


  • (June 5, 2018) OPPO UDP-203/205 4K UHD Player Beta Firmware UDP20X-60-0601B.
      Note: For players with firmware 42-0329 or earlier, install firmware UDP20X-45-0605 first.
      (Once installed, you can't revert to a previous firmware version.)
      (Changes compared to previous official UDP20X-56-0224 release)
    1. Added the Dolby Vision "Player-led processing" mode for compatibility with recent Sony Dolby Vision TVs and firmware updates.
    2. Added the "Dolby Vision" mode under the HDR Setting menu, which allows the player to convert the output to Dolby Vision when possible.
    3. Added the "Dolby Vision Processing" setting under the HDR Setting menu. This setting allows customers to choose whether Dolby Vision processing is handled mainly by the TV or the UDP-20x player.
    4. Added MQA support via the USB DAC In for the UDP-205 players. (More info can be found in the "USB Audio DAC Firmware" section on the UDP-205 support page.)
    5. Added the "Up-Sample DAC Input" setting under Audio Processing menu for the UDP-205.
    6. General fixes and disc compatibility improvements based on recent and upcoming UHD Blu-ray releases as well as user-submitted samples.
    (Note: Dolby Vision "Player-led processing" mode is not meant to be used on most DV TVs. Some LG/Vizio DV TV owners tried that and as expected, it's not the proper mode for those TVs. (FYI: later Sony DV TVs now support TV-led Dolby Vision, but early DV models used Player-led.) It's best to just use "Auto" mode - the player will automatically use the correct Dolby Vision mode based on the TV's capability.)

  • (Apr 25, 2018) Samsung UBD-K8500 4K/UHD Player Firmware v1015.0
    (Costco sold this model as the UBD-K85C with HDMI cable included.)
    No info on changes/fixes but owners report 1015 was available via in-player update check.
    v1015.0 firmware download was at UBD-K8500 Support page (US) "downloads" section.
    (That K8500 page is no longer online.)
    (Below is info on the previous v1014.0 firmware update.)
    Here's info on 1014.0 firmware fixes from a Samsung forum post:
      - Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets 4K Disc Issue Fixed
      - No Text to Speech sound when TTS is enabled after a Factory Reset issue fixed
      - Fox Disc Audio Issue fixed
    Apparently the 1014.0 update does not fix the issue of only PCM audio from the player (no bitstream/Atmos) when used with 2017 LG TVs (B7/C7/E7/G7) after LG's Firmware update for TrueHD TV support, when using dual HDMI cable setup (video to TV, audio to receiver) from the K8500. (Rumored to be EDID issue with LG TV after update, and/or related to K8500 HDMI ports not 'discrete' when using split Video and Audio HDMI connections.)


  • IT UHD Dolby Vision Chapter 1 & 2 Blacked Out (with older TV firmware)
    Saw a web post that the 4K disc 'IT' when playing in Dolby Vision showed Chapter 1 and 2 as almost a totally black screen (Chapter 3 OK) from an Oppo 203/LG C6 OLED TV owner. Later confirmed with an LG UP970 player (April 2018 firmware) and LG C6/E6 with older firmware 04.30.95. Updating the TV to firmware 05.30.25 solved the problem. (05.30.25 was current at the time of this post in 2018, but any firmware later than 04.30.95 may have fixed the problem.)
    A 05.30.30 update for C6/E6 was released after I posted this (2018), said to improve floating blacks in Dolby Vision movies, despite not being listed in the change notes. For the most current LG OLED firmware, see links at the top of this page.


  • (Apr. 2, 2018) Oppo Digital says "Farewell", will stop manufacturing new products.
       Includes a FAQ on support, firmware updates, warranty and repairs.


  • Notes on 3D OLED TVs - CC Times, Burn-In, Bad Pixels, Crosstalk Tests
    A 55E6 sample shows much shorter CC times than normal, based on other 2016 and 2015 OLED models tested. Details on this page. Updated with notes on Screen Uniformity, Banding, Tint, IR/Burn-In and Dead/Stuck pixel Tests, 3D Crosstalk Tests and screen tilt.


  • (Mar 2nd, 2018) OPPO UDP-203/205 4K UHD Player Firmware UDP20X-56-0224.
      Note: For players with firmware 42-0329 or earlier, install firmware UDP20X-45-0605 first.
      (Once installed, you can't revert to a previous firmware version.)
      (Changes compared to previous official UDP20X-54-1127 release)
    1. Added four HDR to SDR modes to improve HDR to SDR conversion. (see below)
    2. Added a "Media Info Lookup" setting under Network Setup. This setting allows the user to toggle media file metadata retrieval on and off.
    3. Added support for slow motion playback in A-B repeat mode.
    4. Added a detailed info page for the HDMI In source.
    5. Improved HDMI In compatibility with HTPCs.
    6. Resolved a playback issue with UHD title "Blade Runner 2049".
    7. Resolved a color shift issue in the 21:9 Aspect Ratio mode.
    8. General fixes and disc compatibility improvements based on recent and upcoming UHD Blu-ray releases as well as user-submitted samples.
    (Same change list as previous beta, but said to have other fixes.)

    Oppo 203/205 HDR to SDR Modes Explained
    Here's info on the 4 HDR -> SDR Modes:

    1. Mode 1: Optimized to preserve the most highlight details.
    2. Mode 2: Optimized to preserve a balance between highlight and shadow details.
    3. Mode 3: Optimized to preserve a balance between mid-tone and highlight details.
    4. Mode 4: Optimized to preserve the most shadow details.
    There's a new HDR Off mode (with choice of BT2020 or rec 709 color gamut). If you were using HDR Strip Metadata before to get SDR with BT2020, try HDR Off (BT2020) option.
    (Note: Some displays and projectors do not handle BT2020 properly in an SDR stream, showing much lower color saturation with SDR BT2020 modes than HDR mode.)


