Some Theta Doubletalk - AVS Forum
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Old 02-19-2007, 11:10 AM - Thread Starter
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I am the otherwise very happy owner of a Casablanca 3. There is a software glitch that drives me batty. It will occasionally drop the signal from my Comcast box when I change channels, necessitating a reboot (it is a computer after all). I first wrote about this almost a year ago. I finally got annoyed enough that I called theta and spoke to a tech, who swore that they are within DAYS of a solution, and that they would get hold of me or my dealer with a fix. That was almost a month ago, and I'm still waiting. Overall I am very pleased with my unit, and I'm waiting patiently for HDMI 3 and room correction. But this is annoying me.

David

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Old 02-19-2007, 11:28 AM
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David,

Greetings from Bannockburn.

I have the CB III in my theater and can tell you that I have not had such a problem with my unit - though I have heard of issues with the Comcast Cable box. Have you spoken to Comcast about this as well?

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Old 02-19-2007, 03:18 PM
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I do have some sound issues with my SA 8300HD PVR, but it is rare.

It happens when i do a FF or RW.
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Old 02-19-2007, 04:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi Peter,
I think that we have a mutual dealer, Quintessence Audio in Morton Grove. I have heard that you have a fabulous setup. I've not spoken to Comcast, since in my experience they are the lowest common denominator.

David

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Old 02-19-2007, 08:37 PM
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David

My CBIII also sometimes loses sync with my comcast box, but 99 out of 100 times I'm able to re-sync by switching channels.

Rick
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Old 02-19-2007, 09:00 PM
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Believe it or not, one way to deal with this issue may be quite simple.

Did some research - the issue is not with Theta, but with Comcast - as I thought. When the Comcast box changes channels, it drops the AC3 output - putting the Theta into an unknown state - after all it has a lock on a signal which drops out on it and then reappears. The timing of this is not long enough for the Theta to reset, and is short enough so that the Theta can not reclock the same stream.

One way to handle this would be a simple powered repeater which would keep the clock signal flowing to the Theta. This should work like a charm and solve the problem (which is in fact an improper implementation in the Comcast box).

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Old 02-19-2007, 11:57 PM
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It's not just with Comcast. I have Directv and the same thing is happening. Earlier Theta came to my house and we determined it was a faulty toslink. However, the issue has started again and YES the toslink this time is fine. I contacted Theta to speak with John and unfortunately, he is no longer with Theta. How does the "powered repeater" work as I really don't want to send it back to Theta if I don't have too.
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Old 02-20-2007, 01:25 AM
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Hi

I have the same problems somethimes and it's on different devices.
So it's a Theta problem.

Rob
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Old 02-20-2007, 02:29 AM
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Quote:


I finally got annoyed enough that I called theta and spoke to a tech, who swore that they are within DAYS of a solution

Same issues with the Cable Box, same excuses (3+ years and counting).

Step in line.

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Did some research - the issue is not with Theta, but with Comcast

Don't have Comcast. It works fine with a $350.00 Denon receiver, so Denon has figured out a way to recover from this error, while it still eludes Theta. Actually, pick any random $200 Japanese receiver. It will work fine with the Cable box.

Quote:


One way to handle this would be a simple powered repeater which would keep the clock signal flowing to the Theta. This should work like a charm and solve the problem (which is in fact an improper implementation in the Comcast box).

Don't need any of this Rube Goldberg **** with the 7 year old Denon receiver.

Excuses.
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Old 02-20-2007, 04:29 AM
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I have a similar problem with my CBIII and Toshiba HD-A1. If I fast forward the CBIII will occassionally lose sync and I get garbled output. I reboot and all is well.
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Old 02-20-2007, 10:34 AM
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I have had problems with DirecTV and my Casablanca for 4 years, covering two different set top boxes. I used to get "pops" in the front speakers with the DTC-100 and now I get them in the surrounds with the HR-20.

The new Toshiba HD-A2 goes mute for a few seconds when I skip chapters.


John
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Old 02-20-2007, 10:38 AM
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It will occasionally drop the signal from my Comcast box when I change channels, necessitating a reboot (it is a computer after all).

