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Official Harman/Kardon AVR x54: Problems and Solutions Thread - Page 5

post #121 of 2854
Quote:
Originally Posted by PlayB3yondNow View Post

Hold on everyone....I just want to see if this is a problem worth crying over...

Now, I have owned an AVR 125 for 6 years now, and it has a minor issue with locking onto 2-channel PCM audio signals. On my PS3 (using an optical cable) in the XMB menu, the clicking isn't audible, but ONLY for the first click when scrolling through the XMB. Big deal. If you stop clicking through the menu, the PCM light indicator shuts off after about 2 seconds. Then, if you start scrolling/clicking through the menu again, the first click is inaudible, but then the PCM indicator lights up again and the rest of the clicks are perfectly audible.

My question to AVR 254 users is this -- Is this the same problem that the fuss is all about in this thread? Or is the issue a much bigger issue than what I describe? Because, if it's only the same issue I have dealt with for 6 years now, quite frankly....big freekin deal.

I am concerned, because I want to upgrade to the AVR 254. However, another issue is that the AVR 254 supposedly cannot pass through xvYCC (x.v.Color) signals, but it can pass through Deep Color. Grr.


I'm getting dropped PCM in the middle of blu-ray disc playback. Thus far, the blu-ray DVE disc is my only example, but others titles have also been noted to do this.
post #122 of 2854
I've had no PCM drop issue while watching movies. I can post a list if needed, but I've watched maybe 15-20 movies so far with no issues. I do of course have the ps3 game drop issues, at least with MGS4. I have the 80Gb MGS bundle.
post #123 of 2854
Quote:
Originally Posted by CWC77 View Post

I'm getting dropped PCM in the middle of blu-ray disc playback. Thus far, the blu-ray DVE disc is my only example, but others titles have also been noted to do this.

What firmware do you have in the PS 3?
post #124 of 2854
so if i'm reading this correctly, the 254 cannot pass video over HDMI without going through some kind of processing??? is there no way to turn all video procession off and just use it as a pass-through at this point?

i'm looking to upgrade my H/K 235 to an HDMI-enabled receiver, but this would be a dealbreaker for me. i may be forced into the Onkyo 705.

please advise.
post #125 of 2854
Well, maybe I'll head to Best Buy after work and get an AVR 254, take it home, hook it up to my PS3 and Bose speaker system and see what the fuss is really all about.

Maybe it'll work perfectly with my PS3.
post #126 of 2854
Quote:
Originally Posted by M Code View Post

What firmware do you have in the PS 3?

2.42 firmware in the PS3.
post #127 of 2854
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zacrobmer View Post

I've had no PCM drop issue while watching movies. I can post a list if needed, but I've watched maybe 15-20 movies so far with no issues. I do of course have the ps3 game drop issues, at least with MGS4. I have the 80Gb MGS bundle.

Same here, about 20 movies on Blu-Ray and no audio dropouts yet.. Using a PS3 as well....
post #128 of 2854
Quote:
Originally Posted by Garman View Post



Same here, about 20 movies on Blu-Ray and no audio dropouts yet.. Using a PS3 as well....

Could you read the manufacturing date label on the back of the unit? Mine says "apr 2008", I'm curious to see if your says a different date... Thanks!

Also, did you have a chance to try "there will be blood" on bluray, and are you positive that you're using HDMI out with linear PCM, not bitstream?
post #129 of 2854
Quote:
Originally Posted by Garman View Post



Same here, about 20 movies on Blu-Ray and no audio dropouts yet.. Using a PS3 as well....

Garman,

I haven't seen a reply if you tried any of the Blu_rays mentioned in the thread. If you have this is very important news and you need to be specific. If you have not it is misleading to say no issues as you have not replicated the conditions. I don't mean to sound harsh but I am literally ready to take my 354 back and if there is hope that I can exchange and get a different sku I would like to go that route.

