Comparison of Phonak TV Connector: OLD vs NEW model

OK! I am in trial with the newest Phonak TV Connector. I already own and use two of the older model TV Connector, so I wanted to see if the new one was any better or different? Turns out - NOT REALLY!

NOTE: The TV Connectors I’m comparing are NOT the ComPilot series of streamers, which is an entirely different device requiring a necklace-worn controller in addition to a base unit.

In terms of looks, they are almost identical. The old model is a slim, black unit; the new model is the exact same size, but it has a volume UP/DOWN and POWER switch on it. And come to think of it, I think that may be the only difference?!

Upon opening the box (and here, picture a Youtube video of me doing that), the products come with the same exact hardware: 1. base unit, 2. power cable (USB-A to USB-micro), 3. 5mm analog audio cable, 4. Toslink to mini digital optical S/PDIF audio cable, and 5. USB-A power adapter. With these cables, you should be able to connect to a laptop or any decent TV with digital optical audio connection. NOTE: my old TV Connectors came with a very detailed user manual and top-level brochure; the new TV Connector came with only the top-level brochure, which was NOT very helpful in how to use the device (maybe my audi accidentally left it out when he got the unit?!).

Next, I swapped in the NEW TV Connector for the old one in first my Macbook Pro laptop, and then with the Samsung TV we have at home. The sound quality was virtually THE SAME - yay! I guess I can coast with my two older streamers for now.

The only visible difference I could detect is that the NEW TV Connector has the volume UP/DOWN and power ON/OFF right on top of the base unit. How is that going to make my life better? No idea! When at my laptop, I use the laptop volume UP or DOWN when streaming; when I’m in the living room watching TV, I’m sure as heck not going to cross the room and hit the volume UP/DOWN. Instead, I’m going to raise or lower the volume right on my hearing aids. How easy is that? I see absolutely NO benefit to the new TV Connector having the volume UP/DOWN and power switch on the base unit.

The Phonak website is pretty sparse in describing how the newer model is any better than the old one. I did see a line item saying that “Multiple listeners” can use the TV Connector. Since I’m the only one in my household to use a TV streamer, I can’t put that to the test, nor can I even tell if my older model allows more than one user to stream at a time.

I’m going to return this TV Connector feeling pretty good about the 2 older models I currently use at home. I don’t think there’s any compelling reason at all to buy the new streamer. I DO have to put in a good word, tho, if you don’t currently own a TV streamer and use Phonak aids. Being able to stream audio from my laptop or the TV has been a fabulous improvement over jacking up the volume and punishing everyone else in the room to that volume! :hear_no_evil:

If anyone out here has an additional insight, please share it.

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Thanks for the info, maybe i will buy whichever is cheaper on ebay

Hey BlueJay!
I also have the TV Connector. Since I recently purchased, I have the new model. I use it on my computer. The only thing I don’t like about it is the chime it thinks it has to do every time it disconnects from any audio source on the computer. Have you or your tech spouse found a way to disable the chime? Maybe your older models don’t chime like the new one does?

BlueJay, you sound like just the person I need to talk to!
Like you, I have my 2nd new Phonak TV Connector connected to my MacBookPro; but like TraderGary on his laptop, I have the problem of needless chiming, except my chiming is constant whenever I am not listening to sound - music or videos or newsshows on my laptop.

Earlier this evening, I took the advice of ThomF, who turns his Connector off whenever he is not listening to any sound on his laptop, and that indeed eliminates the chiming, but it is quite a. nuisance to have to keep pressing that seemingly motionless electronic “button”, which has no apparent travel, constantly on and off while attempting to escape the non-stop chiming. (Most websites are a combination of text and video, so I am constantly switching back and forth between reading and listening.) And that button gives no feedback as to when I have pressed it sufficiently to switch it off or on again, except for stretching my neck around to the other corner of this little device to look for that teeny little light!

Can you please share with us how you deal with the chiming issue, and whether there is some “secret” setting someplace on the Connector that can stop the seeking and chiming for sound?
(I appreciate the chiming on the TV Connector attached to our TV set, but it is an absolute nuisance on the one connected to the laptop!)

