Official Harman/Kardon AVR x54: Problems and Solutions Thread - Page 10 - AVS Forum
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post #271 of 2864 Old 08-17-2008, 09:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by T2k View Post

Not at all - you have one of the newer boxes which finally match older SA ones.

Motorola FTL...who knew they were capable of putting out subpar products?

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post #272 of 2864 Old 08-17-2008, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by jayhawk11 View Post

Motorola FTL...who knew they were capable of putting out subpar products?

Never mind that - my SA never did 480i over HDMI, for whatever reason... I guess it's time for a master reset soon, it might help...

Any news about HK's fix or their promise, at least?

My window is closing... I never brought back a thing requesting money back, only for exchange - is it the same provcess in BB?
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post #273 of 2864 Old 08-17-2008, 10:24 PM
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Is this a problem with all HK models or just my 354?

I have noticed while watching TV or playing XBOX 360. One night I'll play a game in the "DTS Neo:6 Cinema" surround mode and the next time I play the same game that option is grayed out and I can't choose anything but "Dolby Virtual" or "2 CH Stereo" or AUTO SELECT. The same thing happens when watching TV. It's like the HK has a mind of it's own.
Why can't I choose whatever "Surround Mode" I want for anything all the time?

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post #274 of 2864 Old 08-17-2008, 11:56 PM
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The DCH-3200 and DCH-3416 are the same box except that the 3416 has the dual tuner DVR feature. Since I set the 4:3 overide to "off" I have not had a problem switching between SD and HD. Maybe you have a bad cable box. BTW- I ended up teaching the HK remote to operate my TV and cable box but I still can't get the remote to operate my Samsung P1500 Blu-ray even using the learn feature. The Onkyo 606 remote came with all the codes and operated everything.
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post #275 of 2864 Old 08-18-2008, 12:04 AM
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Originally Posted by IrishLegend View Post

Is this a problem with all HK models or just my 354?

I have noticed while watching TV or playing XBOX 360. One night I'll play a game in the "DTS Neo:6 Cinema" surround mode and the next time I play the same game that option is grayed out and I can't choose anything but "Dolby Virtual" or "2 CH Stereo" or AUTO SELECT. The same thing happens when watching TV. It's like the HK has a mind of it's own.
Why can't I choose whatever "Surround Mode" I want for anything all the time?

I've noticed the same thing. The 354 seems to randomly choose which sound formats it will allow you to listen to- even between different HD channels. Why is the Olympics HD in 2Ch stereo only while the Discovery Channel HD allows all surround modes?
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post #276 of 2864 Old 08-18-2008, 02:30 AM
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It's because some retarded broadcasters send their craptastic stereo signals as DD so no processing will be applied.

BTW found another bug: if you turn your Radio to Manual mode, L7 disappears - it's selectable but clearly gone from your speaker, it's a clearly audible difference (no music from sats.) Turn back to Auto tuning mode again and voila', music is again coming from all your speakers.

In other words if you are like me, like to dial in your own stations instead of painfully going through all the crap your market offers in Auto mode then do it in Manual mode, save your presets then turn back to Auto to get Logic 7 working again.
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post #277 of 2864 Old 08-18-2008, 06:22 AM
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I appears that all issues are HDMI related. Optical seems to work fine.

I also noticed another issue. If by chance you want to apply a video setting and you use Custom it will cause occasional flicker and a shift in brightness.

I called H/K Friday and was told someone would call me back who knew more about PS3s but I didn't get a call back. I'll have to call them again here in a few and get a reference number this time.
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post #278 of 2864 Old 08-18-2008, 06:53 AM
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Has anyone been able to duplicate my findings with "There will be Blood?" It's definitely only losing the center channel. Seems like most if not all audio problems are center channel related, like Jayhawk said earlier. Maybe that will give HK a direction to go.
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post #279 of 2864 Old 08-18-2008, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T2k View Post

It's because some retarded broadcasters send their craptastic stereo signals as DD so no processing will be applied.

