Posted Dec 6, 2011
7:07:28 PM
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Confirmed: vip2250 fixes surround sound audio dropouts!

I had a vip1225 hooked up via HDMI to an Onkyo receiver (HT-S8400 to be specific) and I had problems with audio dropouts on surround.  Every few seconds, for a fraction of a second, the audio would drop.  It drove me nuts and I tried everything to fix it.. I tried different (new) HDMI cables, and even a different home theater system!   In the end, I had to keep it on stereo.

 

I went over and over this with UVerse support.  They kept wanting to send me to the paid support line for help configuring my home theater system and out of four techs I spoke to, none ackowledged hearing anything about audio dropouts over HDMI with surround.  In fact, they kept insisting that I plug the HDMI straight to the TV and I kept having to explain my TV is a stereo device, not a surround device so it's not a good test.  They also immediately started jumping on the bandwagen saying surround sound is out of scope.  I saw a couple of posts about the vip2250 fixing this issue but none of the techs would entertain that idea.

 

Finally I pled my case to a very nice agent in billing who had to go WAY out of her way to get me a vip2250.  Hooked it up and sure enough all audio dropout problems are resolved!

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Oct 16, 2012 8:20:47 PM
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Edited by infinity1976 on Oct 16, 2012 at 8:25:36 PM

SomeJoe7777 wrote:
Interesting. It would seem that the VIP2250 has a fairly serious flaw in the video processing if it's doing what you're saying.

There are some unanswered questions, though. Since we can primarily only test the STBs using images from Media Share like you're doing, is this a bug in all video processing or just in the Media Share portion? There's not a good way to test, unless you might happen to catch the HDNet test patterns that they occasionally broadcast.

The VIP2250 does use a different CPU/H.264 decoder (Broadcom vs. Sigma Designs) and a different HDMI chip than the 1st generation STB units (VIP 1200, 1216, 1225). It would be interesting to determine whether these faults you've observed reside in hardware or in software, and in what stage of the video processing.

Good questions.

 

Unfortunately the issue resides outside of media share.  I started investigating it because I was noticing brightness shifts in near black (easy to do on a TV like the VT50 which has a black level of .002fl).  I know with the u-verse transcoding we  do get some minor pops here and there but this was something new when I changed boxes.  What I started seeing was quirks in shades near black which would be brighter than it should be (show up as a brighter band) in the video information near black.  I thought I had a faulty box, so I had it swapped.  Issue continued.  I also noticed when I 1st ot the 2250  the standby screen didn't look smooth in it's gradients as my other box or previous DVR.    So I re-did the calibration (full calibration) on the HDMI input using a RGB 4:4:4 source.  That's when I started to notice the redish tint in the near blacks when I used media share in any grayscale slides.  I had also noticed it a bit in program material, but it's not huge deal just annoying.  I also noticed the image looked too dark after the tech swapped the box from the 1225 I originally had.  Now I'm using my non-dvr box and the image is much more linear and shadow detail is as it should be, actually quite good!  As well I don't see the compression artificats like I did with the 2250.  And it there's not the occasional blocking glitches.

 

My issue now is I have choppy audio... again.  The entire reason I got a 2250 was for the audio fix.  

 

This is frustrating, I upgraded receiver from a Pioneer VSX-33 (which has no issues with audio) to an Onkyo which does have issues.  The 2250 fixed the audio, but the video isn't up to par.

 

The 2250 does seem to have some pretty serious video flaws.  Anyone who has dynamic contrast turned on probably doesn't care about shadow detail and near blacks, since theirs are being dropped off anway with features like that turned on.   But some of us do!   The red tint in the grayscale is bad!  But the big one is the clipped blacks and the dynamic grayscale.  And the resulting higher gamma isn't a good thing.  None of my other U-verse STB boxes have ever exhibited this behavior.  

 

I wish I could try a cisco box.  I doubt their available in my arear though.

 

Do you know if anyone has anyone tried a optical -> SPDIF converter on a STB?  I'm hoping a converter with a new clock might help fix the issue.

 

Re: Confirmed: vip2250 fixes surround sound audio dropouts!

