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What is HDMI?

This is High-Definition Multimedia IInterface is an interface from both uncompressed video data and audio.
There are several standards of HDMI as this has improved over time. The point to be careful on is that the connection points may meet some of the these HDMi V*.** but not all.

How does the Linn DSM handle HDMI?

The most Linn DSM products, with exception of Selekt ARM, come by default with HDMI switch devices.

  • No HDMI input selected: If you are not listening to an HDMI input then the last HDMI input selected Audio and Video are "passed thru" to the HDMI output. This will allow you to listen to an audio only source, such as Radio, and watch and listen to your Satellite receiver on your TV.
  • HDMI input selected: If you then select an HDMI input on your Linn DSM then audio is redirected to the Linn DSM speakers. Now the HDMI source, e.g. Satellite reciever, audio is only playing from the Linn DSM speakers
  • Linn DSM in Sleep/Standby: You can configure in Konfig that when the Linn DSM is in Sleep/Standby mode then this will NOT thru the Audio & Video. In most Tv's this will sense that there is no HDMI and put the Tv into Standby after a few minutes.

HDMI 1.4

This is supported by all Linn DSM products and supports up to 1080p resolution.

HDMI 2.0

HDMI 2.0 is the HDMI standard that supports 4K. This means that the HDMI 2.0 connections can pass a lot more data than HDMI 1.4 and therefore allow higher resolution video and audio capabilites.

Majik, Akurate & Klimax DSM products with HDMI 1.4 boards can be upgraded to HDMI 2.0 capability.

The Selekt DSM is supplied with an HDMI ARC input only but can be upgraded with an HDMI Switching module.

The Sneaky, Sekrit & Kiko products use HDMI 1.4 and are not upgradable.

Linn HDMI 2.0 specification

The HDMI 2.0 specification of products that support this HDMI connection are:

Supports 4k resolution @ 60Hz frame rate, 4:4:4, HDCP 2.2, HDR, ARC, CEC, data rate 18Gbps

HDMI 2.0 cables

HDMI Premium certification.png

This HDMI 2.0 board is available as an UPGRADE on earlier Majik, Akurate & Klimax DSM products.

HDMI Premium certification.pngLinn recommend using Premium High Speed Certifiied HDMI cables for an optimal experience. (supporting HDCP 2.2 up to and including 60Hz UHD.)

How can I tell what a HDMI cable can do?

  • Certified cable options can be found HERE with the icon shown on the right.
  • Passive HDMI cables are your standard HDMI cases. Realistically, with the data rates used with HDMI 2.0, these are only useful up to 1.5-3M long if you are using 4K/60Hz. Longer lengths can start losing data and quality quite quickly.
  • Active HDMI cables are optimised for amplifying signals over long distances, (distance limit depends on the HDMI standard you are using. HDMI 1.4/2.0/2.1...) These typically have an additional USB plug or external power adaptor to power to the internal Amplifier/Processor.

The types of HDMI cables that you require depend on what your own scenario. (What specification of HDMI sources and display devices)

HDMI 2.0 Surround sound

You need the Linn Surround module for this check:

  • Date of Introduction: March 2018 - December 2022

Direct decoding of surround streams from HDMI / HDMI-ARC / TOSLINK / SPDIF is supported with the addition of a Linn Surround module mounted onto the HDMI-2 board within the DSM. Decoding from HDMI-eARC requires the HDMI 2.0 eARC board.

Assembled carrier placement.jpg

The Linn Surround module is sold only as an upgrade to any:

Selekt or Akurate or Klimax DSM

List of products that support the surround upgrade module

Selekt Products
Akurate Products
Klimax Products

  • The HDMI-2 boards have been fitted as standard since September 2016 and are available as an upgrade to all Akurate and Klimax DSM's.

Sneaky/Sekrit/Kiko & Majik Products
This Linn Surround Module upgrade is either not available or is not supported in these products.

