Explorer 8300HD DVR Audio: Digital Out setting - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 04-18-2009, 02:21 AM - Thread Starter
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I have the Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300HD DVR from Time Warner cable in Kansas City connected to my Panasonic plasma via HDMI. Time Warner recently updated the DVR box with new software, which I believe is when my problem started. I have a 5.1 surround system that I use every time I watch TV. I have tried to set the audio output in the DVR box to "Dolby Digital" by going to Settings/Devices/Audio: Digital Out and selecting "Dolby Digital". The other options are "HDMI" and "Other". I never use the TV's speakers.

The problem is, every time I turn on my TV, the DVR box switches the setting back to "HDMI", which clearly sounds inferior. And, when I turn off the TV, the box switches it to "Dolby Digital", which causes a loud clicking noise through my surround system every time I turn off the TV.

I could fix the problem by using hooking the box up via component instead of HDMI, but I don't feel like I should have to. It's the most obnoxious thing in the world (and the 8300HD does some pretty obnoxious things already). I don't know why anyone would find this feature useful. I imagine TW might have programmed the box to do this for all the dumbasses out there that can't properly configure the box, so it defaults to HDMI every time it detects an HDMI connection. Does anyone have any idea how to keep the box from doing this? Thanks.
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post #2 of 20 Old 04-18-2009, 05:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kreg37 View Post

I have the Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300HD DVR from Time Warner cable in Kansas City connected to my Panasonic plasma via HDMI. Time Warner recently updated the DVR box with new software, which I believe is when my problem started. I have a 5.1 surround system that I use every time I watch TV. I have tried to set the audio output in the DVR box to "Dolby Digital" by going to Settings/Devices/Audio: Digital Out and selecting "Dolby Digital". The other options are "HDMI" and "Other". I never use the TV's speakers.

The problem is, every time I turn on my TV, the DVR box switches the setting back to "HDMI", which clearly sounds inferior. And, when I turn off the TV, the box switches it to "Dolby Digital", which causes a loud clicking noise through my surround system every time I turn off the TV.

I could fix the problem by using hooking the box up via component instead of HDMI, but I don't feel like I should have to. It's the most obnoxious thing in the world (and the 8300HD does some pretty obnoxious things already). I don't know why anyone would find this feature useful. I imagine TW might have programmed the box to do this for all the dumbasses out there that can't properly configure the box, so it defaults to HDMI every time it detects an HDMI connection. Does anyone have any idea how to keep the box from doing this? Thanks.

Try going to Settings/Audio/Audio Coding and changing the setting to Dolby Digital.
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post #3 of 20 Old 04-18-2009, 09:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by HDMI Guy View Post

Try going to Settings/Audio/Audio Coding and changing the setting to Dolby Digital.

Thanks, but unfortunately, I don't have that as an option.
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post #4 of 20 Old 04-18-2009, 06:42 PM
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I'd need more information about your box but usually you want to leave the HDMI one in use as it carries up to 7.1. I can't give you specific directions since the OCAP 8300HD is different from the non OCAP 8300HD in regards to settings. It's possible that it is a box problem. I ensure you that HDMI is in fact better than dolby digital on that box though and would encourage you to set up a service call if you continue having problems.
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post #5 of 20 Old 04-18-2009, 07:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kreg37 View Post

Thanks, but unfortunately, I don't have that as an option.

How is the cable box connected to your AVR?
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post #6 of 20 Old 04-18-2009, 11:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by rjschroed View Post

I'd need more information about your box but usually you want to leave the HDMI one in use as it carries up to 7.1. I can't give you specific directions since the OCAP 8300HD is different from the non OCAP 8300HD in regards to settings. It's possible that it is a box problem. I ensure you that HDMI is in fact better than dolby digital on that box though and would encourage you to set up a service call if you continue having problems.

The HDMI setting certainly doesn't sound better to my ears... I haven't done any A-B testing, but it seems to sound more flat. I doubt if HDMI is carrying 7.1 surround -- I'm not aware of anyone broadcasting in 7.1 surround. Besides, my box is hooked up to the AVR via the optical out, not HDMI. My receiver doesn't have HDMI. I have an OCAP box.
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post #7 of 20 Old 04-18-2009, 11:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDMI Guy View Post

How is the cable box connected to your AVR?

