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Audio Issue

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by nelsonrl, Jul 21, 2008.

  1. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Have you tried hooking up two of your DVRs to cables straight from the dish, bypassing the multi-switch? Might be inconvenient for a couple days, but if you do that and your audio issues are cured that would point to a bad multi-switch. If the problem does not go away, I would have the dish replaced.

    It's terribly hard to troubleshoot over the phone and damn near impossible to do it like this, but your audio problem must be caused by something the three DVRs have in common. All they have in common is the dish, multi-switch and cabling. One of those three has to be the cause. Of course, logic does not always prevail in the wonderful world of D*Hell.

    Is your multi-switch a 6x8 or a 6x16? I don't have a lot of faith in the "passive" 6x8s as opposed to the "powered" 6x16s. With the 6x8s, your DVRs are sending power to the dish and the multi-switch.

    Rich
     
  2. nelsonrl

    nelsonrl AllStar

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    They also have software in common. It is a powered 6x16 switch. The tech that came out and his manager insist there is a "directive" from DirecTv that this is a software problem. CSR's at directv insist they do not have any idea what the tech is talking about. The tech does not want to do anything and DirecTv says they have no idea why it isn't working and they are now suggesting my TV's and receivers are the problem. Remember, I have 3 different brands of AV receivers and 2 different brads of TV.
     
  3. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    I did consider the software, but since I have never read any reports about your problem and I know the software is stable, I discounted that.

    OK, that should be alright or you would be having video issues too.

    And that is the easiest way to solve the problem from their point of view. If it was a known issue, there would be posts aplenty on the forum and I don't see anyone except you having the issue. You got lied to. Normal operating procedure. They just didn't know what else to do.

    In your case I would believe D*, altho I have little faith in the CSRs.

    Obviously, that is a ridiculous and illogical suggestion on anybody's part.

    I know, I haven't forgotten. Now, what to do? Here is what I would do at this point: Call D* and when the automated voice comes on, say "cancel service". The automated voice will ask you if you are sure. Reply in the affirmative. You will be connected to the Retention Department. They will move heaven and earth to retain subscribers. Tell them politely what has happened and that the last thing you want to do is cancel your subscription. The Retention Department has the power to get just about anything done. Be sure to tell them you belong to DBSTalk.com and no other reports similar to your problems have been reported. Since we are their beta testers, they are aware of the forum.

    You might end up with the Case Management Unit. This is a good thing. They have lots of horsepower too and will work with you to resolve the problem.

    Did you try hooking up two DVRs straight to the dish as I suggested in an earlier post? Doing that might answer some questions. If you do that and still have the audio problem one of the DLBs might be bad.

    Did you try reloading the software on each DVR? You can do this by unplugging the DVR and when the blue circle starts spinning, punch in 0-2-4-6-8 on the remote and the software will download. I've never resolved any problems doing this that I can recall, but you never know.

    Here's a tip: There are virtually no "techs". They are installers and the good ones are few and far between. I always ask them how long they have been doing this job and it seems that they get very little training aside from how to mount the dishes and align them. What you have to look for is an installer who has been doing the job for a few years. I have had installers who had 3 months on the job. Worthless.

    Keep posting and tell us if anything changes or if you think of something that might be causing the problem. I gotta admit I am baffled. You have the perfect setup to troubleshoot. I can't even begin to imagine anything that you could have done to screw the DVRs up and logically you wouldn't think that three DVRs could cause the same problem in one home.

    I had planned to PM you today and see how you were doing. I think I will start leaving a link to your thread on my "signature". That way, everyone who reads one of my many posts will see it and maybe someone will have a suggestion that will resolve your problem.

    Luck,
    Rich
     
  4. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

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    Well, it's hard to say where the root of your trouble lies in HDMI audio. Unfortunately, HDMI is a pretty loose specification and it's implemented differently in different places.
     
  5. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Since the audio is encoded within the same bit stream as the video and is so much smaller, if there is no video break up, I'd say th odds of a dish alignment/signal problem runs close to zero. Add to this that it happens with old recordings and the odds become "below" zero.
    So what is "in common"?
    They're all plugged into th same AC source. I'd want to see what kink of noise is on the line.
    Any of these running off a UPS?
    Do they all "go bad" at the same time?
    I doubt the software is CE since there are only a few hours late Fri & Sat nights that it can be downloaded.

    Using the red button under the access card door should only be used if there is no other option.

    The best is to go into the setup menu and go to reset, then restart recorder.
    Since the recorder has a hard drive, think of it as a computer. You don't just pull the plug when you want to turn off your computer. If it hangs and you can't get to the start menu, you need to use the reset button, but this can cause problems wit your hard drive sometimes.

