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Comcast Motorola DVR Audio Dropout

post #1 of 59
Thread Starter 
I have a Motorola DCT3416 connected via HDMI to my TV for Video and Coax/RCA Digital to my receiver.

I get intermitent audio dropout that can be remedied by FF, REW, Pause, Play or switching to another channel. Basically, it seems that it corrects itself only after you break the digital audio stream to the receiver.

The dropout happens mostly during playback of recorded shows but can happen during regular live broadcasts as well. It can happen as often as every 5 minutes or as infrequently as every 5 weeks.

I have swapped the Coax/RCA digital cable and have even had the box replaced once.

Does anyone have a suggestion?
Would it be better to take a digital cable from my TV to my receiver (HDMI should take audio and video from the cable box to the TV)?

Would it be a good idea to switch to a Optical Digital Cable between the cable box and receiver?

I don't have this problem with any other components going into my receiver so I am pretty baffeled.
post #2 of 59
Comcast Audio dropouts are system-wide and affect all users.
Along with a number of other engineers, we have researched the Comcast Audio dropout issue in depth and we can assure you all of the following:
1. It makes no differnece whether you use a digital out into your receiver or if you use analog out.
2. The problem exists for both PVR and non-PVR versions of the Comcast STBs.
3. The problem is 30% worse (dropouts more frequent) on VOD
4. Time of Day is a factor, problem is worse during peak usage times.
5. We are mixed in our beleifs that the hole (dropout) is in the datastream, not created in the STB due to a buffer overflow or checksum error.

In my area the problem is too bad for me to live with. Techs have come out several times and said that nothing is wrong even thogh they witnessed the dropouts while they were in the house.

If anyone has any more info on this problem, I would appreciate the input.

MosFetMan
post #3 of 59
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the feedback. Most techs claim to have no knowledge of this.

Sounds like I will be unable to remedy this.

Are you sure it is usage on the line? Have you tried any experiments?

The most recent Tech advised that I eliminate use of HDMI and Digital audio out at the same time (In other words switch to Component Out and Digital Out).

Thoughts?
post #4 of 59
We never had audio dropouts with Comcast until replacing all coax cables and upgrading to the newest cable box. We were unable to get on demand prior to this. Now we have dropouts. FWIW, the sound dropouts only happen on the DVR while Media Center and built in TV tuner deliver perfect sound.

Curtis
post #5 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by bogview View Post

We never had audio dropouts with Comcast until replacing all coax cables and upgrading to the newest cable box. We were unable to get on demand prior to this. Now we have dropouts. FWIW, the sound dropouts only happen on the DVR while Media Center and built in TV tuner deliver perfect sound.

We have been having dropouts from CBS-HD and FOX-HD.... now it has spread to some of the other HD channels. Not only is there an audio dropout, there is some digital hash in the picture as well. The same channels viewed thru the TV tuner have no dropouts at all.
post #6 of 59
I am a relatively new Comcast customer and this audio problem is a real pain.

Like several posts I've read, my sound cuts out when I'm watching a DVR playback. It has happened during live TV, but not enough to complain. It happens every time I watch my recorded Am Idol on FOXHD. It's happened on NBC-HD and UHD, but not on all recordings. And like the other posts, if the sound cuts out and I rewind to replay that part, the sound might not cut out in the same spot. Very odd.

Anyway, comcast techs have swapped out the DVR twice and the HDMI cable once, with no change. They're coming back on Friday but my expectations are low.

Has anyone actually found a solution to this?
Thanks in advance.
post #7 of 59
I have a new comcast hd motorola box. I split the signal, one into the box and the other directly into a sony xbr4. The box is connected to the tv by hdmi.

I have audio out from the tv with optical connection going into a receiver.

I have digital audio from the direct line and not from the cable box. I can do pic in pic switching back and forth. I have never gotten a digital signal from the comcast box.

Is this normal. I can't figure this out either.
post #8 of 59
I have on the Motorola HD DVRs. The sound seems to drop out only on playback of recorded programs and I can get it back by pausing and restarting the program (or rewinding a bit). I do wonder if perhaps it is something to do with signal quality as it only happens when I am playing back programs from HD channels.
post #9 of 59
I have on the Motorola HD DVRs. The sound seems to drop out only on playback of recorded programs and I can get it back by pausing and restarting the program (or rewinding a bit). I do wonder if perhaps it is something to do with signal quality as it only happens when I am playing back programs from HD channels.

