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post #1 of 173 Old 04-01-2009, 10:55 AM - Thread Starter
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I got tired of the annoying Uverse Drop outs and not getting any satisfaction. I contacted my states Attorney's General and they sent a letter to ATT Uverse about my complaint. A few minutes ago Att's Charles Dines called me wanting to help. He told me it was a known problem. He tried too tell me it was the optical cables fault not lining up with the sensor, or the optical cable was no good. I informed him I had tried 4 different cables with the same results. He took my information as to what type of receiver I owned and which cable I also used. He told me he would work on duplicating the problem with those components. We are going to try to get to the bottom of this one way or another...if anyone has anything constructive they would like me to ask Mr Dines, please post it here.

I know this is not much, but it's a start.

Jon
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post #2 of 173 Old 04-02-2009, 05:43 AM
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Originally Posted by JonAM View Post

I got tired of the annoying Uverse Drop outs and not getting any satisfaction. I contacted my states Attorney's General and they sent a letter to ATT Uverse about my complaint. A few minutes ago Att's Charles Dines called me wanting to help. He told me it was a known problem. He tried too tell me it was the optical cables fault not lining up with the sensor, or the optical cable was no good. I informed him I had tried 4 different cables with the same results. He took my information as to what type of receiver I owned and which cable I also used. He told me he would work on duplicating the problem with those components. We are going to try to get to the bottom of this one way or another...if anyone has anything constructive they would like me to ask Mr Dines, please post it here.

I know this is not much, but it's a start.

Jon


Forget the lawyers... Just dump it. It is terrible... I started a thread here about my U-Verse experience... Not an hour after it was installed, I had them take it all away.. Crap.

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post #3 of 173 Old 04-02-2009, 11:35 PM
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I've had the uverse service since 8/2007 and overall I've been happy with it. I do have the audio dropout problem on the toslink though, just as many others do. I have two of the motorola receivers hooked to toslink and only one has the dropout problem. That one is hooked into a top of the line Integra (Onkyo) dhc 9.9 pre amp processor. That one is also my DVR.

The other receiver is hooked to an Outlaw Audio 990 pre amp processor. That one does not have any dropout troubles.

On the syetem with the dropouts, I know it's not the toslink cable or my preamp since I have other devices hooked into it with toslink that produce perfect dolby digital sound with no dropouts. I have swapped the toslink cables around among the components and the problem always follows the uverse receiver..never the cable.

I also noted that the dropouts only happen when watching a tv broadcast stream live. When I record it and watch it back...no dropouts. I have watched a show live while recording it and had dropouts on the live feed. When I watched the same program from the recording, no dropouts.


I had a uverse tech at my home today who swapped out my original dvr for a newer motorola one. It looks indentical but has a larger hard drive. It didn't fix the toslink dropouts or the inability of the hdmi to output dolby digital though.
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post #4 of 173 Old 04-03-2009, 06:15 AM
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What model # DVR did you had and what new model # did you get?
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post #5 of 173 Old 04-03-2009, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by JChin View Post

What model # DVR did you had and what new model # did you get?


I had a VIP 1216 and now have a VIP 1225. The two look and operate identically. The 1225 has a hard drive twice as large though and that hd uses ntfs instead of the fat32 that the 1216 uses. That makes for more efficient disk usage and the abiity to hold more recordings.
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post #6 of 173 Old 04-03-2009, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by strindl View Post

I had a VIP 1216 and now have a VIP 1225. The two look and operate identically. The 1225 has a hard drive twice as large though and that hd uses ntfs instead of the fat32 that the 1216 uses. That makes for more efficient disk usage and the abiity to hold more recordings.

Thank you for the answer. What was the reason they swaped out units, to get HD or to record more? Sorry for the dumb questions, trying to learn alittle more about uverse.
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post #7 of 173 Old 04-03-2009, 04:50 PM
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Thank you for the answer. What was the reason they swaped out units, to get HD or to record more? Sorry for the dumb questions, trying to learn alittle more about uverse.



They were trying to fix the toslink audio dropout problem OR the inability of the hdmi to output dolby digital. I talked to a tier 2 support guy a couple days ago and explained my problem to him. He set up the appointment for a service tech to visit. The service tech heard the audio dropout problem , then I did the toslink cable swapping for him and showed him that the trouble was not in the toslink cable or my preamp since the problem always followed the uverse receiver and the toslink cable worked perfectly on another compoent source.