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Oct 17, 2012 12:56:47 AM
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With regard to your last question on previous post I have used a Theta Digital TLC optical to SPDIF converter which did do re-clocking of the digital audio from the optical output of a VIP1200 and it worked great. The TLC is not cheap but it does smooth out the digital audio. I would not recommend using the cheap Chinese converters available on Amazon. They do not provide re-clocking of digital audio.

 

Sorry to hear about your video issues with the VIP2250.

Re: Confirmed: vip2250 fixes surround sound audio dropouts!

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Oct 17, 2012 10:08:22 AM
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Agent 305 wrote:

With regard to your last question on previous post I have used a Theta Digital TLC optical to SPDIF converter which did do re-clocking of the digital audio from the optical output of a VIP1200 and it worked great. The TLC is not cheap but it does smooth out the digital audio. I would not recommend using the cheap Chinese converters available on Amazon. They do not provide re-clocking of digital audio.

 

Sorry to hear about your video issues with the VIP2250.


Thank you!  Where can I read about one of these?  I must not be good at google I couldn't find it!

Re: Confirmed: vip2250 fixes surround sound audio dropouts!

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Oct 17, 2012 1:39:56 PM
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Hope this helps

 

Narrative from Theta Digital website...
 
Timebase Linque Conditioner

 

Originally, there was only one method available to connect a CD player / transport to an outboard D to A converter, that being coaxial. The mass-market manufacturers then produced players with the inferior TosLink plastic fiber optic output. AT&T glass fiber optics also became available as a means to interconnect digital equipment. All of these termination methods posed a problem for people trying to buy components that would interface with each other. The Timebase Linque Conditioner was designed to solve these problems. It accepted TosLink and coaxial inputs and output coaxial and optionally AT&T or Theta's Laserlinque. It also contained extensive re-clocking circuitry to combat the deleterious effects of jitter. Poor quality transports still pervaded the market, reducing the effective quality level Theta's D to As could offer. The Timebase Linque Conditioner ameliorated some of the problems. It was even found to improve the sound of our then best combination, the Data III / Generation V.

 

All of the digital-to-analog converters up until that time used integrated circuits (ICs) called op-amps, for the critical current-to-voltage conversion that occurs following the DAC, and for the output buffers. At that time, integrated circuit chips generally were used as cost-efficient compromises, which lowered the quality of components that depended on them, in comparison with equivalent circuits made up of discrete elements on a circuit board. After about a year of research, a new analog section was developed for the Generation III, based entirely on discrete class-A bipolar transistor. This circuitry offered greater processing speed, which produced more detail and a smoother sound.

 

Theta TLC Reviews...

http://www.audioreview.com/cat/digital-sources/dacs/theta-digital/tlc/prd_123794_2738crx.aspx#review...

 

 

Theta TLC Images...

http://www.google.com/search?q=Theta+Digital+TLC&hl=en&rls=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-SearchBox&prmd=imv...

 

On ebay....current
 

 

 

Audiogon Ad Expired...

http://app.audiogon.com/listings/theta-digital-timebase-linque-conditioner-cleans-any-di

 

 

ebay ad sold...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Super-Rare-TLC-Timebase-Linque-Conditioner-by-Theta-Digital-ORG-BOX-CHARGER-...

 

Re: Confirmed: vip2250 fixes surround sound audio dropouts!

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Oct 17, 2012 2:33:23 PM
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My TV is a Sony KDS-55A3000, a 2007 model LCoS which was a great TV for its time. I still think it produces a superior picture to most LCD TVs, but your VT50 would probably outperform it.

However, on my TV, there is an HDMI settings option that controls how the TV negotiates with an HDMI source to control the color space. My TV has this setting as "Auto", "RGB", or "YCbCr", meaning that it can ask the HDMI source to send the picture data as the preferred output of the source, force the selection of RGB (making the source perform the YCbCr->RGB conversion), or force the selection of YCbCr (allowing the TV to do the YCbCr->RGB conversion).