  • (Feb 28th, 2018) Philips BDP7502, 7302 4K UHD Player Dolby Vision Firmware Update
    Available via the player's update check. (Like LG, the Philips support page doesn't have firmware downloads.) Reportedly firmware version is 1.15.01. As with other current Dolby Vision 4K UHD Players (LG 970, Oppo 203/205), this update does not support Sony's "low latency" Dolby Vision enabled TVs. (See earlier notes on Sony TV Dolby Vision Update below.)
    FYI: An owner said to set HDR to "Auto", which will output HDR10 or Dolby Vision, depending on content. (Dolby Vision requires a compatible TV of course.) If HDR is set to "Dolby Vision", apparently it will force Dolby Vision mode on HDR10 content, but won't have dynamic metadata of course and may not work well for some content. (And reportedly this update did not fix the frame skipping every couple minutes with 3D blu-rays.)


  • HDMI 2.0 Supported Modes and Cabling:
    If you don't already have premium certified (18Gbps) HDMI cables, Walmart's (certified) Blackweb cables (under $10/6ft) tested OK with UHD/60P HDR playback. (I have 2 from the under $6 BF sale.) They also had longer lengths (including a 50ft with amplifier for appx $35 IIRC), but I've only used the 6ft. (Not used it myself, but there's a free HDMI Premium Cable Authentication iOS App to verify the code on the box label.)
      Remember 4K/60Hz (or 50Hz) 4:4:4 is only supported at 8-Bit in HDMI 2.0x.
    HDMI 2.0x Supported Modes
    HDR10 is 10-bit, Dolby Vision FEL (Full Enhancement Layer) is 12-bit*, so if playing 4K/60P HDR (10/12-Bit) content try 4:2:2 or "Auto" on your player. (*Note: "TV Led" Dolby Vision is sent via HDMI in an RGB 8-Bit container for processing by the TV.) Blu-ray and 4K/UHD disc content is 4:2:0, but most players don't have a 4:2:0 setting. For players like LG models without an "Auto" setting, use YCbCr in HDMI settings, not RGB. 4K UHD/HDR discs are usually 24P, but there are rare UHD HDR 60P discs like "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk" and "Gemini Man". Both played without issues using the premium certified 6ft Blackweb 4k HDMI cable used with my 4K/UHD players and LG UHD TVs.


  • (Jan. 23, 2018) iTunes 12.7.3 added support for HomePod. Here's the release notes:
    "iTunes is now designed to work with HomePod. Use the improved AirPlay menu to easily choose HomePod and control what plays next with your Apple Music subscription."
    iTunes 12.7.3 includes security fixes for Windows version. Available via software update (for compatible OS's) or download at apple.com/itunes/download/. (See system requirements on linked page.) If you want the last iTunes version with built-in App store, see above.


    Why Blu-Ray Players Do Not Report Atmos or DTS-X Info
    Many of you already know this, but just a reminder to others that no Blu-Ray or UHD Disc player shows info that the output has Dolby Atmos or DTS-X. The player doesn't recognize the metadata for them, so it will report Dolby TrueHD (for Atmos) and DTS-HD (for DTS-X). Many owners ask this after pressing the remote control buttons for the Player and not seeing Atmos or DTS-X reported. Compatible receivers will show when Atmos or DTS-X is being received. (If the AVR is setup for those speaker configurations.)


  • Sony UBP-X800 4K UHD Player User Notes/Tips (updated) - "Doc Holiday" sent notes and tips on the Sony UBP-X800. (Bought at Bestbuy on sale for $149.99 in Nov. 2017. In Oct. 2018, some Target stores had it for $89.98.)
    "Picked up a Sony UBD-X800 locally and so far impressed at the value (for $149.99). Feels like a much higher quality build than the LG UP970 player I was also looking at. If LG hadn't pulled the Dolby Vision update I may have tried the LG (at $199.99 sale price), but seeing a lot of complaints on drive noise with some UHD discs (not all) and no word when the DV update would be re-released, I decided on the Sony. (Update - On Feb. 8th, 2018 LG released UP970 DV firmware update.) Was also considering the Philips BDP7502 since it's supposed to get a DV update eventually, but not able to find one locally and heard of some 3D playback issues but that might just be a firmware issue. (Update - On Feb 28th, 2018, Philips released BDP7502/7302 DV firmware update.)
       The Sony X800 is fast to load discs, but not quite as fast as the Oppo 203 (which has Dolby Vision, but no apps) but for $150 locally (easy return if necessary) - well worth it. I had to update the X800 firmware via USB (link), as it had problems contacting the 'provisioning server' with my Ethernet connection. (The firmware update solved the problem with the network update check in the player.)
       My Sony X800 player settings for improving disc playback reliability (IME).
    (Remember to Update Player Firmware first and if you have a disc problem (freezing, skipping, etc), even if it looks OK, Clean it with Dawn liquid soap, or Isopropyl Alcohol.)
      Sony X800 Player Settings Tips
      (These also useful for other Sony player models.)
    • (Audio Settings) BD Audio Mix - OFF
      (BD Audio Mix MUST BE OFF for bitstream and Dolby Atmos/DTS-X.
      But remember that disc players don't report Atmos/DTS-X info.
      )
    • (Audio Settings) Digital Audio Output - "Auto"
    • (Audio Settings) DSEE HX - OFF
    • (Audio Settings) Audio DRC - OFF
    • (Audio Settings) DTS Neo:6 - MUSIC *
      (* I prefer Neo:6 surround for Stereo Music CDs, a personal choice)

    • (System Settings) HDMI Settings-> Control for HDMI - OFF
    • (System Settings) HDMI Audio Output - "Auto"
      (* Auto detects the player's HDMI audio connection at either HDMI 1 or 2.)
    • (System Settings) Quick Start Mode - OFF
    • (System Settings) Auto Display - OFF
    • (System Settings) Software Update Notification - OFF (I check manually)

    • (BD/DVD Viewing Settings) BD Internet Connection - "Do Not Allow"

    • (Screen Settings) Screen Format - NORMAL
    • (Screen Settings) DVD Aspect Ratio - LETTER BOX
    • (Screen Settings) 4K Upscale Setting - OFF
      (If OFF isn't available on later models, try Auto 2)

    • (Network Settings) Auto Home Network Access Permission - OFF
    • (Network Settings) Remote Start - OFF

    • (Bluetooth Settings) Bluetooth Mode - OFF
      (Off since I don't use the Bluetooth audio feature.)
    The X800M2 and X700 models also have a Dolby Vision (On/Off) setting.
    (These came out after the original X800 I bought in 2017.)

