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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Audio lag / lip sync for 4 months!!


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9 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   toadfacedfrump

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Posted 08 January 2009 - 12:24 PM

Hello all, and please - HELP!!! :(

I became a DISH Network customer approximately 4 months ago, and have experienced horrible audio lag since day one. I have a pet peeve about such behavior, and it is really about to become a deal breaker for me. Also, I'm now on my 3rd 625 receiver and second 311 receiver, and the issues remain!! :(

Here are the litany of problems that may cause me to break my 2 year commitment: The audio sync on both receivers is horrible - like watching martial arts movies 24/7; both receivers video will freeze up for several seconds while watching a program - very troublesome on any program, but especially boxing; the video looks like a streaming live web cam experiment gone horribly wrong from the early days of the Internet; the first 2 625 receivers hard drives became corrupted; both receivers will suddenly shut down for no apparent reason; error messages will suddenly pop up while just watching a program normally; and programming will break up and disappear on even clear, bright, sunny days. These are the most common ailments we are having to deal with, and if this is any indication of DISH Network's normal quality of service, I will have to switch to Direct TV. All my friends and family have Direct, and they wonder what I'm doing sticking with DISH. Now, so am I. This seems like a sad Beta version of DISH

I did a little research here and on CNET, and it appears most people had the same audio problem several years ago, but for the most part it has been resolved. What is causing my problems I wonder?

Also, does anyone know if the dual HD TV DVR receivers are backwards compatible with SD TV's? I don't have a HD TV yet, but plan on buying 1 with my income tax refund. All our TV's are standard analog.

Thank you for any and all replies and suggestions of how to remedy these problems. BTW, I do have both receivers set to download updates each night.

Edited by toadfacedfrump, 08 January 2009 - 12:25 PM.
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#2 OFFLINE   Mark Lamutt

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Posted 08 January 2009 - 01:39 PM

Hello toadfacedfrump, and welcome to DBStalk! :hi:

Yes, the HD receivers are compatible with SD sets, however, I believe these days that you'll have to order an HD package to lease one of the HD DVRs (I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong about this).

Sounds like there's something wrong with your install...2 hard drives failing in 4 months is almost unheard of. The video and audio problems are also troubling, as they are definitely not standard or normal. Video freezing could indicate a weak satellite signal (check your signal levels from the Point Dish screen under Menu-Install (Menu-6-1).

I've also seen video freeze on a unit with a hard drive that's about to go (one of my old 508s that is now dead). Check your install, or have a tech do it - there's something really not right...
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#3 OFFLINE   toadfacedfrump

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Posted 08 January 2009 - 11:04 PM

Hello Mark, and thank you very much for the prompt reply and welcome!! :)

I just checked the setting you recommended, and here is what I have showing:

Signal strength: 66-67

Azimuth: N/A Elevation: N/A Skew: N/A

Signal meter has been modified. Select Help for details.

Locked - EchoStar 119 West

When I select Help, it shows a recent software update may cause the signal to show lower than what is actually displayed. Strange.

I was wondering what is the proper/average signal strength users can expect? Also, if I try to adjust the dish myself, and it was professionally installed at no expense, will this void my warranty?

Thank you again for your help, and I hope this gave you more insight into my problems.

#4 OFFLINE   dandoshan

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Posted 08 January 2009 - 11:27 PM

May not help but I see in my 722 receiver in setup where they ask if you want audio sync to HD or SD. Don't know if this would make any difference. I notice that my audio gets out of sync occasionally also. But I find that if I leave the dish input on my TV remote and then shuffle back to the dish input the audio is back in sync.
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#5 OFFLINE   toadfacedfrump

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Posted 08 January 2009 - 11:51 PM

Thank you dan!! :) I'll check into that as well.

