Pace CableCARD HD Boxes (TDC779X, TDC778X and DC757X) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 1068 Old 09-06-2007, 11:18 AM - Thread Starter
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This thread is for discussion of the TDC779X (aka Tahoe Analog), TDC778X (aka Tahoe All Digital) and DC757X (aka Miami).

Firmware release notes for each box can be found below:

Online manuals:

FAQ:

1. How do I get into diagnostics?

To get to those diagnostics, press the power button, then press the select button within two seconds. To leave, press the power button.

2. What is the largest supported eSATA drive?

Older firmware revisions will only recognize ~700GB. Larger drives will work, but only ~700GB will be recognized.

The latest maintenance release supports 1TB and larger drives.

3. Has Pace certified any eSATA drives?

Yes, the following drives have been tested and verified to function properly:
  1. Western Digital MyDVR Expander (WDG1S5000)
  2. Seagate DVR Expander (ST30500SCA109-RK)
  3. iOmega DVR (34172)

4. How can I format the internal or eSATA HDD?

While on the main diagnostics page (not the dashboard page), press

Repeat
MyDVR*
MyDVR*
MyDVR*
LIVE

*MyDVR may be LIST on your remote depending on your cable provider

this will bring up a screen where you can select the drive to format and subsequently format the drive. After a few seconds, the box will reboot. After reboot, the drive will be available for use (the format is a two phase process so the initial format GUI may appear to be very quick).

Be aware that formatting the drive can't be undone and you will lose all the content on the drive. Do not use this screen unless absolutely necessary.

5. What are the discrete Power On/Off codes?
  • HEX 4A (0x4A) for Power On
  • HEX 4B (0x4B) for Power Off

6. Why is TV Guide indicating that my disk is not full when its definitely not full?

This is a bug in the guide. Most of the time, the only way to resolve it is to reboot your box. Sometimes (but very rarely) if you delete a recording, it may recover and get out of the error state.

7. How do I get into Pace User Settings?

Press the Power Button on the remote and then Menu. This will allow you to change a variety of settings. Press the Power button to return to live TV.

8. What is the PowerMenu?

It is the same as Pace User Settings (older name for the same function).

Linden
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post #2 of 1068 Old 09-08-2007, 07:59 PM
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I have 2 779X cable boxes, one connected to a Sony A2000 SXRD set and 1 to a Toshiba REGZA LCD set. Both boxes have Rev 9.01 firmware. Both boxes appear to have the same bug that was present in earlier Tahoe boxes. Both boxes are connected with HDMI and both TVs indicate that they are receiving a 4:3 picture from Hi Def channels. I hooked up component cables to the SXRD set and that correctly showed 16:9. The REGZA set has an "Auto Aspect Ratio" feature which, when enabled, locks HDTV signals to 4:3.

Dick OKeefe
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post #3 of 1068 Old 09-09-2007, 02:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldengineer View Post

The REGZA set has an "Auto Aspect Ratio" feature which, when enabled, locks HDTV signals to 4:3.

Dick OKeefe

Dick,

If you turn this off, will it show a 16x9 picture?

Linden
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post #4 of 1068 Old 09-10-2007, 09:18 AM
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Linden,

I can't seem to find very detailed specs on the 778 (like is available on the 775) so I have no idea how it compares with the 775. Is it worth upgrading? How big is the 778 hard drive? What are the major differences? My cable operator is rolling the 778's out tomorrow and I'd like to upgrade but don't want to bother if the difference will be negligible.

Bill

~Bill
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post #5 of 1068 Old 09-10-2007, 10:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Bill,

Answered some of this via PM.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BillKen View Post

Is it worth upgrading?

Depends on what you're looking for.

It does have a smaller footprint, so if space is at a premium, that is one thing to consider.

I also think the front panel isn't as bright (for those that were bothered by the brightness of the 775).