    I don't use a Sony TV, so I can't comment on using the player's "Bravia Mode".
    (See page 21 "Screen Settings" in the X800M2 PDF user manual.)

    Options During Playback (NOT available in Dolby Vision):
    During Disc playback, I set "Options" (button on remote) Video Settings to "Direct".
    (Some pre-UHD Sony player owners say any other setting applies some DNR.)

    BTW: Personally I don't use any streaming/apps or USB file playback.

       The X800 feels very solid (8+ lbs) and seems very quiet so far. It also supports Bluetooth Audio and plays SA-CD, DVD-Audio and 3D Blu-ray discs. (Also has Netflix 4K HDR and Youtube 4K HDR support - Amazon 4K but not HDR.) I've had good luck with Sony players in the past (other than an S7200 that STILL doesn't have a firmware update to fix Atmos intro lockup (requiring unplugging the player) with the early seasons of Game of Thrones). (Update - Sony posted a new S7200 firmware on 6/26/2018, but problem still there.) I will let you know if I see any X800 problems with discs.
    -Doc
    (Notes below were BEFORE Oct. 2018, March 2019, Aug 2021 & May 2022 firmware updates was released.)

    Update: No issues playing 100GB discs of Westworld S1 4K, Mad Max Fury Road 4K, Pacific Rim 4k, Interstellar 4K, - no freezes/stutters on layer change of those 100GB discs. Also played Blade Runner 4K, Dunkirk 4K, Batman Begins 4K, The Dark Knight Rises 4K and Batman Begins 4K discs OK. Often used for back to back blu-ray movies.
    Update 2 Saw hangs (player still responds to remote - but movie froze) at appx 1hr 42min into The Dark Knight 4K and at 1hr 58min of Blade Runner 2049 4K (same freeze time seen with an Oppo 203 and LG UP870 before later firmware updates.) - both times stopped playback, ejected disc and wiped it off (some tiny dust particles) and (automatic) resumed playback OK. Both times reversing to before the previous time to see if it was repeatable. I need to start cleaning all 4K discs before playing to see if that really is a factor. (It has helped for some, but not all cases but it is the first thing to try. Some think a residue from disc mfg is to blame.) Some owners (of various brands) have had repeat 4K disc problems (esp. 100GB discs), in some cases even after disc replacements. (Cleaning the BR 2049 disc didn't help with the 1:58:21 freeze with the LG 870 (before the 2020 firmware update), but the Oppo 203 played it OK after a firmware update.)"
    (FYI: Oppo's 56-0224 FW Update listed a fix for Blade Runner 2049, but not sure it solves the problem above for everyone.)
    (Test with March 2019, X800 M36.R.0338 FW - Tried Blade Runner 2049 4K disk again (cleaned), and skipping to the chapter at 1hr 52 Min, it played through fine (no hang/freeze/stutter at 1:58:21), although I'd rather verify it was ok with a full playback from the start, as I wonder if heat (or buffering) - not just a layer change - is a factor. I say that as often you see owners say that after a freeze at a certain point, rewinding to just before that point and playing again worked.)

  • Any Audio dropouts playing Dunkirk?
    (I saw 2 X800 owners report audio dropouts during loud effects (like explosions) in Dunkirk. Since some graphs show the movie's audio has clipping, my first thought was to check the player's Audio DRC (Dynamic Range Control) setting, but someone later said turning off BD Audio Mix solved the dropouts. Audio Mix off is typically step 1 in player setup for receiver users so the player bitstreams audio to the Receiver for decoding DTS/Dolby/Atmos, instead of the player sending PCM audio. It's on by default, typically used for button sounds and things like optional commentary during playback.
    Turning BD AUDIO MIX OFF has solved many X800 Audio problems.
    It should have been off by default IMO. See my Sony 4K Player Settings Tips.)

    I didn't notice any audio dropouts with Dunkirk (4K UHD or Blu-ray), and yes, Audio DRC has been off since day 1. (Also BD Mix off, as I noted in settings above.) Wish Nolan would have 'allowed' Atmos or DTS:X on his discs, but I guess clipped 5.1 was "director's intent" again, lol.
    (Ironically, I noticed some Nolan 4K disc Intros (like WB Logo) had Atmos audio.)

  • Any issues with using HDMI 2 (audio only) port?
    (An older Integra Pre-Amp user said he's tried 2 X800s but can't get Audio playback from HDMI 2. (I assume using a known good HDMI cable - verify that first.) Tried System Settings > HDMI Audio Output set to HDMI2 and "Auto". ("Auto" is nice if sometimes you want to leave the AVR off and just use the TV speakers. Otherwise "Auto" should detect an AVR (on) connection with HDMI2 and use it instead.) I'd also set System Settings > HDMI control OFF (all devices, unless you need ARC). Of course AVR's input set to the port that X800's HDMI2 is connected to. Power up TV first, then AVR (verify input set correctly), then player.)
    Update - Another older model Integra (DTR-9.3) user reported same issue when Integra has HDMI connection to the Projector. (Disconnecting cable from Integra to Projector solves it - or use an HDMI switch on that connection. Same issue seen with some other older receivers when used for audio only connection from player and player video connection to a display.) Possible HDMI Control issue - awaiting reply to see if disabling HDMI Control (CEC) helps.

