HD 200 Digital audio dropout - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 234 Old 12-04-2002, 03:14 PM - Thread Starter
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I have connected it to a newly installed OTA antenna. On two channels that show Good signal strength I get an occasional loss of digital audio signal, but not analog audio. (I am monitoring both outputs, and see the digital go out, while the analog stays up.) Has anyone else experienced this problem?
I get great results from the Direct TV channels.
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post #2 of 234 Old 12-05-2002, 07:32 AM
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I've found that I get an audio dropout on OTA HD with the HD200 when a large electrical appliance in my house kicks on or off (like the furnace). Most of the time I can't even hear it - I just see the audio receiver re-detect the dolby digital mode.
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post #3 of 234 Old 12-05-2002, 11:20 AM
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kcwhitney,

I just replaced my HD100 with the new HD200 and noticed immediately that I receive "digital" audio dropouts versus NO "analog" audio drops as I also monitor both analog and digital audio. This is very repeatable on HDNet (199) as when I tune to that station I'll drop the digital audio approximately 5 to 10 seconds after the station is locked in. There is absolutely NO drops on the analog side. This happens everytime I tune in channel 199 (HDNet) and was wondering if other members also have this issue. I'm using the exact setup the HD100 used and it NEVER dropped the digital audio! I called Sony and of course they have never heard of this problem and have had NO other cases reported.

I would appreciate if someone that owns a HD200 would tune to channel 199 (HDNet) and monitor the "digital" audio for dropouts especially during the first 15 to 20 seconds. The interesting thing about this problem is I don't have "digital" audio dropouts on HBOHD or ShowtimeHD just HDNet. My HD100 NEVER had any "digital" audio dropouts.

Is anyone else noticing these digital audio dropouts or do we have defective units?
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post #4 of 234 Old 12-05-2002, 12:25 PM - Thread Starter
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I can't test HD-NET for you as I am still waiting for my HDTV set. I will let you know as soon as I can. Thanks for your report.
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post #5 of 234 Old 12-05-2002, 02:03 PM
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To All HD200 Owners!

I need to know if other HD200 owners are experiencing "digital" audio dropouts as my new HD200 will repeatably drop "digital" evertime I change to HDNET (199). The analog signal does not drop but the digital signal drops several times within the first 20 seconds of operation. I have thirty days to return this tuner to CC but would like to know if this is a HD200 issue or is my unit defective. This unit replaced my HD100 which NEVER droped the digital audio signal. I'm feeding this into a Sony PreAmp so there should be NO compatability issues.

Can anyone tell me if they are experiencing this same issue?

Thanks in Advance!
John
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post #6 of 234 Old 12-05-2002, 09:09 PM
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I have an HD200 hooked up to a Pioneer VSX-36TX audio receiver and have not experienced any digital audio dropouts on HDNET nor any other DirecTV HD channels. This includes OTA HD channels as well. I've had this set-up for over a month.
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post #7 of 234 Old 12-06-2002, 05:40 AM
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Thanks Rich!

I did some more testing and found my HD200 drops digitial audio on all my received OTA stations and it drops DirecTV Sd and HDNet. If this is NOT normal please let me know and I'll return this unit for a replacement. I'm just afraid this is inherent in the design and another unit will do the same thing. I tried a different Optical cable with the same results....my HD100 never had this problem. Connected to Sony TAE9000ES preamp which is the same connection my HD100 used.

BTW, this is digital audio only as analog is ok!

Thanks for everyone's feedback.

John
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post #8 of 234 Old 12-06-2002, 06:44 AM
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Never seen any dropouts within a few seconds of tuning HDNet or any OTA channels. My dropouts are clearly traceable to electrical activity in the house (mostly furnace or fridge starting or stopping).
Mine is hooked to a Sony V555ES receiver. When I have a "dropout", it's a momentary stop in audio and the audio receiver shows it's "format detection" message. Usually, I can't even hear the dropout.
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post #9 of 234 Old 12-06-2002, 08:30 AM
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I've had digital audio dropouts exactly as described by Jon_E_R: the HD200 drops out 5-10 seconds after it has locked onto a signal. I've seen this happen on OTA and DirecTV channels. Additionally, as kcwhitney suggests in the initial post, I've had intermittant dropouts on strong OTA channels. And they were, by the way, channels that never had such a problem with my previous HD100.

Interesting that some of us have this problem and some don't. I'm thinking I'll call Sony, since they're saying they haven't heard of any other cases of this issue.