BTW found another bug: if you turn your Radio to Manual mode, L7 disappears - it's selectable but clearly gone from your speaker, it's a clearly audible difference (no music from sats.) Turn back to Auto tuning mode again and voila', music is again coming from all your speakers.

In other words if you are like me, like to dial in your own stations instead of painfully going through all the crap your market offers in Auto mode then do it in Manual mode, save your presets then turn back to Auto to get Logic 7 working again.

That doesn't explain my situation while playing XBOX 360 one day with any surround mode I want and then playing the same game the next day with only one or two choices of surround modes. Why can't I choose any surround mode I want like with any other receiver?

Thanks.

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post #280 of 2864 Old 08-18-2008, 09:24 AM
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Every game on the 360 should be in DD. You should never need to change surround modes. I would double check settings on the 360, make sure receiver is set to DD on 360 input when the 360/receiver are both on. Then see if it switches to another mode.

Keep in mind as soon as the 360 turns on it will probably not be DD. Let it go to the dashboard and it should switch.
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post #281 of 2864 Old 08-18-2008, 09:56 AM
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I just wanted to drop a quick note. I am finally done with my 254 replacement quest: the Denon 1909 is the winner. I tried the Pio 1018, the Denon 1909 and the Denon 988. After a long agony, I finally opted for the Denon 1909, and I don't regret a thing.

I've been keeping up with the HK 254/354 problems thread, and quite honestly, I cannot believe the amount of unresolved problems those receivers have. Everyday someone finds a new bug. Sometimes someone finds a workaround, but now always.

I think I will steer clear from HK from now on, no matter how great their receivers sound. All I want is be able to enjoy my music, my speakers and my movies, without constantly having to touch the remote and adjust this or that, and spend hours trying to find fixes to unsolvable problems.

I wish the best of luck to all HK owners, and I really hope for you guys that HK WILL come up with a fw update that will address all of your issues. I am just too impatient to wait, and I have trust issues after reading what's happened to owners to previous HK receivers.

The 254 would have been my dream receiver if it had just worked flawlessly like the Pioneer or the Denons.
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post #282 of 2864 Old 08-18-2008, 10:07 AM
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That's cool but isn't the 1909 pretty much MSRP? That's a difference of a couple hundred bucks....
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post #283 of 2864 Old 08-18-2008, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Kaddish View Post

That's cool but isn't the 1909 pretty much MSRP? That's a difference of a couple hundred bucks....

Not for me, since I had bought the HK at MSRP as well. So, really, only $50.
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post #284 of 2864 Old 08-18-2008, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Kaddish View Post

Every game on the 360 should be in DD. You should never need to change surround modes. I would double check settings on the 360, make sure receiver is set to DD on 360 input when the 360/receiver are both on. Then see if it switches to another mode.

Keep in mind as soon as the 360 turns on it will probably not be DD. Let it go to the dashboard and it should switch.

Sometimes it is DD, sometimes it's not. I prefer DTS Neo:6 myself.

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post #285 of 2864 Old 08-18-2008, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Kaddish View Post

Every game on the 360 should be in DD. You should never need to change surround modes. I would double check settings on the 360, make sure receiver is set to DD on 360 input when the 360/receiver are both on. Then see if it switches to another mode.

Keep in mind as soon as the 360 turns on it will probably not be DD. Let it go to the dashboard and it should switch.

1)Not if I like a different sound mode.
2)That's just it sometimes it works correctly and sometimes it doesn't! Sometimes surround modes are grayed out and sometimes there not??!!

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post #286 of 2864 Old 08-18-2008, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by piki-iki View Post

I just wanted to drop a quick note. I am finally done with my 254 replacement quest: the Denon 1909 is the winner. I tried the Pio 1018, the Denon 1909 and the Denon 988. After a long agony, I finally opted for the Denon 1909, and I don't regret a thing.