See if your TV has a similar setting. Because the problems you're seeing are primarily grayscale issues as well as off-colors, I wonder if the YCbCr 4:2:0 -> RGB 4:4:4 chroma upsampling algorithm is part of the problem. Forcing your TV to negotiate YCbCr over HDMI transfers the chroma upsampling responsibility to your TV rather than the STB.

Furthermore, different chroma upsampling algorithms are supposed to be used for HD (Rec.709) and SD (Rec.601). You might repeat your testing with the STB output set to 480i vice 1080i and see if the chroma anomalies disappear.

Re: Confirmed: vip2250 fixes surround sound audio dropouts!

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Oct 18, 2012 5:05:00 AM
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Agent 305 wrote:

Hope this helps

 

Narrative from Theta Digital website...
 ...


Thank you for taking the time to do this!   I must have been fat fingering something in my searches.

 

 

Re: Confirmed: vip2250 fixes surround sound audio dropouts!

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Oct 18, 2012 5:20:25 AM
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Edited by infinity1976 on Oct 18, 2012 at 5:26:29 AM

SomeJoe7777 wrote:
My TV is a Sony KDS-55A3000, a 2007 model LCoS which was a great TV for its time. I still think it produces a superior picture to most LCD TVs, but your VT50 would probably outperform it.

However, on my TV, there is an HDMI settings option that controls how the TV negotiates with an HDMI source to control the color space. My TV has this setting as "Auto", "RGB", or "YCbCr", meaning that it can ask the HDMI source to send the picture data as the preferred output of the source, force the selection of RGB (making the source perform the YCbCr->RGB conversion), or force the selection of YCbCr (allowing the TV to do the YCbCr->RGB conversion).

See if your TV has a similar setting. Because the problems you're seeing are primarily grayscale issues as well as off-colors, I wonder if the YCbCr 4:2:0 -> RGB 4:4:4 chroma upsampling algorithm is part of the problem. Forcing your TV to negotiate YCbCr over HDMI transfers the chroma upsampling responsibility to your TV rather than the STB.

Furthermore, different chroma upsampling algorithms are supposed to be used for HD (Rec.709) and SD (Rec.601). You might repeat your testing with the STB output set to 480i vice 1080i and see if the chroma anomalies disappear.

Interesting, I didn't think the Uvere STB's were even capable of outputting YCbCr (at any level) I thought it was only RGB 4:4:4.  Too bad there isn't a way to force the STB to use YCbCr by default, I believe that's what it should be doing by default.

 

My receiver shows RGB in and it's sending RGB back out.  (no conversion, it's on bypass for these tests as well... I tried a cable direct to the TV)

 

I don't believe I have a way to force the negotiation.  Thus far whatever TV I have connected the 2250 has exhibited the same issues, clipping grayscale 16-18.   Red tint in the lower grays.  The gamma is for sure lower on the 2250 than the other STB I have.  The difference is easily seen (especilly as the compression artifcats rear their up on the 2250), I have my main input calibrated to BT.1886 gamma with a 2.22 power law in one ISF mode and a sRGB gamma on the other  mode (I was cross comparing).  It's very apparant the 2250 lowers the gamma when it's connected vs the other box.  The non -DVR looks really good, the 2250 just looks like it has white crush, missing shadow detail and the overall gamma is too low.  To my eyes it appears to be around 1.8 - 1.9 which is kind scary to me since my BT.1886 gamma starts at around 2.2 at a 10% stimulous  and goes to 2.3 at 90%.

 

I really appreciate the suggestions!  I hope someone from AT&T reads this and gets on it.  I'm thinking this does explain why most people think the 2250 seems to show more compression artifcats, the lower gamma will do that for sure.  The image is very good on my other non DVR box with the BT1886 gamma, outstanding at times to be honest especially when I add just a hair of noise reduction and edge enhancement in my receiver  (Onkyo NR818).

 

I'll let ya know how 480i goes.  I'll snap some photos of the black clipping and white clipping slides on both DVRs with same input/settings.  So you can see what I am.

 

 

Re: Confirmed: vip2250 fixes surround sound audio dropouts!

