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ViP HD DVR Audio related Issues - (Post your current audio related issues Here)


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259 replies to this topic

#121 OFFLINE   Ron Barry

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 01:06 AM

You see, some have suggested that the problem could be due to a hardware defect or overheating of my ViP622.
I'll repeat: this is clearly not the case. As we all know very well, the problem started with a firmware upgrade. My ViP622 was perfect for almost a year before the dropouts started. And above all the dropouts happen only with *some channels* or *some shows*, and only in HD. Examples: *I've never had dropouts* with many HD shows such as "The Sopranos" on A&E. Never. Not even one. Watched almost the entire "The Sopranos" series on HD (it's Dolby Digital 2.0), through many different FW versions, and never had even one dropout.
On the other hand, I have dropouts *every time* with PBS OTA shows such as "NOVA" (Dolby Digital 2.0) and with many HDNet movies (mostly Dolby Digital 5.1) and also with shows such as "Enterprise" (this one started having dropouts after one of the latest FW upgrades, it's Dolby Digital 5.1).
Some have also suggested the problem is not widespread. I doubt it's true for a simple reason: people like my wife don't notice it. She's not an audiophile and therefore she doesn't tune in when the sound goes out for less than a second, like I do.


Your logic goes both ways Dr Cool.. If it was truly widespread and happening with a high rate of occurrence I am sure we will see more reports of issues given what you are describing is happening on HD nationals. It is possible that people are not watching what you are, but I have to expect that if it was happening in those shows I would expect others.

Sure it could be possible that hearing the audio issues could be related to the type of equipment installed (How good it does with audio) and how well people are tuned to the audio for sure. It also could be a perception that we each have on the frequency of audio issues. For some an occasional audio dropout goes on notice but to others it feels like a one of a thousand.

Also got the placebo effect going on. Read a bunch of thread about audio issues and then you start thinking you are hearing slight audio dropouts.

Not saying you fall into any of these categories Dr. Cool. Just some other possibilities that can be happening at any level from not happening to being part of peoples experiences that are being reported here.

That is what is so hard about these reports. People are definitely reporting differing experiences and the vary a lot which makes it really hard to pinpoint the exposure of the issues being reported. The only pattern I have been able to draw myself is that St. Louis is showing a pattern for the majority. All the other reports seem to be random in nature and could be anyone one of the above possibilities in addition to others not mentioned.

Tough nut to crack and a tough nut to even determine pain levels and exposure to the customer base.
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#122 OFFLINE   Dr. Cool

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 01:22 AM

Read my lips: I know what I'm hearing. I have an electronic engineering degree, have done electronic gear repairing as a part-time job while young, and have been an audiophile for more than 30 years now. My audio gear is perfect, any minor problem would never go unnoticed. My amplifier is not the problem, since dropouts also happen with the direct analog connection to the TV set, all other gear turned off except for the ViP622 and the TV.
There's clearly only one screwed up piece of gear here, and it's called ViP622.
There's one way your argument can be correct: my ViP622 has a very subtle hardware defect that makes it "able" to discriminate between "The Sopranos" and "Star Trek Enterprise", for example. It's not PCM versus Dolby Digital (both are Dolby Digital) and it's not 5.1 versus 2.0 (dropouts happen with both).
In my experience, this kind of hardware failure would be *extremely unlikely*. Much more likely that Dish engineers screwed up with one of the soft upgrades (soft became unable to deal with some data in the streams; hardware cannot do all the fast processing at times), and now they cannot find their way back. Oh, this I know, since I've worked as a software engineer too, so I know how sausages are made...

Edited by Dr. Cool, 24 February 2009 - 01:36 AM.


#123 OFFLINE   Ron Barry

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 09:11 AM

Not doubting what you are experiencing Dr. Cool. Where my doubts lie are in the fact that the lots of the people have them but they are just not hearing them. I know people that post here are definitely more sensitive to audio and video issues and would pick up on them if they were experiencing them and that does not appear to be the case at this moment.

Definitely a possibility that the reason some are experiencing this issue while others is not on nationals could be tied to the viewers usage patterns. I definitely don't watch the shows you indicated.

Couple of follow up questions. Is it limited to the programs you mentioned or are you seeing this across all content you are watching. Of the content you are watching what is the frequency you are seeing it (2 times an hour? 20 times an hour?). Does it happen 100% of the times. Is there one particular show it happens a lot on. I would like to see if it happens in my configuration.