I've been keeping up with the HK 254/354 problems thread, and quite honestly, I cannot believe the amount of unresolved problems those receivers have. Everyday someone finds a new bug. Sometimes someone finds a workaround, but now always.

I think I will steer clear from HK from now on, no matter how great their receivers sound. All I want is be able to enjoy my music, my speakers and my movies, without constantly having to touch the remote and adjust this or that, and spend hours trying to find fixes to unsolvable problems.

I wish the best of luck to all HK owners, and I really hope for you guys that HK WILL come up with a fw update that will address all of your issues. I am just too impatient to wait, and I have trust issues after reading what's happened to owners to previous HK receivers.

The 254 would have been my dream receiver if it had just worked flawlessly like the Pioneer or the Denons.

If the Denon had pre/outs and sounded better I would consider it, to me it doesn't. I don't seem to be having as many issues as some, but I haven't had a chance to test them. Again, you can put down almost every AVR on here, take your pick... Onkyo/Denon/Pioneer etc... etc.. all seem to have issues, just look at the main thread you will see some one posting a problem or many problems. Pushing a button on a remote, doesn't seem to be a problem for me, but it would be nice to see a auto-sensing feature so the receiver can tell what type of signal is coming in and adjust for it. Also just look on AVS in a few weeks as I am sure there will be a Denon 1909 problem thread.
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post #287 of 2864 Old 08-18-2008, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by piki-iki View Post

I just wanted to drop a quick note. I am finally done with my 254 replacement quest: the Denon 1909 is the winner. I tried the Pio 1018, the Denon 1909 and the Denon 988. After a long agony, I finally opted for the Denon 1909, and I don't regret a thing.

I've been keeping up with the HK 254/354 problems thread, and quite honestly, I cannot believe the amount of unresolved problems those receivers have. Everyday someone finds a new bug. Sometimes someone finds a workaround, but now always.

I think I will steer clear from HK from now on, no matter how great their receivers sound. All I want is be able to enjoy my music, my speakers and my movies, without constantly having to touch the remote and adjust this or that, and spend hours trying to find fixes to unsolvable problems.

I wish the best of luck to all HK owners, and I really hope for you guys that HK WILL come up with a fw update that will address all of your issues. I am just too impatient to wait, and I have trust issues after reading what's happened to owners to previous HK receivers.

The 254 would have been my dream receiver if it had just worked flawlessly like the Pioneer or the Denons.

I'm out too. I ended up spending a bit more than planned and went with the Denon 3808CI but after getting everything setup I couldn't be happier. It is unfortunate as I have been a HK owner for a long time. In the end all I wanted was acknowledgement of the issues and a possible timeline for a fix. Customer service is a tricky thing and in my opinion HK failed miserably.

I would also second what Piki said...the Denon is absolutely flawless so far.

Shawn
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post #288 of 2864 Old 08-18-2008, 10:33 AM
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In the end all I wanted was acknowledgement of the issues and a possible timeline for a fix. Customer service is a tricky thing and in my opinion HK failed miserably.

Well we've gotten half that at least. HK has acknowledged the issues, said they are aware of all the issues mentioned in the AVS thread, and that the technicians are working on the firmware update. I however wasn't able to get an ETA out of them.

"Your" isn't the same as "you're". "There", "their" and "they're" are also not the same. Please learn the difference.

And... it's "couldn't care less". Thank you. :)
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post #289 of 2864 Old 08-18-2008, 10:46 AM
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...Customer service is a tricky thing and in my opinion HK failed miserably...

Speaking of Customer service my experience so far is miserable.

1. I called Friday at 11AM and a guy told me he'd have someone more knowledgable call me back. No call back.

2. My second call (i'm pretty sure it's the same guy) listened to my problem and said he didn't talk to me and he'd send me to someone more knowledgable and I got nothing but someone's voice mail. No conf call to explain my situation or anything.

