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Official AVS Motorola DCX series HD DVR Topic! - Page 101

post #3001 of 4764
Very cool. With my DCH3416 I had to shut off the audio over HDMI to get it to work over the optical. Since my tv fights with the HDMI connection so much I have switched back to component video.
post #3002 of 4764
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptMorn2374 View Post

Very cool. With my DCH3416 I had to shut off the audio over HDMI to get it to work over the optical.

Huh?

I also have a DCH3416 and don't have to do anything to get digital audio delivered via both HDMI and optical.

In other words, I have no problem routing optical audio to my AVR and getting sound that way, and simultaneously getting audio out of my HDTV speakers with HDMI connected from DCH3416 to HDTV.

What exactly did you change in the DCH3416 setup to arrive at your final solution, to overcome whatever problem you were having?
post #3003 of 4764
Quote:
Originally Posted by DSperber View Post

Huh?

I also have a DCH3416 and don't have to do anything to get digital audio delivered via both HDMI and optical.

In other words, I have no problem routing optical audio to my AVR and getting sound that way, and simultaneously getting audio out of my HDTV speakers with HDMI connected from DCH3416 to HDTV.

What exactly did you change in the DCH3416 setup to arrive at your final solution, to overcome whatever problem you were having?

Agreed. I also don't need to do anything to get audio over both HDMI and optical (or Digital Coax).
post #3004 of 4764
I had to go into the user settings (power/menu) then go into the additional hdmi settings. In there I had to change the mode from hdmi to dvi. Once I did that the audio started coming out of the optical. I toggled back and forth a few times and each time it was on hdmi I lost the audio out on on the optical.

Since then I have stopped using hdmi and the avr i had gave up the ghost so I can't test if it works now. There have been some firmware upgrades since then too so maybe that has fixed it. From my understanding before the DCT and DCH only had one digital audio decoder and could only output one or the other.
post #3005 of 4764
Guys I recently got the 3400M and 3200M for my 2TV setup. Anyways this morning I noticed one of my DVR recordings displayed some 'slow downs' on and off for the entire 60min episode. Now it seems live tv and other recordings are doing the same.

I ultimately unplugged the unit and plugged back in about 5min later thinking it might fix the issue but didnt seem to. Anyone else have these issues or know how to resolve? Thanks!
post #3006 of 4764
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roachforlife View Post

Guys I recently got the 3400M and 3200M for my 2TV setup. Anyways this morning I noticed one of my DVR recordings displayed some 'slow downs' on and off for the entire 60min episode. Now it seems live tv and other recordings are doing the same.

I ultimately unplugged the unit and plugged back in about 5min later thinking it might fix the issue but didnt seem to. Anyone else have these issues or know how to resolve? Thanks!

Could you be more specific about what you mean by "slow downs." I sometimes notice a little herky-jerkyness, i.e. missing frames. But I usually attribute that to the source signal rather than the DVR. Do you mean that the programs play in slow motion? That would be really weird.
post #3007 of 4764
Anyone else have a 3501-M?

I see very few posts on this board about it. I very reluctantly replaced my two Moxis with two 3501-Ms. Both Moxis developed problems recently and Charter here no longer has them.

I'm not too happy with the interface, but I've gotten used to it over the past couple weeks. The box is VERY snappy unlike the Moxi, plus the HDMI output is welcome. It took DAYS to download the guide data into the distant future, which was annoying.

The only bug I've noticed is that sometimes when I play a recorded show the size of the displayed picture doesn't expand to fill the screen; it stays the small "preview" size in the upper right corner.
post #3008 of 4764
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roachforlife View Post

Guys I recently got the 3400M and 3200M for my 2TV setup. Anyways this morning I noticed one of my DVR recordings displayed some 'slow downs' on and off for the entire 60min episode. Now it seems live tv and other recordings are doing the same.

I ultimately unplugged the unit and plugged back in about 5min later thinking it might fix the issue but didnt seem to. Anyone else have these issues or know how to resolve? Thanks!

I'd check all your cable connections to the unit. I recently had the problem that both DVR recordings and live TV would play for a few minutes and then the picture would freeze, i.e. motion would stop and a single frame would be displayed continuously on the screen. Sometimes motion would resume, sometimes it wouldn't.