His answer was to swap out the dvr box for another one of a more recent vintage. Unfortunately, that did nothing to cure the problem that was the reason for his visit. When that didn't work, he basically threw up his hands and gave up. He had nothing else to suggest.
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post #8 of 173 Old 04-03-2009, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by JonAM View Post

I got tired of the annoying Uverse Drop outs and not getting any satisfaction. I contacted my states Attorney's General and they sent a letter to ATT Uverse about my complaint. A few minutes ago Att's Charles Dines called me wanting to help. He told me it was a known problem. He tried too tell me it was the optical cables fault not lining up with the sensor, or the optical cable was no good. I informed him I had tried 4 different cables with the same results. He took my information as to what type of receiver I owned and which cable I also used. He told me he would work on duplicating the problem with those components. We are going to try to get to the bottom of this one way or another...if anyone has anything constructive they would like me to ask Mr Dines, please post it here.

I know this is not much, but it's a start.

Jon


btw...at what point in the command chain is Charles Dines?
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post #9 of 173 Old 04-03-2009, 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by strindl View Post

They were trying to fix the toslink audio dropout problem OR the inability of the hdmi to output dolby digital. I talked to a tier 2 support guy a couple days ago and explained my problem to him. He set up the appointment for a service tech to visit. The service tech heard the audio dropout problem , then I did the toslink cable swapping for him and showed him that the trouble was not in the toslink cable or my preamp since the problem always followed the uverse receiver and the toslink cable worked perfectly on another compoent source.

His answer was to swap out the dvr box for another one of a more recent vintage. Unfortunately, that did nothing to cure the problem that was the reason for his visit. When that didn't work, he basically threw up his hands and gave up. He had nothing else to suggest.

Once again thank you. So can one use HDMI and toslink/optical at the same time (HDMI to tv and toslink/optical to receiver)? On your other post you mention one has dropout and other one doesn't. I wonder if this is only related with certain processor/receiver brand?
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post #10 of 173 Old 04-03-2009, 10:57 PM
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Once again thank you. So can one use HDMI and toslink/optical at the same time (HDMI to tv and toslink/optical to receiver)? On your other post you mention one has dropout and other one doesn't. I wonder if this is only related with certain processor/receiver brand?

I am using toslink and hdmi at the same time now. My uverse box is hooked into my pre amp with both hdmi and tosllink. Right now I am using the hdmi only for the video and toslink for audio. That is the only way I can get dolby digital sound to my pre amp. The hdmi is supposed to output dolby digital 5.1 audio but AT&T has acknowledged a software glitch in their receivers that limits the audio on the hdmi to 2 channel pcm. That 2 channel actually can sound pretty good when my pre amp runs it through pro logix II, but it's not dolby digital like it should be. There are no audio dropouts on the hdmi though.

You could also do it as you suggest and run the hdmi to the TV and the toslink to your audio system. My Integra pre amp processor has some really nice HDMI switching and video processing abilities though so I connect the integra through hdmi cable to the 61 inch samsung TV.
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post #11 of 173 Old 04-03-2009, 11:51 PM
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Thank for clearing that up strindl. So the dropout only happen using toslink connection when watching programs in SD or HD or both?
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post #12 of 173 Old 04-04-2009, 11:54 AM
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Thank for clearing that up strindl. So the dropout only happen using toslink connection when watching programs in SD or HD or both?

The dropouts happen when using toslink with the uverse dvr in all occasions...regardless of the program content. Dolby digital or just pro logic II. The odd thing for me in this whole issue is that if I hit pause on my dvr for a couple seconds and then hit play, so that I am watching the program with a couple second delay from the actual broadcast, there are no audio dropouts. If I'm watching any program recorded on the dvr, no dropouts. Very odd.

It's obviously an issue with the uverse box.
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post #13 of 173 Old 04-06-2009, 01:36 PM - Thread Starter
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btw...at what point in the command chain is Charles Dines?