3. So I hang up and call back. The previous times I called you hear the standard stuff and the phone rings. Well that happened to me twice with no answer and on the 3rd ring I get the same guy. He gave me his first name but said they have no reference number and I get transferred to the same guy.

So rather than feeling like I am calling a big company I feel more like I am calling a Mom & pop's shop with one guy there. What are the chances if you call a large company's tech support that you get the same guy 2 or 3 times in a row?

I guess if I want anything documented I'll have to send an e-mail. So far my experience is that HK has poor customer support. My viewpoint of HK is changing rather quickly.
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post #290 of 2864 Old 08-18-2008, 10:48 AM
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Oh, and BTW the sub audio level being too high on HD PCM signals doesn't appear to be anything new. Check this out:

http://harmankardon.com/product_supp...CAC30E486BBA1D

Quote:


This software update addresses the following issues:

LFE output levels now equal regardless of the input digital source or signal type.

Apparently the AVR-347 firware update corrected this issue and despite this being an issue with the 347, the H/K group let this issue carry on over to the 254/354 series.
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post #291 of 2864 Old 08-18-2008, 10:56 AM
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Speaking of Customer service my experience so far is miserable.

1. I called Friday at 11AM and a guy told me he'd have someone more knowledgable call me back. No call back.

2. My second call (i'm pretty sure it's the same guy) listened to my problem and said he didn't talk to me and he'd send me to someone more knowledgable and I got nothing but someone's voice mail. No conf call to explain my situation or anything.

3. So I hang up and call back. The previous times I called you hear the standard stuff and the phone rings. Well that happened to me twice with no answer and on the 3rd ring I get the same guy. He gave me his first name but said they have no reference number and I get transferred to the same guy.

So rather than feeling like I am calling a big company I feel more like I am calling a Mom & pop's shop with one guy there. What are the chances if you call a large company's tech support that you get the same guy 2 or 3 times in a row?

I guess if I want anything documented I'll have to send an e-mail. So far my experience is that HK has poor customer support. My viewpoint of HK is changing rather quickly.

Where did you buy your unit from? Frankly if your still under the 30 day return policy I would take it back and tell HK to stick it! I mean why do people want to feel the pain of some thing not working right, is it bitching rights in here! jk! I mean if you just bought it take it back and maybe we can change this into a " I JUST SWITCHED TO A DENON RECEIVER THREAD!" LOL
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post #292 of 2864 Old 08-18-2008, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Bob7145 View Post

For those of you that object to the fan noise... If you place a quiet 120mm computer fan on top of your receiver the AVR runs so cool that the stock fan never comes on. Details in the DIY thread here
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=555644
Somewhere in this thread there are several configs to do this. Been doing it for years with HK 325 and 525. Just skip thru the cabinet fan ideas, it's toward the end.

Funny you should bring this up. I was actually considering adding a small fan inside my cabinet to see if I could prevent the H/K fan from coming on in the first place. I know it is the fan making the noise because I do not hear any noise until the receiver is warmed up.

How well this works probably depends a lot on the cabinet. My Salamander Synergy cabinet is well ventilated and I have the option of adding an extended back panel that would open it up even more. I think I may give this a shot. I really don't want to send it back into H/K after spending hours getting it set up. Besides, there is no guarantee the fan noise would be any less than it is now if they simply swap in a new fan.

And thanks for the link.

Sean
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post #293 of 2864 Old 08-18-2008, 11:13 AM
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Funny you should bring this up. I was actually considering adding a small fan inside my cabinet to see if I could prevent the H/K fan from coming on in the first place. I know it is the fan making the noise because I do not hear any noise until the receiver is warmed up.

How well this works probably depends a lot on the cabinet. My Salamander Synergy cabinet is well ventilated and I have the option of adding an extended back panel that would open it up even more. I think I may give this a shot. I really don't want to send it back into H/K after spending hours getting it set up. Besides, there is no guarantee the fan noise would be any less than it is now if they simply swap in a new fan.