    Now "sometimes" pulling the power cord for 10 min, or longer, will correct problems that a "normal reset" doesn't.
    Recently I needed to pull my cord for 30+ min to restore what was called "the black GUI" and also restore my networking.

    So:
    Does it happen to all at the same time?
    Any on a UPS?
    What version of software?
    Try pulling the cord for 30 min [maybe overnight] and see how soon before "it comes back".
     
  6. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    "Somewhere" I thought I read one was using fiber.
     
  7. hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

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    A loose connection or cable end is the first possibility that I can think of....it cannot be firmware related, as many others ahve the exact same firmware without the problem. I have 2 HR20-700's and don't have it either.

    The odds of all 3 having that problem at the same time is almost nil.

    The only other common denominators are your multiswitch and Dish...and if the video is stable on all 3, the audio would most likely be as well.
     
  8. Steve

    Steve Well-Known Member

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    What brand HDMI cables are you using? Same for all 3 HR's? Perhaps it's a brand that doesn't "mate" well with the connector on the HR boxes, causing intermittent problems? Just a thought. /steve
     
  9. Carl Spock

    Carl Spock Superfly

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    Two of the OP's receivers are using Toslink connections. It can't be an HDMI problem. The Yamaha RX-Z1 doesn't even support HDMI, if I remember correctly.

    I agree with others that I just don't see it is a software issue. How could it be that all three of your receivers have the identical software problem and this is not a widely reported problem across the board? It simply isn't logical. [​IMG] The odds that you alone had this software issue, and it affected all three of your DVRs, would be astronomical.

    Re-reading this thread, I think its also very curious that when the problem happens, it occurs on all three receivers simultaneously. You aren't networked, are you? If you are, unplug the network connections on all three receivers and see if the problem goes away.

    I would be also very interested in seeing if the problem happens with an analog out from one of your DVRs to its audio system. As it is now, you are hooked up digitally in all three systems. If you would, please replace one of your digital hookups with a good old RCA cable. That will take you down to Dolby Pro Logic on that receiver, but I think it is an essential troubleshooting step.

    And by their lack of response in this thread, neither do any of the other installers that frequent this forum. The "directive" response sounds like so much BS to me.

    This is astounding to me. That they would just leave you where you are at, with the problem and walk away without trying anything, blows my mind. I have no problem with the fact that the installer and his supervisor couldn't figure it out. So far you have stumped the best minds on this board, too. But to do nothing and say, effectively, it's your problem, I find that amazing.

    You need to do more troubleshooting yourself. Can you get to your multiswitch? Assuming you can, bypass it. Get two long RG-6 runs, two barrel connectors and hooking up the output of your dish directly to one of your DVRs. You'll temporarily lose the use of the other two DVRs and coax will be running across your floor but that's the price of troubleshooting. See if you still have the problem. If you do, then switch the barrel connectors to the other two leads coming off of your dish. See if you still have the problem. We need to start eliminating causes and I can think of no other way to do it.

    nelsonrl, you also need to give a huge thank you to rich584 for championing your problem. I've kept up on this thread after my earlier posts but before today, I thought, Too hard! I don't have any ideas here. Maybe others do. Through a PM, Rich got me to take a second look. Other folks less caring would have blown you off. Not Rich. Amazing dedication to someone you've never met, Rich. You are what makes this board special. :)
     
  10. azvipers

    azvipers Cool Member

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    I have had the same issue with one of my receivers all day.
     
  11. Carl Spock

    Carl Spock Superfly

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    In a problem as vexing as this, you'll have to give us a lot more than that, azvipers.
     
  12. nelsonrl

    nelsonrl AllStar

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    I do thank all for the suggestions and help.

    I have spoken to retention, was told they would send the report to another department, but I would not hear back from them or DirecTV as to if they found a problem or found a fix. We would just see a new version of software in a few days. They did offer to send another tech out - may call them back to ask for it. BTW, they did charge me for the first tech even though they said they would waive that fee. I will mark that one off as the honest mistake I think it was. Just irks me to have a charge for someone to come out and do nothing more than a reset and reload of the software.

    To clarify a couple of things - it does not happen on all receivers at the same time. A couple of times this weekend, the receiver in the bedroom went out - the one other two were fine, and vice-versa. The receiver hooked to the Yamaha Soundbar used HDMI, the other two Toslink. My Mitsubishi TV's do not have HDMI (with they did, would simplify matters). Its not the multi-switch, I did as Carl suggested and took it out of the picture for a few hours.

    I have added the SD equiv. back into the menu and checked, no surprise to anyone, but the audio does not drop on the SD feeds - I know this does not prove anything since its different feed.