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Oct 18, 2012 6:12:32 AM
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Edited by infinity1976 on Oct 18, 2012 at 6:28:12 AM

Agent 305 wrote:

Hope this helps

 

Narrative from Theta Digital website...
 
Timebase Linque Conditioner

 

....


I forgot to ask you.  I wanted to clarify something.  Does this unit help when the STB digital output is in surround sound mode?   My issues (like most) are on HD channels with 2 channel DD audio.   Does it pass everything through as 5.1 and 2.0 but simply correct jitter?

 

thanks again!

 

Re: Confirmed: vip2250 fixes surround sound audio dropouts!

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Oct 18, 2012 1:18:52 PM
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The Theta Digital TLC does not change the audio format coming into it. If you send it Dolby Digital 5.1in it will output Dolby Digital 5.1. If you send it Dolby Digital Stereo in it will output Dolby Digital Stereo. (the digital audio output settings are made in the STB)

 

What it does do is allow you to use the Toslink output form your STB and then use a Coax SPDIF cord to your processor or receiver. It will take the digital audio coming into it and reduce the jitter and re-clock it. My results were smoother and much more detailed digital audio with the Theta in the loop and no audio dropouts.

 

I used the Theta TLC with the Toslink output on my VIP1225 as a work around for the audio dropout problem I was having using the HDMI audio out on the VIP1225. 

 

When I got the VIP2250 STB my HDMI audio dropout problem was corrected so I sold the Theta TLC to a friend as I no longer used the Toslink audio out on the new  STB box. 

Re: Confirmed: vip2250 fixes surround sound audio dropouts!

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Oct 19, 2012 10:10:46 AM
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SomeJoe7777 wrote:
You might repeat your testing with the STB output set to 480i vice 1080i and see if the chroma anomalies disappear.


In regards to 480i  the chromra anomalies are better as well the grayscale clipping is gone.  I can now see down to 17  (16 should be black).

 

I do hope someone who has some degree of influcence reads thee issues and addresses them.  Getting the video right will help peoples impressions of the service.  I bet most people do notice the side effects of the gamma being lower and clipped blacks (most probably haven't a clue what gamma is though).  Since it's coming out of black so fast compression artifcats show up more.  They should want to fix this...   too bad wants and will's aren't always the same :smileyhappy:

 

I hope the problem resides in software and not the hardware...

 

I wonder when the next update is due an I wonder if this can even be considered for it.  Hopefully it's already on the plate.

Re: Confirmed: vip2250 fixes surround sound audio dropouts!

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Oct 25, 2012 1:50:03 PM
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Edited by infinity1976 on Oct 25, 2012 at 1:54:52 PM

Just before anyone else tries, the Theta Timebase Linque didn't help the drop outs to my Onkyo NR818.  I just got mine today and it's still popping/dropping frequently.  Doesn't seem like there is much difference, perhaps some improvement but it's certainly not a fix.

 

I might have to switch back to the 2250 and suffer a bit with the gamma/red tinted dark grays.

 

Now I have an antique Theta audio device...  I guess I'll put it back up on ebay... sigh.  

Re: Confirmed: vip2250 fixes surround sound audio dropouts!

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Oct 25, 2012 10:12:50 PM
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Boy it sure seems like if you didn't have bad luck you would have no luck.

 

Both the VIP2250 and the Theta Digital piece worked for me without the issues you are experiencing. The Theta Digital worked great as a work around for the HDMI audio dropouts on my VIP1225 and the VIP2250 corrected the HDMI audio dropouts completely negating my need for a work around at all and no video problem for me with the VIP2250.

 

How much do you want for the Theta Digital TLC? I will try and find a buyer for you.

 

I am sorry you are going through all these hoops to get your audio and video to respond properly. This is a great forum and I am sure someone here will get you back to enjoying your home theater again. 

Re: Confirmed: vip2250 fixes surround sound audio dropouts!

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Oct 26, 2012 5:41:00 AM
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Agent 305 wrote:

Boy it sure seems like if you didn't have bad luck you would have no luck.

