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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can we set the record straight ? Are the dropouts of video (screen goes blank for 3-6 seconds) and audio the fault of the box or DirecTV ? If it's Sony's box, then I suggest we all call and report it to customer service and get an incident number, as the 90 day warranty is ending fairly soon. This is the only way to get Sony to swap the box at their cost. My unit gets between 92-86 on either satellite all of the time and all connections are fine. We may wait forever for a software upgrade via DirecTV download.
 

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I've had the RCA, Mits, Panasonic and the Sony and by far the Sony has the most dropouts. I thinks it's a design flaw that would be fixable via software update. There were so many dropouts, I decided I couldn't wait for them to fix it and re-aquired the Panasonic unit. It's guide/menus may be slow as hell, but it has an awesome picture and I haven't seen a dropout yet!


--Rick
 

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I had the Sony for about 2 weeks and just returned it for the Panny box. I was happy with the features and picture quality of the Sony but it had WAY too many bugs in it! I got MANY video drop outs and serious lip sync problems. I even exchanged it for another thinking that it was a problem with the box and the second (much higher serial #) had the same exact problems. I live in the LA area and watching CBS was like watching a dubbed Japaneese movie! The lip sync would go off and then a vid drop and back to normal (this would go on and on). It made watching the one great HD station unwatchable. I also got vid drops on regular sat and more on HD-HBO. I have had the Panny for about 4 days (took your advice Rick, thanx) now and saw 2 drops (as opposed to the 15 I would have seen on the Sony). Not one lip sync issue on CBS. I think some people in some areas have no problems with the Sony with the above mentioned problems, but there are others that do in different parts of the country. I think this is a MAJOR flaw in this box (maybe with PSIP) that Sony didn't beta test enough. If the Sony worked the way it should I would have kept it and been happy.

My review between the Panny and Sony is:


-Sony is way faster with the guide, the Panny is painfully slow but I like the guide layout better (would be nice if it gave you that preview window like the Sony). When you do a search on sub topics with the Panny you can go make a sandwich and come back and it won't be done!


-HD picture is about the same, not a noticable difference. I find regular sat quality better on the Panny though.


-The sensor (for the remote) on the Panny is weak. You have to point the clicker right at it and punch the buttons slow.


-Fan on the Panny is stupid loud! BUT, on the Sony it stays on when the box is off and on the Panny it doesn't.


-Panny has the APG, it combines the guides (local) and gives you info on it. Sony doesn't, what is up with that! Sony just says Digt. with no info at all. I like the info feauture with the panny better, when changing channles with the Sony it just gives you the station ID (personal preference).


-local channel search here in LA was whacky with the Sony, it would not pick up KCET correctly and picked some staions on high nubers instead of the sub challes. Panny picked it all up perfectly.


Bottom line is the Sony WOULD be a better box if it just worked correctly in LA. I am happy with the Panny so far, the final four games looked great yesterday, but I was getting that small pixilation artifacts here and there. I have read many people seeing this with different STB's though. I was bummed that I had to return the Sony, lets hope they correct the problem with a upgrade or something. Panny is better box for HD here in LA in my opinion...., still awaiting that perfect STB......
 

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Boom Boom,


I am glad you are happy with the Panny. The issues you describe above are right on. The Panny is not a perfect box, but at least the picture and sound work. I am actually going to try a few things to make the Panny better.


1. Grommets on the fan screws. I have read that this helped people with the Dish 6K OTA module.


2. I found the schematic for an IR repeater on ther Internet. I've got enough IR flashers to retansmit to all of my components. I am hoping this will increase the range/effectiveness of the Panny IR receiver.


3. Strongly suggest to Panasonic that they add a Zoom aspect mode for 4:3 content. Right now, If I want to watch a letterboxed show (IE: Babylon 5 M-F), I have to get up off my keister and switch to native mode and use the controls on my Mits TV.


--Rick


[This message has been edited by ricka (edited 04-01-2001).]
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by ricka:
2. I found the schematic for an IR repeater on ther Internet. I've got enough IR flashers to retansmit to all of my components. I am hoping this will increase the range/effectiveness of the Panny IR receiver.
I just got my Panny yesterday and decided I can live with the guide speed, but I was really getting irritated with the poor IR. I have a Xantech repeater system (primarily for my projector), but I had an extra emmitter, so I stuck it on the Panny, and it makes a HUGE difference. I highly recommend it. Now I think I'll go ahead and keep the box. Of course, I haven't seen HDTV yet (oval dish not installed yet, still using old round dish), but I'm very pleased with how much better SDT looks compared to my old Sony DirecTV receiver.




