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Audio dropouts?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by BKC, Nov 7, 2009.

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  1. Mar 17, 2010 #561 of 1365
    mjbvideo

    mjbvideo AllStar

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    This guy is joking, right? This would have been a good posting on April Fools Day.
    Anyway, like most people my audio dropouts began after one of the NR's in 2009. I include the brrriips in the audio dropout category. I also am PO'd that DirecTv has some amateurs encoding their commercial inserts because I still am getting occassional glass breaking, super distorted, super loud audio. Most of their inserts are OK though.
    It boggles my mind that such a technical company can have so many bugs that never seem to get fixed. Do they even have a Quality Assurance group? If so, then I bet they report to the marketing department...in other words they don't have any power in the organization.
     
  2. Mar 17, 2010 #562 of 1365
    betterdan

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    Well I ran the disk scan veryoldschool recommended but I fell asleep after 30 minutes of it running (it was at 32%). When I woke up it was finished and the HR20 was back up and running so I didn't get to see any error messages if they did show but I am guessing there were none since the box was back up.
    It may be just a coincidence but I tuned to a couple of the channels I was having drop outs problems with (NBC, Speed HD) and so far I haven't heard any drop outs. I am keeping my fingers crossed but I'll test it more tonight.

    Oh yea, it sure didn't help the speed. It is taking 5 seconds to bring the guide up when pressing the button but I can live with that, the audio dropouts are the most annoying thing. last night watching The Biggest Loser I was getting audio dropouts every couple minutes watching it on live tv.
     
  3. Mar 17, 2010 #563 of 1365
    Spoffo

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    Not to pick a fight, but just to illustrate the quirky nature of this problem, I recorded the exact same transmission - the debut of "The PACIFIC" off HBO East HD Sunday night - on my HR20-700 (2006 vintage - running the national firmware that was rolled out a few weeks ago) It played back (audio via optical to my Onkyo 804 receiver) just perfectly. In fact, I haven't noticed a single audio dropout since a bunch on my local NBC HD back during the Olympics.

    This isn't about boasting. It's that my experience clearly represents the majority of D's HD-DVR customers. I don't doubt that some people are having a terrible time with dropouts and "Brrrrps" and that it seems to date to the firmware update back around October. But if it isn't a universal problem, what's called for is some systematic trouble-shooting to try to figure out why you are having this problem and other people with identical equipment aren't. That kind of data will help you and the folks at D solve this.

    My widely-ridiculed idea of using analog audio was offered in this spirit, as a potential diagnostic tool to help pin down whether in fact this this is definitely a Dolby decoding issue. Also, I was offering it as a work-around. If I were having terrible dropouts, and there was a program I wanted to watch tonight, I'd rather watch it with a clean stereo track than have the experience ruined by dropouts.

    That said, the fact that this traces to the firmware upgrade in October is a big clue: that was the first national release that included MRV. AND, these dropout symptoms are awfully familiar to those of us who've been working with MRV for a while. Which suggests some possible diagnostic steps, all of them only educated guesses but worth trying:

    #1 - Check your signal strength. If you're under 75 on any transponders, get your dish tweaked. Yes, the dropouts aren't at all what you're used to seeing from marginal signal strength, but they ARE very similar to what you see in MRV playback with a marginal network connection.

    #2 - Do you have MRV enabled on any of your receivers? If so try turning it off and see if anything changes. Conversely, if you don't, try turning MRV on and see if anything changes.

    #3 - How much headroom do you have on your hard disk? If it's more than 80% full, that might be the cause. Back in the days before DRVs, some of us used the old Panasonic Hard disk-equipped DVD recorders for time shifting, and if the disk got close to full, all sorts of bad stuff, including seemingly random dropouts, would occur. So, if you're 85% or 90% full, try deleting a bunch of programs and see if that helps.

    #4 - Some folks have reported situations where a recording was playing back with dropouts, but the live feed of the same program wasn't. It would really help if lots of people did some systematic testing of this idea, and it would be important to test this on the exact same feed. If you can confirm that the problem consistently applies only to recordings and not live feeds, that would be a giant clue (possibly related to the MRV idea.)

    Think like you're chasing a computer bug, and you'll probably come up with other systematic ways to try to generate data points. For example, if you have multiple ways to decode dolby (e.g. HDMI to receiver, HDMI to TV set, Optical to receiver, etc) switch around between them during a single program and see if there's a difference. Likewise, if you have access to multiple HDMI cables, try switching them around. Audio dropouts could be a symptom of HDMI handshake issues from a poor cable.

    The more repeatable data you can generate the faster the people at D can find a solution.
     
