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HR44 audio anomaly

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by Gordon Shumway, Aug 7, 2014.

  1. Gordon Shumway

    Gordon Shumway Member

    Jul 25, 2013
    Ocala, FL
    I have an HR44-700 in place for close to a year, and it has run flawlessly other than one odd audio issue. My only other receiver is an HR22-100. The issue is when watching a recording from the ABC network, I get an annoying background "scratching/static" sound. This background noise is mostly prevalent when there is just talking going on. I don't really notice it when there is background music or other noise going on. And this only happens with ABC programs.

    I know it is the HR44 because:

    1. I have recordings of the same programs on both receivers, and it occurs when playback is through the HR-44 with either of the two recordings.
    2. It happens on both recordings whether I play it back through my AVR surround system, or just the TV speakers.
    3. If I play either recording through the HR-22 in the bedroom, there is no static noise.

    Has anyone noticed anything peculiar like this at all. Fortunately I only record two ABC programs, and they are both currently out of season. It just doesn't make any sense. I wanted to blame the local network (DirecTV locals), but it is just fine on the HR-22.

    Unless this problem propagates, I am not sending the receiver back for a replacement. It works too good otherwise, and I need the wireless capability. Can't risk getting an HR-34 replacement. I'm just baffled how the receiver can be so selective with this audio anomaly, and wondering if anyone else has seen or heard of it.
  2. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

    Aug 31, 2002
    Does this happen playing back direct on the 44, or to a client? If to a client, it probably has something to do with the streaming protocol.

    For the sake of argument, lets say it happens direct. You are right that this makes no sense. While all OTA stations use the same exact format (AC-3) to send audio, and DTV manipulates that the same for DVB and the MPEG-4 re-encode, this means that the station itself must be doing something a little different than others, and that the decoder in the 44 must be also slightly different than the one in the 22.

    But quite honestly, there isn't much that a station can do different with their audio. Does the noise go away when they go to a local commercial? If so, it is something at the network, but then why does no one else have this issue? Stations can change the bit rate of the audio, typically from 192 kbps (normal for 2.0 stereo) to 448 kbps (normal for 5.1 stereo) or a couple of choices in between, but the differences should not even be audible. Other than that there is little one station can do differently than another.

    And the decoder in one DVR does pretty much the same job as the decoder in any other DVR, because all decoders work the same. They have to, to decode faithfully. Change the game and it lowers the quality/fidelity of the decode, so the math is pretty fixed for any decoder.

    I would post over at AVS, in the thread for your DMA, and ask if anyone is seeing this from your local station. I am still leaning towards it being something at the station, although it appears on only one DVR, because there are more variables there. In between the station and the STB decode, not much could happen because the audio is simply a file, and is treated the same as any other audio transport stream by DTV.

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