And thanks for the link.

stash64: I had a 525 which I loved and I still have a AVR 225 and never had the fan go on, in fact I am in my home office and my AVR 225 right above me has been on since 9am and no fan at all, same with my current 254 that I am using, no fan nose what so ever. I see your in Packer Country Hard to see #4 in a different color green, as I am in Madtown...
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post #294 of 2864 Old 08-18-2008, 11:14 AM
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1)Not if I like a different sound mode.
2)That's just it sometimes it works correctly and sometimes it doesn't! Sometimes surround modes are grayed out and sometimes there not??!!


Are you running 7.1? If not there is no reason to use any other mode. The only exception to this that I have found is in the game Rock Band in which DD will introduce a very small amount of lag that I only notice when playing expert drums. In that case I switch to PLII.

As far as surround modes being grayed out, I haven't experienced that issue. But then again, I don't manually change modes. If the source is DD it plays DD. If the source is Stereo, it plays stereo unless its from the cable box or Wii in which case it plays PLII Movie. I never have to switch anything.


With all that said, I've decided to swap my 254 with a replacement due to the fan noise. Maybe I will get lucky and with Amazons exchange policy why not?
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post #295 of 2864 Old 08-18-2008, 11:16 AM
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I used an Antec 120mm UV blue led fan that I pulled from an Antec case when swapping for a higher CFM fan.
Put stick-on rubber feet on each corner to raise the fan off the receiver (less fan blade noise). Plugged 1 of these http://www.crazypc.com/products/7410.html into the switched outlet on the back of AVR so fan comes on with receiver
Another receiver in a cabinet uses the SilentX 4fan controller. 2 fans in the cabinet and 1 on the receiver.
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post #296 of 2864 Old 08-18-2008, 11:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garman View Post

Where did you buy your unit from? Frankly if your still under the 30 day return policy I would take it back and tell HK to stick it! I mean why do people want to feel the pain of some thing not working right, is it bitching rights in here! jk! I mean if you just bought it take it back and maybe we can change this into a " I JUST SWITCHED TO A DENON RECEIVER THREAD!" LOL

Harman Audio. And I have several objectives I suppose. Yes, it makes me and others feel better when we can gripe together. At the same time, it lets other potential buyers to be aware so they can be aware before they purchase. And lastly, if HK is following this thread then customer complaints to the general public is the best way to get their attention. They may not care about one person, but when it affects others (and their pockets) then they will be more likely to listen.

And unfortunately there's not an easy "I switched to this receiver" to solve the issue. I would assume that the 989 would be the equivalent Denon to the 354 but I paid less than 1/2 the cost for the 354. And before you make a comment on that just remember that my biggest complaint is that I have at least 7 PS3 games that boot in Logic 7 mode with 2 channels of audio that aren't even full range meaning no vocals are present.

I'm going to give H/K a try first before I throw in the towel. If it doesn't work out then I'll have to give a low end Pioneer Elite a try. The whole situation is frustrating because I do like the receiver and I want it to work out.
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post #297 of 2864 Old 08-18-2008, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by xb1032 View Post

Oh, and BTW the sub audio level being too high on HD PCM signals doesn't appear to be anything new. Check this out:

http://harmankardon.com/product_supp...CAC30E486BBA1D



Apparently the AVR-347 firware update corrected this issue and despite this being an issue with the 347, the H/K group let this issue carry on over to the 254/354 series.

The LFE problem with the 247/347 was that the LFE was 10db too low, not too high. And yes, it was corrected with f/w.
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post #298 of 2864 Old 08-18-2008, 12:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T2k View Post

Never mind that - my SA never did 480i over HDMI, for whatever reason... I guess it's time for a master reset soon, it might help...

Any news about HK's fix or their promise, at least?

My window is closing... I never brought back a thing requesting money back, only for exchange - is it the same provcess in BB?

My contact at H/K is still working on it. He's the vendor rep for Corporate, from what I understand...in other words, he's the one who is signing deals for product orders. He told me he's working on it, and I'm waiting to hear more from him. I know our BBY escalation team is pushing hard on their engineers, too.