    No problems with using the X800's HDMI 2 (Audio only port) connected to my Yamaha RX-A3050, with HDMI 1 going to the TV HDMI port (set to UHD of course). The X800 player has HDMI Audio Output set to "Auto", and verified HDMI control is off (on everything). I originally was using a single cable setup, but later switched to separate Audio to AVR and Video to TV. HDMI audio "Auto" setting works fine for me.
    Hope you have a Merry Christmas. Stop by over the holidays and I'll demo all the Nolan 4K disks - Dark Knight Trilogy, Interstellar, Prestige, Dunkirk, Inception. Long story on them (some raised black levels), but no regrets except for busted cases and scratched/stacked discs."

  • Thanks, Doc. I have an old Sony S1000ES that still works but slooow. A few discs (w/Java?) take several minutes to load. (Some take so long many think the player is frozen.) Knock on wood the CX960 changer still works, but wish I had a spare read head for it.
    IIRC, some LG 970 owners said Passengers 4K and one of the Planet Earth II 4K discs were noisy examples. Check any noisy discs for balance - rough spots/bumps on the outer edge of disc (some used a white eraser on them) and off-center labels. (My "Flight of the Phoenix" blu-ray has a visibly off-center label - sounds like a buzz saw.)


  • (Sept 26, 2017) Sony UBP-X800, UX80 (US) Firmware Update M36.R.0178.
    (See above for a later firmare update.)
      Change info for M36.R.0178:
    1. Improves the compatibility of Ultra HD Blu-ray
    2. Improves the stability of network services


  • (Sept. 4, 2017) Samsung UBD-K8500 4K/UHD Player Firmware 1012.1
    No change notes on support page but a user said this update fixed a problem with DTS Video files (like mkv) playing without audio. Was available via in-player update or download at UBD-K8500 support page (US) "downloads" section. (Their page on How to update firmware is no longer online.)
    Update - here's v1012.1 firmware change notes from a Samsung forum post:
      1. Reduce Auto Power Off time to 15 min.
      2. Voice guide bug fix.
      3. USB Storage NTFS compatibility with Windows 10.
    (BTW: They also noted CinemaNow ended support of their app for all devices on Aug. 31, 2017.)


  • Yamaha RX-A1050/A2050/A3050, RX-V1079/V2079/V3079 Firmware Update 1.81
    (See above for later FW update. The v1.81 FW D/L page dated July 28, 2016 now removed.)
    Here's the list of changes in the v1.81 firmware update:

      This firmware includes
    1. HDMI connectivity improvement with certain Ultra HD Blu-ray player
    2. Fixing sound cut-off issue of playing back certain Blu-ray discs
    3. MusicCast Link function improvement
    4. Playback improvement in Neural:X mode
    5. DTS Mode (See Info in DTS PDF. Notes below)
    6. Other functionality improvement
    The D/L page had "Additional information about DTS-HD and DTS:X playback" (PDF) with info on new DTS Mode Options in the Advanced Setup menu. DTS Mode 1 (default/normal) and a Mode 2 that should fix the issue with some older blu-ray players not bitstreaming DTS movies with DTS:X updated receivers. (See article from March 2016 here on this issue with previous firmware. It's a DTS-related EDID fix IIRC.)
    How to Change the Advanced Setup to DTS Mode 2 IF you have an Affected Player
    (The Default DTS Mode is 1 - no need to change it if your player bitstreams DTS OK.)
    With AVR off, Advanced Setup is done by holding the "Straight" button under the front cover, then push 'main zone'/power button. Advanced setup info shows only on the AVR display - see manual for details. Using the "Program" horizontal rocker switch, the DTS Mode option is just after the 4K Mode option. Pressing "Straight" button changes the Mode setting. (Wish the new DTS Modes was an option setting for an Input instead. That way you could set Mode 2 just for the input of an affected player instead of a global setting. If not, at least have it an option in the normal (on screen) setup options.) No info yet if mode 2 has any downside for players that were not affected by the DTS bitstreaming issue, but if not why have 2 modes? (I read a post on the fix in a Denon update but it didn't mention an options setting.)

    Yamaha CX-A5100 AV Preamplifier Firmware Update v1.82
    (See above for later firmware. The v1.82 FW D/L page now removed.)
    There v1.82 firmware for the CX-A5100 had the same change list as AVR's v1.81.

    Yamaha RX-A1060/2060/3060, RX-V1081/2081/3081 Firmware Update Version 1.11
    (See above for later firmware. Firmware v1.11 D/L page now removed.)
    Firmware v1.11 changes are a subset of the 1.81 update for 2015 models:
      This firmware includes
    1. DTS Mode (see related DTS PDF on D/L page)
    2. Playback improvement in Neural:X mode
    3. Other functionality improvement
    See above notes on the new DTS Modes if you have an affected Blu-Ray player.


  • (April 2016) Samsung UBD-K8500 UHD Player Troubleshooting Tips, HDR Tricks
    (Now moved to a separate page.)


  • Some Older Sony Blu-Ray Players can't Bitstream DTS to DTS:X Receivers (fixed)
    See this article. Includes notes on v1.77 DTS:X firmware updated RX-A3050 tests with several Blu-Ray Players for this bug, with info affected models tested so far. Also includes other notes on DTS:X. (Updated to note later firmware from Denon and Yamaha that includes a fix.)