So -
1) do the 20 movies include "There will be Blood" or "Shine a Light"
2) Is your PS3 hooked up with an HDMI cable
3) Are you sending an LPCM signal from PS3 to your 254 (This is found under Blu-Ray setting on the PS3.

Thanks!

Shawn
post #130 of 2854
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zacrobmer View Post

I've had no PCM drop issue while watching movies. I can post a list if needed, but I've watched maybe 15-20 movies so far with no issues. I do of course have the ps3 game drop issues, at least with MGS4. I have the 80Gb MGS bundle.

Could you give us that list? Also, did you connect your PS3 through HDMI audio out only, with linear PCM and NOT bitstream? This is very important to us. If what you say is true and you are using HDMI PCM, maybe you got a newer generation or something. What is the manufacturing date on the back of the receiver. Mine, that came from BB, says APR 2008...
post #131 of 2854
Quote:
Originally Posted by PlayB3yondNow View Post

Well, maybe I'll head to Best Buy after work and get an AVR 254, take it home, hook it up to my PS3 and Bose speaker system and see what the fuss is really all about.

Maybe it'll work perfectly with my PS3.

Good luck!

I'll tell you what's gonna happen: you're gonna plug it in, and fall in love with its sound and its looks. Then you'll run into the problem we all ran into, but you will want to hang on to it because of its sound and its look. And then you'll lose sleep over finding out when the HK guys finally will release a firmware update.

I hope I'm wrong.
post #132 of 2854
The AVR 254 has a 192 kHz/24-bit D/A converter. Does this mean that the receiver is capable of accepting linear PCM signals up to 192 kHz?
post #133 of 2854
Quote:
Originally Posted by Typhus View Post

Garman,

I haven't seen a reply if you tried any of the Blu_rays mentioned in the thread. If you have this is very important news and you need to be specific. If you have not it is misleading to say no issues as you have not replicated the conditions. I don't mean to sound harsh but I am literally ready to take my 354 back and if there is hope that I can exchange and get a different sku I would like to go that route.

So -
1) do the 20 movies include "There will be Blood" or "Shine a Light"
2) Is your PS3 hooked up with an HDMI cable
3) Are you sending an LPCM signal from PS3 to your 254 (This is found under Blu-Ray setting on the PS3.

Thanks!

Shawn

Quote:
Originally Posted by piki-iki View Post

Could you give us that list? Also, did you connect your PS3 through HDMI audio out only, with linear PCM and NOT bitstream? This is very important to us. If what you say is true and you are using HDMI PCM, maybe you got a newer generation or something. What is the manufacturing date on the back of the receiver. Mine, that came from BB, says APR 2008...

Sorry about that....

1) No
2)Yes
3)Yes

Movie list is as follows.
Bee Movie
Drillbit Taylor
The Bucket List
The other Boleyn Girl
No country for old men
National Treasure: Book of Secrets
Meet the Spartans
Vantage Point
Blade Runner: The Final Cut
Shoot 'em up
Kingdom of Heaven
3:10 to Yuma
300
Transformers
Michael Clayton
Flags of Our Father

There were a few more, but I can not remember them off the top of my head.

I ordered my 254 from JR's when they first hit and the manufacturing date is also April 2008.

My PS3 is the 80Gb MGS4 bundle CECH01 it is set for LPCM, but I did uncheck all of the 7.1 options as I only have 5.1. It shows output as either Dolby True HD or DTS HD-MA when a BR disk is played, my receiver shows MPCM on the display.

It does have the XMB no click issue, and it does drop the MPCM signal in MGS4. Bitstream does work.

I personally blame both Sony and HK. Hk for releasing the X54 with the issues (at least they could have had a firmware in progress to fix any missed issues), Sony for releasing a product that Bitstreams HD.
post #134 of 2854
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zacrobmer View Post

Sorry about that....

1) No
2)Yes
3)Yes

Movie list is as follows.
Bee Movie
Drillbit Taylor
The Bucket List
The other Boleyn Girl
No country for old men
National Treasure: Book of Secrets
Meet the Spartans
Vantage Point
Blade Runner: The Final Cut
Shoot 'em up
Kingdom of Heaven
3:10 to Yuma
300
Transformers
Michael Clayton
Flags of Our Father

There were a few more, but I can not remember them off the top of my head.

