Unusable choppy/clicky sound using Sprout 100 optical input

I am a new Sprout owner. Mostly, I love it.

However, when using the optical out of my Samsung One Connect box to the Sprout’s optical in, I am experiencing continual choppy audio.

Every second or so it clicks/interrupts the sound with a momentary dropout. Any sustained sound is immediately noticeably interrupted. I’m not sure how to attach audio but if someone shows me how i could attach an audio example.

Any clues as to what might be happening/things to try? It’s really disappointing to not be able to run the audio from my TV through the media system. Thanks for any help!

Welcome! This can happen if the Sprout is not receiving a good connection. I would try a different cable if you’re able to. Also, make sure you have the TV’s audio out set to stereo PCM. The Sprout isn’t able to decode a multi-channel signal.

Thank you! The TV is set to stereo PCM.

I will order a different cable to try and fix or rule that out. This is the one I am using:

Any recommended optical cables?

This cable should be fine. I would get something inexpensive for these testing purposes. Sometimes where the cable plugs in can be a little loose, and the light signal is a bit dodgy. Double check that you’re able to get a solid connection on both ends.

Cool, thanks. I’ll report back in a few days or so.

Perfect, keep us posted.

OK, happy to report an update here.

Samsung technical support ran a sound test, which worked flawlessly.

In fact, I narrowed it down further.

When running sound from apps on the TV itself, the audio sounds wonderful via the Sprout’s optical input. Never any problems.

The issue only surfaces when using the Xfinity Xi6 cable box.

For whatever reason, when I switch to that HDMI input on the Samsung, the sound coming out of the Samsung optical port into the Sprout optical port is immediately suspect and interrupted as described above.

So the issue is clearly NOT the Sprout, but something about the signal Xfinity is passing through. I’d welcome any suggestions if people have had similar issues, but would otherwise consider this thread resolved in that the Sprout is a-ok. It just doesn’t seem happy with whatever Xfinity passes through Samsung to it.

Thanks for the update! This is EXTREMELY helpful info. Glad the Sprout100 is working properly at least. Sorry you’re having to deal with this though. Short of getting a separate DAC or processor for the TV, I don’t think there are any other great options.

Not sure if this will help but I’ve see similar issues when a cable had a poor connection to the input so just make sure the HDMI is seated properly on both ends. you could try another HDMI cable, as well as swapping HDMI inputs on the tv to rule out other possible problems in the signal chain. Last thing that could cause issues is the xfinity box itself. Best of luck, hope these suggestions help.

potentially dumb question, but why would another, separate DAC work, if this one doesn’t? seems like it’s something about that signal?

Well, I guess I meant more of a HT receiver/prepro and less a different DAC. This way you’d be able to take advantage of the HDMI out of the Comcast box direct instead of piping the signal through the TV. You could still take advantage of the Sprout’s amp, but you’d have to play around with the volume leveling a bit considering the two volume controls.

I’ve continued to experience the issue, and the more I do, and more I read, the more it appears to be something about the Samsung One Connect’s optical audio port. It’s apparently a common problem people have with the Samsung box! Ugh.

Interestingly, many threads on the subject talk about how whilst the issue appears to be with Samsung, lower quality DACs work just fine with Samsung, and it tends to be a problem only with higher end DACs. In some cases firmware updates that change something about the DAC’s performance have resolved incompatibility issues.

Below is a one thread on the topic. I wonder- is this any sort of clue? Is there any way to update the Sprout’s firmware? Is such an optical incompatibility something you might possibly be able to look into? Obviously the onus isn’t on PS Audio to accommodate issues with other equipment, but there’s clearly something about the optical hand off between Samsung TVs and higher end DACs, which in my case just happens to be the Sprout100.

I’m not terribly sure what our software design team could do to remedy it. It’s going to be hard with Samsung sending a dodgy signal. If you’re stuck with this TV for now, I’d recommend looking at an inexpensive pre/pro. This way you can connect it HDMI and then feed the left and right signal to the Sprout100.

How about an HDMI to optical converter?

Could be a good option. As long as the output via HDMI can still be stereo PCM. Should work.

Try something like this:

Will probably fix the problem.

I have the same issue with my Samsung The Frame TV 2020 / Sprout 100 on the optical input.
In a link from Matthines post they mention a solution to the issue:

My Arcam’s version was 1.03. I followed your advice and upgraded to 1.10 with PLL. This completely corrected the problem.

Is it possible that your software team to ship a new firmware for the Sprout with this “PLL”?

Regards !

I’m glad I’m not the only one having this issue.

To be clear: I love my Sprout, but this is the only major failing.

I completely realize that a software update is not necessarily possible just because other manufacturers have done so (see above), but if so, that would be amazing.

For now, I solved the problem by buying a Schiit Modi 3 DAC, and going Samsung Frame -> Modi -> Sprout analog in. Fortunately I don’t need the analog in for anything else, but I’d love to get rid of the Modi as an unnecessary piece of gear in the system.

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