To all M-class Kscape owners. There is a bug with the Mclass player software that causes intermittent audio dropouts on playback of many BluRay discs. The issue is as follows:
If you do not
use your M300 or M500 players to decode (which I do not) and you pass bitstream data to your preamp (which I do) you will get audio dropouts when watching many blurays. The droupouts are always in the exact same place and they happen alot (a dozen or more times) on many popular titles (eg. Iron Man2, Apocalypse Now, Robin Hood etc...) The issue is with how the M-class players handle Branch Streaming/Seamless Branching.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seamless_branching
I have contacted Kscape and this is a known issue and they are working on a software fix. Timeframe unknown (apparently less than 6 months). I was told that most people do not have this problem since most people let the M class players decode. I found this information surprising and thought that more people would have noticed the problem.
The audio pause or dropout is 100% repeatable. I can tell you exact passages in movies where you will have an audio dropout when watching a Bluray over HDMI. The audio dropout happens for different languages as well (it is not just DTS-MA or DD-True HD formats).
For a long time I thought it was our companies Integra pre-amp, cables, general HDMI mailaise etc... I am posting this in the hopes that I save others the headache I went through trying to figure it out. Once brought to Kaleidescapes attention they acknowledged it to be a problem within a couple of hours (very responsive engineering and customer service departments). There is no ETA for a software fix but the good news is that a software fix will apparently remedy this problem. I was also told that when a software fix is made there will be no announcement, it will just start working properly. For any of you suffering from this it is a major nuissance since it is very disruptive to have momentary silence 5-10 times in a film. The workaround is to have the M-class players perfom the decoding. I do not think the M-class players perform 7.1 decoding so this is one of the tradeoffs of the workaround (not too big of a deal for some people but a bit of a pain since we demo 7.1 in our shop). If your preamp performs advanced processing (like Audyssey) I think this will still work but perhaps other things may not work.
I am simply curious why this has not been more widely reported. Is it true that few people use thier preamps for decoding? I was told by Kscape tech support that this will affect any hardware that receives bitsream from M-class players.
If anyone wants to test this out for themselves here are two sample passages (I have some others for Robin Hood and Transformers2):
Iron Man 2 on BluRay
15:42 - 15:45 as the camera angle changes from Robert Downey Jr to Gary Shandling (Senator Stern) and immediately after Downey says "...time for a little transparency" and before Shandling says "what is he doing?" there is an audio drop.
There is a second audio drop right around 16:18 - 16:19 when the camera angle changes from Downey to Don Cheadle.
Apocalypse Now (newest release--beautiful transfer)
On the Redux version (not the theatrical release)
When the camera angle changes from Martin Sheen to Marlin Brando there is an audio skip.
The theatrical release does it as well but at a different point in time (movie is shorter).