In addition to unplugging the unit, I also disconnected all the cables, then reattached them. This fixed the problem, so I think it must have been a loose connection.
post #3009 of 4764
I have a DCX3400M. and thought i would post about my external HDD add on last week. I picked up a Fantom G-Force Mega Disk Black (M# GFB1000EU) from TD last week and a 3' esata to esata cable from another supplier, total cost approx.$90 w/tx. Plugged it into the power conditioner and the DVR. The DVR recogniized that an external drive was present, and asked me if I wanted to name it "Disk1" , I hit ok and the drive was formatted. When I press the "LIST" button now the drive shows 0% full, before I installed the drive it showed 75%. I have recorded several HD programs over the weekend and all have recorded flawlessly. The total installation and formatting took less than 10 minutes.
post #3010 of 4764
Quote:
Originally Posted by uxbridge View Post

I have a DCX3400M. and thought i would post about my external HDD add on last week. I picked up a Fantom G-Force Mega Disk Black (M# GFB1000EU) from TD last week and a 3' esata to esata cable from another supplier, total cost approx.$90 w/tx. Plugged it into the power conditioner and the DVR. The DVR recogniized that an external drive was present, and asked me if I wanted to name it "Disk1" , I hit ok and the drive was formatted. When I press the "LIST" button now the drive shows 0% full, before I installed the drive it showed 75%. I have recorded several HD programs over the weekend and all have recorded flawlessly. The total installation and formatting took less than 10 minutes.

That's good to know it can work. I believe individual cable companies can specify whether units are able to support additional drives. In the US, I don't believe any cable company that uses Motorola DVRs supports this feature (please correct me if I'm wrong). In Canada, it sounds like they do.
post #3011 of 4764
I live just north east of Toronto, we use a small cable company out of Port Perry called Compton Cable. I have seen on the Future Shop web site a Western Digital, my DVR HDD for sale but only in western Canada though. I have also read sucessful reports about installs in the Maritimes. Unfortunately I don't know of any installs in the US.

I guess the US cable companies are trying to figure out a way that you can only buy the external HDD's from them.
post #3012 of 4764
I recently got a 3400M from Charter in St. Louis. I searched this forum for my specific problem without any luck. On most of my recordings (more than 50%), at some point during playback the screen goes black for a few seconds but the sound continues. When I skip back to try it again it works fine. This may just be the kind of hiccup you need to accept with this technology but I thought I'd post it to see if anyone had thoughts.
My box is set to "native" and is connected to a Sony receiver via HDMI and on to a Sony xbr6 via HDMI. I can not detect a pattern to the occurence of this issue.
post #3013 of 4764
Hi-
My home theater system includes the following devices: AVR – Onkyo TX-NR808, TV – Sony Bravia 46XBR5, and STB – Motorola DCX3400 (Chicago area Comcast Cable – Michigan City, IN). The devices are connected by HDMI 1.4a cables: STB to AVR and then AVR to TV. I have a 7.1 speaker arrangement using the Audyssey DSX audio mode provided by the AVR.

I am hearing impaired and rely on a second center speaker by my chair to enhance my listening experience. Problem is the center speaker comes and goes depending on the program. As an example, the center speaker works fine while viewing NCIS (or in general prime time programming) but when the CBS news or Late Show with David Letterman comes on I do not have a center speaker. Also lost during some commercials. Happens while viewing the same channel - CBS-D and others. The center speaker works for NBC and ABC news but experience the same no center speaker for some programs on those stations and others. The input from the Comcast STB does not change from Dolby D, 5.1 ch, 48 khz.

I did discover a work around which was suggested by Audyssey. I changing the HDMI Audio Output setting in the DCX STB from “Auto” to "L-PCM". The AVR then displays the audio input to the AVR as PCM, 2.0 ch, 48 khz and the output as PLII Movie, Audyssey DSX. With this setting I always have a center speaker. Problem is once I turn the AVR and TV off and then turn them back on, the HDMI Audio Output STB setting reverts back to "Auto" and the AVR displays input of Dolby D, 5.1 ch and I experience the same problem.

Additional information:
-I called Comcast and a service tech came to my house. He had never viewed the power/menu and was only concerned about how hot the signal was – no help. So I exchanged the DCX3400 for another one at the local Comcast office. Same problem and this one hums.
-Called Onkyo 3 times. Tried running HDMI to TV from STB and then optical to AVR from TV. The TV audio output is PCM. Center speaker problem was resolved but lost some audio quality, the onscreen display, the upscaling to 1080p and some other functionality. Tried component w/ optical from STB to AVR and HDMI from AVR to TV. Same center speaker problem plus lost functionality.
-Emailed CBS and the response was to turn off the (SAP) Second Audio Program on the TV. I replied that SAP/MTS was grayed out because I am connected w/ HDMI and only applied to analog. Never received a response.

