HomePod ~0.5 second of additional delay when using HomePod from my iMac – any way around this issue?

Discussion in 'HomeKit, HomePod, CarPlay, Home & Auto Technology' started by afir93, Apr 27, 2018.

  1. afir93 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2018
    #1
    Now first of all, I know that AirPlay 1 has about 2 seconds of delay, and this is not the delay I'm talking about here. Usually when you stream from a Mac or iOS device to an AirPlay receiver, the OS will account for these two seconds and delay the video playback accordingly so that they are in perfect sync (at least with video streams where this is possible, like QuickTime files, videos in Safari, etc.).

    My issue is that whenever I play a video in Safari like a YouTube or Netflix video, or a video file in QuickTime, or anything like that from my iMac while streaming to the HomePod, video and audio won't be in sync, the video will buffer to account for the AirPlay lag but then it will still be about 0.5 seconds ahead of the audio. I've restarted both devices several times, dis- and reconnected my Mac with the network multiple times, nothing would work.

    The peculiar thing is that this only happens on this very iMac to me; when I watch videos on my iPad or iPhone and even my MacBook while AirPlay'ing to my HomePod, video and audio will be in perfect sync. I even created another user account on my iMac to try it out from, and on that one, video and audio also were perfectly synced up, which leads me to believe that there's something "wrong" with that particular user account on my iMac. Maybe a corrupted preferences file or something that's interfering/delaying the AirPlay stream for more than the usual 2 seconds?

    Does anyone have an idea of what else I could try? Are there any hidden AirPlay preferences or so that one could tweak, any pref or plist files that one could try to delete, or any way to see if something's interfering with the network or AirPlay stream? I suppose I could "fix" this by moving over entirely to the new user account, but moving everything over and setting everything up again seems like a tremendous amount of work for such a relatively "minor" (but nevertheless extremely annoying) bug.
     
  2. cynics macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    #2
    Since it’s particular to that user account maybe a NVRAM reset if you haven’t tried that yet?
     
  3. afir93 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2018
    #3
    Hey! Sorry for the late response, forgot to respond.

    Unfortunately, resetting the NVRAM didn't help; in retrospect, I suspect that the error is related to my WLAN router since it cropped up when AirPlay-ing from my MacBook now aswell, and I've since read online that other people are having some AirPlay-issues with my router model aswell.

    In case anyone has the same issue, I have found a (kind-of) solution: whenever I'm streaming audio to the HomePod via the software AirFoil, the 0.2-second delay is completely gone, everything is in perfect sync (well, everything that's accounting for the 2 second delay that the HomePod has in general). So that way, videos, movies and the like are actually watchable when audio-streaming to the HomePod. It's not really a complete solution since AirFoil is a commercial third-party software, but it's better than nothing.

    I'm still hoping for AirPlay 2 to fix this delay natively – I initially expected it to ship with 10.13.5 simultaneously to iOS 11.4, but apparently, AirPlay 2 is only available from iOS/tvOS devices right now and not when streaming from a Mac, and there's no word when it'll come to Macs.
     
  4. technerdlogic macrumors newbie

    technerdlogic

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2017
    Location:
    Phoenix
    #4
    Any update to this? I am still experiencing this issue on my MacBook Pro.
     
  5. afir93 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2018
    #5
    Unfortunately not. You can kind of work your way around it on the software-side of things (many video apps like VLC or IINA have the ability to play video delayed to the audio), but on the macOS-side of things, no fix. Only exception is iTunes, thanks to it having AirPlay 2 support where the issue isn't present.
     
  6. technerdlogic macrumors newbie

    technerdlogic

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2017
    Location:
    Phoenix
    #6
    Ok thanks. Its funny because I contacted Apple support about this issue in which they pretended the issue does not exist and insisted there was something wrong with my WiFi and/or device. The rep even told me she has a HomePod and doesn't experience this issue. SMH.
     
  7. afir93 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2018
    #7
    Yeah at this point I believe it's a general and (for us users) unfixable issue with HomePods or maybe even with AirPlay 1 in general as I've also seen other reports on the internet about this issue from time to time. Don't think it's related to our Macs or WiFi networks in any way. Possibly it even happens with non-HomePod devices and just wasn't noticeable enough so far (you only really notice it when streaming the audio of some video, so music playback and such would be fine, and the delay is just small enough that it might fly under many people's radar unless they use the HomePod for this very often).

    My only real hope is that we'll get system-wide AirPlay 2 support on macOS eventually which should fix it (the delay isn't there when watching videos in iTunes anymore which has AirPlay 2). iOS and tvOS both have system-wide AirPlay 2 support, so it shouldn't be impossible for the Mac to get it eventually, right? For the time being I've just resorted to watching movies either on my Apple TV (if I want the Stereo HomePod experience) or just via the built-in speakers or headphones if I only have them on my Mac. The 5K screen of my iMac + Stereo HomePods for sound would be a pretty badass home theater combo – it's a shame that Apple doesn't seem to see it that way.
     
  8. technerdlogic macrumors newbie

    technerdlogic

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2017
    Location:
    Phoenix
    #8
    The thing that annoys me particularly is that Apple was either misleading about Airplay 2 support for macOS or numerous tech websites were reporting the feature set wrong. The only reason why I purchased a HomePod in the first place was to use it as a speaker for my MacBook at my office desk since it was reported High Sierra was supposed to fix the systemwide latency issues of Airplay 1 . I should have waited until after High Sierra released to make sure it actually worked. After some more digging around the Apple developer site I got more insight into how Airplay actually works and I don't think there is going to be any change for the foreseeable future as this limitation is with the protocol itself.
     
  9. tromboneaholic macrumors 68040

    tromboneaholic

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2004
    Location:
    Clearwater, FL
    #9
    You are correct. It was incorrectly reported, or incompletely reported.
     

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