Sound United, the manufacturer of Denon and Marantz receivers, comes with an HDMI adapter kit to solve the HDMI problem with the transmission of 4k120 signals. This problem is particularly prevalent with Xbox Series X and S consoles and AMD and Nvidia video cards with HDMI 2.1.
Sound United reports on the Denon and Marantz website that it is offering the HDMI adapter SPK618 free of charge to users of receivers that support 4k120 and 8k signals. From May 15, users of these receivers can log in on one of the two pages. According to the manufacturer, this adapter will solve a ‘compatibility issue’ between Denon and Marantz receivers with HDMI 2.1 and certain game consoles. If users experience a black screen and hear no audio when they try to relay a 4k120 or 8k signal from their gaming device through their receiver to their screen, the adapter will help provide a decent gaming experience, Sound United writes. .
The German c’t Magazine noted last year that there are problems with the transmission of 4k120 signals to the connected television. Sound United acknowledged the problems and spoke of a mismatch between the HDMI chipsets of the different devices. Yamaha also confirmed that the problem occurs with its receivers. The problem is probably specific to Nuvoton Technology’s integrated HDMI chips. The chipsets of this manufacturer are built into quite a few receivers that support HDMI 2.1. This problem does not arise with the PlayStation 5, because the Nuvoton chips probably do not handle the compression technique display stream compression well; Sony does not apply that with the PS5, while Microsoft does with the image signal from the Series X and S.
It is not clear how exactly Sound United’s HDMI adapter works. The adapter probably adjusts the HDMI signal, so that the issue with the malfunctioning Nuvoton chips is circumvented. It is clear that the adapter must be placed between, for example, the Xbox Series X and the receiver. This means that the console must be connected to the SPK618 via an HDMI cable, after which this adapter in turn must be connected to the receiver via an HDMI cable. The offer of this adapter could mean that Sound United will no longer come up with another solution.
Aside from this workaround, users with these issues have little choice for now but refrain from playing in 4k resolution at 120 frames per second, as the problem does not occur at 4k60. Another option is to connect the console directly to the television and send the sound from the television to the receiver via ARC. This ‘solution’ does, however, have some drawbacks, such as an additionally required HDMI connection on the television and the fact that no lossless audio can be transmitted via ARC.
The problem also occurs with other receivers that support HDMI 2.1, such as those from Yamaha. The manufacturer says in a brief statement, which FlatpanelsHD has recorded, that it is still investigating its current models and that it is considering how it will respond to the problem. This concerns the RX-A2A, V6A and V4A. The company says it will address the issue through future updates, but it needs more time for now. With that, it is still unknown whether Yamaha will also come with an HDMI adapter, or whether it will try to solve the problem in another way. The company also says it will be releasing new receivers for 4k120 and 8k in the near future where the problem probably shouldn’t arise. According to Yamaha, they can appear within a month.
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