------------------

Steve

Visit our dedicated home theater, The City Cinema.
 

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Whoa, lets put the thread back on track, if you want to start a panny thread do so but lets keep this one on track.


I have the drop out problem on my hd100, I have logged an "event" with sony. I encourage everyone with this problem call Sony. If if is a directv problem they can help figure that out. Sony's support number is 1800-838-sony, you will need the sn off the bottom of your hd100 and they will ask you to go through the steps of shutting everything off and cleaning your smartcard, annoying as that is.


BTW when you call sony if you want to reference my event# it is E11643549. This way they can't claim that no one has called. This event also has loud fan, and Station ID PSIP data missing.


If others are willing please post your event numbers so when we call back we can reference your cases to the support staff.


Regards,


Brian


[This message has been edited by btmoore (edited 04-01-2001).]
 

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Steve,


Which one do you have? How much does it cost? I'd rather buy than build.


Brian,


Sorry to distract the thread, The Panny has gotten such a bad rap on this forum that I sometimes feel like I have to defend it. The trust of the matter is that none of them are perfect.


If hadn't had the opportunity to trade in my RCA for full value, I'd still have the RCA and be quite happy. I am so very disappointed in these new boxes, the Sony in particular. Sony has been making DSS boxes for a long time now.


I encourage everyone to call their STB manufacturer and demand a better product.


--Rick
 

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rick... you hit the nail on the head.... none of them are perfect. The original question aked in this post is "are the dropouts the fault of the box (sony) or directtv? It's hard to blame it on the box when so many people have had the same problem with other boxes. Me, for one. I returned the panny for the same reasons this guy is thinking about trading in his sony. There are also numerous posts from mits/toshiba owners who are experiencing dropouts as well. It seems the fewest complaints come from rca owners... which leads me to believe (or hope) that after directtv has their hands on these second generation boxes for a while things will improve.


One can hope, right?
 

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lhamp,


For the most part I agree with you. But I have definitely seem less dropouts with either the Panny or the RCA than the Sony. The Sony would have audio sync drift for 10 to 15 minutes then a video dropout would restore sync. I never saw this behavior on any other box, yet I saw it on two HD stations in LA and on DirectTV (SCIFI channel).


I think this behavior is above and beyond normal dropouts that others talk about.


--Rick
 

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Rick... I just posted a thread about some weird dropouts I get on the sony... but by and large, the sony is far better (for me) in terms of dropouts. But again, that's my experience... other people (like you) report better results for the panny... you say tomato, I say....

 

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I have the Mit's HD STB and I experience very few dropouts....


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Geof
 

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I have the Hughes Platinum E-86 STB. I'm debating about replacing my STB with Orbitsat, for the following reasons.


1) The OTA HD channels get pixaltion artifacts from time to time.

2) Picture gradually gets darker on HD OTA channels.

3) I get lip sync on non Japanese shows from time to time.


Also I wish the Directv guide would improve the speed of changing channels.

I there any help, or just but the next generation of STB's.


Kevin
 

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But getting this back on topic again...


I have similar problems with my HD100 as topic starter RZ does. What I've come to expect in these dropouts is a 2 second loss of video, audio remains intact. This could happen from annoyingly frequently to once every half hour. It happens mostly on HBO HD for me, but not for other directTV channels, which seems to include the demo loop. If there are different symptoms of the dropouts, which occur much much less often, I usually don't consider them part of the same problem (eg total LOS or green digital blocks). If dropouts happen on OTA channels, it's usually a different type of glitch that usually is accompanied by an annoying audio pop. The best I could describe it would be as if somethings not grounded right and static electricity on my roof is the cause.


I posted this the other day ( http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/Forum11/HTML/012974.html ) and saw a few intersting theories... one says to check the "Y" cable, another mentions sun-spots (which IS possible, but I would not think for a specific STB) and yet another thread jokingly suggests that UFO's are the cause of it here in NYC ( http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/Forum20/HTML/001895.html ).


Either way, thanks to btmoore for posting his event number, I'll be sure to reference it if I need to when I call Sony later from home.


Luckily, I haven't seen lip-sync issues nor do I think my fan is too loud. I'm hoping a firmware update can fix these reception problems- the question really is <b>when</b> since our return & warranty windows are running out.


Dave
 

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davebach,


Thanks for helping keep this thread on topic.


I think I see the exact same problem you are seeing.


It feels like the OTR dropouts or green block issues are not the same problem as the HBO HD problem. I say this because as you have described, and the result is the same e.g. a loss of A/V the symptoms leading up the dropout are different. My main problem with OTR has been with my local CBS some days their signal strength is a bit spiky on some days. The other OTR stations don't appear to be a problem with the execption of ABC who I have been unable to get a signal from day one.