I've been waiting for someone else to mention this problem here...I've kind of tried to ignore it, since the HD200 works so well otherwise.
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post #10 of 234 Old 12-06-2002, 08:57 AM
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Cosdog....Thanks for the reply

I'm wondering if this affects all units? I think the majority of people use the analog output which does not have this problem. I'm wondering if I should return this unit to Circuit City for another or will the next unit exhibit the same behavior?

HD200 guru's what about your units? Is this isolated to a few units or is it across the entire line?

My unit was manufactured in October 2002.

Please Help!
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post #11 of 234 Old 12-06-2002, 09:10 AM
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I use the digital output and do not experience any audio dropouts with HDNet or OTA channels with my HD200. I have it connected to a Sony AV receiver.
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post #12 of 234 Old 12-06-2002, 09:15 AM
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Yes, I have noticed this as well.

I have the HD200 connected optically to a Sony STR-DA5ES receiver.

My experience is that it tends to vary depending on which OTA signal I'm tuned to. One particular channel, the local ABC affiliate, is horrid. Drop-outs occur every few seconds for several minutes, then they seem to stop. Another channel, the local PBS affiliate, has 2-3 drop-outs during the first 30 seconds after I tune to it, then never again.

Last night, during ER on NBC, I noticed these drop-outs occurring, the first time for NBC. After 2-3 minutes, they stopped.

Here's a curious fact...I replaced the DVD player in my system last night. It sits on the top of my stack; my wife insisted on watching the TV while I worked. I figured that with the amp tuned to the HD200, and the DVD power cable not plugged in I'd have no problems swapping the cables while several of the components deeper down in the stack were on. I've done things like this many times without incident. All went well as I unplugged the various cables from the older DVD. I set the new DVD player in place and began to plug in cables. The digital coax went in fine, as did the component video cables. However, as soon as I touched the housing on the analog audio cables with my hand, I heard an audio drop-out from the HD200. This made me curious...the HD200 is deep down in the stack and I wasn't monkeying with it's optical out connection. Yet, every time I touched the DVD analog audio cable...not plug it into anything, mind you...simply touch the metal housing on the end of one of the two cables with my fingertip...the audio from the HS200 would drop out. I quickly finished...dropping audio from the HD200 all along the way. I sat down and didn't hear another audio drop-out from the HD200 the rest of the night.

In the past, I always blamed it on the station, since I only had two of the 12 or so OTA channels exhibiting the problem, but after last night...

I'm going to keep my eye on this and see if I can detect a pattern.

Hej på dej!!
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post #13 of 234 Old 12-06-2002, 09:27 AM
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As I mentioned above, I have my HD200 connected to a Pioneer audio receiver and I have had no dropouts in the month or two I have been using the HD200. I use the digital ouput (optical). My HD200 was manufactured in August 2002.
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post #14 of 234 Old 12-07-2002, 07:30 AM - Thread Starter
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I do get the dropouts, as described above. Usually upon changing to the either of the two affected channels. It lasts for about five seconds. But this is not he only time it will occur. I will get it intermittently as I watch. I do not see any correlation to the furnace or other appliances cycling on.

Mine was manufactured in August of 2002, and has serial no. 0104288.

I am going to discuss this with my vendor (CC) as others have seen the problem.
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post #15 of 234 Old 12-07-2002, 07:54 AM
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I spoke yesterday with a level II tech at Sony and he told me they (Sony) has not had any complaints or returns for this problem. I told him I purchased the Sony (HD200) for product compatability as I own a Sony TV / preamp (TAE9000ES) and just wanted to make sure there would be NO compatability issues. He assured me there are NO issues with compatability and he would investigate the digital audio problem.

In the mean time I decided, based on my conversation with Sony that there is NO issue with digital audio, to return my unit to CC for a replacement. I was lucky as they had just received a new unit so I made the exchange and headed home. I hooked the new HD200 up last night and to my surprise I still have the exact same digital audio dropout. This is the same setup I used with my HD100 which never had a dropout. This proves beyond a shadow of a doubt there is something wrong or incompatible with this STB.

I'm now searching for a STB that works! I will return the HD200 next week for a full refund. I really love the picture this unit provides but I paid way to much money for this unit to sacrafice my home theatre experience and settle for stereo analog audio. This is my second try with Sony (HD100 / HD200) and both units have been a real disappointment!

Can anyone recommend a STB that performs as advertised? Please provide feedback to me with your recommendation.

Thanks,
John
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post #16 of 234 Old 12-07-2002, 02:58 PM
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It must be only certain units. Mine hasn't had the problem. I'm connected via optical to a Sony V555ES receiver.

My unit was manufactured in August 2002, and has a 01009xx serial number (gotta be one of the first).
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post #17 of 234 Old 12-08-2002, 05:28 AM
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Both units I've tested were manufactured in October. Maybe LG Electronics initiated a production change. My local CC has an August unit on display so I'm going to see if the manager will allow me to hook that unit up to my OTA to see if I still have the problem. If so then it most be a compatability issue with my Sony top of the line ES series preamp.

