Global Semiconductor industry sales have skyrocketed creating a huge supply shortage across almost all components used in electronic products.
We have been following this closely in our production processes and have not seen any signs of it coming to an end anytime soon.
Some of the ICs we have been using, now have over a year of lead times. It has forced us to change some vendors and come up with even more creative ways to still be able to ship products without delays to customers all through this year.
At this time, however, due to the ongoing pressure from all sides of the manufacturing process, we are going to be increasing the prices on June 1st as follows:
SHARC eARC Processor will increase to $188.00
ZONE2 eARC Processor will increase to $228.00
We remain committed to having stock available and use whatever means necessary to achieve this. There will be separate production runs with somewhat different components to help with the lead time issues. This is how we are trying to overcome any delays as best as we can.
Starting on June 1st we are getting another fulfillment process in place which is able to deliver 1-day service to some locations within the USA and also deliver on weekends. International shipments continue to be handled by DHL Express. Shipping rates will remain the same.
Happy New Year 2021 from Thenaudio to everybody ! We are excited to start the year and continue innovating and delivering value to your home theaters.
Over the holidays many of you might have gotten your hands on one of the new gaming consoles that were released a couple of months back – namely the new Xbox Series X and the PS5. These are both wonderful powerful engines and are already delivering a superb mix of high-resolution gaming and atmospheric audio experiences.
We wanted to do some experiment on what kinds of resolutions are now available and how they look like. There were some surprises on the way.
In the above picture, you can see the result when Xbox Series X is direct connected to an LG CX HDMI 2.1 TV. The resolution is a fantastic 3840×2160 (4K) running at 120Hz with full 10-bit RGB chroma with deep colors. This is a full 48Giga bandwidth using HDMI 2.1 FRL video mode and is as good as it can possibly get at this stage. The games we tested look incredibly detailed and nuanced. This particular title is even supporting Variable Refresh Rates (VRR) which is one of the new HDMI 2.1 features introduced some time ago and meant to privde with a tear-free game play on supporting displays.
Of course, for audio performance this is far from perfect as you are only listening to the TV internal speakers and this hardly gives you a full realistic atmoshperic experience which is something that is intended to be enjoyed along with playing the game. Audio is a tremendously important part of immersing the gamer to get the full experience.
Traditionally by connecting an AVR in-between the game console and the TV, we can get the full audio experience as well. We wanted to test this using a modern 8K AVR with all the latest bells and whistles that would surely support this experience. We were surprised by the results as shown in the next picture
Interestingly the above is what we get when cables are moved around so that a new modern 8K AVR is placed in between Xbox series X and the LG CX TV in order to get the full audio experience as well. The video format instantly changed. The HDMI 2.1 FRL format got disabled and was replaced by a standard “basic” HDMI 2.0 signal.
Upon closer examination, the video format indeed still reports as 4k120 but the chroma has been changed to 4:2:0 downsampled version. This means that the original 48Giga signal is now only 18giga with roughly one-quarter of the video detail information present anymore. Any potential HDR is lost since 8-bit 420 cannot convey the extra rich “detail”-bits.
In other words, the video performance got sacrificed to a fraction of what it could be using a direct connection in order to be able to enjoy the immersive audio.
It has been widely reported by various outlets already how the current generation of AVRs is not able to process the HDMI 2.1 signaling for 4k120. The automatic workaround seems to be now uncovered. Yes, connecting Xbox Series X the signal format does show 4k120 but the picture quality is tremendously reduced and the HDR (high-dynamic range) content is crippled for the gameplay rendering.
Fortunately, there is a solution to retain the best of both worlds as opposed to accepting a tradeoff between audio and video performance.
Our vision at Thenaudio is to enable and activate existing audio systems to process the best audio formats while connecting the sources directly to the TV to be able to enjoy 48GHz video signals. By utilizing the eARC infrastructure in our processors we are able to capture the full lossless atmospheric audio experience as well as uncompressed lossless 7.1 PCM signals. In the great majority of cases, there is no reason to update or upgrade any of the existing audio equipment.
As New Year is approaching with new goals and changes we are wrapping up an innovative year with a big thank you to all of you great customers! You are a special group that is adopting brand new cutting edge technologies and placing your trust in us to deliver on our promises. We truly thank you for your business and trust.
We are finally caught up to demand and are now in a position to ship from stock both Sharc and Zone-2 processors. It is now a good time to also inform everybody about changes to the shipping providers and methods that just went live.
We have negotiated a great agreement with FedEx to handle all our domestic USA orders. We can now offer a guaranteed express 2-day air shipment for a flat fee of $9.50. This is exciting news for all of us and means we can now rely on a dedicated FedEx network and likely have fewer missed or misdirected packages as compared with our previous provider. The agreement is written specifically for the 2-day service but we also offer a choice of standard next-day air service. This next-day service is not as heavily discounted but we still offer it for those who are in a hurry.
We also have changes to the DHL express contract. Our previous service was a flat-rate $39 anywhere in the world. This new service is an accurate amount based on the country and the location. This way you will get an exact charge directly from the DHL servers.
We can, from time to time, also offer USPS International Priority service for locations where DHL does not ship to or in case DHL assesses a remote area delivery upcharge. USPS Priority International is typically around $39 and the service is slow and usually tracking info is spotty. For specific cases please connect with us and we can make it happen.
For new products, please stay tuned as we are working using the latest HDMI 2.1 ICs and are committed to providing you with new innovative ways to add value to your home theater setups.
Wishing you all wonderful holiday time and Happy New Year 2021.
We moved our website to Amazon Web Services to better handle the global traffic and to serve pages faster. In addition, we implemented a direct “my account” and cart system that will help you to track your orders and make changes easier. Payment processors now include PayPal and Stripe for CC payments. Amazon Pay will be added in the future.
Purchasing directly from Thenaudio website will allow the fastest shipping times as well as global shipping to almost anywhere in the world using trackable DHL Express service.
Our Amazon selling page will also remain active and can be used for domestic USA purchases.
Connect SHARC port 2) to one of the INPUT ports of the sound system (it is a common mistake to connect to the output of the sound system)
Connect the USB micro cable to one of the USB ports on the TV.
Set the TV into eARC mode and select PASSTHROUGH mode (or equivalent) to retain multi-channel audio.
Enable TV per-input bitstream support to enable Atmos/multichannel-PCM (typically Sound->Additional Setting->bitstream or similar menu). The default only allows stereo.
LG C9 Owners
Sound->Sound Out is set as HDMI ARC
Sound->HDMI ARC -menu: eARC must be set ON and Digital Sound Out as “passthrough”
Sound->Additional Settings->HDMI Input Audio Format -menu must have “bitstream” selected for each input to allow Atmos and multi-channel PCM
LG CX Owners
Sound->Dolby Atmos is ON
Sound->Sound Out is set as HDMI ARC
Sound->HDMI INPUT AUDIO FORMAT must be bitstream per each port (not PCM) to allow Atmos andmulti-channel PCM
Sound->Digital Sound OUT must be either AUTO/Passthrough. This depends on content, use both. Typically pass through is correct
Sound->eARC must be set ON
Other TV Owners
Other TVs have similar setup procedure: find the eARC menu and make sure eARC is active and make sure each input port is setup to accept Atmos/multichannel PCM from sources (TVs typically limit this to stereo by default).