I ordered my 254 from JR's when they first hit and the manufacturing date is also April 2008.

My PS3 is the 80Gb MGS4 bundle CECH01 it is set for LPCM, but I did uncheck all of the 7.1 options as I only have 5.1. It shows output as either Dolby True HD or DTS HD-MA when a BR disk is played, my receiver shows MPCM on the display.

It does have the XMB no click issue, and it does drop the MPCM signal in MGS4. Bitstream does work.

I personally blame both Sony and HK. Hk for releasing the X54 with the issues (at least they could have had a firmware in progress to fix any missed issues), Sony for releasing a product that Bitstreams HD.

Excellent info. Thanks! This is encouraging. Although I was hoping you'd have a more recent version, which would have given me hope that it was fixed. I will try unchecking the 7.1 modes (especially I don't have a 7.1 setup, but only a 5.1) and see if it works better in movies. I had tried that, but only for the game GTA IV, and it didn't help any.
post #135 of 2854
Quote:
Originally Posted by CWC77 View Post

2.42 firmware in the PS3.

I am still waiting to make sure it is stable, as 2.41 was terrible..
Often a firmware update mite fix one thing but causes other problems, I think mine is 2.31...


Just my $0.01..
post #136 of 2854
Quote:
Originally Posted by jayhawk11 View Post

Guys, after talking to our Corporate Escalation Team, I've decided to make this a General Problems and Issues Thread. The escalation team had no problem finding this thread and the information regarding the problems with the PS3 (really anything with PCM) due to the first post, but sifting through 20 pages of posts in the Owner's Thread is more than a little tedious for them. So, per their suggestion, I'm turning this thread into a one-stop shop for problems with these two AVR's.

This means two things: Chief among them is that Harman/Kardon IS aware of these problems, and our guys at corporate are doing their job (for once ) by lowering the boom on them. I still don't have an ETA, but I made it ABSOLUTELY clear to corporate that I have irate customers at my store, that there is a combined 27 pages here at AVS complaining about these receivers, and on top of it all...its directly affecting me as a customer as well. I also hammered home the fact that last time this happened with H/K it took them nearly a year to get a firmware update out. There is no gray area in the conversation I had with them, and this will hopefully light a fire under Harman/Kardon's collective ass.

The second part of this, though, is that I now need A TON of help gathering all the problems in the first post. If people either want to post in this thread or PM me with problems I would appreciate it more than you'll ever imagine. I'm going through the owner's thread right now trying to find problems that aren't PS3 related, but I need help. If anyone who has posted wants to PM links to problems posts or just link to them in here, that would make my life 100x easier.

Thanks guys! I'm not giving up on this. Harman/Kardon needs a reality check, and right now seems like the best chance we've had in several years to give it to them.

Jayhawk,

Thanks for doing this. In regards to your question the issues I have noted are as follows:

1. HDMI syncing issues. I have my SA8300 connected to the HK 254 via HDMI and HDMI out to my tv. I leave my cable DVR running at all times and when I turn on the 254 and my tv there are 10-15 seconds of fits and starts, green/pink screens and static. I notice that the ouptut resolution from the cable box changes during this time, but I never had this problem when my DVR was connected directly to the tv.

2. Video Processing. One of the reasons I got this receiver was for its video processing, but all modes other than "off" look terrible like an old nintendo game.

3. 1080p24 output. There have been a few of us who have been unable to get the HK 254/354 to output 1080p24 even though it was clear that 1080p24 was being sent by the source.
post #137 of 2854
Quote:
Originally Posted by G-star View Post

so if i'm reading this correctly, the 254 cannot pass video over HDMI without going through some kind of processing??? is there no way to turn all video procession off and just use it as a pass-through at this point?

i'm looking to upgrade my H/K 235 to an HDMI-enabled receiver, but this would be a dealbreaker for me. i may be forced into the Onkyo 705.

please advise.

can anybody shed some light on this?
post #138 of 2854
So far no one has found a way to defeat the video processing in the 254/354.

