I just now discovered a very long thread on U-Verse user's forum regarding the 5.1 audio dropout problem. Looks like UVerse is just now admitting that they have an real issuehttp://utalk.att.com/utalk/board/mes...ending&page=96
Here is a copy of a post from November 09:
My update. I spoke with Exec Escalation today and they have heard back from the labs who "Are in Agreement" that this is a wide spread and large enough issue to merit being moved to the highest level of priority for a fix. I have been told that was done yesterday. The procedure as I understood it (basically) is that the labs will be testing various AVR's to see if a new software update that is designed to fix this issue actually does. Whether or not they will be "borrowing" components from random customers (as they did with me) or buying them is not sure,but this action appears somewhat promising. I was also told that they have met with Dolby this week to discuss this problem. I'm sure that at this point no one can predict exactly when a fix can be seen. But it is encouraging that they do have a software client ,rollout that was due to be introduced next year, and if that fixes this after testing they may be able to move much more quickly.
I think that this is primarily a surround sound component related problem and even though a few folks have had audio issues who have not been using SS Dolby 5.1 that may be a coincidence. Still worth digging into for a fix. I personally have two systems.One conventional STB.-.HDMI.-.TV with no drops ever. The other well......That is the sad and long suffering story. Well documented. And shared by many others.
I am somewhat encouraged after today's feedback. I do commend the people who I've personally dealt with at AT&T for a good level of professionalism and courtesy. Now let's get a fix!
..and another copy of a post:
I have had the surround 5.1 drops from day one, when I started U-verse in May, 2009. My setup is HDMI cable to TV, and tsolink (optical) cable to a SONY AVR. I have had AT&T techs out here many times, changing out the Cisco STB, RG, and cables. Since reading this blog and my experience, I have come to the conclusion this is definitely a hardware/software design problem. It may be in the Cisco/Motorola STB, Microsoft Media plaftorm or U-verse area. It appears to be a loss of sync with audio 5.1 packets, and a re-sync to correct the problem, resulting in the 1/2 second hicup.
I am a retired AT&T manager that has worked on many complex problems on switches and systems in the AT&T long distance and local network. When I worked on software and hardware problems, we had direct contact with AT&T Bell Labs software engineers who wrote and supported the software. This audio problem appears to me to be a relatively easy fix, and I am amazed that it has gone on for almost two years, with denials and lack of communication in the AT&T technical support setup. We never let a problem like this fester very long before we fixed it. Sometimes, when the problem was escalated to Executive attention, things got fixed real fast.
I too am fed up with the song-and-dance response to this problem. It should have been fixed over a year ago. It is causing loss of customers and people demanding rebates.
I have given up having techs come out to my house to wholesale changeout equipment. They can change out equipment every day and never fix the design problem. It is costing AT&T large expenses for truck rolls, rebates, and lost customers. It is cheaper for AT&T to fix the problem.
I have U450, 18 MB internet, and VoIP, with retiree discount. Everything else is working fine. U-verse is a great product. The video picture on SD and HD is far better than Comcast. Comcast will need to upgrade their network to IPTV in the next five years at great expense or lose business to the new technology.
Today, I talked to both Tier 1 & 2 technical support supervisors. I pointed them to this blog, with over 1000 complaints, and asked for a fix. They both knew of the problem, and said a fix is in the works for 1Q10. At least they now admit to the problem. Before I got denial and "you are the first compaint." Start from ground zero. Oh yeah!
The supervisors suggested that I write a paper letter to AT&T Executive Offices to put more heat on the issue. Emails are ineffective; old fashioned signed letters from customers appear to matter.
Everyone can help by writting a letter, and can call Billing to get $5 or $10 off your monthly bill until this problem is fixed. Loss of revenue talks, and pressure on executives helps. Send your letter to:
Randall Stephenson, AT&T CEO, President & Chairman
308 S. Akard Street, Suite 110.C8
Dallas, TX 75202
I hope this info helps fix this annoying problem.