 

Both the VIP2250 and the Theta Digital piece worked for me without the issues you are experiencing. The Theta Digital worked great as a work around for the HDMI audio dropouts on my VIP1225 and the VIP2250 corrected the HDMI audio dropouts completely negating my need for a work around at all and no video problem for me with the VIP2250.

 

How much do you want for the Theta Digital TLC? I will try and find a buyer for you.

 

I am sorry you are going through all these hoops to get your audio and video to respond properly. This is a great forum and I am sure someone here will get you back to enjoying your home theater again. 


Thanks, ya story of my life.  I just roll with the punches at this point :smileywink:  I put the 2250 back down on the VT50 for now.  Audio distorting/dropping out was drivng me nuts.

 

I paid $86+$12 shipping on ebay  ($98 total).  Don't feel bad, I bet it did work on your AVR and TV.  It's not you're responsibility here, but I do appreciate the help!

 

If this is the worst thing I have going on in my life... life is cake :smileyvery-happy:

Re: Confirmed: vip2250 fixes surround sound audio dropouts!

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Oct 27, 2012 3:28:44 PM
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Edited by infinity1976 on Oct 27, 2012 at 3:30:49 PM

Ugh, I tried to watch the 2250 on my TV but I just can't get into it.  The blacks are clipped color isn't right then add in the dynamic palette/grayscale adjustements are just too much. 

 

AT&T needs to address this.  I can't be the only one who has noticed this about the 2250.  It does this on both of my TVs.

 

So I either have crap audio /w good video or good audio with crap video.  With the 2250  clipped blacks I have to keep brightness up higher, which then make everything look a bit washed out.  Missing shadow detail on the 2250, and that dynamic re-vamping of the grayscale is frustrating.  I hope this all gets addressed in a future update :smileyhappy:

 

Be nice if some AT&T person who has some power can help me out by maybe sending me a better STB :smileyvery-happy:  Not sure if the cisco boxes have alll of these bugs too.  I don't mind beta testing :smileyvery-happy:

 

So for now I'll have to manually switch back and forth between stereo and 5.1 :smileysad:  I do wonder if the other DVR VIP1220 would work with the Theta.

Re: Confirmed: vip2250 fixes surround sound audio dropouts!

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Oct 28, 2012 2:43:28 PM
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Yes, infinity1976 even with a budgie TV it happens, it may happen with a CRT TV. I think, You put forth the supposition that it may be the VIP2250's video chip driver (the mysterious Broadcom binary blob), and it could be.  I've used a computer that does this shifty blooming of gamma/color while applications load, and it's video driver is a non OEM release; however it's shifting stops.

 

Oh well. :catlol:

Re: Confirmed: vip2250 fixes surround sound audio dropouts!

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Oct 30, 2012 11:58:11 AM
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So this thread has been here for some time, but I just installed a new set up with a Onkyo NX-818 and Sharp TV. I have the Cisco IPTV reciever and like everyone else, when recieving the 2.X during commericals or on a HD channel that is not 5.1 I get the Audio Cut out and Pauses. I realize the work around is to give up surround sound and put the STB in Stereo mode but after spending all this money on the surround set up I want it to work. Is the only option to get the VIP2550 and live with this new video issue, or is there another fix more current maybe for the Cisco boxes to support the DD2.0 format?

Re: Confirmed: vip2250 fixes surround sound audio dropouts!

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Oct 30, 2012 12:51:22 PM
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randSport96 - Does the Onkyo have option settings for the input - LIke auto detect vs. set to a surround format.

Did you try each to see if one works better than the other?

Could be auto-detect takes time to sample the input. Could be a surround setting is or is not compatible with the ad sound.
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: Confirmed: vip2250 fixes surround sound audio dropouts!

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Oct 30, 2012 1:02:46 PM
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The IPN330HD is set to "surround mode" this is when the problem occurs on a HD channel when switched to "Stereo" no issue, but no surround sound either. The Onkyo switches from "TV Logic" when in surround mode to "THX Cinema" since the HDMI from the IPN330HD is into the HDMI on the Onkyo is "Auto Detect" When in "surround mode" on the STB I have manually changed all the sound settings and still get the audio cut outs regardless of the sound format. That is why on Thursday I have a tech coming and going to ask him to swap out all the Cisco receivers fro Motorola VIP's with a 2250 in place of the current IPN330HD to solve for this unless someone has found another more acceptable solution. Note as others have stated when the signal is 5.1 and the STB is in surround mode there are no issues, only when the broadcast is NOT 5.1 like 2.X the problems occur.