Any suggested solutions will be appreciated. Thanks in advance and HAGD.
post #3014 of 4764
Quote:
Originally Posted by proxy64 View Post

Hi-
My home theater system includes the following devices: AVR – Onkyo TX-NR808, TV – Sony Bravia 46XBR5, and STB – Motorola DCX3400 (Comcast Cable – Michigan City, IN). The devices are connected by HDMI 1.4a cables: STB to AVR and then AVR to TV. I have a 7.1 speaker arrangement using the Audyssey DSX audio mode provided by the AVR.

I am hearing impaired and rely on a second center speaker by my chair to enhance my listening experience. Problem is the center speaker comes and goes depending on the program. As an example, the center speaker works fine while viewing NCIS (or in general prime time programming) but when the CBS news or Late Show with David Letterman comes on I do not have a center speaker. Also lost during some commercials. Happens while viewing the same channel - CBS-D and others. The center speaker works for NBC and ABC news but experience the same no center speaker for some programs on those stations and others. The input from the Comcast STB does not change from Dolby D, 5.1 ch, 48 khz.

I did discover a work around which was suggested by Audyssey. I changing the HDMI Audio Output setting in the DCX STB from “Auto” to "L-PCM". The AVR then displays the audio input to the AVR as PCM, 2.0 ch, 48 khz and the output as PLII Movie, Audyssey DSX. With this setting I always have a center speaker. Problem is once I turn the AVR and TV off and then turn them back on, the HDMI Audio Output STB setting reverts back to "Auto" and the AVR displays input of Dolby D, 5.1 ch and I experience the same problem.

Additional information:
-I called Comcast and a service tech came to my house. He had never viewed the power/menu and was only concerned about how hot the signal was – no help. So I exchanged the DCX3400 for another one at the local Comcast office. Same problem and this one hums.
-Called Onkyo 3 times. Tried running HDMI to TV from STB and then optical to AVR from TV. The TV audio output is PCM. Center speaker problem was resolved but lost some audio quality, the onscreen display, the upscaling to 1080p and some other functionality. Tried component w/ optical from STB to AVR and HDMI from AVR to TV. Same center speaker problem plus lost functionality.
-Emailed CBS and the response was to turn off the (SAP) Second Audio Program on the TV. I replied that SAP/MTS was grayed out because I am connected w/ HDMI and only applied to analog. Never received a response.

Any suggested solutions will be appreciated. Thanks in advance and HAGD.

Different stations, and even different shows within the same stations will broadcast shows with different sound formats, ie; Dolby 5.1, 2.0, etc. I do not believe that it has anything to do with your setup. It is just how the shows are broadcast. You can maybe set the sound on the DVR to mono. That might give you a center channel all the time, but then you miss out on surround sound. Or set the Onkyo to play mono. I don't have the manual in front of me, but there is a way to set the Onkyo to play a specific sound format regardless of what is broadcast.
post #3015 of 4764
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4mula1 View Post

Different stations, and even different shows within the same stations will broadcast shows with different sound formats, ie; Dolby 5.1, 2.0, etc...

TY for the reply.

I have the pertinent Onkyo AVR Listening Mode Presets as follows:
- -Input of Analog/PCM is output as PLII Movie/Audyssey DSX. (The AVR takes the PCM input and upmixes it to Dolby Pro Logic II 5.1 and then to Audyssey DSX 7.1.)
- -Input of 2ch Source is output as PLII Movie/Audyssey DSX. . (The AVR takes the 2 channel input and upmixes it to Dolby Pro Logic II 5.1 and then to Audyssey DSX 7.1.)
- -Input of Dolby D/Dolby D+/ True HD is output as Audyssey DSX. (The AVR takes the Dolby 5.1 and upmixes it to Audyssey DSX.)