This has been happening all over the country with Comcast. We've had it happen with several models of Plasma TV's. Comcast has been updating firmware and every once and a while they put something in their code that causes this to happen. They'll deny it; but, it has been documented and several manufacturers have called them to task on it. Yell at Comcast and threaten to switch.

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Old 02-20-2007, 12:01 PM
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Just sent my CB3 in for this issue. Three weeks till it returns. The rep I'm dealing with is Carl Nicolson. Before John Baloff left the company he told me they were working a new board for this problem. We'll see. When I get it back I'll you know what if anything changed. I've had this issue for over 2 1/2 yrs along with a host of other little quirks. My Pioneer 1015 never had any of these issues. My Theta is a wonderful sounding piece but it's relibility has always been a problem for me. I stick with these issues only because I have yet to find another processor that I feel comes close to the sound of the CB3.
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Old 02-20-2007, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Shapiro View Post

IOverall I am very pleased with my unit, and I'm waiting patiently for HDMI 3 and room correction. But this is annoying me.

David

Theta has started working on the HDMI 1.3 solution. They are still waiting for parts and it is in the very early stages. No clue as to when it will be ready. Not right away for sure.

Never become so involved with something that it blinds you.
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Old 02-21-2007, 07:00 PM
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occasionally????
my time warner dvr loses digital lock at least once per session. I have spent countless hours with John at theta trying to resolve. they finally gave up saying: it must be a crappy TWC box that does not send a signal within the "tolerances" required by the theta input board. I had similar issues with the HD200 box on my C-band satellite dish although it happened only oce a week or so.
If the theta didn't sound so good and cost so much $$$$$ I would have dumped it several years ago.....

D
Theta + Ruby = nirvana!
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Old 02-21-2007, 08:44 PM
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One way around it seems to be the following.

If you are using a programmable remote, set it to do the following and see if it helps.

Mute On
Channel Up
Mute Off

and

Mute On
Channel Down
Mute Off

Seems to work here.

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"That which can not be questioned, can not be trusted." - Me

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Old 02-21-2007, 09:51 PM
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What about using a "cheap" Monarchy DIP in between the source and Theta ?
I am sure it can provide "cleaner transitions" from dropped digital connections.

- Andy
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Old 02-22-2007, 12:12 AM
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Quote:


If you are using a programmable remote, set it to do the following and see if it helps.

Mute On
Channel Up
Mute Off

and

Mute On
Channel Down
Mute Off

Why?

A $200 receiver doesn't need these hacks.
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Old 02-22-2007, 11:51 AM - Thread Starter
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For the kind of money we're paying, it should work right the first time and every time. Ive lost interest a long time ago in being the Beta testers for these firms. The Halcro thread was very interesting for that reason.

David

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Old 03-05-2007, 01:21 AM
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Stick70 have you gotten your CBIII back and if so has the problem been resolved? I actually got a Halcro because of this post and the fact that John left Theta. If they are able to resolve the problem I will send mine in for repair and continue with my decision which of the 2 processors to keep.
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Old 03-05-2007, 10:12 AM
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badbenzz,
Yes I did receive my CB3 back from Theta and yes I still have the same issues. I can tell you the entire process was a disaster and waste of time. Carl Nicolson is the guy covering John's job. I don't know if that's a permanent thing but I certainly hope not. In my experience, Carl just didn't seem to have any technical savvy with the CB3. It took several e-mails just to get a somewhat straight answer on what they actually did to the unit when it was in for service. He is more of an e-mail communicator whereas John would pickup the phone and talk with me directly.

In regards to the audio dropouts, again I had to e-mail Carl at least three times before I got the following information:

"Every Casablanca is put through a final listening test in Theta Digital's sound room before being OK'd to leave the factory. Upgraded and repaired units must pass at the same strict quality levels as new units. In this test, the Casablanca is hooked up to a total of 9 different sources and put through several operational tests. One test module involves repeated switching back and forth between 6 sources that differ with respect to type (analog / digital), sample rate (44.1 kHz / 48 kHz / 96 kHz), and encoding (DTS 96 / 24, DTS-ES, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital EX, Dolby Digital via RF). Another module consists of hooking the Casablanca up to a satellite source via Toslink and surfing up and down a range of 30 stations that include stereo, Dolby Digital 2.0 and Dolby Digital 5.1 broadcasts. These two modules specifically test a unit's ability to detect changes in sources, sample rates and modes. A unit's inability to sense these changes can lead to audio dropout when changing sources. (temp70) unit had no difficulty whatsoever detecting changes in sources, sample rates, and modes on the technician's bench and in the battery of tests in the sound room.