No if you are losing sound on a recorded program it is not the signal level. Your signal is only being used on live feeds. When your viewing a recorded program your viewing what is saved on the hard drive of the dvr. If you were having signal issues you would not be able to get the audio back by hitting fast foward or rewind, because the audio would have been missing when it was recorded and wouldn't be there at all. Sounds like an issue with the dvr itself. You can completely unhook the coax cable from the dvr and still watch your recorded shows as a test if you want
post #10 of 59
I'm a Comcast digital customer in Roanoke, Ind., served (if that's the word) out of Fort Wayne. Since hooking up to digital in June '08 and getting the DVR, I've experienced audio drop-outs especially on the music channels -- a two-second drop-out about once every two minutes, plus occasional clusters of three or four drop-outs in close succession. (Time of day doesn't seem to be a factor.) Doesn't sound too bad, but it's very distracting while listening to music. I start waiting for it, and that sort of ruins the experience.

I get occasional drop-outs on the free-movie channels, too (Encore, IFC, etc.), and some -- less frequently -- on the other non-HD channels. So far, it's happened only very rarely on the HD channels.

Like other users here, I've found that the drop-outs aren't recorded on the DVR at the same place; they occur at different places depending on playback.

What irritates me more than anything else is Comcast's pretended ignorance of the problem -- "Noooo, we've never head of =that= before!" Took me thirty seconds of Googling to discover how untrue that was. (That's how I ended up here.)

I recently spent the weekend with a friend in Indianapolis who is served by Brighthouse. He gets exactly the same "Music Choice" channels as I do. And he gets them uninterrupted. Grrrrr ...
post #11 of 59
More comment here on the audio dropouts I'm suffering, which I've been blaming Comcast for. (See my comments of Sept. 6.)

I've discovered that if I choose the VCR side of my video deck as my input -- as if I'm setting up to tape something -- I can eliminate the audio dropouts altogether. That's great for listening to the music channels, though it's not so great for watching the other channels, since I take a hit in video definition by looping playback through the VCR. 1080 is knocked down to 480 or thereabouts, and 480 seems to be knocked down to something like old-time cable definition.

But -- it's progress. Don't know whether it might help anyone else.

I'm running a 42" Toshiba HDTV, with a Comcast Motorola DVR, the Bose Cinemate audio system, and a Samsung VCR/DVD combo. (I now have some doubts about whether Comcast is really at fault with the audio problem, or whether it's some fluke or defect of my own system.)
post #12 of 59
Hey, this is an old topic, but still an issue for me in Somerville, MA (Boston) w/ a Comcast Motorola DCH3416 DVR and HD Service- Let me start out- I HATE YOU COMCAST - now for the best solution I could find:

I've been able to help the audio dropout issues (occurs during DVR, and live feeds, SD and HD channels)

By sending audio (and vid) over HDMI out of the DVR to the TV, then from the TV's optical out to my receiver I have (for now) stopped the audio drops. I have a Panasonic 42PZ85U which I believe down mixes the output to stereo (which sucks) but my older receiver (Yamaha 5240) gladly applies some effects and throws an acceptable 5.1 mix out (using 70mm Adventure effect) Voice comes primary out of the center, and music and other things are put to the surrounds with fairly good accuracy. It's no HDMI out with proper channeling but it is MUCH better than losing sound every few seconds or minutes during your viewing.

Having Comcast deny they have ever heard this issue before really pisses me off...

By going into the DVR's advanced settings (dvr off, hit menu) I set the additional HDMI settings for audio output to L-PCM from Auto (auto seemed to work too though).

The Comcast Audio setup is siet to Audio Output: Advanced, Compression Light, Stereo Matrix, Optimal Stereo Yes

Good luck, let's hope FiOS comes soon!
post #13 of 59
I have a Motorola HD-DVR DCT 3416 I.

I've been experiencing the same 2-second audio drop sporadically - typically on channels like NatGeo-HD and Palladia. It can be either when viewing live or watching recorded material. It's been annoying, but I've tolerated it.

As of last night (09/17) I discovered the same problem on a Fox-HD program I had recorded earlier in the week.