I suspect he is Tear 4 tech...however, my letter from the Attorney General had to go to there legal department first, so it will get some added attention. I doubt ATT would want to reimburse all of there Connecticut customers a portion of their bills for the amount of time this has been a problem...As the old saying goes...the squeaky wheel gets the grease. He also gave me a direct phone number for him...not one where I need a code.

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Forget the lawyers... Just dump it. It is terrible... I started a thread here about my U-Verse experience... Not an hour after it was installed, I had them take it all away.. Crap.

My only other option would be to have Comcast reinstalled, but they also use the Motorola DVR and have the same dropout problems.
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post #14 of 173 Old 04-06-2009, 05:45 PM
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My only other option would be to have Comcast reinstalled, but they also use the Motorola DVR and have the same dropout problems.

Comcast is a full magnitude of quality better than U-Verse ( I had Comcast prior to U-Verse). But compared to both, DIRECTv is the best... by a lot.

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post #15 of 173 Old 04-10-2009, 07:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Charles Dines phoned again last night...again he confirmed it was a known issue with the chip inside the box and the microsoft software....he said it wouldn't be fixed till the end of the year... I am waiting for him to negotiate a discounted account with billing...I do think many more people need to start making a stink with their government representatives. I intend to take this to the next step with my states attorney general.
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post #16 of 173 Old 04-10-2009, 10:41 AM
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Charles Dines phoned again last night...again he confirmed it was a known issue with the chip inside the box and the microsoft software....he said it wouldn't be fixed till the end of the year... I am waiting for him to negotiate a discounted account with billing...I do think many more people need to start making a stink with their government representatives. I intend to take this to the next step with my states attorney general.

I filled out a survey from uverse after my tech call and the vist of the tech to my home. I expressed displeasure with the fact that the problem that I called about was not fixed. What disturbed me more than anything was that the tech at my house observed the problem but his one and only solution was to swap the dvr for a new one.

When that didn't work, he made a real quick exit with no other suggestions or help. Since this is a known problem, why the heck don't they tell their techs in the field about it?

Anyway...I'm supposed to be getting a call from someone at uverse.
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post #17 of 173 Old 04-12-2009, 05:55 AM - Thread Starter
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I filled out a survey from uverse after my tech call and the vist of the tech to my home. I expressed displeasure with the fact that the problem that I called about was not fixed. What disturbed me more than anything was that the tech at my house observed the problem but his one and only solution was to swap the dvr for a new one.

When that didn't work, he made a real quick exit with no other suggestions or help. Since this is a known problem, why the heck don't they tell their techs in the field about it?

Anyway...I'm supposed to be getting a call from someone at uverse.

I had one of their "tech's" here...he knocked on my door and as soon as I opened the door he blurted out...I have no idea why they sent me here, I am new and have no idea what I am doing"... I had to admire his honesty...so I asked him in and gave him a few lessons on what to look for...

I have gone up as far as tear 3 and the person didn't know it was a known problem......I understand your frustration, but when they are only offering 12 bucks an hour for a "tech" all you are going to get is a glorified light bulb changer....

I am going to continue to bitch and moan with them...as it seems that is my only option at this time.
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post #18 of 173 Old 04-13-2009, 12:02 PM
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I'm using optical from the dvr to my receiver and I'm still not getting DD!! Is there a secret menu on the hd dvr's that I could get into to change some of the audio settings? If someone could find out if there is, I'm sure that would solve a lot of problems many of us are having.
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post #19 of 173 Old 04-13-2009, 12:57 PM
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I'm using optical from the dvr to my receiver and I'm still not getting DD!! Is there a secret menu on the hd dvr's that I could get into to change some of the audio settings? If someone could find out if there is, I'm sure that would solve a lot of problems many of us are having.