#6 OFFLINE   Mark Lamutt

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 11:23 AM

Signal strenth of 66 is more than adequate, but you should also check satellite 110, and especially 129 on various transponders. Tune to one the HD channels that you're seeing the problems, and then go to the point dish screen. 119 and 110 signals are almost always stronger for users today than 129 signals (at least for the time being).
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#7 OFFLINE   toadfacedfrump

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 01:10 AM

Hello again Mark. I tried Dan's suggestion, to no avail. :(

I don't understand a few things in your reply though Mark. What is Satellite 129? I can try/use different satellites to see which one gives the best overall signal across the board? Is that the same with transponders? I don't want to start changing and trying different settings for fear I'll lose my programming altogether. I guess the safe way to do it is write down my current settings, then try a new one (and write it down as well). And so forth, keeping a written record of each change. Is that about right?

Also, I tried your experiment. I tuned to the local NBC affiliate, Channel 5, which has horrible audio lag - as do all local stations -, and of course the several seconds lag was still there. :( According to the Point Dish screen, that is Satellite 110 on Transponder 20, with a signal strength of 44-46.

My other test channel was TV Land (Channel 106) and an episode of MASH at the time, and the audio lag is much better on that channel, but it is off ever so slightly, but you have to watch very close to catch it - which is a major plus. :) But most of the time even TV Land or any other channel has severe audio lag of several seconds. According to the Point Dish screen, the Satellite is 119 on Transponder 13, with a signal strength of 73-74.

The time of the test was approximately 1:00 A.M Central 01/10/2009. Also, how do I know a channel is in HD? It does not show such detail when I press the Information button. Everything else is there except that information. I gather by this you believe it is an HD problem? And if so, is this a common problem?

Thank you and Dan again for your very valuable time and attention on this for me, and I hope you will elaborate a little more on how to try different satellites and transponders. In the meantime, I'll search and see what I can find too. If anybody else wants to help, I'd be forever grateful. :D

BTW, this is going on 4 days since I e-mailed Dish Network CS regarding this continuing problem, and I still have not heard back from them. Why did I e-mail instead of call? Simple. Even though the tech reps I have talked with were very courteous and tried to help me as much as they possibly could, over half have been of a foreign accent I had to struggle to understand, and they mine. I spent 1.75 hours on the phone with one very kind tech with a heavy accent - same with the other tech with an accent I was on the phone with for over an hour; they both hated to let me go with the problem unresolved and just the offer of a new receiver. The 2-3 reps I could actually understand were also very helpful as well, and altogether I've spent well over 6 hours on the phone with 5-6 different reps. Yep, I've lost track and refuse to call back. That is why I e-mailed Dish. If I don't get a reply by Tuesday, I'll probably call and cancel my service because enough is enough.

Edited by toadfacedfrump, 10 January 2009 - 01:43 AM.


#8 OFFLINE   Michael P

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 11:15 AM

There is a setting in the menu for audio sync. The default is for HDTV. If you have an SD hooked up to TV1 you have to change this setting to get proper sync.

I'm not at home now to tell you exactly where this setting is, but I do use it that way myself (my main TV is connected via S-Video). Analog connections are "faster" than digital, so if you were using HDMI (the HD digital conection) the audio would have to be delayed to match the latency in the digital output.

BTW: Some lip sync problems are the fault of the broadcaster, however if it's bad on all channels than I'm willing to bet the fix is in the set-up menu.

EDIT: I just reread your original post - you do not have an HD (ViP) receiver, so there may not be this setting in your menu. HD receivers are compatible with SD tv's, my set-up is proof!

BTW2: Signal strength has no bearing on audio sync! Digital data is a stream of numbers, some numbers make up the picture others make up the sound. There are no seperate "channels" for picture and sound in digital, all the data is sent together in one stream. I will once again restate that lip sync issues may be the fault of the broadcasters. The worst offenders are the local channels. There are a lot of paramaters that the local station engineers have to deal with to send out a correct signal. Sometimes the sync varies with each commercial. I would not be too quick to blame Dish, the same lousy sync issues may also be experienced via the local cable system or even OTA.

