Playback Issues - Audio/Video & Power

Help with audio & video playback issues, TV display type recognition & compatibility, HDCP messages, troubleshooting playback errors, advertisements, and resolving power issues.
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Level 7

Series 8 TV digital audio is choppy

I just bought the TCL 8-series 65Q825. Audio works fine through the built-in speakers, but I get choppy stuttering audio if I use the digital outputs. The audio just cuts out for a couple milliseconds, sporadically but on average every few seconds.  It sounds sort of like a processing issue; when there is simple audio like a newscaster's voice alone, it won't happen, but as soon as the audio gets more complex, things start cutting out again.

I've tried optical and HDMI ARC with brand new cables, and I get the same result regardless. I've tried streaming video, music, and antenna-based TV as sources. I've tried every combination of audio settings, and nothing helps.

The receiver is a Cambridge Edge A. It doesn't have the ability to change settings, but it is their flagship device and very capable. Its optical input also works fine playing audio from my Denon DVD player, using the same cable I use with the TV.

Any ideas? TCL support so far just told me to do a factory reset, and that didn't help.

Thanks for any ideas or theories you may have to offer.

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