Re: Confirmed: vip2250 fixes surround sound audio dropouts!

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Nov 2, 2012 6:31:09 AM
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Grandsport on my NR818 what I do us use two inputs (sort of). On tbe 818 use the "dvr/stb" as your main hdmi input for DD 5.1 but also connect some analog Rca audio cables from the stb to the "TV" input on the 818. The "TV" input can use hdmi for video and analog for audio. Then just depth between the two. I highly recommend using neo-x on the analog input. Just remember to duplicate your video settings between the inputs (if you have any). Also the sub will need to come up a bit on the "TV" input using analog.

With neo-x and analog unless I'm watching an action show theres not much reason to switch between them. once you have everything tweaked switch back and forth between a sure in 5.1 and the analog with neo-x. You'll be shocked. While not as good it's 80% I'd say.

They need to address the video issues on the 2250, hopefully the next release they will.

Re: Confirmed: vip2250 fixes surround sound audio dropouts!

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Dec 3, 2012 8:59:34 AM
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Edited by infinity1976 on Dec 3, 2012 at 9:10:27 AM

I confirmed today video problems with 2250 exist in both hdmi and component video outputs.

1. Video is clipping blacks
2. Gamma is off
3. Video is in wrong color space? In see tint in lower grayscale. Everything looks a bit off saturation wise. Tinted red tones in grayscale is bad.

 

4.  Fix your video encoders so the video is stable in near black sections.  All of the flickering in dark areas is very distracting.  You see brightness pops in darker areas of video.  The encoder is getting tripped up near black on some feeds.

All of this observed on a monitor calibrated to 709 specs. Problems exist on both hdmi and component outputs. AT&T. Please fix this. The 2250 makes everything look worse. How does this stuff pass your q&a department? Basic video stuff here....

Re: Confirmed: vip2250 fixes surround sound audio dropouts!

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Feb 5, 2013 11:08:14 PM
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Voyager

I know this is a dead thread on page two but I thought I would let everyone know I had U-Verse installed 2/5/2013 and just a few hours after installation I was getting the popping and dropped sounds on my VIP1225 DVR connected through my Samsung Soundbar via HDMI.. 

 

I called Tech Support and I hard reset the DVR and it fixed the issue, for now. So we'll see what it does after that and if it comes back. Hopefully not..

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Mar 7, 2013 5:36:36 PM
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Thank you very much for your post infinity1976.

 

I thought I was losing my mind over the past two days after the installation of the VIP2250 box. I have been having occasional issues over the years with my VIP1225 having random black screens and also an issue with On Demand generating a cycle of pauses while watching films. After a handful of phone calls to technical support over the past year I was finally sent to someone in Tier 2 that approved a free upgrade to the 2250 this past Monday evening.

 

Tuesday the guy shows up and installs the 2250. He suggested at the time eliminating the coaxial from our equation by running a short line to the master bedroom and connecting the modem directly to the main DVR via ethernet. Then we installed wireless hubs on the other two televisions. When I saw the added hard drive space I was excited, but my pleasure quickly dissipated that evening while watching my usual evening shows.

 

The black levels of the 2250 are absolutely horrible. There were no variations or gradients of black in dark scenes. Literally only a solid black mass. Skin color was also a major issue. White skin now seemed to either have a orange or red hue to it. I couldn't generate a normal skin tone regardless of how much I attempted to tweak the settings on my Panasonic Plasma.

 

Needless to say I called the next morning and scheduled an appointment to have the 2250, along with the wireless hubs, removed from the house. The tech came this afternoon and a brand new 1225 was installed and I can confirm that all is right with the world.

 

Thanks again infinity1976. If I hadn't come across your post I probably would have ended up convincing myself that I was seeing things.