BTW3: Hard drives go bad if your A/C service fluctuates. I purchased a UPS before hooking up my 622 (after 10 921's that went bad). My lights have a slight flilcker form time to time. The bad power may not harm the light bulbs but that same flicker could wreck havoc on a DVR.

Edited by Michael P, 10 January 2009 - 11:28 AM.

An E* subscriber continuously since February 1997.

#9 OFFLINE   toadfacedfrump

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 12:10 PM

Thank you Michael, and as the very funny Drew Carey says - Cleveland rocks!! :)

Thank you very much for your time and expertise. I did check my Audio settings, and all I have are the Dolby Digital screen, of which I have it set for PCM only as I have just a basic 25" Sylvania analog TV hooked to it, which doesn't even have stereo.

I'll probably try and get new HD receivers and see if they help. I again appreciate your explanation of the satellite signal - between yourself, Mark, Dan, and Wikipedia, I'm learning quite a lot about satellites and how they work. As you stated, it could be the local stations engineers, as they have been cutting not only those positions in the Memphis, TN area, but also longtime on-air talent and other support staff. So I'm assuming the higher paid, more skilled engineers have been laid off or went to other jobs to try and get a fair wage for said expertise. And that leaves you with engineers who may not have that same level of skill yet who will work for lesser wages.

I never noticed it with OTA, but then again, I never had the DTV issue until this point in U.S. history. America loves to try, and usually does, lead in technology; but as I understand it, in the U.K. they have had digital TV for many years now, and they must be looking at our transition as somewhat of a joke. I realize they pay a TV tax, but I'd almost be willing to do that if the DTV signal was worth a crap here in the U.S. As it stands, DTV is one reason I went with Dish, because the converter boxes are a joke. I have a very tall outdoor antenna, and the official DTV transition website suggests getting the tallest outdoor antenna you can with a motor attached to it because you may (will in my area) have to adjust it for each channel. That is a sad reflection of American technology as I know it. I'm 43, and can't believe how far we have fallen behind. I don't have a motor on my antenna, and will not get one because I can't see truly enjoying the TV experience if I have to basically re-point the signal every time I change a channel. My 75 year old mother hates the boxes, as do I and my fiancee, so they had to go. They would not pull in a decent signal for anything. Made Mom and my fiancee think I was clueless about the technology, which I am, but I know with a nice outdoor antenna, you should not have to reorient it every channel change.

It isn't a power supply issue, thank God. I have an APC UPS (ES 550's) for each of my desktop PCs, and may get another one for my TV and video in the future, but that is really a non-issue at my home. I have it for the computers because as you well know, it helps regulate and keep the current flowing equally during surges or brown outs. Excellent for any electrical component, I realize, but just don't see buying one until I get a decent LCD HD TV, which I am going to buy one with my income tax refund. But then I have to worry about the Dish remote working with the TV codes, as in my research on LCD TV's in my price range of $500-$900, some people can't get the TV's to recognize the Dish remotes. But I guess another $100 on an APC UPS is very prudent thinking.

Thank you again Michael, and if you have any more ideas please let me know. :) Leonard

Edited by toadfacedfrump, 10 January 2009 - 12:16 PM.
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#10 OFFLINE   Michael P

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 04:38 PM

If your OTA stations are located in multiple directions, then an omnidirectional "saucer" antenna may be the solution. Most have built-in amplifiers which help in most cases (except in mine). I live in the Cleveland antenna farm, so close to the tranmsmitters that their tower lights illuminate the neighborhood. Amplifiers overload in this situation. I used to use an omni with the power inserter removed. I now use a "Silver Sensor" aimed at the most distant station (57 miles away). Everything else is around 1 mile away. I usualy watch the satellite delivered version of the stations, and when a problem arises (such as your lip sync issue) I can switch to the OTA to see if it's E* or the local station's fault. I've yet to see a lip sync issue that was exclusivly on the Dish feed of a local station.
An E* subscriber continuously since February 1997.




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