I received the CB3 last week and reinstalled into my setup. Unfortunately, as soon as I switched between sources it dropped the audio. The bigger problem for me is I do not have a local dealer and am relying on the manufacturer to help me. From that response it seems that they have done all they are going to do. It's sad that a 14k processor can't do these basic functions and the manufacture is giving up fairly quickly (in my situation). I can tell you that John would have called me or asked that I call him after a few days just to make sure everything was working properly. Carl's approach was to tell me that they were confident that the unit was shipped back to me functioning normally and it was possible that there are other issues in my system that are causing the problems.

I don't think that I should have to worry about my cable box or dvd player not working with a 14k processor. You would think that it would for the kind of money. If you're going to purchase this processor be wise and go with a local and knowledgeable dealer. My initial purchase was through a local dealer just not very knowledgeable and was told to call the manufacture. Look where that got me.

It's kind of like having an expensive sports car that's always in the shop. It's great when it runs.

Best of luck with your Theta.


Temp70
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Old 03-05-2007, 11:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveN View Post

I have a similar problem with my CBIII and Toshiba HD-A1. If I fast forward the CBIII will occassionally lose sync and I get garbled output. I reboot and all is well.

Mine too. I found that if I change to an input that gets an analog signal, that works to and I do not have to reboot. I switch to the tape input and then back to the dvd input and that fixes the problem. If I switch to another input that gets a digital signal, it does not fix the problem. You guys are right though, it should not be this way.

Never become so involved with something that it blinds you.
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Old 03-06-2007, 10:52 AM
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Stick I have a CBIII and it never had the problem until it was upgraded to the B version. I recently had a heart to heart with Theta and was told they DO NOT have a fix for the problem yet. It was because of that and the fact that John left I bought a Halcro instead. Frankly, I never would of replaced the Theta if I didn't have the drop out as it was sounding and does sound incredible. When Theta gets around to figuring out the problem, I will ship it to them and hopefully get my CBIII resolved once and for all. Otherwise I will just sell it.
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Old 03-06-2007, 11:13 AM
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What serious A/V person has cable?!? That's like saying your Porsche doesn't haul gravel well

John
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Old 03-06-2007, 11:39 AM
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badbenzz,

I agree with you. Had a similar conversation with John just before he left. He was always frustrated with passing along the excuses.

Alimentall, don't really know what your getting at. If you own a CB3 and are experiencing these issues your input would be appreciated on that subject.
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Old 03-08-2007, 04:11 PM
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I have my unit in for an upgrade to CBIII right now. I was at DaveN's house when his crashed and mine used to do the same thing anytinme I paused a movie or had any reason to drop a signal from the unit. Sometimes I would get audio drop just by chaging out DVDs. I always have to turn the unit off and basically re-set it to get things back to normal. I was hoping the upgrade would take care of all this. Judging by what everyone is saying, it probably won't. Does anyone know if Carl frequents the forum?
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Old 03-08-2007, 09:03 PM
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javry when you say "upgrade"what is being upgraded? Mine was a CBIIIa and it had no problems whatsoever. It wasn't until the CBIIIb upgrade that the problem started.
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Old 03-09-2007, 04:01 AM
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javry has a CBII that is being upgraded to CBIII. What is a CBIIIa vs CBIIIb?
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Old 03-09-2007, 05:30 AM
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I have the same issue and I think we need to be very specific about what happens so that Theta (who is reading this thread) knows exactly what is happening.

For me, when I switch from a DD source to a source that has to rely on PL2 for multichannel, I lose the signal. Then if I switch to an analogue source (or any source that causes a relay to trip in the CB -you can hear the clicking) then back (hearing the clicking again) I regain the signal. It also happens frequently when switching from DD or PL2 to DTS. For me, that seems to be the root of the problem. I don't have the issue with sat signals.
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Old 03-09-2007, 09:55 AM
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A CBIIIa did not have PLIIx
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