In the years since this thread started - and clearly the problem has been out there - has Comcast or anyone come up with an answer or a solution?
post #14 of 59
Comcsat in Northern VA wtih HD DVR and HDMI to TV....

I had this issue just last night watching season premiere of Bones (Fox HD) We paused the live broadcast for a couple of minutes and when we hit play, the sound was gone. Weird thing is, wife hit rewind and then play and sound was back perfect, with no additonal dropouts as others have indicated they've had.

That leads me to believe it's something with the box. The audio is sent and recordered perfectly, just not played back. Maybe the age of the box? I've had mine for about two years now and when I got it at the office, the CSR just reached back to the pile behind her (stacked up and unboxed) and handed me one. Which makes think it had already come back from the field.

My guess would be Comcast disavows any knowledge because at this point they probably can't get Moto take back all the defective boxes and it will cost a fortune to replace them all.
post #15 of 59
I've been experimenting - due to the sound drop issue. Here's my setup and what I've found:

- I have a Motorola HD-DVR DCT 3416 I connected via HDMI to my Panny plasma (for video) and a digital optical cable (for audio) to my non-HDMI-ready receiver.

- I experience the .5 - 1 second intermittent sound drops regularly on NatGeoHD, Palladia, MLB Network and most recently Fox HD.

- The sound drops happen whether I watch "live" or record, though as others have pointed out, if I rewind the drop will either disappear or appear in a different spot.

- Last night I tried just listening to the HDMI-fed audio coming only out of my TV on Palladia and Fox, and noticed no audio drops. I would hear the drops if I switched over to the digital optical out going through my receiver.

I'm wondering if folks who have the HDMI out on the Comcast box fed directly into a receiver are also getting the drops? My simplistic experiment seemed to indicate that could be linked to the problem.

Maybe? Maybe not? I've been holding off on a new HDMI-ready receiver, but this may force my hand if it will fix the problem.
post #16 of 59
Hi, yes I have the same issue with the output of my DCH 3416 directly connected to my Onkyo TX-SR606 via HDMI.

Sometimes it happens on recordings, sometimes live. On HD channels, I lose the center channel. Just tonight, I tried the SD version of the HD channel and almost all the sound was gone. It does not seem to be specific to any channel.

My most foolproof way, until tonight, to get the sound back was power cycle the Onkyo. Tonight, that didn't work until several cycles and channel changes.

Over the weekend, one of the football games (dallas / broncos I think) had no center, but other channels did. But that was coming and going - so I think it was a network issue.

Usually once it comes in, it stays in.

Hope someone gets a better box soon (or the finally put the FIOS fibre in the conduits that they buried on my street FIVE MONTHS AGO - WHAT THE HELL ARE THEY WAITING FOR -- KEEP TEASING ME WITH THE MAILINGS... worst part is I had FIOS for more than a year then moved 2 miles away - in the SAME TOWN - and its been 15 months and no FIOS)
post #17 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdibb View Post

Hi, yes I have the same issue with the output of my DCH 3416 directly connected to my Onkyo TX-SR606 via HDMI.

Interesting.

Like I said, I have a Motorola HD-DVR DCT 3416 I connected via HDMI to my Panny plasma (for video) and a digital optical cable (for audio) to my non-HDMI-ready receiver.

I've continued my experiments using just the TV audio (via HDMI from the Motorola box) and no apparent drops.

The audio to my receiver (via digital optical cable from the Motorola box) will have the drops.

I switched the audio setting on the Motorola box from HDMI to DVI, but that didn't change anything.

What is this "hard reboot" I've heard that Comcast can do remotely? Has anyone had luck with that?

I've tried unplugging the box for 5-10 minutes, but no difference.
post #18 of 59
"Hard reset"

I had my Moto box replaced a few weeks ago to see if it would cure the problem. When I got the new box, it did the same thing, but it also had an issue where it said it was 100% full when it was empty. The phone tech did a "reset" of some kind that wiped out EVERYTHING. Shows, guide, recording etc and it took an hour or two to get back to fully functional.

It did fix the capacity problem but it clearly didn't fix the audio issue.

Just power cycling the Onkyo with the switch usually temporarily fixes it for me (like I said.)

Good luck.
post #19 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdibb View Post

"Hard reset"

Just power cycling the Onkyo with the switch usually temporarily fixes it for me (like I said.)