Who knows....Sony is suppose to call me Monday or Tuesday with their assesment of what the problem is.

John
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post #18 of 234 Old 12-08-2002, 06:26 AM - Thread Starter
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I run it into a Sony STR-DE975 and have tried two different ports, each giving the problem.
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post #19 of 234 Old 12-09-2002, 02:42 PM
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kcwhitney thanks for your continued support!

I believe this unit (HD200) has a compatibility issue with some Sony Receivers and PreAmps. What I don't understand is how Sony could have compatability issues with their own audio product line. I know the HD200 is not built by Sony but the Sony Technician assured me it was built to their specifications which should be 100% compatable with their own products. I bought this unit at CC for the $634.00 price quoted on their web site a few weeks ago and thought I got a great deal but now I'm so frustrated with this unit and my experience with the HD100 it will be a long time before I purchase another Sony product. Sony says there are over 20,000 units in the market and they have NO reports of this issue except from me...there has to be other members using Sony receivers and the digital output from the HD200. Please voice in this thread if you are experiencing the same problems / issues with the digital audio as kcwhitney and others including myself are experiencing. Sony will be calling me soon and I'll report the gist of that conversation when it happens.

Thanks for everyones support.

John
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post #20 of 234 Old 12-09-2002, 03:08 PM
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Search this forum for Audio dropout on the DTV1080, which is the first generation of this STB. There are many complaints of audio dropouts.

My take is there are two problems. One having to do with audio reciever incompatability and the other is the PSIP setup on some local channels.

For example I have a problem with WCVB in Boston and my Denon 5803. I can see that the broadcast switches in and out of DD dialog normalization mode rather continously causing the dropouts.

Regards,
Steve
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post #21 of 234 Old 12-09-2002, 03:25 PM - Thread Starter
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I have made arrangements to swap out my unit with my local CC. It will take a while, but I am patient with this problem.

But Sony should not think it is an isolated issue. Give the the number you call, and I'll call them too, and give them my experiences.

I spent a considerable amount of money to the antenna installer to optimize my antenna, which is where I thought the problem was. I did improve the signal, which was worthwhile, but I now can isolate this to the receiver, and Sony should be told. Especially, since some of us have the problem, and others don't.
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post #22 of 234 Old 12-09-2002, 05:27 PM
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Steve Richards: Not to beat a dead horse but.....

The digital audio dropouts occur on OTA and DirecTv in fact I can repeatably duplicate the problem on certain DirecTv channels for example HDNet (199). But other SD channels also drop audio. I'm a previous Sony HD100 owner and that unit NEVER dropped digital audio therefore I was unaware of the previous "digital" audio problems experienced in previously manufactured LG Electronic units.

How many generations does it take to manufacture a STB that works as advertised? Technology that exist today is mind boggling...So why is there not one STB on the market that operates properly. Digital Optical audio is 'old' technology therefore this issue should NOT exist on any STB.

John
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post #23 of 234 Old 12-09-2002, 09:16 PM
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Jon_E_R:

Yes, as kcwhitney suggests, do give the number you're calling at Sony (I'm traveling for the next few days)...and I'll ring them up ASAP. You might be right about the Sony compatibility problem; as I said in my post above, I'm having the audio dropout problem...and I'm playing it through a STR-DA5ES.

Thanks....Mike
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post #24 of 234 Old 12-09-2002, 10:35 PM
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There have been sporadic complaints about audio anomalies since this unit started shipping. My B&K Ref20 pre/pro has occasional indigestion when changing channels on my HD200. Sometimes I'll get a short burst of white noise or a pop. I was going to swap out my first unit, but the replacement Sony shipped had the same problem.

This IS an issue with the HD200/HD520, and you guys are not the first to complain about it. Check out this thread, and also the HD520 thread. I talked to Sony level 2 techs about this over a month ago; the BS you're getting about nobody else having problems is just that. I also talked to a tech at B&K, and he believes the problem is that LG was lazy in their software coding and they just didn't adhere to industry standards. Something is obviously whacked when it takes 4-5 seconds for the receiver to start streaming DD audio after you change the channel.

On a positive note, the gentleman I spoke with at B&K thought it was quite possible to fix this with a software update. That won't happen, of course, until a number of people make a nuisance of themselves.

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post #25 of 234 Old 12-10-2002, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jon
Steve Richards: Not to beat a dead horse but.....

The digital audio dropouts occur on OTA and DirecTv...