Re: Confirmed: vip2250 fixes surround sound audio dropouts!

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Mar 7, 2013 5:49:09 PM
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Edited by SomeJoe7777 on Mar 7, 2013 at 5:53:05 PM

infinity1976 wrote:

I confirmed today video problems with 2250 exist in both hdmi and component video outputs.

1. Video is clipping blacks
2. Gamma is off
3. Video is in wrong color space? In see tint in lower grayscale. Everything looks a bit off saturation wise. Tinted red tones in grayscale is bad.

 

4.  Fix your video encoders so the video is stable in near black sections.  All of the flickering in dark areas is very distracting.  You see brightness pops in darker areas of video.  The encoder is getting tripped up near black on some feeds.


 

They messed up pretty much everything, didn't they?

 

Hope it can be fixed in firmware, although prepare for it to take a while.  The 1200 series had the same clipping black level problem early on in U-Verse's existence, and it took nearly 2 years before a firmware update was issued that fixed the problem.

 

Re: Confirmed: vip2250 fixes surround sound audio dropouts!

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Oct 24, 2013 2:52:53 PM
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Confirmed:  The VIP2250 also fixed my Dolby 2.0 audio dropout issue with my new Onkyo TX-NR727.  Was driving me crazy.  Thank you for this thread!

Re: Confirmed: vip2250 fixes surround sound audio dropouts!

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Dec 26, 2013 7:20:18 AM
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Hello,

 

I upgraded my onkyo reciever to a new onkyo receiver, and have this exact same problem (audio drop-outs on the 2.0 material)...

 

Strangely enough, this was not a problem with my old Onkyo reciever.  It was about a 6 or 7 year old 7.1 reciever but it did not have HDMI or network capability or any of the new features...  When attached to digtial sound over the optical, I did not experience drop-outs but I imagine that this was just due to its handling of the errors from the box better...

 

Anyhow, I am about to run the gauntlet of AT&T support to try to get a new box... I am not interested in paying $100 or whatever for the privledge of getting a box that works...   Does anyone have any advice about how to go about obtaining a new box from AT&T support without having to spend hours and hours on the phone hunting around for the right tech??   Perhaps there are some key phrases I should be using or maybe I should be contacting an entirely different place?

Re: Confirmed: vip2250 fixes surround sound audio dropouts!

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Dec 26, 2013 8:31:40 PM
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Which AT&T set top box are you using? What digital audio output setting are you using? Stereo or Surround?

Re: Confirmed: vip2250 fixes surround sound audio dropouts!

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Dec 27, 2013 7:21:27 AM
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Edited by anoldpunk on Dec 27, 2013 at 7:47:11 AM

hfeiges wrote:

...Anyhow, I am about to run the gauntlet of AT&T support to try to get a new box... I am not interested in paying $100 or whatever for the privledge of getting a box that works...   Does anyone have any advice about how to go about obtaining a new box from AT&T support without having to spend hours and hours on the phone hunting around for the right tech??   Perhaps there are some key phrases I should be using or maybe I should be contacting an entirely different place?



@hfeiges -- I was crossing my fingers that the swap from the VIP1225 to the VIP2250 was going to work; otherwise, the tech likely would've had to charge a service call fee, placing the blame on my home theater setup.  Of course, the new box solved the issue and there was no charge at all (I've had the U300 plan for years--may have been a factor on the no charge).

 

As for how I worded things--on the initial call to AT&T, I just said my box was momentarily dropping audio sporadically.  They did the scripted attempt to restart my box and "do some checks" while placing me on hold.  I ensured I had the box set to a suspect channel while they were doing the tests (KERA public TV channel in my case, which plays about everything in 2.0 on U-Verse).  I told them still no good, and they scheduled a tech to come out.  I didn’t bother to get into any further technical detail regarding the issue at that time, i.e., didn't waste time with attempts to speak with Level 2 tech, didn't mention a box swap might be needed, etc.