TraderGary,
You’re RIGHT about that chimin’ connector! I don’t think it’s possible to get INTO the device to disable the chiming sound, but I am turning the actual device OFF (using that power button on top), which is as good as unplugging it.

Unless I either turn it OFF or physically unplug it, it actually tries to connect to my aids alllllll day long! That may not be a good thing. My old connectors were ON all day, but only automatically streamed audio from either the TV or laptop as I turned the volume ON on that particular device (laptop, TV).

The old connectors also chimed when I either cycled out of the program on my aids or pressed the button on the back of the connector (next to the plug-in ports for cables).

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'xactly what I’ve discovered testing this unit out. I guess I’m lucky in that the connector is right next to my laptop on the table here, and the other one is off to the side of the TV. But it’s giving me a bit of pause to consider that IF I buy two of these to replace my old ones, I’d have to hit the power OFF/ON throughout the day to avoid the chiming.

Not the best scenario. The fact that our aids are chiming means that the connector is taking us into the streaming program - and for me, that dampens down ambient sound a LOT. RRRRRRReal annoying.

I was going to just return these to my audi, but maybe I should keep them a good 10 days or so to really see what life is like using them. I will send him an email and ask if he could call Phonak about the annoying CHIMING.

Like we don’t have enough we’re trying to focus on and hear in the world.

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OK. Day 2 of new TV Connector trial. I had this unit all boxed up and ready to return to my aud-guy, not having found a really significant reason to keep it.

But then this morning, I spent several minutes swapping out the OLD TV connector unit with the NEW one, back and forth again, and by golly, take it from me (the nuanced, 7% better listener!) this new TV connector’s sound quality is MUCH better than the old one. Shall we say a good 20+%? It’s crisper, clearer, and I can set the volume about TWO STEPS lower when it’s in use on my laptop or TV. So now I’m probably going to KEEP it.

But as others have found, this new connector is annoying in that it wants to connect to the aids allllllllllll day long - as long as you have it plugged in, paired and are running video on a laptop (or watching TV), it’s gonna try to grab that streaming audio and shove it in your ear. If you have the audio muted, it will chime at 2-min intervals till you physically unplug it or hit the power button on the unit.

By comparison, the old units would sit silently by, automatically streaming once you unmuted your source. I never had to cross a room and physically turn the unit OFF or ON. I guess I’m bugged that I want the better sound quality, but the cost for that will be a nagging device that needs to be hand-held all day. :grimacing:

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Here is what I learned from rdboukes a few minutes ago on another thread on this forum:
“The ding alert is contained in the HA programming. As mentioned before there are three choices that are part of the HA program in regards to the TV Connector. The first is no ding, automatic, where the sound is automatically streamed when ever it is available, The second sounds a ding when ever streaming is available, a short push on either within 15 seconds will connect, a long push on the high side will disconnect, and re-connect by cycling through the HA programs. And third, no ding, long push on the high side to connect when sound is believed to be available, and a long push on high side to disconnect, and cycle back.”

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THIS is what I needed to see! OK, it appears that we can have our aids’ TV Streaming program changed to eliminate the ding! That sounds like an easy fix … albeit I’ll have to get in to see my audi to have it done.

Thanks SO much for sharing this here! :smiley:

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I have the Phonak Target software and the Noahlink wireless. I’ve been doing a bit of self programming for many months now. I found where to make the 3 changes for the TV Connector. The changes work as described. There is still a chime about 20 seconds after any audio selection ends no matter which of the 3 selections is used. Since there seems to be no way to eliminate it, I can live with that.

The constant chiming everyone talks about is most likely the notifications coming from the phone itself. I have lots of phone notifications coming in and when I want to use my TV Connector I must choose “Do Not Disturb” on my phone. Otherwise I’m getting constant random chimes whenever a phone notification occurs.

Whenever I’m at my computer (I confess that’s almost whenever I’m awake!) I keep my phone on its Pixel wireless charging stand beside my computer and just above my mouse pad. I find it easy just to use the myPhonak app to turn the TV Connector ON and OFF.