  4. Mar 17, 2010 #564 of 1365
    veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Not to pick one with you either "but" I think you've mixed up some of the features/releases.
    October was the second with doubleplay, which is where a lot of the hard drive thrashing seemed to have come, while only in the past month's releases has MRV been added.
    While the glitches in the first MRV release [0395] can seem to be like these problems, from what I've seen, the two are not the same.
    There may be multiple issues/causes that the user simply "dump" into the same issue [audio dropouts], but the cause/source of these are different.
     
  5. Mar 17, 2010 #565 of 1365
    betterdan

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    All signals are 86 and above, most are in the mid 90s
    No MRV enabled, never tried MRV on
    hard disk is 46% full right now
    all my audio dropouts are live and recorded. Only on HD channels.
    I have turned DD off and the audio dropouts stop via optical to my Onkyo receiver. I should try HDMI audio sometime, I just have to get up enough nerve to pull the receiver out and start messing with all the settings on it. :confused:
     
  6. Mar 17, 2010 #566 of 1365
    Maleman

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    What the heck is MRV enabled/disabled? :confused:

    Thanks
     
  7. Mar 17, 2010 #567 of 1365
    betterdan

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    Multi Room Viewing. Where you have DVRs networked and can watch a show recorded on one DVR on a different DVR.
    My 2 DVRs aren't networked together so I do not have MRV enabled.
     
  8. Mar 17, 2010 #568 of 1365
    BKC

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    [​IMG]
     
  9. Mar 17, 2010 #569 of 1365
    betterdan

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    Well so far so good after doing the hard drive scan. I watched Fox News for an hour with not 1 audio drop out. I watched Speed HD for about 45 minutes and got 2 audio drop outs which is much better. I got a couple audio drop outs on local NBC HD and then I decided to check it against the OTA NBC HD and no drop outs on the same show with OTA. Watched local NBC HD for about another 45 minutes and not another audio dropout. Much MUCH better. I hope this isn't just a coincidence.
    Thanks so much for the info on how to do a disc scan.
     
  10. Mar 17, 2010 #570 of 1365
    veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Hope things work out well for you. The dropouts you have now "may be" from the stations, but you may have removed a whole other layer of them with the disk scan.
     
  11. Mar 17, 2010 #571 of 1365
    betterdan

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    Well that's why I checked the same programming via my OTA antenna with NBC. With the OTA antenna I got no audio drop out but NBC HD via Directv I did get a couple. I'm recording 2 HD channels now (CBS HD and NBC HD) via Directv and watching NBC HD which was the worst about audio drop outs before and 22 minutes into the recording with not 1 drop out which is much different than before. I couldn't go more than 3 minutes last night without an audio dropout.

    I'll report back again after about a week of testing. It's just weird that the drop outs only affect the audio and not video.
     
  12. Mar 17, 2010 #572 of 1365
    gquiring

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    The fact that I don't get dropouts on CBS, NBC, ABC or FOX tells me it's a 100% DirecTV issue. If my equipment were in question it would fail on all channels.
     
  13. Mar 17, 2010 #573 of 1365
    veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    You're making a good point, "but" I think what everyone is having are many different problems, some of which are in their receiver/DVR and others aren't which are DirecTV's problems, which I've strongly posted earlier in this thread.
    This may be like an onion, where we need to peal the layers away until we get to the core issue that is DirecTV's encoders.
     
  14. Mar 17, 2010 #574 of 1365
    gitarzan

    gitarzan Godfather

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    Simple question. Someone at DirecTV probaby understands this issue much better than anyone posting here. Why can't someone from DirecTV communicate to us that they understand the issues and are working on it or at least provide some explanation as to what is going on? This communicaton could be made through one of the mods if not directly.
     
  15. Mar 17, 2010 #575 of 1365
    veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    I was a go-between for this earlier in this thread: http://www.dbstalk.com/showthread.php?t=161262
     
  16. Mar 18, 2010 #576 of 1365
    betterdan

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    Well after I posted last night, the last 30 minutes of Law and Order on NBC HD that was recording on the DVR had numerous audio dropouts. :(
     
  17. Mar 18, 2010 #577 of 1365
    BKC

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    That's going to happen until DTV fixes the problems they created last fall.......
     
  18. Mar 19, 2010 #578 of 1365
    Guardian

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    Audio dropouts when watching recordings on HDNet:(
     
  19. Mar 22, 2010 #579 of 1365
    txfeinbergs

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    So can someone that has zero audio dropouts please post what receiver and brand they use? I am using an Onkyo TX-SR805 7.1 Channel Home Theater Receiver and have the audio dropouts happen once or twice every hour on certain channels i.e. last night while watching Sparticus: Blood and Sand on Starz. I may purchase another receiver to get past this problem as it is annoying.
     
  20. Mar 22, 2010 #580 of 1365
    canesice

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    I have the same issue on my sony tv. changing the channel, or invoking the double play clears it.

    this is with an R22 in HD mode. Same issue happend before I added the sony HD TV
     
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