There is no secret audio setup menu in the uverse dvr's that I am aware of. As long as the station is broadcasting a DD signal, not all do and those that do don't all the time, I get a DD signal input to my Integra 9.9 with the toslink connection.
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post #20 of 173 Old 04-13-2009, 01:52 PM
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I've been watching HD channels for almost 2 months now, and not once have I seen the DD light come on on my receiver. I know everything's connected correctly (toslink directly from DVR to receiver) and that the receiver's settings are correct (digital/automatic). When I had Comcast, the indicator light came on whenever there was a DD stream detected, but now with UVerse, nothing. I see where people are having DD problems with HDMI, but I'm using toslink so I shouldn't have a problem, right? Do you think something is wrong with STB? Or, is there, by chance, something I'm doing wrong?
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post #21 of 173 Old 04-14-2009, 01:59 PM
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You probably already know this but just in case:

If you are using an HDMI input for the video and a toslink input for the audio, you have to go into your receiver's Setup Menu and assign both the hdmi input and the toslink input to the the "source" you have assigned Uverse to. Then you have to send the receiver the command to look for audio from the "digital audio input {toslink, in this case}" otherwise it will default to taking audio from the HdMI input (which is stereo only on the Uverse box).


Glenn
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post #22 of 173 Old 04-14-2009, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by glenned View Post

You probably already know this but just in case:

If you are using an HDMI input for the video and a toslink input for the audio, you have to go into your receiver's Setup Menu and assign both the hdmi input and the toslink input to the the "source" you have assigned Uverse to. Then you have to send the receiver the command to look for audio from the "digital audio input {toslink, in this case}" otherwise it will default to taking audio from the HdMI input (which is stereo only on the Uverse box).


Glenn

You took the words right out of my mouth. What he is getting is exactly what he would get if the audio was going over the hdmi...two channel pcm only. That's bug number two in the uverse audio area. I'd be a happy camper if they would just get toslink OR hdmi working properly with the audio.
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post #23 of 173 Old 04-15-2009, 07:06 PM - Thread Starter
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I just got off the phone with Att's Charles Dines once again...they are sending a supervisor over to my house with a "Monster" toslink cable...They also want to take the Monoprice toslink cable back to their lab...I am willing to let them take the receiver with them if they replace that with an upgrade also......I'll keep you all posted...oh, I also got another letter from my states Attorney General wanting to know what progress I am making...I will write back to him in the morning.
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post #24 of 173 Old 04-15-2009, 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted by JonAM View Post

I just got off the phone with Att's Charles Dines once again...they are sending a supervisor over to my house with a "Monster" toslink cable...They also want to take the Monoprice toslink cable back to their lab...I am willing to let them take the receiver with them if they replace that with an upgrade also......I'll keep you all posted...oh, I also got another letter from my states Attorney General wanting to know what progress I am making...I will write back to him in the morning.


They are wasting their time by switching the toslink cable. I have done that many times. I swap toslink cables between the uverse and other components and I never have a problem with them on other components. No matter which toslink cable or pre amp optical input I use, I always have the dropout problems with the Uverse dvr though.

The fact that all toslink cables I have used work fine with the uverse dvr when I'm listening to something recorded rather than live streaming also proves it's not the cable. There is something wrong with the digital audio streaming in the uverse dvr when it comes to sending a broadcast signal though live. The problem being a firmware issue inside the dvr box is the logical conclusion.

I'm not sure what it will take for uverse to actually put someone on fixing this problem who knows what he is doing. I was at my brothers place on easter sunday ...he has uverse as well. He also has the audio dropout problem on his toslink connection.


If anyone from AT&T is reading this: THE TROUBLE IS NOT IN OUR AUDIO SYSTEMS. IT'S NOT IN OUR TOSLINK CABLES. THE TROUBLE IS IN YOUR DAMN UVERSE DVR BOX. FIX IT!
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post #25 of 173 Old 04-16-2009, 08:10 AM - Thread Starter
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They are wasting their time by switching the toslink cable. I have done that many times. I swap toslink cables between the uverse and other components and I never have a problem with them on other components. No matter which toslink cable or pre amp optical input I use, I always have the dropout problems with the Uverse dvr though.

The fact that all toslink cables I have used work fine with the uverse dvr when I'm listening to something recorded rather than live streaming also proves it's not the cable. There is something wrong with the digital audio streaming in the uverse dvr when it comes to sending a broadcast signal though live. The problem being a firmware issue inside the dvr box is the logical conclusion.

I'm not sure what it will take for uverse to actually put someone on fixing this problem who knows what he is doing. I was at my brothers place on easter sunday ...he has uverse as well. He also has the audio dropout problem on his toslink connection.


