[SOLVED] Need help with DTS on optical SPDIF (HDMI splitter)

Good morning world,

I am an OSMC user since RaspBMC was gone. Actually, I want to output MP3 Music from my Raspberry 1 Rev 2B (uk), running OSMC (11/2016 release) via HDMI → SPDIF-Splitter → fibre optics → Pioneer VSX C300 tuner/amplifier. All my attempts are failing, no sound at the optical output. The device set worked fine with 2014 releases of XBian and Raspbmc (as well as with OSMC 2015.07-1 later). But both SD Cards gone broken in between, so I had to reinstall the OS with more recent versions. More recent, because all the installers don’t offer installing a “well known good” version.

I found a huge number of post in OSMC forum, but most dealing with Vero or quality details. Nothing fits my problem.
Also I read a more huge number of posts in general Kodi forums, but almost all don’t help, since they are using PC sound cards with native S/PDIF. Last, I tried http://kodi.wiki/view/audio_quickstart_guide, column 6 or 7 from the table. But even this did not solve my problem. So I’m here and beg for your help.

enough preface. The details:

I set up (Experte) Audio to:
2.0 channels
stereo upmix [no]
DSP [no]
Passthrough [YES]
(grayed out: passthrough via PI:HDMI)
AC3 … [no] (since the pioneer does not state anything about AC3, my be too old)
( This setting is nothing else than “Reset to default” plus “passthrough, but only DTS”)

Ligawo HDMI extractor (http://www.amazon.de/dp/B00CAQN0CM)
as well as
Delock 62492 HDMI Stereo / 5.1 Kanal Audio Extractor (http://www.amazon.de/dp/B00EV2WNKS)

The sound is fine at the HDMI cable, I can hear it from the TV. But wether the splitter(s) don’t send anything to the tuner/amplifier or sending anything, the Pioneer amplifier don’t understand as valid DTS. The amplifier not even show the “DTS” or “Dolby” LED as it does if I feed it from my BlueRay player and as it did before the new SD Card.

I need some suggestions how to set up my equipment.

I also would welcome some sound test loop files (mp3 as well as movie test loops) with different levels of sound encoding. (would be nice to have such in general within Kodi, but I understand I have to ask not here for this feature).

A side note:
I experienced a very similar problem months before, when I updated another Pi (Raspberry Pi 2) with OSMC, the post hdmi-splitter-sound-away-after-tv-off-on-reboot-pi2-required was mine about the Pi2 - and is still not fixed, since I am not able to do.

In the named post, I already tested the Pi 1 with OSMC 2015.07-1 an this worked then.
I’d like to test both my equipments (Pi 1 + Pi 2) with 2014 releases of RaspBMC, OSMC or XBian. Just to see if my stuff still works with the versions it worked in the past. Can anybody help me to get such old releases and how to set it up to an SD-Card (I’m familiar with dd under Linux)

Please help me, my wife is quite disappointed and that is not what I need around :christmas_tree:. In turn, I’ll provide all the steps I did and if we fix it, I swear, I’ll write a HOWTO for the forum :raised_hands:.

For everybody who tries to locate S/PDIF and/or TOSLINK issues or other cabling 7 interfacing issues, here is what helped me:

