BETA: Audio improvements for Apple TV and iPhone/iPad

We are testing improvements to the Experimental audio driver in the latest TestFlight builds.

Please try it out and report your results below.

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So far I have had excellent results on the Apple TV with spatial audio multichannel and spatial audio stereo

Here’s what I have tested so far.

1: HDHomeRun network broadcast recording of the blacklist in 5.1 (Spatial Audio multichannel working)

2: TVE recording of What we do in the shadows in stereo. (Spatial Audio in stereo working)

Then I decided to test some of my personal surround recording which normally reside in my plex libraries. I created a test folder and copied some of these for testing in channels, and then imported them into via channels local content import. Neglecting metadata issues because some of these are personal videos, all these files were imported successfully into channels.

3: tested “Dolby natures fury in Dolby digital plus atmos”. (Spatial audio multichannel sounds great)

4: tested “Dolby natures fury - this one encoded in true 7.1 atmos). (Spatial audio multichannel fantastic)

5: tested my ripped copy of Eagles Hell Freezes Over in 5.1 surround

(Listening to hotel California in 5.1 surround through spatial audio through channels on Apple TV - pure bliss)

6: tested a 5.1 surround video from Jean Michel Jarre’ Aero DVD audio disk. ( superb)

7: avengers endgame in surround, also excellent.

so @tmm1 this is very exciting and encouraging to have multichannel and stereo Spatial Audio working in channels

I haven’t test actual live network tv with spatial audio yet, as I’m waiting for some show that uses 5.1 - perhaps the voice or something.

I also noticed one slight repeatable annoyance. When I did the above tests, I have been invoking the control center by using a long press of the “TV button” in order to check the status of the spatial audio under the AirPods icon. When ever I exit the control panel, there is a slight audio dropout as the control panel closes. Happens under all the test cases I listed above.

I confirmed that playing the same files in plex, this never happens when exiting the control panel.

I will play around with the iOS app on my iPhone X next and see if these above tests also work on the iOS app. I don’t have a recent enough model of iPad to test spatial audio on ipados.

Thanks for the tremendous work! I can’t wait to use channels for late night view pleasure watching recordings without bothering anyone else while blasting my home theater.

4 Likes

I’ve noticed the same short audio dropout when exiting the control center in IOS as well.

Also verified that exiting control center in Apple TV + app, peacock, and plex don’t cause the audio dropout.

5.1 multichannel Live TV via HDHOMERUN on iOS spatial audio working great.

It appears Apple made a change recently on iOS that I wasn’t aware of. In the control panel you can now choose whether you want head tracking or not. This used to be buried way down in the accessibility menu. Nice Apple.

1 Like

A heads up re homepods pairing with the Apple TV. It appears that after 15.1, Apple is routing homepods network traffic via the Apple TV via either wifi or AWDL (Apple wireless direct link). Although there is nothing official, this reddit thread has more anecdotal reports. My own client table confirms this rumour

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While this vastly improves the issues I've been experiencing, it has not eliminated them. Audio continues after exiting a channel and returning to the guide (but not nearly as long as it did previously). While scrolling the guide after exiting a channel, the guide freezes (again, not for nearly as long as it did previously).

You mean with the OG HomePods?

With the minis I have I never hear audio after leaving with experimental. Only default.

Yes, OG HomePods using the experimental driver.

Could you submit diagnostics from the app after playing a channel for 10 seconds

Done.

Thanks. I do see a big difference in your diagnostics compared to mine with the Minis. I guess the OG actually uses AirPlay1, and maybe that's why they discontinued it.

When you pause, does the audio pause right away?

I just submitted another round of diagnostics which shows the freezing.

The audio pausing seems to fluctuate depending upon how long I've been watching a channel.

How so? If you've been watching for not very long, it takes a long time for the pause to take effect?

But sometimes it happens right away?

Please try with v2021.11.11.0209 once its available

See:

If I've only watched the channel for a brief time, the pause takes effect quickly. If longer, it take significantly longer to pause.

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I see the same thing with my OG HomePods. The longer you are watching the channel the longer the sound keeps playing when you pause or exit the channel.