I have one of the newer TV Connectors. I bought it because with the Bluetooth transmitter I bought, I had considerable latency. This is the Marvels, and I know that because I have one of the little, old style remote mics that was used with the Compilot. When I pair that Mic with the Compilot and use my older B50 aids, I get no latency. But when I pair that same mic to the Marvels, I get latency. The main thing that annoys me about the TV connector is that like Bluetooth, it loses connectivity with my aids and I hear the Autosense startup jungle. This from a distance of no more than 8 feet. This happens several times an hour. The device is pretty easy to use, and the sound is OK,I guess. Certainly nothing to write home about. I guess the one thing I do like about it is the stereo effect on content from my TV. I rarely notice that coming from my external TV speakers, but it is quite noticeable when using the TV connector. Also, the TOSlink connector is also the 1/8" stereo sound input. I guess I had not seen that before though others have told me it is pretty common. I don’t really think it is worth the price I paid for it. I hope soon used units will begin appearing on eBay. I have my eye out for a used remote mic for the marvels. I have heard good things from the few people who have reported using them.

It’s the same device but the new ones have the buttons. Some of my patients have bought wireless plugs/outlets to remotely turn them off and on because the indicators drive them crazy. They work well but that was a poor design from Phonak. MFi usually has more options and flexibility.

Gary, I checked the H/A’s App (Called just Remote" on Settings/Apps & Notifications/“Remote” (the name Phonak gave the app for the KS9 version of these H/As) on my phone and the history is blank - that is, to-wit: “This app has not posted any notifications.” which would lead me to suggest that perhaps the dings are not being generated by the phone, but by the H/As.

Or at least they could have made the dinging option a user-controlled option on the Connector rather than a programmer option on the hearing aids!

I have lots of YouTube and Twitter subscriptions. I have email notifications. I have Facebook notifications. I have texting notifications. My phone is chiming all the time. I turn notifications OFF and not even a peep until I turn notifications back ON again. Try turning notifications OFF and see what happens.

Gary,

You may want to test this again. The chime only comes on mine when the Connector stops transmitting. I can start and stop sounds from my phone (music, etc.) and the phone audio supersedes the TV Connector audio after about a second and then the TV audio cuts back in about a second after the phone audio stops. But no chime.

The only time I get a chime is when I pause or turn off the TV and after 45 seconds the HA chimes (for disconnection) I think because the TV Connector stops transmitting. I also get a chime when I go out of range.

But as I said at the beginning, with the TV playing, I can play sounds from my phone and I never get any chime as the TV audio cuts in and out, superseded by the phone audio when present. In fact, I can start playing a song on my phone, it supersedes the TV audio, and then 10 seconds later I pause the TV program, and I never even get the 45 second chime.

For reference, I have the old-style TV connector (without buttons on the top). Perhaps this is why I get a chime 45 seconds after the audio stops instead of the 20 seconds you reported. But other than that, the notification that causes the chiming should be HA-originated, and should be irrespective of which TV Connector one has.

AFAIK the constant chiming is a connection bug in the link-access protocol, causing it to connect/disconnect repeatedly. I experienced it a few times and I got it to go away by rebooting the HAs.

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Yes, I absolutely understand what you’re saying. Just like yours, my TV Connector only chimes when it breaks from a computer sound source and then only after about 45 seconds. My phone however chimes from many sources and the notification interrupts the sound source on my computer for a few seconds. And that’s why I frequently turn “Do Not Disturb” ON/OFF.

I really need to take the time to go to settings > Apps & Notifications on my phone and turn some of these pesky notifications OFF permanently. They’re irritating even when I’m not using my TV Connector. I look at these apps on my phone often enough that I really don’t need to hear chiming all the time! :sunglasses:

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Yes, I end up turning off my A2DP connection in my BT settings because there are just too many notifications that pop up.

But I wanted to call this out because it’s different from the “constant chiming” problem people are talking about with the TV connector. The constant chiming people are hearing is the TV Connector disconnection chime.

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Yes, I agree and good point. I was just pointing out additional chime sources. I just now turned OFF notifications for Facebook, twitter and YouTube where most of my irritating notifications come from. I should have done that a long time ago.

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