When the AVR reports the audio input as Analog/PCM or 2 channel (Dolby D 2.0), the AVR will upmix to PLII/ Audyssey DSX and the center speaker works.
When the AVR reports Dolby D 5.1, I may or may not have a center speaker depending on the program or commercial. See the original post example of CBS-D. It appears that the DCX STB is reporting to the AVR Dolby D 5.1 input put at times the input is Dolby D 2.0 and the AVR upmixes on what it is told and not the actually input from the STB. The result is 2 channel output thru the left and right speakers.

Concerning the second issue of the DCX STB not retaining settings, I have tried the "AVR on last" and "AVR off first suggestion without success. I found a discussion in this Forum addressing the problem. You can view it here: AVS Forum > HDTV > HDTV Technical, Motorola DCX3400 and Samsung HLT6189s Problem.
Not sure but it appears that the problem centers around EDID (Extended Display Identification Data) that is not correctly auto-negotiated between the STB, AVR and TV.

Will continue to look in this Forum and the internet for solutions.
post #3016 of 4764
Quote:
Originally Posted by DSperber View Post

Remarkably, there has still not been one report from what must be at least one person in the TWC/Dallas area who has received the latest 24.07 firmware and who also has a DVHS VCR, to confirm or deny that the firewire recording problem still exists or has maybe finally been fixed.

And nobody's reported whether the HDMI-"native" issue is also still present with this latest firmware, or whether that may have also been fixed.

Dallas? Dallas? Anybody there have the latest DCX firmware and also a DVHS VCR? Dallas? Dallas?

Is the "loss of native" problem still present, or has that been fixed finally?

Just a "ping" here...

The DVHS owners on this thread are very interested in 24.07, and the Dallas area TWC subscribers may well be the only ones around the country who have 24.07. Surely there is at least one DVHS owner who lives in Dallas and who has 24.07 on their DCX3400 equipment... and who has also tried again to make a 100% glitch-free recording to DVHS via firewire on this 1-port box.

==> Was it successful with 24.07, finally? Or not? Yes or no???

Also, any difference in the "holding native setting" issue, routing HDMI through an AVR? Is it still lost if you power on/off the AVR wrong (i.e. AVR on anything but last, and AVR off anything but first)? Or has this problem been resolved with 24.07?


Thanks Dallas members, for any input you can provide.
post #3017 of 4764
Quote:
Originally Posted by DSperber View Post

Just a "ping" here...

The DVHS owners on this thread are very interested in 24.07, and the Dallas area TWC subscribers may well be the only ones around the country who have 24.07. Surely there is at least one DVHS owner who lives in Dallas and who has 24.07 on their DCX3400 equipment... and who has also tried again to make a 100% glitch-free recording to DVHS via firewire on this 1-port box.

==> Was it successful with 24.07, finally? Or not? Yes or no???

Also, any difference in the "holding native setting" issue, routing HDMI through an AVR? Is it still lost if you power on/off the AVR wrong (i.e. AVR on anything but last, and AVR off anything but first)? Or has this problem been resolved with 24.07?


Thanks Dallas members, for any input you can provide.

TWC north texas is planning on going to cisco boxes for Signature home and slowly phase out motorola boxes completely starting soon.
post #3018 of 4764
Quote:
Originally Posted by proxy64 View Post

TY for the reply.

Concerning the second issue of the DCX STB not retaining settings, I have tried the "AVR on last" and "AVR off first suggestion without success..

Correction - The DCX STB does retain the user settings using "AVR on last" and "AVR off first.
I had to first turn off the HDMI auto communications in the AVR and the TV.
Onkyo AVR using the remote: Setup> 7. Hardware Setup> 4. HDMI> set HDMI Control (RIHD) to Off.
Sony TV using the remote: Home> HDMI Settings> set HDMI Control to Off. If the HDMI setting is grayed out, on the remote go to: Options> Speakers> set to TV Speakers and then go back to Home, etc.

Now I need to find a universal remote that will turn on the devices in one order and off in another.
Any suggestions for a good universal remote?

Concerning the primary issue of Center speaker comes and goes, is this a common problem or just me? Do most STB to AVR to TV via HDMI set ups adjust the audio from say Dolby D 5.1 to Dolby D 2.0 when some commercials or the news comes on for the same station?
Thanks in advance.
post #3019 of 4764
Quote:
Originally Posted by proxy64 View Post

Concerning the primary issue of Center speaker comes and goes, is this a common problem or just me? Do most STB to AVR to TV via HDMI set ups adjust the audio from say Dolby D 5.1 to Dolby D 2.0 when some commercials or the news comes on for the same station?