If anyone from AT&T is reading this: THE TROUBLE IS NOT IN OUR AUDIO SYSTEMS. IT'S NOT IN OUR TOSLINK CABLES. THE TROUBLE IS IN YOUR DAMN UVERSE DVR BOX. FIX IT!


You know that, I know that, and they know that.and I agree with you completely...however, I have to let him go through the motions in order for them to eliminate any excuse. I just need to keep the pressure on them in order to get any action. What he told me about the cable is they want to try out a "certified" cable on my system...whatever that means...but it's at their expence, so I agreed...At least I can say one thing about ATT...they are attentive with service. I am getting attention I NEVER got from Comcast.
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post #26 of 173 Old 04-16-2009, 11:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glenned View Post

You probably already know this but just in case:

If you are using an HDMI input for the video and a toslink input for the audio, you have to go into your receiver's Setup Menu and assign both the hdmi input and the toslink input to the the "source" you have assigned Uverse to. Then you have to send the receiver the command to look for audio from the "digital audio input {toslink, in this case}" otherwise it will default to taking audio from the HdMI input (which is stereo only on the Uverse box).


Glenn

I'm not having the audio dropout problem that you are discussing, but there is a big problem with the Uverse video signal in that it is being altered from the NTSC and ATSC video standards. I started a thread asking for input about this. I thought I would repost that comment in this thread because you all seem to be very familiar with Uverse and I don't know if this is happening all over the country or just here:

"I'm an ISF calibrator. I had UVerse installed. I can't believe the basic flaw they are making in their video signal. I don't understand why I haven't heard about this. What they are doing can only be done by signal processing, and so it would seem to be intentional.

I haven't tried to measure the exact difference from a reference video signal, but I would estimate that they are lowering the entire video signal range by about 5-10 steps. The result is that all Shadow Detail is crushed into Black and everything in the video image is darker than it should be. There are no Blacker than Black signals in their video signal and so the shadow detail can't be recovered by raising the Brightness control on the display.

They are not making the mistake of converting the signal to the PC signal range (which is a mistake that is rarely made anymore). This is something altogether different.

The mistake is quite obvious. My wife spotted that there was a problem almost immediatly.

UVerse tech support: The first time I called, the tech had heard this complaint before "from a customer who was an engineer". She said that they "fixed it by making an adjustment in the box on the street" (which I find highly doubtful) and said she would send someone out to check ours. A week later, I called a second time. This time the level 2 tech knew nothing about this type of problem. She consulted her supervisor. He knew nothing about this type of problem either.

They have declined to give me access to the Service Menu in the Set top box, but I doubt that the solution lies there anyways.

Is this going on all over the country? If so, how is it that people are not complaining?

Glenn"
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post #27 of 173 Old 04-19-2009, 03:58 PM
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You know that, I know that, and they know that.and I agree with you completely...however, I have to let him go through the motions in order for them to eliminate any excuse. I just need to keep the pressure on them in order to get any action. What he told me about the cable is they want to try out a "certified" cable on my system...whatever that means...but it's at their expence, so I agreed...At least I can say one thing about ATT...they are attentive with service. I am getting attention I NEVER got from Comcast.

Thank you JonAm for posting your experience here:

I am having the same issue of audio drop out every 15-20 seconds with VIP1216 and onkyo TX-SR806 receiver. My receiver is less than a month old. I am using HDMI for video and fiber optic cable for DD input after onkyo support tole me to use Dolby Digital for better sound. I was not able to get 5.1 channel over HDMI. I have RCA composite L/R audio cables connected from VIP1216 to TV directly for listening to most of news/standard channels. However, I use receiver's fiber optic cable input for HD and movie channels. We noticed audio drop out when we use optic cable. First we thought that our receiver is bad.

Now I relaize that audio drop issue is with VIP1216. I would like to mention that inorder to get Dolby Digital from optic cable, please set audio sound effect to off by using Menu, option, system settings, system sound effircts => mute sound effects.