Good luck.

Thanks for the clarification on the terminology!

And what exactly is "power cycling"? I also have an Onkyo receiver, however it's non-HDMI compliant.
post #20 of 59
"power cycling" = Turn off / wait a bit (5 seconds maybe) / turn on.

I'm not unplugging, just using the button on the front.
post #21 of 59
i have a motorola dcp501 i also have stander cable channels 1 to 70 i hookup and i only get one 17 iam new to all this please help
post #22 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by robertal View Post

i have a motorola dcp501 i also have stander cable channels 1 to 70 i hookup and i only get one 17 iam new to all this please help

Your question has nothing to do with this topic. Start your own thread and ask it in a more understandable way.
post #23 of 59
mine's done it optical/hdmi to every receiver/display i've ever used, this includes several past and present HDMI equipped comcast motorola boxes... it's nature of the beast even with great signal, doesn't stop them from charging us a ton for service though does it.
post #24 of 59
Watched the Yankees/Angels ALCS game on Tuesday night on Fox - no audio drops (and it has been very frequent on that channel).

Recorded Simpsons/American Dad on Fox Sunday night - tons of audio drops.
post #25 of 59
I called Comcast over the weekend to complain about the audio drop, and a tech is coming out on Thursday. We shall see how that goes...

On the plus side, I was given a $30 credit on my bill because of the problem.
post #26 of 59
A Comcast tech came out yesterday and tested my signal strength, which was fine.

He then swapped out my Motorola HD-DVR DCT 3416 I with a new model (Motorola DXC3400).

The new one is also a Motorola, but it is much smaller than the 3416, and is all black. The tech said the new unit was "all solid-state" and didn't use a hard-drive. Not sure about that, but that's what he said.

He also seemed surprised that I had the 3416 for two years. He said I was lucky it lasted that long.

I watched the entire Game 2 of the World Series with no audio drops (and the problem happened regularly on Fox-HD).

So far...so good....
post #27 of 59
I just started experiencing the drop outs about 3 weeks ago. Thought I was losing my mind at first. I should have known to blame Comcast. I've got a DCT 6412 DVR. Had it for 2.5 years with no issues.

Does anyone know if they swap boxes can they shuttle content from old to new box?
post #28 of 59
Well, so much for a new box being the solution.

Last Thursday (10/29) Comcast replaced my Motorola HD-DVR DCT 3416 I with a new model Motorola DXC3400 in an attempt to fix the audio drops.

All was good until last night when the drops started happening again - on the same block of channels (Fox-HD, NatGeoHD, Palladia among the top offenders).

I watched all of the World Series games on Fox since Thursday - with the new box - and no audio drop/cutout issues at all. Until last night...
post #29 of 59
SOLUTION:
It was my Onkyo receiver - model TX-DS595.

Onkyo has an FAQ on their site addressing a known problem "experiencing audio (Sound) dropouts when watching a Dolby Digital broadcast from my Satellite or Cable Box that is connected to my receiver with the digital optical or the coax connection" with that model (and a few others) that says, in part:

"We are aware of the issues that have affected our receivers with the newer version of broadcast encoding that Dolby Laboratories has been using. We have since had success with a new version of chipset that we have installed in each of the receiver models that have been affected."


http://www.us.onkyo.com/faqs_detail.cfm?detail=1&id=233

Picked up a new Yamaha receiver (765) - no more audio drops.
post #30 of 59
I have a Motorola DCH-3416 connected by HDMI to a Panasonic TC-P42S1. No other components (using speakers built-in to the Panasonic).

A couple nights ago we ordered and then watched Star Trek in HD. No audio dropouts. We then watched it again about 20 hours later and had 2-second audio dropouts every 3-8 minutes. I didn't run any other experiments before the program expired, but as I understand it, the second viewing would not have involved Comcast's realtime data stream at all and so Comcast couldn't possibly be responsible for the audio dropouts I heard.

(That is, I believe that the program was stored on the DVR and the second time (and perhaps the first) I was watching a playback from there. Please correct me if you think I'm wrong about that.)

I previously noticed dropouts on both live and recorded material as I recall.

I haven't made any attempt to address this beyond searching the Internet. It's dismaying to see how many others have the same problem. I'm no defender of Comcast but the symptoms don't support blaming them for this one.
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