The delivery of program content audio in either DD5.1 or DD2.0 is controlled by the network, not the STB or AVR.

It's completely normal for commercials and non-national network program content (e.g. local news) to not necessarily be in DD5.1, just as it might be in DD5.1 if that's what the affiliate sends out. No way to predict, but this is also not defined as "a problem" if it's not DD5.1.
post #3020 of 4764
Quote:
Originally Posted by DSperber View Post

The delivery of program content audio in either DD5.1 or DD2.0 is controlled by the network, not the STB or AVR.

It's completely normal for commercials and non-national network program content (e.g. local news) to not necessarily be in DD5.1, just as it might be in DD5.1 if that's what the affiliate sends out. No way to predict, but this is also not defined as "a problem" if it's not DD5.1.

OK - but when the network leaves prime time (DD5.1 which the AVR upmixes to Audyssey DSX 7.1) and the same network (CBS-D) goes to commercials and non-national network program content (DD2.0 which, if reported, the AVR upmixes to DD5.1 and then Audyssey DSX 7.1) the STB and/or AVR should recognize that change and adjust accordingly.
It appears that the DCX STB is reporting DD5.1 content to the AVR during commercials and non-national network programs when the content is actually DD2.0. Therefore, the AVR does not switch modes and perform the correct upmix and the center speaker and surround sound is lost.
The AVR will correctly upmix the audio when the network is changed from say CBS-D (DD5.1) to the Big10 (Boiler Up) channel and other HD networks that only provide audio in DD2.0.
So - should the DCX STB report a change to the AVR when the same network (no channel switching) goes between DD5.1 to DD2.0 or DD2.0 to DD5.1?
New to this stuff - pls stay w/ me.
post #3021 of 4764
Quote:
Originally Posted by proxy64 View Post

It appears that the DCX STB is reporting DD5.1 content to the AVR during commercials and non-national network programs when the content is actually DD2.0. Therefore, the AVR does not switch modes and perform the correct upmix and the center speaker and surround sound is lost.

I understand your issue, but I think you're placing the blame on the wrong party.

You seem to think that the signal being sent to the cable box is being mis-reported as DD 5.1, when it is actually DD 2.0. Thus the surrounds and center channel go silent b/c your AVR is not upmixing everything to 7.1.

It is my belief that the fault lies with your television station. Your local TV affiliate is the one that is sending a stereo signal as DD 5.1 instead of DD 2.0. Therefore there is nothing that your cable company or Motorola can do about it.

You should try to contact the TV station's engineers and explain the problem. They are likely unaware of this type of unintended consequence.
post #3022 of 4764
I think most broadcast networks send either Dolby Digital 2.0, Dolby Digital 5.1 or even both. My local CBS affiliate (WWTV) sends their audio signal in DD 2.0 and they also run my local FOX affiliate (WFQX), which is a mixture of both DD 2.0 (for syndicated programming and news) and DD 5.1 (for network programming). My local NBC affiliate (WPBN), which also runs my local ABC affiliate (WGTU), only sends DD 2.0.

So it looks like there may be something wrong with your local affiliate sending the audio signal. It isn't the DCX or your HTiB.
post #3023 of 4764
The more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that the local TV affiliate is doing this on purpose. Even though it is perfectly possible for the TV station to switch from one audio format to another (say, from DD 5.1 to DD 2.0 and back) it causes a lot of AVR's to make an annoying clicking sound and interrupts the audio for a half-second or more.

They would likely get quite a few complaints about this. So by continuing to send a DD 5.1 signal (and only utilizing 2 of the channels), they can avoid this problem. Otherwise commercial breaks would be a real problem where one ad may be in DD 5.1 and the next one may only be in DD 2.0...that would really piss off their advertisers if the first half-second or more of their commercial had no audio due to an audio-format switch.

So unfortunately I think they will be unwilling to change how they're currently doing things.

I guess they could consider sending the same L and R audio signal to the surround speakers that they send to the front speakers and then mix a mono signal from the L and R channels for the Center channel.
post #3024 of 4764
Quote:
Originally Posted by DSperber View Post

The delivery of program content audio in either DD5.1 or DD2.0 is controlled by the network, not the STB or AVR.