The firmware rev (9.01) is newer so it will contain tweaks/fixes not yet in the 775 firmware (although this is a temporary thing and varies by site--some sites have already rolled out 9.40 on the 775).

OTOH, there are fewer LEDs (i.e. no lock icon, no surround sound icon) on the front panel, so if that's important to you, maybe not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BillKen View Post

How big is the 778 hard drive?

Same size. eSATA remains functional.

Linden
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post #6 of 1068 Old 09-10-2007, 05:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lindend View Post

Dick,

If you turn this off, will it show a 16x9 picture?

Yes, If I turn off the Auto Aspect Ratio on the REGZA it shows a true 16:9 picture in 720P or 1080I, but the display info shows a 4:3 ratio. The same is true for the Sony set. It shows 4:3 in the display window but with the mode selector set to WIDE (the normal HD setting) the set shows a 16:9 picture in full HD.

Dick OKeefe
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post #7 of 1068 Old 09-13-2007, 02:25 PM
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I picked up a 778 at my cable company today - gonna hook it up tonight and see how it compares to my 775. I'll try to post my thoughts in a day or so.

~Bill
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post #8 of 1068 Old 09-13-2007, 07:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldengineer View Post

Yes, If I turn off the Auto Aspect Ratio on the REGZA it shows a true 16:9 picture in 720P or 1080I, but the display info shows a 4:3 ratio. The same is true for the Sony set. It shows 4:3 in the display window but with the mode selector set to WIDE (the normal HD setting) the set shows a 16:9 picture in full HD.

Dick OKeefe

Dick,

We've replicated the problem and fixed it. The release notes will be updated when a fix is available.

Linden
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post #9 of 1068 Old 09-15-2007, 05:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lindend View Post

Dick,

We've replicated the problem and fixed it. The release notes will be updated when a fix is available.

Thanks, Paul. Its nice to be involved with a company whose engineers actually care about their stuff.

BTW, since switching from Motorola boxes to the Pace boxes I see a real improvement in PQ. I used to get some pixelization and frame freezes with the Moto boxes which I thought were cable problems, but I haven't seen anything bad lately.

Dick OKeefe
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post #10 of 1068 Old 09-17-2007, 07:57 AM
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Well I had my new 778 (replacement to my 775) for the weekend and can say I'm very happy with it.

Positives:
PQ is as good (or better) than 775
Quieter than 775
LOVE the front green LED display colors etc - MUCH nicer than the "too bright" blue power LED and "too dim" blue clock/channel display.
Overall physical appearance of unit is nicer than 775.
Maybe it's just my mind at work - but remote control response time seems better than the 775.
Smaller footprint than 775
30 second skip still works! (PLEASE don't ever disable this feature).

Negatives:
Smaller footprint than 775 (could be an issue if you want all your component to stack up nicely and be the same dimensions).
Same size HD as 775 - sure would have been nice to get a 250gb hd in there.
No component pass through like 775.

Overall I'm very happy with the 778 and plan on returning my 775 later today.

Bill

Edit: Adding one more negative - so far I've lost my "premium subscription" channels on 2 different occasions with this new box - both times my cable company was able to reset the box remotely and fixed it but it's still a bit annoying nonetheless. Hopefully it won't be an ongoing issue.

~Bill
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post #11 of 1068 Old 09-17-2007, 02:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillKen View Post

Edit: Adding one more negative - so far I've lost my "premium subscription" channels on 2 different occasions with this new box - both times my cable company was able to reset the box remotely and fixed it but it's still a bit annoying nonetheless. Hopefully it won't be an ongoing issue.

When you say "lost" what error/warning message did you see on screen?

Also, have you had an opportunity to try out VOD over your HDMI connection? I'd like to find out if your VOD/HDMI issues are resolved.

Linden
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post #12 of 1068 Old 09-17-2007, 02:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lindend View Post

When you say "lost" what error/warning message did you see on screen?

