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HR22 & Denon AVR-2800 Loses Dolby Digital Audio

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by SmokemanGRP, Dec 19, 2008.

  1. SmokemanGRP

    SmokemanGRP Cool Member

    Dec 22, 2004
    I had issues with my HR20 so DTV swapped it out for a refurbished HR21. During setup I noticed the Dolby Digital setting and turned it on. Now I am experiencing problems with Dolby Digital audio dropping on my Denon AVR-2800 when I press a DVR control button i.e. rewind, fast-forward, skip-forward, etc. I do not experience any problems with analog audio. I do not remember if the HR20 had this feature or if I had it turned on. DTV sent out a technician who swapped the HR21 for a brand new HR22 but it has the same problem. The technician had no idea what might be wrong.

    I am using the optical cable connection for digital audio. I have tried two other optical cables, all three optical ports on the Denon and coax, but it did not remedy the problem. These same three cables and ports work flawlessly with my DVD.

    It seems to me as the audio signal is being interrupted from the HD DVR to the AVR-2800 when I press a DVR button and the receiver is unable to reestablish the connection. The Denon has a ‘lock’ light that goes out when the audio is lost. If I change to a SD channel the Dolby Digital audio is reestablished again. Unplugging then plugging in the optical cable also reestablishes the audio. The Dolby Digital audio works fine for as long as I do not press a DVR control button.

    This is a very frustrating problem since this problem defeats the purpose of a DVR. I don't think there are any settings that I can change on my AVR-2800 to help prevent this problem. I normally use the "Auto" setting where the receiver detects the input signal. I have also tried ‘Direct’ and ‘Pro Logic’ settings but all fail.

    Does anyone out there have an idea why my receiver loses the Dolby Digital audio? I have found one other person on a forum with the same receiver and problem, 100% match, but no resolution.
  2. gully_foyle

    gully_foyle Hall Of Fame

    Jan 18, 2007
    Los Angeles
    THis is a long-standing problem with the HR2x series. It shows up with some AVRs and not others, and might not show up with all AVRs of the same make and model. HR2x software revisions have fixed this for some.

    Discussion can be found at http://www.dbstalk.com/showthread.php?t=110381

    Basically, trickplay causes the HR2x to stop sending DD audio packets and replace them with null packets. Doesn't seem to matter if it's HDMI or optical. When the trickplay ends (and audio resumes), the DD spec says that the first resumed audio packet should start at the end of the last null packet. Starting at some other point is called a "framing error." It appears that the HR2x boxes may start at an incorrect time with respect to the end of the last null packet, and this causes some, but not all, AVRs to have to resynch the audio. Some do this slowly and/or have to fall through an error recovery process, resulting in a noticeable audio dropout. Your 2800 AVR seems to have no recovery mechanism at all.

    I will point out that more recent Denons, such as the 3803 or 3808 (bothof which I've owned) do not seem to do this. Onkyo x75 series did so at the time that thread above was written, but this has been reported fixed.

    If I were you, I'd post this on the "HR2x x02AF issues" thread where the DirecTV software guys might see it.

    You might also try posting this in the AVR section of the AVSForum where there are specific threads for most AVRs.
  3. CCarncross

    CCarncross Hall Of Fame

    Jul 19, 2005
    Newer Denon's do not exhibit this behavior. In AV receiver years that is an ANCIENT Denon model. I see a 2808CI in your near future!!
  4. SmokemanGRP

    SmokemanGRP Cool Member

    Dec 22, 2004
    Thank you for your reply. After posting my problem I spent several hours searching and reading other posts and realized that I’m not alone.

    My problem seems to be a variation of the discussion you mention. My Denon AVR – 2800 has signal input LEDs for LOCK, DD and DTS. The LOCK LED is illuminated when “digital signals are being input properly”. During normal DD playback the LOCK and DD LEDs are lit. When I use a trickplay the DD LED is off while the Pause Data packets are being sent and the LOCK LED remains illuminated until the error occurs, which is intermittent. At that point the LOCK LED goes off and my audio never returns unless I a) change channels to a PCM audio channel or b) change the AVR input mode to analog then back to digital (Auto). Lately I have been using b) because I can do that with 2 button presses.

    I’ll take your advice and post on the HR2x x02AF issues and AVSForum.

    Thanks again

    Boy, I wish Santa was that generous. Until this 2800 actually dies I’ll have difficulty replacing it because the “boss” says she can’t hear much of a difference between DD and analog. I guess I need to start working on that perception.
  5. jcueto

    jcueto Cool Member

    Dec 9, 2006
    You may want to check with Denon for any frimware updates. Had a similiar issue with a Yamaha AVR that was corrected with a firmware update.

    Good Luck!
  6. smiddy

    smiddy Tain't ogre til its ogre

    Apr 5, 2006
    I had issues with both HR20 and HR21. I had to reset the CPU on my Denon amps (look at my setup). Occasionally they will get weird if a storm and power goes out. Before reset the CPU, record all of your settings (by hand BTW...this is a pain too) so you can return them to what they are since resetting the CPU sets it back to defaults.
  7. SmokemanGRP

    SmokemanGRP Cool Member

    Dec 22, 2004
    I called Denon today, there is no firmware update. The tech rep said they used to get a lot of calls (5 or 6 per day), only from DTV customers, but not very often anymore.

    I just tried the CPU reset but that didn't work.

    Keep those ideas coming .... I'll try about anything.

    Happy Holidays to everyone !!!
  8. digitalfreak

    digitalfreak Legend

    Nov 29, 2006
    I had this issue for quite awhile with my Onkyo 805 receiver. One of the updates to my HR20-700s awhile back fixed it though.

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