It's completely normal for commercials and non-national network program content (e.g. local news) to not necessarily be in DD5.1, just as it might be in DD5.1 if that's what the affiliate sends out. No way to predict, but this is also not defined as "a problem" if it's not DD5.1.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TNO821 View Post

The more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that the local TV affiliate is doing this on purpose. Even though it is perfectly possible for the TV station to switch from one audio format to another (say, from DD 5.1 to DD 2.0 and back) it causes a lot of AVR's to make an annoying clicking sound and interrupts the audio for a half-second or more.

They would likely get quite a few complaints about this. So by continuing to send a DD 5.1 signal (and only utilizing 2 of the channels), they can avoid this problem. Otherwise commercial breaks would be a real problem where one ad may be in DD 5.1 and the next one may only be in DD 2.0...that would really piss off their advertisers if the first half-second or more of their commercial had no audio due to an audio-format switch....

4mula1, DSperber, TNO821 & JedFRaybould -TY for the replies.
Yep – understand and agree.

In the Chicago area, CBS sends a lot of audio DD2.0 (for syndicated programming and news) that is reported as DD5.1. NBC is better and ABC sends almost 100% in DD5.1. I’ll have to wait for others to catch up w/ ABC.

Fortunately, I still have the work around of changing the DCX STB HDMI Audio Output setting from “Auto” to "L-PCM". The AVR does a great job of upmixing PCM 2.0 - now if the DCX would just hold the setting. Waiting on the Dallas area to respond to DSperber’s request on the 24.07 upgrade.
post #3025 of 4764
Quote:
Originally Posted by daveshan View Post

The discussion on this board about setting HDMI Output to Native has been very helpful.

I've seen much less on what I assume is a similar setting for the audio output. On the User Settings for the DCX (Power Off - Menu), under Additional HDMI Settings, there is the setting for Audio Output. It has choices for Auto, L-PCM, or Pass-through.

I assume that Pass-through is optimal, since it would allow the AVR to handle the audio processing, but does anyone have more definitive knowledge? (There may have been a brief reference 20-30 pages back.)

Thanks.

With the recent discussion around the audio portion, I thought it would be timely to try again on this question about the optimal audio setting on the DCX box.

By the way, proxy64, did you test the "Pass-though" setting to see if you got any different results? Given the likely culprit, I suspect it won't help, but it also couldn't hurt to try it out.
post #3026 of 4764
Quote:
Originally Posted by daveshan View Post

With the recent discussion around the audio portion, I thought it would be timely to try again on this question about the optimal audio setting on the DCX box.

From the user manual for the DCX3400 available on the Motorola web site:

post #3027 of 4764
Quote:
Originally Posted by daveshan View Post

By the way, proxy64, did you test the "Pass-though" setting to see if you got any different results? Given the likely culprit, I suspect it won't help, but it also couldn't hurt to try it out.

Yes I did test "Pass-though" which exihibited the same behavior as "Auto".
post #3028 of 4764
Quote:
Originally Posted by proxy64 View Post

Yes I did test "Pass-though" which exihibited the same behavior as "Auto".

Just to add a few more comments on this topic...


(1) If you don't turn your AVR on last, but instead say turn your HDTV on first, and then your AVR on second, with the DCX still powered off, when the AVR stabilizes after a few seconds you will see the "DUI" (actually, I think it's supposed to read "DVI") flash on the front panel of the DCX.

This is an indication of the HDMI handshake occurring for the "digital video interface (DVI)". And it is at this moment, with the DCX powered off, that the RESET occurs for both "native" on video as well as "pass-through" or "L-PCM" on audio, back to the box defaults. Video will revert to some fixed resolution (instead of "native"), 480i override will revert to 480i (instead of "off"), and audio will revert to "auto" (instead of "L-PCM" or "pass-through").

So if you can implement a hard-and-fast AVR-on-last, and AVR-off-first, you can prevent losing "native" on video and "L-PCM" on audio.


(2) The "auto" HDMI audio setting on the DVR (and, by the way, this set of "additional HDMI settings" to control audio which was always on the DCX power/menu setup is now also available on the DCH3416 power/menu setup, after some previous firmware upgrade was rolled out, even though the Motorola PDF manual still fails to show it) essentially says that the DCX will send DD5.1 if the receiving device (AVR or HDTV, whichever the HDMI cable is connected to) indicates it is capable of receiving DD5.1.

Or, it will send 2.0 if the receiving device indicates it cannot accept DD5.1 but only 2.0.