Also, have you had an opportunity to try out VOD over your HDMI connection? I'd like to find out if your VOD/HDMI issues are resolved.

Lost as is in the online guide says "Subscription Service Only - Not Authorized" even though we subscribe to them. I half wonder if it's because Armstrong hadn't removed the old Pace 775 from their system yet? My wife just called a bit ago to tell me we had lost the digital channels (400 to 495) and I called Armstrong - the girl there rebooted the box and it fixed it again. She mentioned something about seeing 2 HD PVR boxes on my account - that's what makes me wonder about the 775.

No Linden - remember I upgraded from the Samsung DLP to a new Pioneer Elite Plasma - so my VOD issues went out the door with the Samsung. Currently I'm running Component Cables from the Pace to my Pio and my Xbox 360 Elite and Toshiba HD-A30 hd-dvd are using the 2 HDMI inputs my Pioneer has. Would you like me to try the Pace 778 over HDMI? It's sitting on top of of the hd-dvd so plugging in the HDMI cable would be no problem.

edit: prior to getting my Xbox Elite - I was running HDMI from the 775 to the Pio Elite with no problems at all - no VOD dropouts or anything. Once I got the new Xbox I swapped it to the HDMI and the 775 to the Components - do you think I'd get better PQ from the 778 over HDMI than over component? I tried both with the 775 and could not see any noticeable difference.

~Bill
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post #13 of 1068 Old 09-17-2007, 07:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillKen View Post

Lost as is in the online guide says "Subscription Service Only - Not Authorized" even though we subscribe to them.

Can't comment on what is going on in your particular case, but generally, when that message is seen, the box hasn't been properly authorized for all services in question.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BillKen View Post

I half wonder if it's because Armstrong hadn't removed the old Pace 775 from their system yet?

The state of the old box shouldn't really matter if the new box has been properly authorized.



Quote:
Originally Posted by BillKen View Post

No Linden - remember I upgraded from the Samsung DLP to a new Pioneer Elite Plasma - so my VOD issues went out the door with the Samsung.

Ahh, yes. I remember now. Never mind then.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BillKen View Post

Would you like me to try the Pace 778 over HDMI? It's sitting on top of of the hd-dvd so plugging in the HDMI cable would be no problem.

Up to you. But I'd like to hear the results if you're willing to try it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BillKen View Post

do you think I'd get better PQ from the 778 over HDMI than over component? I tried both with the 775 and could not see any noticeable difference.

I don't think you'll see any with the 778 either.

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post #14 of 1068 Old 09-21-2007, 06:04 AM
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Hey Linden,

Lost all my premium stations again last night after the box was turned on from standby mode. Again - Armstrong was able to send a new signal to the box and I got the channels back - but it's getting kind of annoying. Perhaps it's the cable card? They're going to send a tech out next Tuesday to look at it.

Bill

~Bill
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post #15 of 1068 Old 09-21-2007, 09:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Bill,

Quote:
Originally Posted by BillKen View Post

Again - Armstrong was able to send a new signal to the box and I got the channels back -

Did they reboot the box or did the channels just come in right after they sent the message? If possible, I'd like to know if they just sent a refresh to the box or re-added the services in question.

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post #16 of 1068 Old 09-21-2007, 09:25 AM
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Hi Linden,

The box did not reboot when they did whatever they did last night - I was sitting at it watching TV and the CS guy on the phone "check now" and they were back. I'm not sure what exactly he did - I can call to see if they have a log of the incident.

Bill

edit: Just spoke to Armstrong - there's no log of last night's incident - but the one on 9/17 was them rebooting and re-adding the services. Last night I suspect was just a refresh but I'm not sure - I do know the box did not reboot (if that helps). I tried shutting the box down and rebooting it manually prior to calling last night and it did not work.