Through the optical out
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post #8 of 20 Old 04-20-2009, 10:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kreg37 View Post

The HDMI setting certainly doesn't sound better to my ears... I haven't done any A-B testing, but it seems to sound more flat. I doubt if HDMI is carrying 7.1 surround -- I'm not aware of anyone broadcasting in 7.1 surround. Besides, my box is hooked up to the AVR via the optical out, not HDMI. My receiver doesn't have HDMI. I have an OCAP box.

I have the same situation. My receiver does not have HDMI inputs. I have the same box connected with an optical cable. Since your receiver does not have HDMI inputs you definetly want to use optical. Sorry I can not help more. Sounds like the facts that Time Warner recently updated the DVR box with new software is indeed the problem.
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post #9 of 20 Old 04-23-2009, 04:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kreg37 View Post

Through the optical out

Hello,
I have the same box (SA8300HDC) connected via HDMI to a Yamaha RX-V863 receiver and a Sharp LC42-D64U TV. My cable co. is Brighthouse Networks, Which I believe is part of TW. I have spent about a year of hair-pulling with this box. I ended up changing the box 3 times. About a month ago, they put another firmware update out and now the box is near perfect. I think your problems are similar to mine. I have been through all these settings every which way you can think of. I hope I can give you some encouragement on this. It has pretty well worked out for me, and I'm sure it will for you too. I'll tell you why.

First of all, do a Google search on your box and start reading up on it. You will find that people all over North America are screaming about this box. You will also find tons of information on using this box. Most of the problems are caused by "HDMI handshaking" issues between the various hardware components involved. This is fixed with firmware updates from your cable co. I believe that the cable systems are somewhat overwhelmed by the changeover and are having to constantly tweak their systems to keep up . Your box should not change by itself.It should stay where you set it. See if TW will swap it out for you. I am on my third box in 10 months. It is only a matter of time, they will eventually put the correct update in it and fix it. This box is truly an engineering marvel. It has an enormous ammount of content in it. (I am a guy who still remembers watching the "test pattern" for an hour on Sat morning before the cowboys came on.) HA! Sometime when you have too much time on your hands click that remote all the way through one channel at a time. Mine goes from channel 2-1600. This indeed a 5 pound box with 10 pounds of stuff in it!
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post #10 of 20 Old 04-23-2009, 06:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kreg37 View Post

The HDMI setting certainly doesn't sound better to my ears... I haven't done any A-B testing, but it seems to sound more flat. I doubt if HDMI is carrying 7.1 surround -- I'm not aware of anyone broadcasting in 7.1 surround. Besides, my box is hooked up to the AVR via the optical out, not HDMI. My receiver doesn't have HDMI. I have an OCAP box.

Hi again,
You are indeed trying to make the correct setting in the "Devices" menu. Looking at my own box, the only possibility I can see is that if for some reason you are not clicking the "accept" button (yellow triangle) This would cause it to revert to the previous setting. If you have a digital coax cable, try it in place of the optical. there is no difference in sound quality between the 2.

When you make the setting DD, it turns OFF the HDMI and turns ON the OPTICAL and COAX outputs. If you turn ON the HDMI, the coax and optical are OFF. OTHER is 2 channel PCM. If you connect HDMI to your receiver, it will pass whatever the box gives it. Keep in mind that the default HD sound for HDTV is DD 5.1. That is the best any cable box will ever give you. Also, even the true HDTV channels are not always in DD 5.1 all the time. There is a very good explanation of this online, I believe on the Cisco website.

In your case, you really are not gaining anything by using HDMI. Try using component from cable box to TV and coax/optical from cable box to AV receiver. Also connect a pair of R &W analog audio cables to the same input as the component video. This will give you the option to play the TV without the AV receiver in case you ever just want to watch the news at 3:00 am.
I hope this helps
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post #11 of 20 Old 05-02-2009, 10:43 AM
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This is a bug in the latest software update, so I don't think re-wiring your whole setup is necessary. It happens to me as well and I've never had this particular problem until the latest update. I'm going to call TW when I have a chance. Hopefully if enough people call into to complain they'll fix it in the next update.
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post #12 of 20 Old 07-28-2009, 03:20 PM
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I, too, have this issue. What's especially infuriating is that in my system, the Explorer box is still sending a signal over the optical out -- it's just sending a stereo signal with reduced volume.