So with "auto" the receiving device controls what digital audio format the DCX sends out over HDMI. Normally, the device responding to the HDMI handshake would be the AVR, and since the AVR CAN accept DD5.1 that's why DD5.1 programs cause the DCX to send DD5.1 audio out over HDMI... when "auto" is the HDMi audio setting.

But if it's an HDTV which is connected directly to the DCX via HDMI cable (with no AVR relay involved), most HDTV's cannot accept DD5.1 audio (since they don't have a surround speaker system built into them, so why accept anything other than 2-channel L/R stereo?) then the response to the DCX's query about audio capabilities will be that "only 2.0 PCM stereo is acceptable". This will then cause the DCX with "auto" set to send only 2.0 PCM stereo out over HDMI (exactly as if "L-PCM" were set, see below).

In contrast to "auto", the "pass through" setting for HDMI audio is like "native" for video. Whatever audio the source program contains, that's what gets sent out over HDMI.

So if the program content on a given channel changes back and forth while you're watching, or if you change channels and move from DD5.1 to 2.0 and/or back to DD5.1, well the audio stream sent out by the DCX over HDMI will change accordingly. This can be a good thing or a bad thing, and depending on your equipment may be audible.

You may hear momentary drops of sound, or the complete absence of sound, as your equipment at the other end of the HDMI cable adjusts to the changes. For example, if your HDTV is directly connected to the DCX via HDMI but it can't accept DD5.1 but only 2.0 PCM stereo, and you feed it DD5.1 from the DCX (set to "pass through"), then you will get no sound at all from your HDTV speakers.

Finally, "L-PCM" is truly the old-fashioned 2.0 channel digital audio L/R-stereo stream as sent out by the broadcaster (like the old MTS stereo with OTA analog broadcasts). It's not a "downmix" from DD5.1.

So if you could get the DCX to hold that "L-PCM" setting, you'd get nothing but 2.0 channel stereo which you've stated would be a very acceptable compromise as upmixed by your Onkyo AVR, since it would always produce center channel output (although we all know that it's really a "phantom" center channel that's been fabricated... and not the true C channel of DD5.1).


(3) As was pointed out by TNO821, stations are notorious for sending out what purports to be DD5.1 (per the lights on the AVR) but in fact they're only sending out 2.0 (i.e. L/R stereo). So as you've already noticed, you end up having no sound from your other speakers because the AVR is functioning as if it truly were 5.1 input... albeit realistically with zero signal on anything but LF and RF.

NBC is notorious for doing this, in my opinion. They started that back in 2004 with the Athens Olympics when they first were going to DD5.1 audio. The audio on other non-Olympics programs was not yet truly in DD5.1 but was still marked as such in the meta-data. Of course our sound systems were dealing with this as "reported" by the meta-data, but we were only hearing 2-channel stereo. It was just terrible.

Anyway, given that broadcasters will often keep their meta-data showing DD5.1 even if only LF and RF channels are populated with audio, it seems you are going to have to determine which is the "least offensive" compromise among several options, if you want to ensure that you get a center-channel.


(4) My Yamaha RX-V863 AVR has its own special HDMI audio setting: (a) RX-V863 or (b) other. I suspect your Onkyo may likely have a similar setting.

The first "RX-V863" value indicates that digital audio is to be handled entirely by the AVR (i.e. decoded, channels amplified, fed to speakers, etc.). This setting stops the digital audio right at the AVR. There is NO digital audio further sent out over HDMI to what is presumed to be the connected display device.

So only digital video goes out over HDMI, and this is perfectly fine for an HDTV as the target at the other end of the HDMI cable and the sound system totally controlled by the AVR. If I tried to listen to sound from the speakers on my Sony HDTV, there would be no sound.

In contrast, the second "other" value indicates that there is a device at the other end of the HDMI cable which CAN understand and process digital audio. So the AVR actually DOES "pass through" digital audio onto the HDMI output cable (presumably going to some secondary DSP device or external decoder/amplifier system). It is also handled by the Yamaha AVR (though in reality you might not have any connected speakers in this case, if you had a secondary external decoder/amplifier sound system), but the important thing is that the digital audio IS passed on also through the HDMI output cable.

What's most significant about this "other" option is that with this in effect the audio capabilities of the device at the end of the output HDMI cable are now visible as part of the HDMI handshake, along with the video capabilities of that device. It is that "end device" whose audio capabilities are now queried... not the audio capabilities of the "invisible" AVR which is now just another "digital pass-through" device.