The "off" setting definitely de-interlaces and scales the incoming signal to the resolution you select.
post #139 of 2854
w
Quote:
Originally Posted by Typhus View Post

Garman,

I haven't seen a reply if you tried any of the Blu_rays mentioned in the thread. If you have this is very important news and you need to be specific. If you have not it is misleading to say no issues as you have not replicated the conditions. I don't mean to sound harsh but I am literally ready to take my 354 back and if there is hope that I can exchange and get a different sku I would like to go that route.

So -
1) do the 20 movies include "There will be Blood" or "Shine a Light"
2) Is your PS3 hooked up with an HDMI cable
3) Are you sending an LPCM signal from PS3 to your 254 (This is found under Blu-Ray setting on the PS3.

Thanks!

Shawn

misleading.... WTF! I don't have Shine a Light or "There will be Blood" does that mean I still will have problems? Maybe Now to answer your questions! I might rent There will be Blood this week, so I will let you know. Also I just stated I didn't have any issues yet, not saying I won't just not looking for them.

1.) No
2.) Yes
3.) Yes

Now just because your having problems doesn't mean everyone else is. Frankly all AVRs have issues right now in some way or another, it would take up half of this thread if you want me to list them all.

piki-iki: April 2008, and it also has a green sticker just before the date, not sure what that means.... I mean if this was happening with every Blu-Ray, then I would think it would be the AVR. Frankly send it back, I believe HKs
Warr is 2 years on receivers, or take it back to the store, why be a guinea pig! Like I said above every AVR has some issue, just look at this board you will find tons of issues with many different brands.
post #140 of 2854
Quote:
Best way to check if you are getting 5.1 (with or without DD on) is after you complete a song, on the score screen. The crowd noise should come only from the surround channels, whereas the clicks if you move your cursor or make a selection will come from the fronts.

You were correct. It was playing in 5.1. Crowd gets to singing along and that's all you can here. Working as intended?
post #141 of 2854
Quote:
Movie list is as follows.
Transformers

Don't mean to nitpick but are you sure you are listing blurays? or are you mixing HDdvd in with the list?

If you have found a copy of transformers on bluray, I'd pay you for the information on where to find it.

Quote:
I'll tell you what's gonna happen: you're gonna plug it in, and fall in love with its sound and its looks. Then you'll run into the problem we all ran into, but you will want to hang on to it because of its sound and its look. And then you'll lose sleep over finding out when the HK guys finally will release a firmware update.

Sad sad truth. Picked it up hoping for the bette ronly to find out that all the idiots that can't setup thier stuff properly turned out to be right. Decided to hold on to mine for one more week before the return and hope to do any testing that I might be able to help with during that week.

Granted if they fix it I will buy it again.
post #142 of 2854
Ok, well since the forum lost all the data post 6:00 pm on August 2nd, we have some work to do trying to remember what discussions we were having since then.

Jayhawk... someone found the cause of why the 354 light was staying white instead of changing to amber when turning the AVR off, his name was "d.c ..." something, and only had 2 posts.

Anyways, he discovered that the light was staying white because the "iPod charging" option was set to ON. If you turn that option off the front light will indeed change to amber when the unit is in standby. I believe that it will still charge the iPod while you are using the bridge (I will try to check that today or tomorrow), but just not when you are on some other input.

Also, for all you harmony one owners out there (I just picked one up this past weekend... fantastic... I had no idea what I was missing), I'm having an issue with command delay timing.

I can't seem to get the AVR to change inputs when I push an activity button that requires the 354 to switch inputs after startup. I have set the AVR to power on before all other devices, and switch inputs after everything is started up, and then I have lengthened the power on delay and input delays, but cannot get it to switch inputs yet. What settings have ya'll found that seem to work?

