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Optical Digital Audio Dropouts


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19 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Beornan

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Posted 10 April 2007 - 09:21 PM

Software: L366RBED-N
Bootstrap: 1711RBED

After playing a while, especially if I've had to pause / backstep a bit, the digital (5.1) optical output starts dropping in and out. I run an Onkyo TX-DS474, which supports both Dolby Digital and DTS. The display on the Onkyo has a [Dolby Digital] display with a box around it, and the box flickers in sync with the dropouts. All the while, the analog output has no dropouts, just sounds like garbage compared to the HD Audio. Only solution is to reboot the device (hold button in 6 seconds) and wait for it to come back up.

Any advice?

Oh, and how would I update my receiver to the new 401 from 366?

Thanks,

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#2 OFFLINE   Ron Barry

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Posted 10 April 2007 - 10:29 PM

:welcome_s to DBSTalk Beornan

How often are you seeing this and is it specific to a channel. Have you tried jumping back when it occurs? Also some times a PIP swap can correct these experiences. L4.01 has improved my audio experiences.

As for getting it.. There is no way to update it by yourself. The software is pushed from Dish and Dish controls what receivers get it. There is no way you can call dish and ask to be put on the list. It is the luck of the draw.

However, We have been asked a few times to take the initial release and provide feedback so if you are interested in getting it first I would keep an eye out here for request to take the hit.
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#3 OFFLINE   Slordak

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Posted 11 April 2007 - 08:30 AM

I don't think there's any point in submitting further reports about optical audio dropouts on L366. We really need to re-test on newer software versions and see if this is still an issue or if it has been resolved.

#4 OFFLINE   Beornan

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Posted 11 April 2007 - 01:16 PM

Thank you Ron.

This happens on any channel, but we mostly watch recorded content. It happens quite often. I can't hardly get through an episode of Smallville DVRed from HDNET without it starting. When it starts, a quick backstep will sometimes fix it, but usually is just prolonging the inevitable, and it eventually gets into a continual random clip mode.

I don't think there's any point in submitting further reports about optical audio dropouts on L366. We really need to re-test on newer software versions and see if this is still an issue or if it has been resolved.


If I had a newer version I would be glad to test it and submit my input. However, I am stuck with L366 and have no choice but to ask kindly for help with any options available.

One question about audio options:
Main Menu
6 - System Setup
7 - Dolby Digital
There are two sets of options for an External Decoder here:
1: Dolby Digital/PCM, Dolby Digital only, PCM only
2. Line Mode, RF Mode
Currently my system is set to:
Dolby Digital/PCM
RF Mode

If I change these, I don't notice any difference with the audio. Does it require a system restart for the changes to go into effect or something? Any advice on configuration?

Thank you,

#5 OFFLINE   Ron Barry

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Posted 11 April 2007 - 01:46 PM

Nope... Unless this has been fixed. These changes do not do anything. I think on optical they do DD/PCM. as for RF/Line. My understanding based on another post was if you are doing audio using optical use Line and if using coax set it to RF. I am sure someone will fill in the Line/RF gaps since I have not done this in a while and my memory is really foggy on it.
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#6 OFFLINE   tnsprin

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Posted 11 April 2007 - 02:43 PM

Nope... Unless this has been fixed. These changes do not do anything. I think on optical they do DD/PCM. as for RF/Line. My understanding based on another post was if you are doing audio using optical use Line and if using coax set it to RF. I am sure someone will fill in the Line/RF gaps since I have not done this in a while and my memory is really foggy on it.


They work fine for me. One of my receivers is attached to an older stereo which doesn't do DD (it does do Dolby surround), so I have to set it to PCM only. If I set it at Dolby digital/pcm, I get no sound with DD sources or no sound at all with DD only.

I believe line/rf has nothing to do with the optical connector and has to do with the rca jack outputs. If connecting to a dolby surround decoder set to line. If a simple stereo, or most Tv's set it to RF.

Not sure any of these settings effect HDMI connections.
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#7 OFFLINE   Ron Barry

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Posted 11 April 2007 - 02:50 PM

Hmmm Then they fixed this.. I played with it a while back (6 months back) and those settings did not do anything. So if you are hooking it to a receiver that supports DD then use DD/PCM. That would be the safest route.