  • Yamaha RX-A1050/A2050/A3050, RX-V1079/V2079/V3079 DTS:X Firmware Update 1.77
    (See above for later firmware update.)
    Firmware v1.77 was posted March 30, 2016. (D/L removed after later updates released.)
    Here's the list of new features/changes in the v1.77 firmware update:

      This firmware includes
    1. The latest multi dimensional surround sound DTS:X playback
      DTS:X decode
      Neural:X upmixing processing
      DTS Dialogue Control (* see my note below)
    2. HDR (High Dynamic Range) pass through and GUI overlay
    3. Connectivity improvement with Rhapsody/Napster service, and some STBs/TVs via HDMI.
    4. MusicCast functionality improvement
      i. Search function for vTuner
      ii. Sort function for "Favorites"
      iii. "Recents" feature to display recently listened 40 songs
      iv. Audio sync of its external inputs with other MusicCast models in MusicCast Link mode. Some conditions may apply.
      v. Speed Boost in Link Control (suitable for wired connection)
    5. Fixing network initial setup issue when using WiFi WEP security method
    The Yamaha Support/DLs page for these models has a link to "Additional Information about DTS:X™" with info on settings, requirements and usage.
    (There was also a v1.77 DTS:X firmware update for the CX-A5100 Pre-Amp.)

       * About DTS Dialog Control Feature: When DTS:X was first announced, I was excited to see the "Dialog Control" feature, where dialog level could be adjusted separately. (Not just boosting the center channel or a frequency range (e.g. standard 'dialog level' adjust), but the actual movie's dialog.) However it turns out that the DTS Dialog Control adjustment option is only enabled IF the DTS:X disc was encoded with that feature. To date, it seems no DTS:X movie discs have been released with that option. Hopefully mixers will include that in at least some future DTS:X movies as it's one advantage they have over Dolby Atmos. (Atmos has gotten a much better start with far more (and better) titles released so far.)


  • (Jan 2016) Tips for Repeated Mac Mini HDMI Blackouts with some Yamaha Receivers includes notes and tips on OS X and HDMI Receiver settings, reminder on OS X HDCP tips, my tests with 2012 Mac Mini with Yamaha RX-A3050, RX-A2000 and more. Also includes a FYI on Mac problem reports from some Marantz and Denon receiver owners. (If anyone finds a later firmware that that helps, sent a note. I could not replicate the problem with a 2012 mini running OS X 10.9.5 and Yamaha RX-A2000 or A3050.)


  • (Aug 25, 2015) Samsung BD-F7500 Firmware Update v1021.0. (Likely other F series blu-ray players also have an update.) As before, no info on what's changed/fixed in v1021 firmware.
    BTW: A reader said he returned his F series Samsung Blu-Ray player after finding out you can't use any Apps (even non-Samsung apps) unless you agree to ALL of Samsung's terms of use, including their 'Recommendation' feature. (Monitoring your usage to 'recommend' similar movies, apps, etc.) Despite the fact allowing the recommendation "feature" is a separate checkbox, if you don't agree to allow/accept both - you can't use any apps on the player. (You can't even view the apps screen without accepting all the terms of use prompts.) Personally I'd prefer a 'dumb' blu-ray player without any of that 'smart'/apps' baggage. (And ditto for TVs.)


  • Spectre Blu-Ray won't play in Sony BDP-S1000ES
    Wonder if anyone else with a Sony BDP-S1000ES has problems playing the Spectre Blu-Ray Disc, which will not play in mine. It tries to load for several seconds and then displays "cannot play" or "invalid disc". Disc is new, clean and without scratches and player has a flash drive inserted, BDLive access disabled. Spectre disc does have off-center label (worst case I've ever seen) but plays ok in a Sony BDP-S7200 and Samsung F7500 blu-ray player. The S1000ES has the last firmware update (014) installed. (No updates for it in years.) Curious if any other S1000 owner sees this or if the drive/laser is failing. (IIRC, same optical module used in the Sony 400 disc changers which have had similar problems over time.)


  • Tip for Snowpiercer Blu-Ray Disc in Sony BDP-S1000ES
    Just a FYI to other owners of a Sony BDP-S1000ES having problems playing the Snowpiercer blu-ray disc. It appears to hang/freeze after seeing the Weinstein logo - no time shown on the Sony player and no buttons work (FF, Menu, etc). After remembering a similar problem with a different player and disc (Great Gatsby in a Panasonic player, fixed in 1.63 firmware), I decided to just wait several minutes and the Snowpiercer main menu finally appeared. (IIRC it was almost 5 minutes.) I'd twice given up and powered off the Sony, verified disc was clean/undamaged (worked in other players), cleared Flash storage, already had BD Live disabled, firmware was up-to-date - v014. (BTW: I later tested The Great Gatsby blu-ray disc in the S1000ES and it played without any long start delay.)


  • Reader Tip for owners of Samsung HW-H750 soundbar that can't connect to app after a firmware (auto) update (v1114.7) - reset the soundbar by powering on, holding remote's Repeat button until "INIT" appears on display. Then try connecting again after HW-H750 power up.


  • Tip for Removing a 'Stuck' Subwoofer Plate Amp:
    Had an question from a SVS sub owner regarding my older post on SVS Ultra Bash amp repairs ask how to remove the subwoofer's plate amplifier as even with the mounting screws removed it would not budge. I've added tips I've used for 'stuck' plate amps to the Amp failure/repair page.