~Bill
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post #17 of 1068 Old 09-21-2007, 04:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Bill,

Quote:
Originally Posted by BillKen View Post

Just spoke to Armstrong - there's no log of last night's incident

The next time this happens, please find out the exact steps they performed. It will help me diagnose what might be happening. I need to know if they:

1. Refreshed the box.
2. Inited the box.
3. Removed and then re-added the services (or a package).
4. Added the services because they were missing (at the server).

Linden
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post #18 of 1068 Old 09-21-2007, 06:22 PM
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Will do Linden - thanks for keeping an eye out on the Pace boxes. You're probably growing weary of all my issues with whatever Pace box I get huh?

~Bill
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post #19 of 1068 Old 09-23-2007, 04:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillKen View Post

You're probably growing weary of all my issues with whatever Pace box I get huh?

Bill,

How could I grow weary of your questions?

The truth is your comments/feedback and patience are very appreciated. You have helped us make the product better for everyone.

Linden
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post #20 of 1068 Old 09-25-2007, 08:36 AM
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Hey Linden,

Armstrong sent a tech out today to check things out with my 778. After much nosing around he came to the conclusion that the problem probably lies within Armstrong's system and not the box itself. He said that the "Not Authorized" message normally points to a system issue and not an issue with the box itself.

His final solution was to just swap out the box entirely. I asked him why not just swap the cable card first to rule out a flakey card and he said they don't do that - the replace the entire unit. He asked me to check with my friend at Armstrong about possibly trying a cable card swap as a test so I sent him an email about it. I'll let you know what the outcome is - if any. As it stands now I am keeping the current box rather than swapping. I've not lost any channels since last Thursday night - keeping my fingers crossed.

So far my issue has just been a matter of getting a refresh signal sent to my box - which is fine as long as it happens when the tech support office is open - it will stink when it happens after they're closed some night.

Just wanted to give you an update.

Bill

~Bill
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post #21 of 1068 Old 09-28-2007, 08:09 PM
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I just picked up a couple of TDC778X's from Armstrong yesterday. I too discovered the auto aspect ratio problem with Toshiba's.

Another big problem for me is that the unit will not transmit Dolby Digital 5.1 over HDMI. I only get 2 channels. I've had to hook up Coax cable to the SPDIF connector as a workaround.

I also wish that the guide and menu would not stretch and remain pillar box like on the Motorola.

HDMI switching through the receiver works however, so I can finally discard the component video cables.
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post #22 of 1068 Old 09-29-2007, 09:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doobydolby View Post

Another big problem for me is that the unit will not transmit Dolby Digital 5.1 over HDMI. I only get 2 channels. I've had to hook up Coax cable to the SPDIF connector as a workaround.

Can you please post the details from the HDMI page (especially the audio related ones). I need to find out if you TV (or receiver depending on your connection) is telling us if its supports HDMI.

To get to the HDMI page, chose Interface status, then HDMI.

Quote:
Originally Posted by doobydolby View Post

I also wish that the guide and menu would not stretch and remain pillar box like on the Motorola.

Sorry, this is how the box works. Graphics are full screen in all resolutions.

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post #23 of 1068 Old 09-30-2007, 08:35 AM
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[quote=lindend;11767938]Can you please post the details from the HDMI page (especially the audio related ones). I need to find out if you TV (or receiver depending on your connection) is telling us if its supports HDMI.

To get to the HDMI page, chose Interface status, then HDMI.

Linden,

I am unable to find the "HDMI page". Is this on the cable box? I've searched through the cable box menus

The Yamaha RX-V3800 receiver reports HDMI 48kHz 2ch.

Thanks.
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post #24 of 1068 Old 09-30-2007, 10:23 AM
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Linden,

I've discovered another problem with the unit. It is not saving my specified settings regarding resolution capability. It keeps reverting to 720p only.
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post #25 of 1068 Old 09-30-2007, 08:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doobydolby View Post

Linden,

I've discovered another problem with the unit. It is not saving my specified settings regarding resolution capability. It keeps reverting to 720p only.