How many generations does it take to manufacture a STB that works as advertised? Technology that exist today is mind boggling...So why is there not one STB on the market that operates properly. Digital Optical audio is 'old' technology therefore this issue should NOT exist on any STB.

John
John,
I wasn't disagreeing, just pointing out my experience.

I also very much agree with your second statement.

It's a shame that there doesn't seem to be any consumer product that has a mostly software interface that works correctly . The first generation of STBs seem much more robust with regards to working as advertised.

I am very suprised that the problems the HD200 and the Zenith520 are having seem to the same as the problems with the DTV1080, many of which were identified on this forum at least a year ago. It doesn't seem like a lot of effort was put into quality control...

Regards,
Steve
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post #26 of 234 Old 12-10-2002, 03:17 PM
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Sorry Steve if I came across as being frustrated which I am but not at anyone in this forum. Everyone has been wonderful and I appreciate everyone's input. Just one more thing...I'm a Quality Control Manager and I believe these issues are related to design and not QC. With that said I just wanted to inform everyone that the level II tech I've been speaking with at Sony is "ERIC". He informed me he reads this forum regularly but has not seen any issues with digital audio until I called. Maybe we need to inform Eric and others at Sony that we know this unit was NOT manufactured by Sony and it appears it has inherited many of the problems it's sibling the DTV1080 had and as you stated were identified over a year ago. It seems to me if Sony does monitor this forum and they say they do, the issues with the DTV1080 would have been their #1 priority in solving when designing the next generation STB.

For those who are interested in reporting their issues with the digital audio dropout the number I dialed is in the front of the manual (1-800-838-7669) and you should speak with Eric (Level II Tech). If enough of us report this incompatability with their own equipment maybe we can get some resolution to the problem. I'm afraid it will be too late for me as I'm returning my unit this weekend for a full refund. I will monitor this forum to see if and when this problem has been resolved before I purchase another unit.

Thanks Everyone,
John
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post #27 of 234 Old 12-10-2002, 04:42 PM
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I just called Sony, and spoke to a level II tech (Jeremy). He said he had never heard of the problem. I aked if there was an Eric there, and he said yes, but that he personally had never heard of the problem. I told him that the problem was all over the AVS forum. Needless to say, he was not helpful at all, saying there are no reported instances of similar complaints. He said he would escalate. His recommendation was to replace the unit (refurbished) or send it in for repair. I am leaning toward taking it back. It is bad if they are not going to recognize that there is a problem.

I have an Onkyo TX-SR800. I originally thought it was the Receiver, and replaced it. Same issue. I only use DirecTV for HDTV at this time, and can reproduce the problem like clockwork, on multiple channels, HD and standard. Any channel that is sending a digital audio signal drops out. I can watch a movie fine on HBO if there is no Digital Audio signal. The next movie comes on with a digital signal, the receiver displays a light telling me it is getting digital audio, and the drop outs begin.

I am totally frustrated!
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post #28 of 234 Old 12-10-2002, 05:42 PM
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I installed a HD200 this afternoon for Satellite and OTA HD. During the initial hour of viewing, I noticed some audio dropouts on one OTA channel (local CBS affilate). I will optimize the antenna positioning tomorrow and conduct more testing before I attribute this issue to the HD200.

For reference, I'm outputting the HD200 optical connection to a Sony STR-DE835.
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post #29 of 234 Old 12-10-2002, 06:30 PM
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LCC save your time and expense of returning the unit as I've already replaced mine and I ended up with the same problem!

It amazes me that Sony will NOT acknowledge that this problem exist, and the sad thing about it is the problem is very repeatable on their own receivers and preamps. Eric (Sony Level II Tech) was suppose to call me today with the results of his investigation but I've yet to hear from him. I will post his / Sony's response to this issue if and when he calls me. I love my TAE9000ES (Sony Preamp) and would not trade it for anything and it has performed flawlessly for me for years with both my Sony DVD player (ES Version) and my HD100 (STB).

It's a shame Sony didn't let LG Electronics use their digital audio decoder technology that they used in the HD100 as it performed flawlessly, especially considering the DTV1080 had many complaints about it's digital audio.

I have a few more weeks before I have to return the HD200 to CC for a full refund. I'll see what Sony can do for me in that short amount of time. I expect nothing if they haven't even recognized they even have a problem. I believe if we start returning these units for a full refund Sony will eventually get the message. Until then we must all call Sony and reach a level II tech and voice our frustration of both the problem itself and the lack of support Sony is giving this issue.

Thanks,
John
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post #30 of 234 Old 12-12-2002, 02:51 PM
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Got awful quiet. I have not heard back from Sony (Big Surprise). Anyone else find a resolution?
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