Surround formats supported by the Linn Surround Module

  • Supported codecs on HDMI, HDMI-ARC, HDMI-eARC, TOSLINK and SPDIF connections

  • Dolby Digital
  • Dolby Digital Plus1
  • Dolby TrueHD
  • DTS
  • DTS-HD Master Audio
  • DTS-HD
  • DTS Neo:6

Dolby Atmos, DTS-X & DTS-CD are not supported.
1 Supported on all HDMI inputs and HDMI-ARC connections on the Selekt products. Only supported on HDMI inputs, not HDMI-ARC, on Klimax, Akurate and Majik.

Decode Mode

Available from:

  • Linn Account > Manage Systems > DSM > Surround > Decode Mode
  • DSM Menu > Settings > Surround > Decode Mode

Decode Mode Options:

  • Off - No up-mixing performed
  • Auto - PCM streams up-mixed using DTS Neo 6 Auto algorithm
  • DTS Neo 6 Music - PCM streams up-mixed using DTS Neo 6 Music algorithm
  • DTS Neo 6 Video - PCM streams up-mixed using DTS Neo 6 Movie algorithm

The Decode Mode setting is applicable to audio received by the following sources:

  • HDMI, HDMI ARC, HDMI eARC, SPDIF and Toslink

For all modes above downmixing if required will then be performed based on the number of speakers in the system.

Speaker positioning

Speaker positioning should be achieved through Space Optimisation, however if Space Optimisation is disabled, the speaker distances may be configured from:

  • Linn Account > Manage Systems > DSM > Surround > Speaker Setup

Speaker level adjustments

You can trim the Speakers levels using an inbuilt Pink noise generator within the Linn DSM. But Space Optimisation will need to be set up first to get the correct speaker positioning and timing.
After Space Optimisation has been set up, you can adjust the trim, more details are listed HERE

Surround Songcast

Surround audio is NOT Songcast to other rooms. Songcast will only support Stereo audio. If your DSM front panel is showing a Surround mode, then this audio is not shared via Songcast.

Speaker configurations

To reduce the Exakt hardware requirements for extra channels, it is possible to configure an ExaktBox or ExaktBox-I to drive one non-Exakt speaker per channel, up to a maximum of 8 channels, using either a 6 x channel passthrough or 8 x channel passthrough Exakt filter.
These are FULL-RANGE outputs in accordance to the Surround channel assigned, that can be fed to any Linn or non-Linn loudspeaker.
Space Optimisation will be supported for this configuration, but not Space Optimisation+ (for Exakt speakers).

  • Speakers can be driven from any combination of:
  • Direct analogue output from the DSM
  • Exakt Speaker
  • Exaktbox configured with crossovers for one or two speakers
  • Exaktbox configured for surround playback
Speaker type set for
"6 x Channel Passthrough" for 5.1ch or
"8 x Channel Passthrough" or 7.1ch
Examples of speaker setups can be found HERE

Konfig setup

Some information for setup in Konfig can be found HERE

Setup via IR handset

  • Use the left/right handset joystick control to adjust the Lip sync. (make sure that in Konfig the "delay mode" for that source is set for "Video Sync"

  • Press the Up/Down buttons to adjust the LFE (subwoofer) settings.


  • Turning OFF the HDMI module in Konfig/Manage systems will also turn OFF the Surround Sound module.

FAQ HDMI issues

Check General HDMI issues


HDMI Audio Return Channel is the audio returned from the same HDMI cable feeding A/V to the television.
This is only supported on the HDMI-2 board and on the Selekt DSM and on the Series 3.

This input can ONLY be used with a television. If any other HDMI source is connected to this input, then no audio will occur. (The HDMI ARC communication is different to standard HDMI communications)
This HDMI ARC input is declared as a separate input on the Linn DSM/HUB control. This can be set to automatically switch to this HDMI-ARC input when you have just switched on your television. More information on how to set this up are in the Konfig manual

General limitations with ARC are that it doesn't communicate with the playback device, in this case the Linn DSM, what Surround formats that it supports, if any. You need to check within the TV setup that the HDMI-ARC connection will only output in a format/codec that the Linn DSM will support. (2-ch/stereo PCM for a standard Linn DSM/HUB and 5.1ch Surround sound for one with a Linn Surround module).
This does NOT support DSD audio


HDMI eAudio Return Channel is the audio returned from the same HDMI cable feeding A/V to the television.