There could also be a difference between 622 and 722. I have a 722 so I that could be a factor here.
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#124 OFFLINE   olguy

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 12:17 PM

Just to add some fuel to the fire... I have been recording all the CBS programs OTA via the 622 in order to have CC now that the 622 has 6.17 and there have been no audio problems. Last week I recorded ER OTA in that time slot and Eleventh Hour via satellite. When we watched Eleventh Hour last night there were a number of audio dropouts. I tried to set up CSY:NY tonight to record HD and SD via satellite and HD OTA as well. The 622 won't let me do that. I can get OTA and either HD or SD. It did, however let me do that for the local news at noon which is currently recording.

#125 OFFLINE   olguy

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 01:03 PM

Duh! I couldn't set the second sat timer on CSI:NY because Lost is running until 9:05. I set a manual for 9:10 so I'll have SD, HD and OTA for the same program to check for audio dropouts. And there were none on the HD local news on the CBS affiliate at noon today.

#126 ONLINE   phrelin

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 01:53 PM

Just to make it clear what we see in our household (which gets no OTA and its locals from San Francisco), at this time the audio dropouts are as follows:

NBC and CBS: 2 to 4 per 1 hour show; instantaneous and mostly not disruptive to the Dolby on my A/V tuner; sometimes repeatable and sometimes not; same on my 722 and 612.

ABC and Fox: about the same as NBC and CBS on my 612 (which has no updated software) but far fewer on my 722 and limited to transitions and commercials; the totally disruptive dropouts on my 722 were eliminated with the software update.

Cable and Premium Channels: very infrequent, but they do happen and the effects are the same as NBC and CBS though mostly not repeatable.

These results are based on experiences over a long period of time during which my 722 was swapped out by Echostar Engineering to help with solving the ABC and Fox problem.

I do have to pay attention now or I miss many dropouts; in fact it has gotten to the point that I miss some my wife hears. If we weren't so involved with the problem, I doubt we would notice most of the dropouts except on NBC and CBS.

This problem was in no way related to anything other than the way Dish processes the data stream between the time they get it from the channel and the time it appears on my A/V system out of the Dish box. I say that with conviction because the problem was originally reported by customers with 622's and 722's after a major software update. I say that because the reports came from certain DMA's around the country; for example, in California the problem is in the San Francisco and Sacramento DMA's but has not been reported in Los Angeles.

I'm now getting a new problem with locals (particularly on ABC and Fox on my 722) where the audio will start to "burble" (like it's under water) then go silent sometimes with a video freeze. It's happening more and more, such as during the Oscars Best Picture review of the the nominees.

I'd say the new problem might be a developing problem with my 722, but something similar occurs on the 612, a problem which has been reported for a long time now. My gut tells me it's happening when I'm recording two HD streams while watching a recording and skipping through the commercials. I have experimented with the 612 and see the frequency of this problem fall off when I don't watch anything from it when it is recording.

Heat is not a problem. Signal strength is no longer a problem for some of the HD cable channels now that Ciel 2 is up.

:rant:
As you might guess, I'm not happy that Echostar has moved on to marketing Sling when it has not expended sufficient resources to produce reliably clean A/V signals through the existing ViP DVR's. For me, acceptable noticeable A/V signal loss tolerances aren't what I'm getting. My guess is that we wouldn't see these problems if Charlie had simply settled with TiVo instead of straining the processing capabilities of the hardware. My guess is that had the Fox and ABC problem been in LA and NYC every engineer working for Dish would have been moved to a special lab in one of those DMA's until it was fixed.

I certainly hope moman19 can drive by some lab in St. Louis and wave to a team of frustrated Echostar engineers who otherwise couldn't see or solve the problem sitting in the Rockies.

Sorry, Ron, but I needed to rant.
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#127 OFFLINE   moman19

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 03:40 PM

.......There could also be a difference between 622 and 722. I have a 722 so I that could be a factor here.


There is ABSOLUTELY a difference between the 722 and the 622. I believe each uses a different Broadcom MPEG decoder.

While both my 622 and 722 suffered similar audio dropouts with earlier software releases, The 622 is completely cured while the 722 still has horrible and constant dropouts. I'm talking maybe 100+ drops per hour. Both are on L6.17. I think the 622 issues vanished with L6.16.
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#128 OFFLINE   Dr. Cool

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 05:34 PM

Couple of follow up questions. Is it limited to the programs you mentioned or are you seeing this across all content you are watching. Of the content you are watching what is the frequency you are seeing it (2 times an hour? 20 times an hour?). Does it happen 100% of the times. Is there one particular show it happens a lot on. I would like to see if it happens in my configuration.