  • Blu-Ray Disc Scratch Repair (YMMV)
    (Update: See note below on spray furniture polish helping with 2022 "Lifeforce" disc.)
    Had a friend upset over damage on a blu-ray disc from "possibly the worst disc package he's ever seen" ('Black Sails' season 1) - an extremely tight cardboard sleeve fit. (I'd have used an exacto knife to extend the radius of the 'opening' perhaps, but too late.) The first disc removed had over a dozen scratches/scuffs near the hub (straight out) and two long diagonal scratches across the disc, with one scratch having a long 'zig-zag' (Z) pattern. I've seen deeper scratches but can't say as I've ever seen that many on a 'new' (removed once) disc. (Granted I did not see how carefully it was removed but from the looks of it there may have been some grit in the package/surface during original insertion - although these were so tight I wonder if the cardboard was sealed after placing the discs inside - I'm not kidding.)
      Since these were not my discs (and being a blu-ray) I didn't want to try the (cheap) disc spinner/'buffer wheel' I had used on some of my badly scratched DVDs in the past. (Or the 'plastic polish' compound I'd used on some HD-DVD 'fogged' discs.) But I remembered an old tip on using (spray) Furniture Polish, and had an old can of "Behold" on hand to try - it helped. Before using the polish, at appx 40 min in you'd see the video pause/jump ahead a few seconds (and trying to rewind back past that point would hang). No glitches seen after applying the spray polish. Hopefully it lasts awhile, but easy to apply again.
    2022 Update - Scratched Disc Tip Worked Again:
    Despite the discs not being stacked (it had a flipper case), My June 2022 Shout Factory "Lifeforce" Director's Cut Blu-Ray disc had several curved scratches - most visible when using a flashlight. One of the scratches caused the disc to skip several minutes. (A repeated disc cleaning didn't help.) Remembering the post above from 8 years ago, tried the spray furniture polish. Sprayed it liberally on the disc and then buffed off with a new microfiber cloth. It solved the skipping problem. (Again not sure how long this lasts, but it's easy to reapply later if need be.)


  • (Dec 1, 2014) Multiple Subwoofers: Benefits and Setup - a Q&A with Harman's Todd Welti (Principal Engineer in Acoustics) and Kevin Voecks (Manager of Product Development). (The page I linked to in 2014 with Harman White Papers on Audio setup, design and science now just goes to the Harmon.com home page.)


  • (Nov 26/29, 2014) Oppo posted OPPO BDP-80 Firmware Update BDP80-26-1020 & BDP-83 Firmware Update BDP83-60-1110 (also for BDP-83 Special Edition) to fix the "Wrong Disc" error/eject problem with X-Men: Days of Future Past blu-ray.
    (Above Oppo firmware links removed after both pages were no longer at Oppo's site.)
    Info on the problem per Oppo:
    "This is caused by the new "BD+" protocol (or Digital Rights Protection system) applied to this title which requires longer decryption time than the value allowed by the player. This firmware adjusted the decryption time and resolved this issue."
    Kudos to Oppo for working to update the firmware for those older models to fix this.
    BTW: Saw an Oppo post saying that only the BDP-10x series players support seamless branching, and may be a factor in audio dropouts with some discs used with BDP-9x and earlier player models.


  • (Oct. 14, 2014) Oppo BDP-83 problems with X-Men Days of Future Past Blu-Ray:
    Several reports that the X-Men Days of Future Past Blu-ray disc wouldn't load - BDP-83 displays "Wrong Disc" and tray ejects. A reader said his BDP-83 was using the latest firmware from March 2012, so he reported the problem to Oppo. (Update: Fixed in new OPPO BDP-83 FW Update.)
       The Days of Future Past 3D disc played OK in Samsung BD-F7500 (FW v1017.0) and the 2D disc worked in a (2009) Sony BDP-S1000ES with last FW 14 update from 2012. A later report said no issues with DoFP disc in an Oppo BDP-93, so later models (103/105) may be OK also.
    (Update: Also saw a report on DoFP Disc errors in an LG BD611.)


  • (Oct. 3, 2014) Criterion blog post on Exchanging Defective Discs includes an address to send your disc(s) for replacement, although some owners have reported playback problems with other titles of that era (2009-2010) so YMMV. (Problem is reportedly due to a specific mfg plant?) Owners of now defective OOP titles are concerned if replacements will be available. "Bronzing" often present on affected discs, but not always. Problems ranged from total inability to play to freezes at later points in playback.


  • (June 16, 2014) Sad to hear Audio Engineer Tom Nousaine passed away. He was a true pioneer in subwoofer testing (and audio myth busting) in the 90's and many benefited from his work. (An archive of over 30 of his articles (in PDF format) were at his website when I posted this in June 2014, but that link no longer works.)


  • (Apr 29, 2014) Info/History on Steve Jobs' Stereo System Components


  • (Feb 23, 2014) Subwoofer Experts Explain Their Designs (SVS, HSU, PSA, Velodyne, Axiom)


  • This isn't news to most readers but AH has a recap/repeat on Truth vs Hype about Expensive HDMI Cables that has a LOL comment ("I was going to buy a new car, but I bought an HDMI cable instead") below a table on insanely expensive ($1000+ per Meter) HDMI cables. But we all know that you can get quality HDMI cables for under $10 (even HDMI 2.0 certified) and even the typical 'Brand Name' HDMI cables are often overpriced and over-hyped in stores. But for even more laughs, read the review comments on a $500+ USB cable in EDN's USB cables and Audio: Can You Hear the Difference? (Also check out the related links (i.e. cable 'break-in' - I'm not kidding) at the bottom of the article.)


  • Settings Tip for Using iOS Remote Control App for Yamaha BD-A1010 BD Player:
    I'd seen several posts from owners of the Yamaha BD-A1010 universal/blu-ray player frustrated that their iPad/iPhone (or Android) using the free Yamaha AV Controller app could not "find" the Yamaha BD-A1010 on their network. (Despite some reports, the iOS AV Controller still worked with Firmware 1.7712 in a BD-A1010 here.) The Yamaha BD-A1010 *must* have the player's Network Control option set to Yes. (See manual page 33.)
      This might get overlooked since some Yamaha A/V Receivers (like my RX-A2000) -do not- require any Network/Standby setting to be enabled for the Remote App to work, but the BD-A1010 (and perhaps other players) require Network Control to be enabled. (The RX-A2000 was powered on using the standard remote (IR) since Network standby was set to OFF.) Both BD-A1010 & RX-A2000 were connected via Ethernet to an Apple 802.11n Base's Ethernet hub. (Personally I don't leave Network Control/Standby (or any 'fast start') settings enabled as I don't like having rarely used devices like this in (basically) sleep mode. However if you don't leave it enabled, every time you turn on the BD-A1010 you'd have to enable it for the network Remote App to work.)