Thanks
post #143 of 2854
I'll try posting this again...
After 2 days with 254 this is what I've found:
1. For VQ the only things I left connected to the 254 were the vcr by single rca cable and the ps3 via hdmi. Both my cable and sat box looked worse through 254 so they're both going direct to tv. I tried them on the 254 with component and hdmi and they looked worse. The vcr did have a slight improvement in VQ and the ps3 had no noticeable difference in VQ.

2. For SQ it sounds great for all inputs. The cable and sat box are connected via optical, the PS3 via hdmi and the vcr with two rca cables. The vcr sound with dolby II for music sounds great.

3. I didn't have good luck with EQ calibration. The only setting I kept is the 80 Hz crossover but I'm still tweaking the spkr levels.

4. As for drop outs since I don't have the games or movies mentioned I haven't had a problem other than missing XMB clicks which I don't care about.

In summary I'm good with the amp so far because I bought it more for sound than VQ and so far it sounds great.
I'll post back when I have more news.
Thanks
post #144 of 2854
wtf happened to all of the pages here? did the entire avs forum lose a week of data? is this a joke?
post #145 of 2854
there is a global announcement at the top of the page explaining there was a massive failure of both the main db and the backup, so the 2nd was the best they could do.
post #146 of 2854
Sorry about the long post. This is my first post but I've been reading the various 254/ 354 threads for a few weeks. Jayhawk requested that we post all problems Harman Kardon AVR 254/354 so here goes. Most of the problems I'm having have been mentioned previously but I have yet to see any solutions given.

I have a Comcast/ Motorola DCH-3416 HD DVR cable box, a Samsung HLT 5076 DLP TV, a Samsung P1500 Bluray player and Infinitty TSS 1200 speakers (5.1). All equipment is less than a year old and connected to my HK 354 via quality HDMI 1.3 cables. I've been playing with the system for a few days and the problems I am having are as follows:

1. There are no codes in the Harman Kardon manual that will operate any of my equipment. I understand that I can use the HK remote to learn the functions of my other remotes but the process looks pretty involved. I also don't think that after spending a significant amount of money on the HK unit I should be forced to spend even more on an aftermarket remote (e.g. Harmony) on order to have one that works.

2. When I change from a high definition to a standard definition channel the screen momentarily goes green, then the picture reappears but is distorted with green lines going through the top half of the picture. When I change from a standard definition to a high definition channel I get sound only but no image. The only way to fix this is to turn the cable box off then back on. Since all of my equipment is HD and my television already upscales I have turned the video processing off on the 354 but I'm still having the problem.

3. When I watch a standard definition television program the image is stretched to fit the 6X9 screen format. When connected directly to the television it is not stretched. When watching a DVD the picture looks grainy. It actually looks better when the DVD player is connected directly to the television. Again, video processing is off so this should not be happening.

4. When watching television or a DVD most of the audio options are grayed out and not-selectable. I think my only available options are Dolby and 2 channel stereo. Neither sound very good.

5. I have a 30gig 5th Gen IPod and it is really slow when accessing menus and playlists via the Bridge II

6. The volume and power lights are very bright and can not be dimmed only turned off.

I returned an Onkyo TX SR 606 and DSA2X dock when the 354 became available because I thought that the HK would be a better system. Since I don't have a PS3 I thought I was in the clear but I was wrong. So far, I'm really regretting my decision. The 606 receiver and OSD was ugly (IMO) but at least it worked- I had none of the problems that I'm experiencing with the 354. I really like the design, interface and I-pod integration of the HK but at a cost of 30% more than the Onkyo receiver and dock these kind of problems are inexcusable. I will give HK a chance to make things right (I've written HK) but if they're not solved within my 30 (now 24) day return window it goes back to where it came from.
post #147 of 2854
OK, I got an issue I would like to report:

I'm bitstreaming from my Panasonic BD30 to my H/K AVR-255. It's been working great until I bought the Dark City disc. When bitstreaming its DTS Master Audio during the main feature I get high static noise on my back surround speakers whenever there's active sound on those channels -- it sounds like high pitched digital distortion and arrives ONLY when sound is directed to the back channels.