There could also be a difference between 622 and 722. I have a 722 so I that could be a factor here.


Yes, I'd also bet that the 622 and the 722 behave differently under different FW versions, assuming that they really have different AV processors.
My audio dropouts however are pretty consistent, here is what I could gather up to now:
(1) My wife's lineup is almost entirely made of HD channels and she *loves* to zap. When she is zapping, we *never* hear audio dropouts, no matter if it's OTA or Sat channels. So I can discard dropouts with live programming with almost 100% of certainty.
(2) Even when she's not zapping, if it's live there's never a dropout, at least with the shows she watches, like some on Food Channel (Emeril, etc.), HGTV, TLC (Jon and Kate plus 8, Seventeen and Counting). She always watches them live, and there was never a dropout.
(3) When we record, or there's absolutely no dropout (A&E "The Sopranos") or there are always dropouts, depending naturally on the FW version, such as more recently with HDNet "Enterprise." I don't record many series in HD however (most of the series that I watch I record in SD).
(4) Movies in HD or don't present any dropout or have always and consistently the same dropout pattern. It appears to me that the higher the quality of image, the higher the chance of dropouts, but there's no way to really know. B&W movies also have dropouts. Most of the movies that I watch come from HDNet Movies, MGM Movies and Universal, and it appears to me that all of them can be affected.
(5) The frequency of dropouts is very consistent across sources. No matter if it's an OTA show or a Dish movie, if there's a dropout, there'll be more to follow, and frequency, I would guess, is about one every 10 minutes. They are very short, but long enough to make the amplifier panel "blink" (as in a stream loss) and to make a word in a dialogue incomprehensible.
(6) *VIDEO IS ALWAYS PERFECT*. I find it amazing that only audio is screwed up, video processing should be much harder to get right, and yet it has never been affected.
(7) Since one of the latest FW upgrades I started to also have the "burble" or "metallic robot" sound that phrelin and others are talking about. It's less common than the audio dropouts, but for sure I never noticed them before. It's a pretty bizarre sound, I'd have noticed if it had been there before.
(8) I've never had audio dropouts with the defunct *ZOOM* channels, and I watched them a lot. Picture & sound of those channels were glorious relative to mainstream consumer standards. I was clearly a happier costumer then...

I always wondered if the hard drive isn't the culprit, but then, how is it possible that video is not affected???

Edited by Dr. Cool, 24 February 2009 - 05:40 PM.


#129 OFFLINE   moman19

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 05:46 PM

Dr, Cool -- I'm sorry to say that your issue is far different from mine because in my case (and others in St. Louis) it is almost exclusively limited to the local HD channels. I don't see (hear) this at all on the channels you mention. This dovetails with Ron's explanation. I don't doubt that you're having some real issues, but they are most likely not related to what's going on down here and in a few other locations. I base this on the fact that I have not seen any similar reports from others in your location. But who knows????? It may be time to swap receivers and see what happens. Have you tried?

Phrelin and I used to have similar reports. But now he's getting issues on channel/receivers that work fine for me and Vice Versa. This illustrates how the issue varies from place to place and box to box.

Edited by moman19, 24 February 2009 - 05:52 PM.

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#130 OFFLINE   Dr. Cool

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 05:53 PM

Dr, Cool -- I'm sorry to say that your issue is far different from mine because in my case (and others in St. Louis) it is almost exclusively limited to the local HD channels. I don't see (hear) this at all on the channels you mention. This dovetails with Ron's explanation. I don't doubt that you're having some real issues, but they are most likely not related to what's going on down here and in a few other locations. I base this on the fact that I have not seen any similar reports from others in your location. But who knows????? It may be time to swap receivers and see what happens. Have you tried?

Phrelin and I used to have similar reports. But now he's getting issues on channel/receivers that work fine for me and Vice Versa. This illustrates how the issue varies from place to place and box to box.


Yes, I'm starting to consider doing it, if only to discard the possibility of hardware failure.

#131 OFFLINE   moman19

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 05:53 PM

....I certainly hope moman19 can drive by some lab in St. Louis and wave to a team of frustrated Echostar engineers who otherwise couldn't see or solve the problem sitting in the Rockies......