I have never observed the dropout issue on a directv non-HDTV channel. While I have watched the demo loop and I have not seen the dropout here I have not observed it for an adequate amount of time to know if the problem does not exist there. Has anyone watched a PPV on 199 with a hd100 who could comment on if dropout occur on 199?


I have not experienced the lip-synch problem either but you are a lucky ******* for having a quiet fan. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/wink.gif


lhamp, has made an interesting observation about time and dropouts. He states that he notices dropouts on the hour or halves. The one time I looked at the clock when I had a dropout it was 6:00 on the nose, so I will be keeping an eye out to see if I notice the same behavior.


My hope is if this is a directv/hbohd problem Sony would have better support channels with directv than what directv provides to us.


Keep us informed on your status.


Regards,


Brian
 

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I reported the "drop out" problem to Sony and was told "The engineers are aware of it and are working on a fix". "It should be fixed in 2 or 3 days"

I asked if the fix would be sent via a DirecTv download or would I have to take/send my set in to a repair facility. They did not know, but said I should call back in 2 or 3 days for a status.


For btmoore,


My event # is E11672274



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Dave B.

ODAT
 

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That's a good news. I just hope Sony is going to stick to this 2-3 days promise. I hope they won't be jerking us around with another set of delays like the HD100 delivery.


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CC
 

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Talked to Sony this AM to add information to my "event" about dropout occurring on the hour or halfhour. They denied that there was a fix to be released and refused to acknowledge that this is a confirmed issue. I referenced dmbatch's event code and told the level 2 rep that he was told that a fix was coming in 2-3 days. He opened the event and said that there was no record of a fix being being released and that there was nothing in the call record to indicate that message was communicated. dmbatch you may want to call back and rattle the cage.


I hope everyone with this problem is calling sony so it will get priority.


Regards


Brian
 

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I called a little while ago to get an event number of my own and log the problems I've been having with the HD 100.


I described the three types of dropouts that are plaguing me the most:


1. Loss of Video signal at irregular time intervals for 2 seconds- which is a freeze of the last full image, then a drop to black for 2 seconds.

2. The LOS that occurs at exactly 10 seconds after the top and bottom of the hour, mostly on HBO HD, and occasionally on other channels that lasts approximately 8 seconds.

3. Regular digital glitches that I see more often on HBO HD than elsewhere, but that probably are related to weather conditions, etc.


I also gave the two event numbers that have been posted here as a reference.


My first Tech, Matt, first told me that it is a known issue, that the problem was in the DirectTV signal and that I should call DirectTV. Although I didn't disagree with him, I pointed out that the collective "we" had found that the reoccurance of this dropout every 30 minutes had been confirmed only by HD 100 owners on this forum. So whether or not it truly was a DirectTV issue, it still only affected Sony customers. I also said that although I didn't mind calling DirectTV, that it seemed more appropriate that Sony should call DirectTV and talk engineer to engineer.


He also told me that the events E11643549 and E11672274 were closed and didn't know why. I guessed that perhaps it was because they felt that they had "solved" the problem... meaning blame it on DirectTV.


But he put me on with Jim, who listened to the problem. He couldn't confirm the event numbers either. He had not heard of the 30 minute issue so I didn't ask about the surmised "fix." He was familiar with the AVS forum though. He took some more info from me and said he would send the file to another team and give me a call when he knew more.


So at least the case isn't closed as far as I can tell.


I did not mention lip sync or fan issues. I don't seem to have those problems.


My event number is E11679380 if anyone needs it.


Dave
 

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dave... wish I had your event number when I called... the first guy seemed bent on sending me to directv too... I asked to speak to a level 2 tech and she was a little more helpful... or, at least, open to what I was saying. But she didn't know of any other reports of loss of signal on the hour and 1/2 hour (that is the only problem I'm having). She checked their data base and found no other reports of this problem, but she promised to get back to me either by end of day or tomorrow latest.


We'll see.

 

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So far I haven't had the problem, however I suggest that anyone who calls them specifically ask them to record the issue in their database such that it will come up when searched. Seems several people have reported the same issue, but whenever they search the database, no hits.


I will be paying close attention tonight at the half hour marks, but so far I haven't seen this problem on my HD100. Has anyone had this problem on a non-hd station, or it is just 509 (which could explain why I haven't seen it yet since I don't always watch the HD station)?


Roger



[This message has been edited by Roger Clark (edited 04-03-2001).]


[This message has been edited by Roger Clark (edited 04-03-2001).]
 
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