  • This is an updated verison of ARC that supports addtional Audio formats to HDMI. This is currently only supported

  • eARC can have an inbuilt Ethernet connection, but this is NOT used on the Linn DS/DSM.
  • Some Manufacturers TV may need CEC enabled
HDMI cables that worked with HDMI-ARC may not work with HDMI-eARC.
HDMI Premium certification.pngLinn recommend using Premium High Speed Certifiied HDMI cables for an optimal experience.

General HDMI issues

The Linn DSM products provide HDMI pass through of HDMI V1.4 and HDMI 2.0 (for Products with the HDMI2 board) signals

The Linn DSM products HDMI output will:-
1. Pass-through the HDMI audio when the Linn DSM is in Standby.
2. Pass-through the HDMI audio when the Linn DSM is listening to an Analogue or Digital Audio input.
3. BLOCK the HDMI audio to the TV if the the DSM is listening to an HDMI input.

ARC - Audio Return Channel

Only the Klimax DSM / Akurate DSM / Majik DSM with HDMI2 boards (>Sept 2016) plus the Selekt DSM & Series 3 (301) will support this connection.

ARC setting on your Television vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. So please double check your TV setup manual.

Common issues for the lack of ARC audio:

1. The standard Linn DSM can only playback stereo audio. If the TV is set to output Dolby Digital or other Surround format then the Linn DSM will not play this audio and stay silent.
> Make sure the audio output is set to "STEREO"'
> If you are using an built-in service to the TV, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime etc, that you control from the TV handset then try a standard aerial TV channel or an external Satellite receiver and find out if you get any audio back from these TV sources.

2. The TV audio setup may be conflicting with itself.
> If possible do an "AV RESET" or equivalent on your TV, then setup for Audio format - Stereo and CEC-enabled (CEC can go by different names AnyNet+, Veiralink, SimpLink, Sony Bravia Sync,RIHD, Kuro Link..... etc. Check what your TV call it)

> In the worst case the simplest solution is to do a FACTORY DEFAULT/RESET on the TV. There may be a conflicting hidden setting that is causing all these issues, a Factory default will clear this and allow a fresh connection.
3. You are connected to the wrong socket on your TV.
> Check the Linn DSM HDMI output is connected to the TV socket that states "ARC"

4. Sony TV's and SKY-Q: It has been reported that this configuration can cause lack of ARC audio. When it does work,sometimes there is a crack/bang noise from the speaker when the system is put to Sleep/Standby.
> The solution is to disable HDMI control on the SKY-Q box and power cycle all of the products. (This is primarily an issue between Sky-Q and Sony Tv's communications)
5 Playstation5 (PS5): This can confuse the TV and what it is controlling the volume of, (the Linn DSM or PS5).
> The solution is In the PS5 setting go into HDMI > Enable HDMI Device Link > Off .

Common issues for the lack of ARC audio periodically muting:

1. Due to the introduction of eARC, some TV have this implements in different ways. The solution is:
> if your Linn DSM has the "eARC Mode" option in then turn this OFF
> If your TV has the option to disable the eARC functionality, then also turn this OFF

I cannot get any picture through the HDMI

General connections

The Linn DSM with HDMI2 board supports 4k resolution


The Playstation3 is known to have HDMI connection issues with many non-Linn devices.

  1. Select PS3 input on the Linn DSM
  2. While the PLAYSTATION 3 system is in standby mode (red light on the front of the system), hold down the touch-sensitive power button on the front of the system until the system goes into standby mode again . (So the light cycle would go from: red light --> green light --> then back to red light). This will ensure that you have held down the power button long enough to reset the Video Output Settings.

