Intermittent audio from HDMI or optical digital inputs with Uniti Star

I use my Uniti Star for the audio signal when watching TV/DVDs/streaming content. I run an HDMI and/or optical digital output from TV (TCL 6 series Roku TV) into the Unit Star, then on to Focal speakers.

Problem: The audio signal cuts out for a second or two every couple minutes.

I found a temporary solution by accident. If I switch from the HDMI input to the optical digital input and then back to the HDMI input on the Uniti Star, the problem goes away (audio is consistently “on”). But this solution only lasts for the current viewing session. I have to do this every time I watch video content.

Any suggestions for a permanent fix?

Many thanks!

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@Gavin1 posted some threads on Uniti Star and HDMI problems. Maybe he could help here.

Have you checked that the firmware is fully up to date on the TV and on the Star?

Try changing the HDMI cable, it sounds as if the handshaking is not always working.

Thanks for the suggestions. So far I have tried the following, to no avail:

  • Checked to be sure the firmware of the TV and Uniti Star is up to date. They both are.
  • Tried alternative audio settings for the TV HDMI and optical digital outputs. No help. TV output has to be set to stereo to work with the Uniti Star.
  • Tried different HDMI cables (both from DVD player to TV and from TV to Uniti Star). No luck. Admittedly the cables I swapped in are not the best, but they are advertised as suitable for Roku TV 4K (8K, 48Gpbs, and up to 144Hz for eArc).
  • Tried switching to optical digital instead of HDMI input into the Uniti Star. Same problem, no luck. However, it was in switching back to the HDMI input on the Uniti Star that I discover my temporary fix. Switching from HDMI to optical digital and then back again “cures” the problem for that video session.

OK. It sounds like it could perhaps be some kind of handshaking issue. I suggest contacting Roku support and also Naim support and letting them know of your issue. In the meantime I would stick with optical as I assume that doesn’t have any such issue.

Thanks. Will follow up with Roku and Naim support. May also play with “audiophile” HDMI cables to see if that helps (the ones I am currently using a $10 “high quality” HDMI cable from Amazon).

FYI: the problem exists with BOTH optical digital and HDMI. Switching to optical is not a “solution.”

Ah, thanks. Then that would indicate something else and likely not an HDMI handshaking issue. It could be the Roku or the Star. I wonder if the Star is having difficulty locking onto the digital output from the Roku (a poor digital signal with high jitter or timing issues can cause this, not unusual from TVs and inexpensive consumer electronic kit). Do you have anything else you can connect digitally (via optical) to the Star just to test.

Good idea. I will do some explorations. Thanks

Just out of curiosity, are you using the adjustable lip sync feature on the uniti? I had a similar issue when using this feature on the Atom. When I put it back to 0 it fixed my issue. Might not be your problem but worth mentioning.

That’s funny I’m suffering the same thing and I’m not using my Atom (or any Naim product) it’s via my Apple TV/Yamaha AV amp.

It only started last week.

Many thanks for all the suggestions. I now have some ideas to explore, will get back with my results. In the meantime: (1) no, I am not using the adjustable lip sync feature on the Uniti, and (2) my temporary “fix” seems not longer to be working.

My current working theory is one of the ones above–difficulty locking onto the digital output due to jitter etc–I plan to try using better HMDI cables and/or bypassing the TV for the digital sound path. Will let you know what happens.

Short update.

No success yet, but I did experiment with using a “audiophile” HDMI cable from my DVD/Blue-ray player to my TV (AudioQuest Pearl). It had two nice effects: (1) dramatic improvement in the picture–significantly reduced graininess and increased sharpness, and (2) reduced the incidence of, but did not eliminate, the intermittment audio cutouts (in both HMDI to Uniti and optical digital to Uniti).

I find this promising, and consistent with @Richard.Dane who suggested a poor digital signal as my likely problem. I plan to experiment with using additional audiophile cables and possibly updating my power conditioner.

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(Final?) Update:

I have experimented with more higher quality/expensive audiophile cables. Result was subtle improvements in picture and noticeable reduction in the intermittent audio cut-outs. I have noticed that the remaining audio drop-outs when using HDMI are associated with me previously using Roon to stream audio to the Uniti Star. Note, the optical digital audio signal is now rock solid.

I may try playing with power regenerators (e.g., one on the ones from PSAudio) to clean up the AC signal, but have reached a reasonable equilibrium state as is.

I will not provide further updates unless I discover something particularly enlightening.

Cheers all, and thanks for the help!

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