(There is no noise in the main meny (ordinary DTS sound).)

When I let the Panasonic output multi-channel PCM the noise disappears.
post #148 of 2854
Wait a minute:

The Dark City soundtrack is a 7.1 DTS Master Audio. My setup is 5.1 only. Could the problem arise from the fact that the H/K can't compute the 4-channel back-surround bitstream into a 2-channel version?
post #149 of 2854
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lightivity View Post

Wait a minute:

The Dark City soundtrack is a 7.1 DTS Master Audio. My setup is 5.1 only. Could the problem arise from the fact that the H/K can't compute the 4-channel back-surround bitstream into a 2-channel version?

Do you have your 255/254 set to 5.1 instead of 7.1? I have this Blu-Ray as well and I will test it tonight! I have a 5.1 system as well, when I remodel the HT room I will go to a 7.1 system and hopefully by then Dynaudio will have some smaller on wall speakers I can use. But I will give this a whirl tonight and see what happens, but I am using a PS3.. But I do have a BD30 I could test...
post #150 of 2854
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roysterama View Post

Sorry about the long post. This is my first post but I've been reading the various 254/ 354 threads for a few weeks. Jayhawk requested that we post all problems Harman Kardon AVR 254/354 so here goes. Most of the problems I'm having have been mentioned previously but I have yet to see any solutions given.

I have a Comcast/ Motorola DCH-3416 HD DVR cable box, a Samsung HLT 5076 DLP TV, a Samsung P1500 Bluray player and Infinitty TSS 1200 speakers (5.1). All equipment is less than a year old and connected to my HK 354 via quality HDMI 1.3 cables. I've been playing with the system for a few days and the problems I am having are as follows:

1. There are no codes in the Harman Kardon manual that will operate any of my equipment. I understand that I can use the HK remote to learn the functions of my other remotes but the process looks pretty involved. I also don't think that after spending a significant amount of money on the HK unit I should be forced to spend even more on an aftermarket remote (e.g. Harmony) on order to have one that works.

2. When I change from a high definition to a standard definition channel the screen momentarily goes green, then the picture reappears but is distorted with green lines going through the top half of the picture. When I change from a standard definition to a high definition channel I get sound only but no image. The only way to fix this is to turn the cable box off then back on. Since all of my equipment is HD and my television already upscales I have turned the video processing off on the 354 but I'm still having the problem.

3. When I watch a standard definition television program the image is stretched to fit the 6X9 screen format. When connected directly to the television it is not stretched. When watching a DVD the picture looks grainy. It actually looks better when the DVD player is connected directly to the television. Again, video processing is off so this should not be happening.

4. When watching television or a DVD most of the audio options are grayed out and not-selectable. I think my only available options are Dolby and 2 channel stereo. Neither sound very good.

5. I have a 30gig 5th Gen IPod and it is really slow when accessing menus and playlists via the Bridge II

6. The volume and power lights are very bright and can not be dimmed only turned off.

I returned an Onkyo TX SR 606 and DSA2X dock when the 354 became available because I thought that the HK would be a better system. Since I don't have a PS3 I thought I was in the clear but I was wrong. So far, I'm really regretting my decision. The 606 receiver and OSD was ugly (IMO) but at least it worked- I had none of the problems that I'm experiencing with the 354. I really like the design, interface and I-pod integration of the HK but at a cost of 30% more than the Onkyo receiver and dock these kind of problems are inexcusable. I will give HK a chance to make things right (I've written HK) but if they're not solved within my 30 (now 24) day return window it goes back to where it came from.

At least the HK doesn't shut off due to over heating issues I had with the couple of Onkyos I have had over the last year... 805 is a piece of garbage if you ask me, the 605/606 and 705 seem to be clear on any of the over heating issues for the most part but I have been seeing problems on here lately even on the 605 and 606 with them shutting off. So far the HK has been decent for me, but it still has quirks..
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