Thanks.
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post #28 of 173 Old 04-19-2009, 05:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 806user View Post

Thank you JonAm for posting your experience here:

I am having the same issue of audio drop out every 15-20 seconds with VIP1216 and onkyo TX-SR806 receiver. My receiver is less than a month old. I am using HDMI for video and fiber optic cable for DD input after onkyo support tole me to use Dolby Digital for better sound. I was not able to get 5.1 channel over HDMI. I have RCA composite L/R audio cables connected from VIP1216 to TV directly for listening to most of news/standard channels. However, I use receiver's fiber optic cable input for HD and movie channels. We noticed audio drop out when we use optic cable. First we thought that our receiver is bad.

Now I relaize that audio drop issue is with VIP1216. I would like to mention that inorder to get Dolby Digital from optic cable, please set audio sound effect to off by using Menu, option, system settings, system sound effircts => mute sound effects.

Thanks.


Your experience with the HDMI and toslink mirrors just about everyone elses. I have read about nobody who is able to get anything but two channel pcm out of the hdmi, and almost everyone has the audio dropout problems with the toslink.

I have read posts where the AT&T people acknowledge the problem, but when I or anyone else calls or a tech comes to our homes, they have never heard of it. Very frustrating.

After my call to their tech people two weeks back and the visit of a tech to my home, they were supposed to have someone call me about my continuing problem. They have not called.
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post #29 of 173 Old 04-20-2009, 09:41 AM
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+1.
i finally cancelled att uverse tv after several months' of frustrating troubleshooting calls and visits over the audio drops and the bad video quality. same as everyone else: several optical cable swaps, a new receiver, several visits from service techs to swap out the vip1216, and over the course of the few months each csr i dealt with had no clue that it had been an ongoing problem. each time they wanted to try the same failed 'fixes' as the last.
i hope they get the issue squared away and big thanks to jonam for taking it one step further.
if it helps troubleshoot at all, the audio drops occurred with the vip1216 with hdtv, sdtv and all recorded programming via optical in to my jvc rx-dp10vbk receiver.
continued to occur with loud audio pops on my replacement denon avr-1909.
occurred regardless of using component or hdmi for video out. bad video quality experienced with both types of output even after calibrating my monitor/tv.
tested and retested with several optical cables and several other components going to the same optical inputs on the receivers.
the problem was the vip1216 out every time.
i feel like they could have saved alot of my time and their own techs' time if they had simply acknowledged this issue company-wide.

Quote:
Originally Posted by strindl View Post

Your experience with the HDMI and toslink mirrors just about everyone elses. I have read about nobody who is able to get anything but two channel pcm out of the hdmi, and almost everyone has the audio dropout problems with the toslink.

I have read posts where the AT&T people acknowledge the problem, but when I or anyone else calls or a tech comes to our homes, they have never heard of it. Very frustrating.

After my call to their tech people two weeks back and the visit of a tech to my home, they were supposed to have someone call me about my continuing problem. They have not called.


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post #30 of 173 Old 04-20-2009, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by glenned View Post

They are not making the mistake of converting the signal to the PC signal range (which is a mistake that is rarely made anymore). This is something altogether different.

How is it different?

Over HDMI, the U-verse box outputs PC range (Black=0,0,0) signal levels. That's why some people see dark output. If you record the HDNet test pattern, you can see the "10" if your TV is configured for "full range" or PC levels. You're correct that you cannot see "blacker than black" because PC levels cannot do blacker than black.

My older Panasonic set seems to assume PC level inputs, so the display looks about right with the brightness set near 0. I just had to change my PS3's HDMI output mode to "full" (PC range) and the levels jived with each other quite well. The bigger problem is that once people calibrate their sets against the HDNet pattern, the compression artifacts become much more noticeable. There are some sets that apparently cannot be adjusted to use PC level inputs on HDMI (signal levels below 16 always clipped), switching to component is recommended for those.

The audio dropout problem has been going on for a long time. About a year ago, some techs on uverseusers were saying it was a known Microsoft bug due to be fixed Q1 '09, and even gave a software version number that was supposed to correct it. THDVR had not yet been released and I was really hoping the fix would come down with that update, but it did not (the THDVR firmware was in fact below the given firmware revision that was supposed to fix audio drops). After dealing with audio drops for over 6 months, I finally gave up on U-verse and switched to DirecTV. I'm now enjoying much better picture quality and stable 5.1 audio. I do hope AT&T corrects these problems. Their system and pricing was really nice, but I ran out of patience.
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