  • (Nov 25, 2013) Panasonic DMP-BDT220/320/321/500/BBT01 Firmware v1.63
    (See above for later Firmware Update.)

    V1.63 update only listed "Playability of Blu-ray Disc".
    I generally avoid installing updates right away but did test with a BDT500 model and found the 1.63 firmware fixed a 4-5 minute delay playing Great Gatsby (2013) Blu-Ray with firmware 1.53.
      BTW: After seeing a BDT220 owner problem report with 1.63 firmware, I verified all Homeland Season 1 Blu-Rays played OK in my Panasonic BDT500 w/1.63 firmware. (He said Homeland S1 discs weren't recognized in a v1.63 updated BDT220 but worked in another BDT220 w/1.53 FW.)
    I also saw 1 report of problems playing Star Trek Into Darkness 3D disc with Panasonic BDT500 firmware 1.63 but I had no problems with a v1.63 firmware BDT500 playing that 3D disc.
    (FYI: Firmware v1.63 disables analog video out for BDT-500 during BR/AACS playback.)


  • The Great Gatsby Freezes in Panasonic Blu-Ray Player (Tip) [FW 1.53]
    A reader said he returned "The Great Gatsby" (2013) Blu-Ray Disc twice for replacements, but it still would not play in his Panasonic bluray player. (Disc had no scratches or damage.) The Great Gatsby 3D Blu-Ray played fine in both Panasonic BDT500 and 320, but the (2D) Blu-Ray disc seemed to freeze the Panasonic players - display showed 00:00:00, no response to remote or buttons on player. I asked if the player firmware was up-to-date (v1.53 as of 9/18/2013) and if he tried all the usual tips (disable BDLive, with/without SDcard inserted, reformat card/clear stored data, disconnect power from player/reset, etc) - no help. The same disc played OK even in older Sony (S1000) & Yamaha (A1010) players.
       After searching I found a similar note from another Panasonic player owner and asked he wait 4-5 minutes for the disc to load. (Despite player being unresponsive, just wait.) That worked. Not exactly sure why, but that disc (and perhaps some others) takes a lot longer to start in some Panasonic players. (So long I suspect others may do as he did - cycle power/pull the plug and/or return the disc.) Maybe Panasonic can address this in a future firmware update. (I assume something to do with DRM/java but that's just a guess.)
    [Update (11/25/2013): BDT500 tests showed this was fixed in Firmware Update 1.63.]


    Flashing Older Firmware in Yamaha Aventage Receiver:
    I've not done this personally (not had a need to so far), but an owner of a Yamaha RX-V1067 (EU version of (US) RX-A1000) reported that he had very low LFE output after updating to firmware v3.43 (not had that problem w/3.43 on my A2000) and was able to backflash to 3.20 firmware by using this procedure:

      BackFlashing Yamaha Aventage AVR Firmware (YMMV)
    • Disconnect AC Power from Receiver (suggest using Switched Outlet strip)
    • Insert a USB Flash drive with previous Firmware (FAT format w/rom file only)
    • While holding down "Pure Direct" Button, Switch AC power On

    I would only try this in dire cases as it may not work with all models/all previous firmware versions. (IIRC, some firmware updates only update specific portions/functions of the rom and you may end up with an unusable mismatch - although my D/Ls of v3.20, v3.34 and v3.43 are the same size (and should be cumulative up to the downloaded version.) Maybe this service flash method does a complete copy w/o any section/version checks.) Not sure why he used v3.20 instead of the previous 3.34 version but maybe he didn't have v3.34 on hand.



  • (Bitstreaming) Dolby True-HD Audio Drop Outs (again):
    As reported previously, there's been more reports of audio dropouts with another recent Dolby TrueHD Blu-Ray - this time Monsters Inc. (and 'Monsters University'). (Same Dolby TrueHD audio dropout issue previously reported with other recent TrueHD releases like Total Recall (2012), Brave, Finding Nemo, etc. although not everyone had the problem.) And the same workaround/fix - change the Blu-Ray player from Bitstream to PCM audio output. As before however, no issues seen (heard) with bitstreaming these titles with the only setup I have access to - a Panasonic DMP-BDT500 (w/v1.53 firmware) with HDMI 1 (video) direct to an HDTV and HDMI 2 (audio) to a Yamaha RX-A2000 (firmware 3.34) receiver. Zero dropouts with this setup and Monsters Inc 7.1 audio selected, player set to bitstream. (BDLive always disabled.) Ditto (no issue) with TrueHD audio on Total Recall (2012), Brave, etc. (BTW: I have to say the audio and video of the new Monsters Inc 3D blu-ray was some of the best I've ever experienced. Outstanding.)
       I've not tested using a single HDMI connection (both A/V to AVR, then out to TV) but have seen some dropout reports from others using Dual HDMI output player setups including Sony S790 and Oppo BDP-103 owners. (And one Oppo BDP-103 owner said he had audio dropouts bitstreaming Monster Inc's 5.1 audio.) I later saw an Oppo quote that it's related to seamless branching.
       Normally with any disc playback issues you'd blame the player/firmware (or new DRM), but I felt the AVR used is a primary factor since with bitstreaming the AVR does the audio decoding. (Unless they player is improperly bitstreaming data.) Using the workaround PCM setting has the Player doing the decode. (However I did see a post from an Onkyo 709 owner saying his Oppo BDP-83 had dropouts (Total Recall 2012), but a Panasonic BDT-110 didn't with the same receiver.) Wish I had a Sony S790 or Oppo to test with my AVR to see if a player change (only) mattered here.
       Despite the focus on firmware updates/bugfixes for players/AVRs, some felt a change in Dolby's TrueHD encoding is the real culprit. (Originally I'd wondered if the playback problems were related to another new spin on DRM, but audio dropouts can also be caused by a player's lack of support for seamless branching.)
       Although many think a replacement disc may help, usually it doesn't. Official (studio/mfr) disc replacement programs in general are rare but have happened at times for some common playback problems. One example was over some Dredd discs that wouldn't play. (I'm not referring to cases of "disc rot", as there has been replacement offers from some studios for that in the past.) There were rumors of redone Total Recall 2012 discs (later disputed) and some have repeatedly swapped blu-rays at retail over TrueHD dropout problems - usually with no change.