Huh? I would grab them by the shorts if I could, but I know of no E* engineers in this part of the world.;)

So moving to Ciel 2 made no difference? That's bad. The St. Louis locals are currently on the 118 sat but are also supposed to move to Ciel 2. I was hoping the move might somehow magically resolve the issue.
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#132 OFFLINE   moman19

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 05:57 PM

Yes, I'm starting to consider doing it, if only to discard the possibility of hardware failure.


Go for it. At worse, it eliminates a big variable. At best, your problem goes Bye, bye.
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#133 OFFLINE   Dr. Cool

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 05:58 PM

Dr, Cool -- I'm sorry to say that your issue is far different from mine because in my case (and others in St. Louis) it is almost exclusively limited to the local HD channels. I don't see (hear) this at all on the channels you mention. This dovetails with Ron's explanation. I don't doubt that you're having some real issues, but they are most likely not related to what's going on down here and in a few other locations. I base this on the fact that I have not seen any similar reports from others in your location. But who knows????? It may be time to swap receivers and see what happens. Have you tried?

Phrelin and I used to have similar reports. But now he's getting issues on channel/receivers that work fine for me and Vice Versa. This illustrates how the issue varies from place to place and box to box.


Although... Do you watch lots of *recorded* stuff from HDNet, MGM and Universal? Because one thing I can tell you: almost all dropouts that I have or come from these three Sat channels or come from OTA channels.

If you don't watch recorded shows from HDNET, MGM and Universal, then it could perfectly be that the problems that you have in the end are only different from mine due to differences in OTA streams.

Edited by Dr. Cool, 24 February 2009 - 06:04 PM.


#134 OFFLINE   CopyChief

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Posted 25 February 2009 - 11:25 AM

Dr Cool, I really think your issue is a different one than we're seeing, at least in St. Louis. I do record shows from non-local HD stations (including HDNet, we don't subscribe to MGM or Universal so I can't speak to those) and have never noticed as much as an audio blip on those.

On two of our satellite-delivered HD locals, the CBS and NBC affiliates, we're getting audio drops on nearly every network series. Drops occur both over the optical cable and on the TV2 coax connection.

The drops occur very frequently, at least every couple of minutes, and often in groups of two or three. They seem to last around half a second each. Often, they're repeatable with a rewind.

Another glitch seems as if it has become more common, too. Occasionally the video and audio will "freeze". I can rewind to get out of the freeze, and often I'm a minute or so ahead of where I thought I should be in the program. When I start playing again, there's often a drop right around the point of the freeze.

#135 OFFLINE   Dr. Cool

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 12:36 AM

CopyChief, thanks for the info.

#136 OFFLINE   Dood

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 07:57 AM

Well, I must say that I recorded Survivor last night on the local STL HD channel and there were NO sounds drops. None.

Have they fixed it or is this a tease?
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#137 OFFLINE   HobbyTalk

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 11:08 AM

Could be your local station has fixed their problem. Only way to know is to continue watching. I know at some times my local stations are terrible with my A/V receiver losing sync a lot. Most times there are no problems. I know I wish none of them would change audio formats between programming and commercials ;)
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#138 OFFLINE   moman19

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 01:47 PM

Well, I must say that I recorded Survivor last night on the local STL HD channel and there were NO sounds drops. None.

Have they fixed it or is this a tease?


That's KMOV (CBS), right? If you viewed it in a buffered state (not real time) and you're certain it was via sat and not OTA and you noticed no dropouts during the commercial breaks (I find most dropouts occur during film and not during video tape), it may have been resolved.

I hope you are right on all counts.
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#139 OFFLINE   Ron Barry

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 01:57 PM

Well it would be a fix at the sending end then since there was no update on the receiver end. People from St. Louis, report back in a few days or earlier if this truly is the case.
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#140 OFFLINE   moman19

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 09:31 PM

Well it would be a fix at the sending end then since there was no update on the receiver end. People from St. Louis, report back in a few days or earlier if this truly is the case.


Oh, if only it was true. After Dood's report, I thought I would check on tonite's episodes of Ghost Whisperer and Numb3rs on the local CBS afilliate........Audio dropouts all over the place. No change. Zero drops in real time. But hit the PAUSE button for a few seconds or SKIP BACK and I'm hearing several per minute. It's non-stop. Hit the LIVE button and they vanish!
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