And since most HDTV sets cannot accept DD5.1 audio but can only accept 2.0 PCM stereo, the net result of the HDMI handshake from DCX through Yamaha AVR (with the "other" option set) is to force the DCX to only deliver 2.0 PCM stereo in response to its "auto" setting!!!

This is perfect, if it's 2.0 PCM stereo that you want! By simply involving the HDTV itself (instead of the AVR) in the audio part of the HDMI handshake, you force "auto" to drop down to 2.0 PCM stereo... since that's the only acceptable audio format the HDTV can accept.

In other words, "auto" on the DCX causes whatever the target HDMI-connected audio device to report what it can accept. If the Yamaha (or Onkyo) is that device (as it will be if "RX-V863" is specified in the HDMI audio option), it will report that it can accept DD5.1 and thus "auto" on the DCX will see DD5.1 audio delivered out over the HDMI cable from DCX to the AVR.

But if the Sony HDTV (34XBR960 for me and Bravia for you) is specified as that device (as it will be if "other" or equivalent is set on my Yamaha AVR's HDMI audio output setting) then the audio portion of the HDMI handshake process will result in "I can only receive 2.0 PCM stereo" as the response. And thus the DCX with "auto" set will now only deliver 2.0 PCM stereo out over the HDMI cable to the AVR.


(5) So if you are quite content to let your Onkyo do what it does when receiving 2.0 PCM stereo (which upmixes to PLII movie, and thus gives you sound out of the center speaker), and your goal is actually to FORCE the DCX to always send out 2.0 PCM stereo (which it will do if you can get "L-PCM" to hold), then I think you should try my proposed alternative solution which is based on "auto" in the DCX. Since "auto" is actually the default setting you don't have to worry about it resetting when you also lose "native".

Try changing the "HDMI output" setting on your Onkyo to "pass-through" or "other", or whatever the value might be called that results in sending out digital audio over HDMI.

This will make the Sony Bravia's limited 2.0 PCM stereo audio capabilities seen by the DCX, and force "auto" to limit digital audio output to the same 2.0 PCM stereo.

And your Onkyo will then go into its PLII up-mix which guarantees center channel sound, and you should be home free.


(6) If you also use your home entertainment setup for BluRay discs, or when you know you're watching DD5.1 source programs, you might consider reverting that "other" setting on the Onkyo back to normal (i.e. non-pass-through). You'll no doubt have to power all the boxes off after you make this settings change on the AVR, in order to reinitiate the HDMI handshake that occurs during the power-on sequence (remember... AVR-on-last). Once this HDMI handshake is re-performed with the new setting, "auto" will now produce true DD5.1 output.

That way you can also get to enjoy true DD5.1 audio when you know you have it solid... and will absolutely get the true center channel as well as all the other channels, in their "native" multi-channel form.

I realize this will be a bit of a nuisance, but your situation is unusual and some kind of compromise is only reasonable.

I suspect that if you don't reset your Onkyo to "non-pass-through" for audio, that a connected BluRay player (configured with its own equivalent of "auto" for audio) may also do what the DCX does, and also drop down to only 2.0 PCM stereo delivered out its HDMI cable since the DD5.1-capable AVR is not seen as the audio device.

Again, a bit complicated but your situation is unusual. You're just going to have to be a bit more involved with things, if you want DD5.1 in some situations and 2.0 PCM stereo in others.


Let us know if this trick I've suggested actually works for you.
post #3029 of 4764
Thanks, DSperber, for the thorough explanations.

Based on my setup (DCX connected to Denon AVR), I'll go with Pass-through and let the Denon handle the audio "from scratch."
post #3030 of 4764
Has anyone figured out how to detect if the DCX3400-M is "On" or "Off"? I would like to control other equipment based on the On state.

So far I've tried:
1) The external power connector. Unfortunately, this is always on, regardless of the software setting.

2) Detect current usage with "Auto Power Strip". Unfortunately. there is no significant change in the unit's current draw between On and Off.

3) Detect power on the USB connector. Again, like the power connector, USB power seems to be always on.

The only thing I haven't tried is a photo-detector placed over the power LED. I know this will work, but it is ugly (visually and technically) so I was woneding if anyone else has solved this problem?
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