  1. I purchased another HDMI-to-SPDIF splitter Ligawo Splitter at Amazon (already last year) to see, if the issue belongs to the splitter. It’s around 30€, not really cheap for students. But (at least in Germany) there is a chance to send it back within 30 days to the seller, get the money returned (just paying the transport). So this is not nice, but can help.
    You’ll ask, why this did not helped me already last year finding the issue, please read further
  2. I purchased the counterpart to an HDMI-to-SPDIF splitter GHB DK201 SPDIF to Headphone/Chinch converter to see, if the issue belongs to my surround system. It’s around 15€ and if you don’t want a headphone outlet, being quite sure you have a well working Chinch-Input anywhere you can take the cheaper version DK200 for 10€.
    You’ll ask, if this helped me finding the issue, please read further
  3. I purchased a spare TOSLINK fibre optics cable from Amazon Basics, it is very flexible an tight fitting, with a remarkable “click” sound when get plugged in well. 3 Meters for 7€ is a good deal and can often be reused in other testing or temporarily setups, but there are shorter types for less Money
    You’ll ask, how this helped me finding the issue, please read further
  4. I purchased a spare SD-Card for my Raspberry (multiple cards for multiple Raspberries to be honest). This card(s) allowed me to less or more quickly change the OS between different Raspberry KODI distributions. I am still unhappy to not be able to use 1, 2 or 3 year old distributions, due to missing download opportunities, but at the end of the story I found out, this would not fix my special issue.
  5. I grabbed a pen and a paper notebook to make notes on every the following tests and results

With all the above I made test the way we learned at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of Rostock:

  • extract every single component as the one and only unknown part
  • select a well known test setup with a similar part
    f.i.: to check if the new TOSLINK S/PDIF cable is really okay, I switched on my well known working Blue Ray player + Surround Amplifier, inserted AC/DC “Rock or Bust” Music Disk and checked if the music is free of noise :smiling_imp:
  • touch the connections, shake it a bit to see, if the reference set up is really okay
  • now integrate the “component to be tested” into the well known test setup, by replacing only the “similar part” by the “component to be tested”, here: the optical TOSLINK cable
  • repeat the test, again with shaking the cable to see, if all connections are fine and the cable is free of broken spots
  • continue comparable tests with all the remaining parts, until each single part of the problematic setup and each single part of the spare parts collection is tested well
    f.i. to check the HDMI-to-SPDIF Headphone converter, I resembled the BD Player + original TOSLINK cable + Surround Amplifier, cheked it again, and only then I replaced the Surround Amplifier by the HDMI-to-SPDIF converter.

If you suspect the operating system could be the cause:

  • extract every single Operating System as the one and only unknown part - means: remove the suspect OS SD-Card, replace it with a well known working SD-Card
  • select a well known test setup with a similar part

This topics both did not work for me, because the suspect system was OSMC/RPi2 while the well working OS has been RaspBMC/RPi1. But the RPi 1 SD-Card gone broken, so I had to use OSMC/RPi1 also on the RPi1.
And this also then made no TOSLINK sound!!
I wrote the above in thick letters to underline my mistake. I should get alarmed by this but I needed 2 more days. All I learned at this point from the was: “I think I need the older RaspBMC distribution again”. It was not obvious that this was a wrong conclusion.

What has been my mistake?

All my setup is integrated in the living room furniture. All cables are bundled well to be mostly “invisible” (need to fulfill the “Women Acceptance Factor”). That’s why I did never completely disintegrated the setup. So I hurt the rule “extract every single component as the one and only unknown part”! All times, I used the 15 years old, super thin, super expensive TOSLINK cable, integrated 2 years before fixed in the furniture. As one can guess, this cable got squeezed one time to often.
Why I got such a number of strange behaviors? The cable is broken. Every time I replaced a SD-Card or tested another setup inside the furniture’s open compartment, I bend or twisted the cable a bit and this changed the gap inside the cable.
I would have noticed this, If I followed the next rule of our Physics lecturer: repeat all tests multiple times to get a statistically significant result.

What have I learned again (and what should you all have learned)?

  • follow the rules
  • do not take bypasses when investigate problems
  • follow all the rules
  • repeat your test at the clean kitchen table, away from any furniture’s open compartment, cables hidden under the carpet or under the wallpaper
  • really follow the rules
  • write down all components, results, time and date (also of log files)
  • repeat well and bad tests with rearranged parts, with reconnected plugs and so on.

If I had strictly followed this requirement, I would have found the error last year. Probably, my other post hdmi-splitter-sound-away-after-tv-off-on-reboot-pi2-required would get solved then already.