I let them know that this thread and the Owner's Thread used to be much bigger, as well. I don't want them thinking they got 8 days of no complaints in here

As for the return process at BBY...box everything up (please don't forget the remote, that happens all the time) and just bring it back in. Tell them you're displeased with it and all of its glitches and bugs. When a product is returned we have to put tech notes in explaining exactly whats wrong. Then corporate goes over those daily to see what has problems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by T2k View Post

It's because some retarded broadcasters send their craptastic stereo signals as DD so no processing will be applied.

BTW found another bug: if you turn your Radio to Manual mode, L7 disappears - it's selectable but clearly gone from your speaker, it's a clearly audible difference (no music from sats.) Turn back to Auto tuning mode again and voila', music is again coming from all your speakers.

In other words if you are like me, like to dial in your own stations instead of painfully going through all the crap your market offers in Auto mode then do it in Manual mode, save your presets then turn back to Auto to get Logic 7 working again.

Thats how my cable box works as well. If I enable surround sound (e.g.-Dolby Digital) then everything is sent as DD...including the stereo ones. So when I hit a "craptastic stereo" channel I can only pick the various Dolby Digital modes.

I'll add that glitch to the first post, too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaddish View Post

Every game on the 360 should be in DD. You should never need to change surround modes. I would double check settings on the 360, make sure receiver is set to DD on 360 input when the 360/receiver are both on. Then see if it switches to another mode.

Keep in mind as soon as the 360 turns on it will probably not be DD. Let it go to the dashboard and it should switch.

Correct. Every Xbox 360 game is mastered in Dolby Digital. The only exceptions to this are stuff from Xbox Live Marketplace...some of that stuff is just two channel stereo.

The start-up splash screen, though, is two channel PCM...which is why its occasionally getting cut off for some people due to the PCM lock issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IrishLegend View Post

1)Not if I like a different sound mode.
2)That's just it sometimes it works correctly and sometimes it doesn't! Sometimes surround modes are grayed out and sometimes there not??!!

Someone correct me if I'm wrong here, but if the AVR is getting a Dolby Digital (or TrueHD, or DTS HD MA, etc.) signal it can't apply its own processing to it. Are you looking for something like the Yamaha's surround modes? Thats where it shapes the sound to resemble some famous venues (Hall in Vienna...there's a bunch of them). Or are you looking for something completely different?

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post #299 of 2864 Old 08-18-2008, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by xb1032 View Post

Oh, and BTW the sub audio level being too high on HD PCM signals doesn't appear to be anything new. Check this out:

http://harmankardon.com/product_supp...CAC30E486BBA1D



Apparently the AVR-347 firware update corrected this issue and despite this being an issue with the 347, the H/K group let this issue carry on over to the 254/354 series.

You are mistaken. the 247/347 sub audio was 10dB too low for PCM 5.1/7.1 signals. So, the firmware was updated to correct this. However, may be they upped it twice and now it is 10dB too high
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post #300 of 2864 Old 08-18-2008, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Kaddish View Post

Are you running 7.1? If not there is no reason to use any other mode. The only exception to this that I have found is in the game Rock Band in which DD will introduce a very small amount of lag that I only notice when playing expert drums. In that case I switch to PLII.

As far as surround modes being grayed out, I haven't experienced that issue. But then again, I don't manually change modes. If the source is DD it plays DD. If the source is Stereo, it plays stereo unless its from the cable box or Wii in which case it plays PLII Movie. I never have to switch anything.


With all that said, I've decided to swap my 254 with a replacement due to the fan noise. Maybe I will get lucky and with Amazons exchange policy why not?

5.1. The reason I want to use another mode is because I think it sounds better that DD. That's all the reason I need to change modes. I'm simply saying the AVR allows me to do this when the AVR decides to let me do it. That doesn't make sense to me. It's a little buggy wouldn't you say?

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