Check PS3 FAQ's

Virgin Media V6 / Sky-Q

The Virgin Media V6 & Sky-Q boxes are very strict on HDCP issues, as these work in HDCP 2.2. It has been found that if your TV or Projector only supports HDCP 1.4 and your AV Receiver (Linn DSM or other manufacturer) supports HDCP 2.2 then the mismatch will cause the Virgin Media V6/Sky-Q box NOT to send video (due to encryption issues).
The solution is to put an HDCP convertor, such as the LINDY or NEET Bidirectional HDCP Converter, V2.2 to V1.4, between the Virgin Media V6 or Sky-Q HDMI output and Linn DSM HDMI input. This will force all communications to HDCP 1.4
Some customers have found disabling "CEC" and "CEC Auto Select Source" on HDMI section of Konfig will fix this issue. (Do the Konfig changes and power cycle the Virgin Media/Sky box)

Apple MacMini, MacBook Pro etc

If you switch the DSM to the HDMI feed from a MacMini, MacBook, etc. it will initially lose any picture and audio. This may take up to 30 seconds to appear and for the audio to return. This delay is due to the Mac performing HDMI communication and re-establishing the audio and video options.

HDMI connection with Video scalers

If you have a video scaler in the HDMI chain and you are not getting any picture through the Linn DSM, take the video scaler out of the system to see if the picture returns.

No Audio playback on HDMI connection

The standard Linn DSM will ONLY support 2ch (or multichannel) PCM audio. It does not support Dolby Digital, DTS, etc. unless you have a Linn Surround Module installed in your Linn DSM.
If you feed an unsupported audio format from your DVD player, sat receiver, etc. the Linn DSM can pass this through to the TV if the DS is in standby mode. If when you select that input on the DSM there is no audio then double check that the audio out on the DVD/Sat is configured for 2ch PCM.

Audio keeps muting/unmuting

If your Linn DSM has an HDMI2 board then this may be the TV trying to control the Linn DSM volume.
Go into Konfig > your Linn DSM > HDMI. DISABLE the CEC settings and reboot the Linn DSM. This should stop this mute/unmute from occuring.

APPLE TV4 switching TV On and Off Plus controlling Tv volume

When using an Apple TV4 with a Linn DSM with HDMI2 (>Sept 2016).

We would advise to go into the Apple TV settings > "Remotes and Devices" and
turn OFF "Control TV's and Receivers".

Otherwise the TV may be confused about its power state and Audio Return Channel (ARC - Audio from TV to Linn DSM).
You can use the Apple TV handset to control the Linn DSM volume by IR if this is required.

No Audio from a Linn DSM HDMI connection

The standard Linn DSM will ONLY support 2ch (or multichannel) PCM audio. It does not support Dolby Digital, DTS etc unless you have a Linn Surround Module installed in your Linn DSM.

  • On Davaar 55, the surround function has been added.
    • If the incoming audio from the HDMI source is multi-channel PCM, this audio is NOT broadcast using Songcast.
    • This will occur even if you only have a pair of speakers defined on the Linn DSM, it still has to downmix the incoming multi-channel audio.

If you only have the front Left & Right speakers defined in Konfig the solution is to go to your HDMI source and change its HDMI audio output to Stereo PCM.

Hiss or White noise Audio from a Linn DSM HDMI connection

This means that the Linn DSM is playing an unsupported codec. This can happen if you are trying to play, for example, a DTS-CD track. (This is normally caught in HDMI communication but some audio formats send encoded data in a normal format)
Check to see if your Media player/Blu-Ray/DVD player can decode this into Multi-Channel PCM.

Do Linn DSM products support HDMI 2.1?

Linn DSM products do not currently support the HDMI 2.1 specification.
HDMI 2.0 deals with 4K video with 18GHz bandwidth and is compatible with current Majik, Akurate and Klimax DSM products.
HDMI 2.1 deals with up to 10K video with 48GHz bandwidth and at the time of writing (March 2019) there are no cables, sources or playback devices commercially available supporting this specification.