    I will try turning DD off and see if that makes a difference, but would sure hate to loose the quality of Dolby with as much as I have invested in speakers and AV equipment. Have to smile at that comment, standard audio is better that no audio isn't it.

    I did see in one forum that one other person was having this issue as well, and now see something similar in this thread also.

    I do use the menu path to do a reset, no offense taken at all, but I am familiar with computers - especially many versions of UNIX/LINUX and know the dangers of pulling the plug or pushing the big red button - been in IT for more years than I like to admit.

    Again, I do appreciate the help and suggestions from all. Sorry for the lack of responses this weekend, but decided to spend the weekend not looking at a computer screen since I get 10 hours a day of that already.

    Thanks again for the suggestions, I am taking them - and thanks for keeping this thread alive.
     
  13. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Again, there is no such thing that I know of as a "tech". Just installers. Perhaps they do have a point about waiting for a new NR, but don't be surprised if that comes and your audio problems persist.

    NO, NO, NO, don't let them get away with that! If they said they would waive the fee, hold them to that. They don't make "honest" mistakes, they make stupid mistakes and should be taken to task for them. Keep calling and fighting.

    Put the RCA jacks on and play and record the HD shows. See if that clears up your problem. Not that that will tell us much, but the more info we get the better we can do.

    And sacrifices have to be made when troubleshooting.

    I think I saw that one and it has nothing to do with your problem.

    There is no danger involved with pulling the plug. You are not going to lose anything. I've been pulling the plugs on DVRs for over six years now and nothing adverse has ever happened.

    The red button reset (RBR) is virtually useless as is the menu reset. You cannot deenergize the unit using these two methods. The most useless option is to reformat the disc. Thru all the troubles I've had, that has never done anything to solve a problem.

    Rich
     
  14. Steve

    Steve Well-Known Member

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    If he hasn't already, the OP should try replacing at least one TosLink cable on one of the problematic DVR/receiver pairs to see if the problem clears up on that unit. I've experienced similar problems in the past with both TosLink and co-axial digital audio connections from DVR's to audio receivers... random dropouts of DD 5.1 sound, and was able to cure the problem in both cases with new cables.

    I know it's odd that 3 cables are failing simultaneously, but short of electromagnetic interference blanketing the home, I can't think of any other explanation that fits the facts, since this problem is not a widely-reported issue on this forum.

    Just my .02. /steve
     
  15. gslater

    gslater Gone to the Dogs

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    One of my Hr21-200's has been having a similar problem for several weeks. However, I seem to only have it on the SD channels and it doesn't just come up randomly but occurs when changing channels, usually from HD to SD. My wife watches lifetime and complains because frequently when she switches to Lifetime there will be no sound. This affects a whole range of SD channels around Lifetime but if I switch back to the previous HD channel the sound is there. Usually hitting previous channel several times will fix it but there have been times where I had to just use channel up and traverse the nearby channels until the sound came back in and, on one occassion, I had to restart the receiver. I'm also having trouble on this same receiver with loss of video that basically does the same thing. I've confirmed just the other day that turning off the television set and starting it again resolves the video issue so I thought mine was all related to HDMI synching. I feel somewhat confident that the video issue is but I'm not so sure about the audio.
     
  16. Carl Spock

    Carl Spock Superfly

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    ^ Are you using HDMI? This could be a handshake issue.
     
  17. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    I cleared up a lot of video problems by having D* install a Slimline dish and renew all the cabling. I see you have one of the old "sidecar" dishes.

    Some TV sets still do have problems with HDMI and the 20/21s. Try component and optical wiring and should that combination clear up your audio problems, you will have your solution. You won't see any difference in picture quality using the component wires.

    Rich
     
  18. nelsonrl

    nelsonrl AllStar

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    Well, got a call from DirecTV last night asking if I wanted to upgrade my packages from Total Choice Plus to Premier. Told them fat chance until problems are resolved.

    :)
     
  19. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Wouldn't you think they would have your account flagged? And call you when your problems are fixed? They never cease to amaze me. How can a company with such a good product have such terrible customer relations? They are not the only ones. Verizon is just about as bad. Best reception, poor CR.

    What's going on with your audio issues?

    Rich
     
  20. nelsonrl

    nelsonrl AllStar

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    Nothing new to report - have not tried RCA jacks yet. Just have not had time to work through the rewire - mostly due to it being so darn hard to get to the back of the AV receiver. I am not convinced that that will fix things. I have turned DD off on the receiver that has the worst cast of dropped audio. Maybe its just me, but it does not seem to happen as often, but it does still happen.

    So, I am basically in a holding pattern right now, just need more hours in the day.
     

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