As for the line/rf... I know I would get that one wrong. :) Could not remember it exactly and was going off the top. Thanks for the correction tnsprin.
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#8 OFFLINE   Andy Smith

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 01:07 PM

To the original poster:

I have had this issue since I owned a 622 which is a tad over a year. I have tried everything to fix it. I also have an Onkyo receiver that is about 7 years old. The best I can tell you is that the problem is when the hardware has to switch from pro logic to dolby digital real fast. This happens when you skip commercials. I can repeat the issue every time and always have been able to. I even tried fiber to Coaxial audio converters to see if it would put up with the signal loss better but it still had the same problem.

So in conclusion I believe this to be a problem with the receiver and not the 622. From what I can tell the model Onkyo I have cannot handle the quick change of signal. I change audio sources vid2 back to vid1 or just switch analog/digital and it's back. I have gotten use to it and hope my next receiver will not suffer from this issue. Wish I had a solution to your problem :(.

This is just my 2 cents but our problem is so identical I believe this to be the case.

#9 OFFLINE   wje

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 01:22 PM

Line vs RF mode is a setting for Dolby audio, it really has nothing to do with optical vs coax. Dolby calls these 'Dynamic Range Profiles'. RF mode applies more volume compression to the audio, Line mode doesn't. However, some of what it does depends upon the decoding end (your amp or TV). Line mode is the preferred setting for almost all cases; it gives the decoding end more control over the volume processing. RF mode was originally intended for Dolby audio on an RF subcarrier, ie, a real RF broadcast, so the dynamic range of the audio would be constrained to a known range. This was to prevent overmodulation of the carrier.

If you're interested:

http://www.dolby.com...AllMetadata.pdf

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#10 OFFLINE   Mike D-CO5

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 01:36 PM

I notice that if I use RF instead of line mode, I get a stronger louder volume on my 2nd tv hooked up to my 622. In line mode the sound flucuates and it gets low and I have to turn it up loud to hear it. In rf mode it sounds consistent and I can listen to it in a lower volume and still hear it.

#11 OFFLINE   wje

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 01:38 PM

I notice that if I use RF instead of line mode, I get a stronger louder volume on my 2nd tv hooked up to my 622. In line mode the sound flucuates and it gets low and I have to turn it up loud to hear it. In rf mode it sounds consistent and I can listen to it in a lower volume and still hear it.


That's essentially what it does... it compresses the high and low volumes into a smaller range. So, you hear less volume change going from soft to loud than you would with line mode, which doesn't compress it. One good use for RF mode on the 622 is if you want to listen at night without cranking the volume up too much... you can enable RF mode, keep the volume low, and still be able to hear everything. Audio purists should keep in mind that you are losing a lot of dynamic range, though.

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#12 OFFLINE   Beornan

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 05:10 PM

Well, thank you all for the keen insight to several aspects of my setup. Andy, I'm curious if we have the same Onkyo receiver. And just as much, I am curious if anyone has bought a new Onkyo and can skip / pause without any dropout problems? Because I'm starting to consider a replacement for my system, to get one with more optical inputs, and hopefully even better quality, such as the TX-SR674B.

Oh, and by the way, just last night, I received L403. Wonder if they read my post and decided it was my time? hehe. I like the little faded HD backgrounds on high-def properties.

#13 OFFLINE   mikeyinokc

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 10:01 AM

I too have an Onkyo receiver. The 622 audio is hooked up using an optical cable. The 622 now has 4.03 and I still have audio dropouts, that I believe are only there while watching OTA HD live. I will go back this evening and check the recorded programs.

#14 OFFLINE   laqbn

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 10:29 AM

I too have an Onkyo receiver. The 622 audio is hooked up using an optical cable. The 622 now has 4.03 and I still have audio dropouts, that I believe are only there while watching OTA HD live. I will go back this evening and check the recorded programs.


I also have 4.03 hooked up to A Harmon Kardon via Optical. And I have continual optical digital dropouts. Last night I watched Lost recorded from ABC local, NO DROPOUTS!! but after that I watched Survivor recorded from CBS local and I had hundreds of Optical digital audio dropouts. I'm hoping that was a local station problem since Survivor is not in HD therefor maybe they had a DD 5.1 issue.