  • HD-DVD Disc "Rot" notes / Tip for Cleaning Discs (HD/DVD/BR/CD):
    (FYI: For cleaning Blu-Ray and 4K/UHD Discs, I use Dawn soap or isopropyl alcohol.
    Below is an old post on cleaning HD-DVD discs with a foggy/cloudy buildup on them.
    )

    After a report from about playback problems with several of his HD-DVD discs (mostly Warner Bros he said - google HD-DVD disc rot for owner posts), I checked my HD-DVDs (16 movies + U2 Rattle and Hum) from 2007 (IIRC, shortly before HD-DVD production was halted) to see if any were now bad.
       These HD-DVD cases had not opened for at least 3 or 4 years I think, and some I had never used/touched at all. (5 were part of a free bundle with the Toshiba A20 player I bought back then.) I noticed about 1/3 of the HD-DVD discs had areas of (white/milky) clouding on the back side - some worse than others - one looked like there had been some sort of condensation present (i.e. looked like a long drip line down the disc). Most however just had odd shaped areas of white/milky clouding that would not wipe off with water (or the usual fogging by breathing on them) using a microfiber cloth.
       The worst examples I had were the Bladerunner 5 disc set and the Matrix Ultimate collection. (I should have done the trade-in to Blu-Ray offered years ago but didn't.) So I dusted off/hooked up my Toshiba HD-A20 (w/last firmware update) and tested them. Although some reported cases of discs not recognized at all, most reports cited freezing/lockups part way through the movie (some say at layer change?) so the best test is a complete playback, not just seeing if it plays to the menu, jumping to specific scenes/chapters etc. Here's a summary of what I found in my collection:

    • I tested several of the worst (clouding) examples (and discs I liked most - Blade Runner disc 1, Matrix 1, FMJ) in the Toshiba A20 and they played all the way through. (I'd forgotten how good they looked.) I separated out all discs that showed any clouding at all and will test them as time allows. (This was before using the plastic polish.)

    • It may not be related, but I also noticed that -all- of the HD-DVD cases that had glossy interiors had a layer of some sort of film/fogging on them. (As if the plastic had outgassed over time, or was it just related to mfg plastic mold release?) A couple cases had a matte/pebble-like finish inside (i.e. Unforgiven) and were still pristine. The heavily clouded discs were all from the cases with glossy interiors btw.

    • Some think the problem with HD-DVD disc 'rot' was from a specific batch or mfr. (Google 'hd-dvd rot cinram' and you'll see some hits, including one on LaserDisc rot.) I wasn't able to tell if any of mine were made by cinram but did notice two different disc types: all silver on the back and others with a white center ring. (The worst clouding examples were the white ring disc type.)

    • (Cloudy) HD-DVD Disc Cleaning: One tip I saw for cleaning the discs to remove the milky clouding was using plastic polish. I remembered years ago (2005 or so) I'd bought some "Meguiar's Scratch-X" (fine scratch and swirl remover) to polish haze out of an old mustang's plastic speedometer lens. (Never tried the later Scratch-X "2.0".)
         I used a small amount of it on the discs (worst examples first), just lightly rubbing it with a finger around the back of the disc. Waited a few seconds and buffed it off with just toilet paper. Bingo - all the clouding was gone. (I was impressed at how well the Scratch-X worked for this, but I have not tried it for scratches on discs, and only would if any were bad enough to affect playback. I'm not trying this on Blu-Ray discs.)
    This isn't a new problem and I suspect few even have these now but for anyone with a HD-DVD disc rot problem that cleaning doesn't fix, a thread at AVForums titled Warner Brothers HD-DVD's Disk Rot has some posts (i.e. April 2012) with WB contact info to try and get replacements (or swaps for BR), not always possible - YMMV.


  • (Feb 6, 2013) FYI on Dredd Blu-Ray Disc Problems:
    For anyone that had playback problems with their disc, a reader sent a link to a BestBuy Forum post on Dredd Blu-Ray Disc problems that has a Feb 6th, 2013 post from BB that says they (finally) have been able to confirm there were some bad discs:

    "I have received a final update from our business team as well as the vendor, and I wanted to make sure to pass this on to all of you. After all of their research, they have been able to isolate this problem to a specific number of copies of this movie. Due to the number of affected discs, customers are being asked to contact Lionsgate directly with any issues. They can be reached at 1-877-230-2756 or by emailing lionsgateshop@orderassistance.com."


  • (Dec 19, 2012) Lots of reports of (TrueHD) Audio dropouts with the (2012) Total Recall blu-ray. (A workaround cited is switching the BR player to output PCM vs Bitstream.) Many reports from Oppo owners as well as Sony (including latest 590, 790 models) and perhaps other models/brands. I suspect it might be related to another spin on DRM and may require yet another firmware update to players (or AVRs). Some are calling for the studio to exchange/replace discs (w/fix) but I doubt that will happen. Since it's not a universal issue with all players, I suspect it's player related (firmware/chipset, lack of seamless branching support).


  • Tips on SVS Ultra 750W Bash Subwoofer AMP Failures (+ Checks Before you Buy)
      Due to length/images, moved to a separate page.


  • Sony BDP-S790 (Case Design/Drive Noise) vs Panasonic DMP-BDT500

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