If you're using HDMI, the display informs the box of the supported resolutions.

How are you configuring the supported resolutions?

Linden
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post #26 of 1068 Old 09-30-2007, 08:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doobydolby View Post

I am unable to find the "HDMI page".

Its in the firmware diagnostics. To get to those diagnostics, press the power button, then press the select button within two seconds.

You will see a menu with a blue background. At that point, select interface status, then HDMI status.

When you captured the info I requested, you can hit the left arrow button to get back to the main menu and the power button to exit diagnostics. To see video, press the power button again.

All of this info is discussed in the Tahoe thread. You may want to look at it as there was another user with the same problem you're experiencing and I'm likely going to need you to perform the same steps as him.

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post #27 of 1068 Old 09-30-2007, 08:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lindend View Post

If you're using HDMI, the display informs the box of the supported resolutions.

How are you configuring the supported resolutions?

The Pace manual indicates that the STB will interogate the display as to its capabilities, but they can be over-ridden, and the STB will save the settings.

I have high end video processing in my projector, so I want the STB to send out all native resolutions, so all are enabled except 480p.
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post #28 of 1068 Old 09-30-2007, 09:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lindend View Post

Its in the firmware diagnostics. To get to those diagnostics, press the power button, then press the select button within two seconds.

You will see a menu with a blue background. At that point, select interface status, then HDMI status.

When you captured the info I requested, you can hit the left arrow button to get back to the main menu and the power button to exit diagnostics. To see video, press the power button again.

All of this info is discussed in the Tahoe thread. You may want to look at it as there was another user with the same problem you're experiencing and I'm likely going to need you to perform the same steps as him.


Linden,

I did a search on the original thread on did not find the solution. My STB reports:
Repeater - Yes
HDCP - Yes
Audio cabable - yes (PCM)

I tried an older Yamaha receiver and had the same results. I have 3 other HDMI devices connected including an HDDVD player and do not have any HDMI issues.

I don't mind the audio workaround with the coax cable, but the default resoltuion thing is killing me. I would revert back to component, but the HDMI image is noticable better.
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post #29 of 1068 Old 10-01-2007, 09:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doobydolby View Post

The Pace manual indicates that the STB will interogate the display as to its capabilities, but they can be over-ridden, and the STB will save the settings.

I have high end video processing in my projector, so I want the STB to send out all native resolutions, so all are enabled except 480p.

That's weird - that's exactly how I have my 778x set up and it saves my settings fine. Sounds like maybe you have a flaky box.

If you're near an Armstrong office they'll let you swap it out yourself if you don't want to wait for a tech to come. That's what I do - and I got a stack of "returned equipment receipts" about 2 inches thick to prove it!

~Bill
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post #30 of 1068 Old 10-01-2007, 09:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doobydolby View Post

Linden,

I did a search on the original thread on did not find the solution. My STB reports:
Repeater - Yes
HDCP - Yes
Audio cabable - yes (PCM)

Thanks for those details. This particular issue was/is unresolved so I wasn't expecting your problem to go away, just wanted the details.

I'm suspicious that your receiver's interaction with the box is creating the problem (I'm not saying the receiver has a bug at this point, just need to rule stuff out). Please try the following:

1. Hook up the 778 (aka TCC) directly to the display and bypass the receiver then let me know if the problem with saved resolutions persists or is no longer reproducible.

1A. Please print out the supported resolutions when just the HDMI display is connected.

2. Hook up the 778 directly to the receiver, but don't connect the display to the receiver via HDMI (component is ok). Let me know if AC-3 is transmitted in this case. If not, please report the diagnostics for the audio capable line. Also, please list the supported resolutions.

3. Connect the 778 to the receiver and then connect the display to the receiver and report the supported resolutions and also the audio capable line.

Linden
Pace Americas, Inc. (note the views expressed here are my own and not necessarily those of Pace).
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