#15 OFFLINE   Guitar1969

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 12:17 PM

I don't think there's any point in submitting further reports about optical audio dropouts on L366. We really need to re-test on newer software versions and see if this is still an issue or if it has been resolved.



I still have the same optical audio dropout issues on L403 mainly on network locals(through Dish) - I am so disappointed in the 622 at this point.

#16 OFFLINE   Slordak

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 01:24 PM

There are still problems with various high definition locals, but I think that a lot of those have to do with the source paired with the MPEG-4 transcoding. If I had to guess, I would guess that with L403, most of the optical audio drop-outs on other channels (i.e. other than locals) should be resolved. Dish Network in general is still working on improving the transcoding of locals to MPEG-4.

#17 OFFLINE   wje

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 02:06 PM

Since 403, I've been having a fair amount of very short audio/video droputs, less than one second, far more than I ever noticed before. They happen randomly, and every one I can remember has been on an HD program (Planet Earth, in particular... several times per show). It's almost like a few frames are getting dropped since the video is lost, too. However, there's no pixelation or any resync delay; it's just like a bit was snipped out.

I used to use optical, but now use HDMI for the audio also. I have Dolby + PCM mode enabled, and I use line mode audio compression. I wonder if this has anything to do with the large number of lost locks I've been getting since 401?

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#18 OFFLINE   plasmacat

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Posted 17 April 2007 - 10:35 AM

Since 403, I've been having a fair amount of very short audio/video droputs, less than one second, far more than I ever noticed before. They happen randomly, and every one I can remember has been on an HD program (Planet Earth, in particular... several times per show). It's almost like a few frames are getting dropped since the video is lost, too. However, there's no pixelation or any resync delay; it's just like a bit was snipped out.

I used to use optical, but now use HDMI for the audio also. I have Dolby + PCM mode enabled, and I use line mode audio compression. I wonder if this has anything to do with the large number of lost locks I've been getting since 401?


When I watched the Rain Forest ep of Planet Earth I had this problem also. Not just audio but video also was lost. However other shows I've watched since then were OK so I assume there were problems with the Planet Earth broadcast.

#19 OFFLINE   dbconsultant

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Posted 17 April 2007 - 10:40 AM

When I watched the Rain Forest ep of Planet Earth I had this problem also. Not just audio but video also was lost. However other shows I've watched since then were OK so I assume there were problems with the Planet Earth broadcast.


Planet Earth has been really bad about audio/video skips and rewinding/pausing just shows the skip in the same place. Some have only one skip, others have had multiple. Saw this when I had 366 and the same with 403 so I don't think it's related to the upgrade. Too bad because it's an excellent series but the missing 'chunks' are really annoying.

#20 OFFLINE   TallGuyXP

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Posted 17 April 2007 - 10:47 AM

To the original poster:

I have had this issue since I owned a 622 which is a tad over a year. I have tried everything to fix it. I also have an Onkyo receiver that is about 7 years old. The best I can tell you is that the problem is when the hardware has to switch from pro logic to dolby digital real fast. This happens when you skip commercials. I can repeat the issue every time and always have been able to. I even tried fiber to Coaxial audio converters to see if it would put up with the signal loss better but it still had the same problem.

So in conclusion I believe this to be a problem with the receiver and not the 622. From what I can tell the model Onkyo I have cannot handle the quick change of signal. I change audio sources vid2 back to vid1 or just switch analog/digital and it's back. I have gotten use to it and hope my next receiver will not suffer from this issue. Wish I had a solution to your problem :(.

This is just my 2 cents but our problem is so identical I believe this to be the case.


This seems to explain my issue too... On my system, I loose audio for about 4-5 seconds when the program switches from DD to non-DD, normally when commercials begin. Switching back to DD incurs no dropout. It happens both over the optical digital cable and, now, with 4.02, with audio over the HDMI cable. I have a new JVC D702B receiver rather than his Onkyo though. I don't recall noticing this problem a couple months back, but OTOH, I don't think it started with 4.02 either.
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