Micro Lags / Dropped Frames in Lightning to HDMI Adapter?

Discussion in 'iPad Accessories' started by darkarn, May 6, 2017.

  1. darkarn, May 6, 2017
    Last edited: May 6, 2017

    darkarn macrumors 6502

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    Apr 8, 2017
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    Singapore
    #1
    Hi, I noticed micro lags whenever I play my iOS games using a Lightning to HDMI Adapter with my iPad Pro (12.9 inch) on iOS 10.3.1.

    To be exact, we are talking about extremely brief and random moments of visual lag (about 1 second), no lag for audio and all these happening on whatever that takes in the HDMI feed from the adapter (e.g. TV, monitor, game capture card). The game is always smooth on the iPad Pro though.

    I have tested on an iPhone 6 and an iPhone 7 Plus (both on iOS 10.2), same issues occurred too. Strangest part is that, I have not noticed this on my iPad Air on iOS 7.1.2, but then again its hardware was too slow for the games to be as smooth as the other devices I mentioned.

    EDIT: I have tested an iPhone 5 on iOS 10.3.1. Same issue occurred too so I doubt it is due to the iDevice's hardware since the iPhone 5 is much weaker than the Air 1.

    May I know what should I do? The Apple repair centre here suggested that I change my adapter (or rather, buy a new one as the warranty had long expired), but I want to confirm that this is indeed the cause before I proceed.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Donka macrumors 68020

    Donka

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    Location:
    Scotland
    #2
    The Lightning to HDMI adapter uses the Airplay protocol when sending the signal over the adapter to HDMI. If you have an Apple TV or another device you can try using Airplay instead to see if you see the same issue. If you do, a new adapter is unlikely to help you.

    https://panic.com/blog/the-lightning-digital-av-adapter-surprise/
     
  3. darkarn thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Apr 8, 2017
    Location:
    Singapore
    #3
    I don't have any other Airplay device (and they using Wifi will mean an unfair test) so getting another adapter to test is the only way.

    I am now in Japan for various reasons, let me see if there is any way to get an adapter
     
  4. darkarn thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2017
    Location:
    Singapore
    #4
    Back and did the following:

    1. Swapped for a new adapter in Apple Store Singapore (which opened right after I touched down in Singapore): Same issue
    2. Set up the iPad as a new iPad: Same issue
    3. Used Airplay (LonelyScreen, AirServer) on an early 2011 13" MBP and a Windows desktop: Slightly worse latency, which may have covered up any frame skips, as expected. Also does not work well with OBS for some strange reason
    4. Used Quicktime on an early 2011 13" MBP: Smoothest so far but due to age of the MBP it is impossible to use it with OBS (which is what I needed)

    The Genius Bar people are quite interested in solving this issue too; it was their first time seeing it but unfortunately we can't seem to do much. They suggested that I bring a friend with another iPad Pro or iPad Pro 9.7 and test instore too.

    My only hope left is the WWDC later, I will need to see if iOS 11 updates the adapter, a new iPad Pro comes or even a new adapter comes (e.g. USB 3 version of it and/or 4K version of it). I have yet to try out the VGA version of this adapter too.
     
  5. darkarn thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Singapore
    #5
    Just figured that this issue looks like dropped frames, title edited accordingly
     
  6. the_max0r macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2017
    Location:
    Germany
    #6
    I experienced the same issue with my iPad Pro 9.7 and an all new digital AV lightning adaptor. Micro lag and frame drops annoy a lot when watching a movie over it.
    Anything better with iOS 11?
     
  7. darkarn thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Singapore
    #7
    I don't have this issue when watching movies, I only do have this when playing my games which are at 60 fps
     
  8. the_max0r macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2017
    Location:
    Germany
    #8
    After testing a bit, I only experience frame drops when using the Amazon Prime video streaming app on my iPad. Watching movies which I bought from the iTunes store is not affected. So maybe this problem is related to the Amazon app.
    I will try it when playing games. I already noticed an input lag which makes playing fast paced games impossible (e.g. try "Super Hexagon"), but I did not look for frame drops, yet.
     
  9. darkarn thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2017
    Location:
    Singapore
    #9
    Thanks, the input lag may be due to how slow the HDMI signal is transmitted to the screen via the adapter as compared to it being shown immediately on the iPad screen. How responsive the screen (not to be confused with refresh rate) is may play a factor too but I don't think I will have any new screens to confirm this theory.

    Meanwhile the frame drops will show up only at the output device of the HDMI device, not the iPad itself. If you are having such issues on the iPad too, it may mean that your iPad is not good enough to be able to play the game and transmit the signal at the same time.
     
  10. darkarn thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Apr 8, 2017
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    Singapore
    #10
    Did some quick tests, seems to me that iOS 11's AirPlay 2 is helping things a little, the dropped frames aren't so bad.

    Will do more to confirm/dispute this
     

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