I'm not a guru, but I have an old Logitech Z-5450 that I love. Two toslink inputs. One from my Explorer, one from my Roku box. Explorer outputs HDMI to a Sharp LC32D62U. The issue seems to be a handshaking one:

+ I can switch Settings/Devices/Audio: Digital Out to Dolby Digital and as long as the TV remains on, it's all good. Heck, even when the TV is off the signal remains Dolby Digital. It's when the TV is turned back on that the Explorer resets to HDMI.

Horrible, horrible, horrible box. I'll channel + without any response. Channel + again. Again. Five seconds later the box skips up three channels.
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post #13 of 20 Old 08-09-2009, 08:06 PM
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Yep same thing here. Talk about annoying having to change the settings every time I power up the box
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post #14 of 20 Old 08-11-2009, 12:46 PM
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I wrote to TWC and they gave me this response:
Quote:
Though we appreciate the time that you have taken to contact us, we are sorry that you have some
concerns.

While not the most common, this is a complaint we are aware of which we hope to correct in a future
upgrade.

You may also consider using a DVI connection which also offers a digital video connection to your TV
as the HDMI connection was intended for both audion and video.

Sincerely,

Time Warner Cable
Customer Support

I gave up on HDMI and switched back to component for the TV.
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post #15 of 20 Old 10-09-2009, 01:49 PM
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I've got the exact same problem, it's a bug. I'd like to ask that anyone else facing this problem contact Time Warner Cable. If enough people complain, hopefully they can remove this annoying "feature".
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post #16 of 20 Old 10-15-2009, 07:15 AM
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I have the same problem, that's why I checked here before calling TW. I'm glad it's not just me. I though it was something I was doing wrong.
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post #17 of 20 Old 10-18-2009, 11:01 AM
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I have the 8300HD connected to a Vizio TV with an HDMI cable (video) and to a Yamaha AV Receiver with an optical cable (audio). For at least a year since I installed my Home Theatre, everything worked fine; I always had surround sound when I turned the system on.... Not anymore. Now, every time that I turn it on, the audio setting in the 8300HD goes back to HDMI (2-channel stereo) and I have to manually change it to Dolby Digital (which involves a several steps process). Needless to say, this is very annoying.
Trying to find an explanation to the problem I found this in the manual:
"Important Note Regarding the HDMI Interface on the 8300HD:
The HDMI interface will automatically configure the audio output for a format supported by the television. Because not all TV's support a Dolby Digital input, the HDMI interface may automatically select a 2-channel stereo audio configuration instead of Dolby Digital. When the output is configured for a 2-channel audio, this configuration is carried over to the other digital audio outputs of the 8300HD.. This configuration prevents your home theatre system or Dolby Digital decoder from providing the full Dolby Digital surround sound effect.
On the 8300HD, you may override the automatic selection of audio by the HDMI interface by completing the following steps:
1. Press Setting twice on the remote control to open the General Settings Menu.
2. Press Move Up or Move Down to select the option Audioigital Out
3. Press Move Right to select Dolby Digital. This setting will send Dolby Digital audio to the HDMI, DIGITAL AUDIO OUT and OPTICAL AUDIO OUT connectors on the 8300HD".

So this kind of explains it... but I don't understand why it never happened before ! ... Did I inadvertently changed any settings that make it start happening... any ideas?
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post #18 of 20 Old 10-18-2009, 01:58 PM
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Update:
Time Warner Live Support Chat said that this seems due to a new navigator upgrade. That the visit of a highly trained technician can solve the issue.
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post #19 of 20 Old 10-18-2009, 07:20 PM
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Same problems here in the Milwaukee area. I had a SA 4250 that was doing the same thing. I had a tech come out today and give me a 8300HDC and it also does the same damned thing of always reverting back to HDMI after I turn the TV off, then back on.

The tech who came out had no idea how to fix it, and the tech on the phone who scheduled the call had never heard of the problem before. If anyone figures out a fix, I would love to hear it!

Seriously considering dropping TW for satellite.
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post #20 of 20 Old 10-22-2009, 01:38 PM
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The "highly trained technician's" solution to the problem was to connect the 8300HDC to the TV with component cables instead of HDMI.... he said that "picture quality is the same".
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