 

Once the tech was 30 minutes from my house, he called to make sure I was home.  I then asked if he had a VIP2250 in his van and let him know I believe I pinpointed the issue.  He replied yes.  Once he showed up, I demoed the worst channel possible (again, KERA) for him.  It was skipping audio terribly and he noted it after checking the signal and looking for updates.  He swapped the box, set the new box to surround audio (boxes come default with audio set to stereo), and presto--it worked beautifully.  No more dropouts.

 

The tech was actually very receptive to learning something new and graciously thanked me for doing the research and minimizing his troubleshooting time.  Hopefully you have a similarly pleasant experience.

Re: Confirmed: vip2250 fixes surround sound audio dropouts!

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Dec 28, 2013 2:22:28 PM
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The box I had was a VIP 1216...

 

Basically it was exhibiting the behavior as discussed in this thread..  The box is set up for surround sound, and it is hooked up through an Onkyo audio receiver via the HDMI cable (when I switched to an optical cable for digital sound, it exhibited the same behavior)...

 

When displaying a channel with a dolby digital audio source, everything worked just fine, and the surround sound came through and there were no glitches..  When changing to a channel with 2.0 channel audio, there would be frequent but random audio drop-outs lasting about a tenth of a second.   Sometimes it would be very frequent (once or twice a second), sometimes it would only happen a few times a minute, but it was random and persistent and quite annoying (it could not be ignored)..

 

My reciever has a mode on it where it displays the audio and video input and output specs...  When watching a 2.0 audio channel, it would show 2.0 channel input, and 2.1 channel output, but when these drop-outs would occurr, it would display "unknown" for the audio input for a brief second, and then go back to showing 2.0 channel audio.

 

2 days and 2 box swaps later (I will post more about my experience with AT&T support in a little bit) I now have a VIP 2250, and as this thread suggests, it makes the audio drop out problem go away..

Re: Confirmed: vip2250 fixes surround sound audio dropouts!

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Dec 28, 2013 7:26:47 PM
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Anyhow, my experience getting this box (a VIP 1216) swapped out was mostly good, but not perfect..  When I called tech support on Thursday morning, after giving them my information I simply told the tech something like the following:

 

“I researched this problem myself, and it is a very common problem that is well documented on many support forums, including the AT&T forums.  I can direct you towards some of these forum threads if you like.  I know what the problem is, and I know what the solution is, and if it’s all the same to you, I think it would be just great if we can skip past all the rig-a-ma-roll and go right to the solution instead, and save both of us a lot of time”…

 

To my astonishment, the tech agreed with me, and skipped past all the troubleshooting steps and just agreed to send me out a new box.  I guess they can mail them out now and you can swap the box yourself, which is just fine by me.  He sounded grateful that I researched the problem myself.  I made it clear I needed a “new model” box in order to solve the problem (and I am reasonably sure I told him I needed a “VIP 2250 or a Cisco equivalent”, which was confirmed by the AT&T tech the next day, more on this later).   I told him that if they send me out the same model box it would just be a waste of time and shipping.  He told me that he put it in the notes that I needed a new model box, etc.

 

I didn’t realize that they send it out FedEx overnight, so amazingly I found the shipment dropped at my door on Friday, which was the very next day (wow!).  I was quite happy about that.

 

When I opened the box, sadly I found a VIP 1225 inside.  Feeling a little bit frustrated, I swapped the box myself (only took a few minutes) and of course I had the same exact problem with the drop-outs (as I was expecting I guess).

 

So I called tech support again Friday night, and asked him to review the order for the box replacement and to review the notes.  The tech agreed that I mentioned the new model box when asking for the replacement.  He said that they don’t have a way of specifying which model to replace with, but instead they can just put that in the notes.  Sadly, it seems that the shipping department doesn’t read the notes (what a pity).  I mentioned that since the shipping department doesn’t read the notes, perhaps it would be best to just send a tech out to do the box swap so I can make sure that I get the right model.  Amazingly, he was able to schedule a tech visit the very next morning (Saturday morning).  The tech warned me that depending on what the technician does, there is the possibility that I could be charged for the service call (but I would have to accept the charges before services are rendered).  I told the tech that under no circumstances would I accept any charges, and he should go ahead and put that in the notes.  I said that I would just as soon have AT&T ship the boxes back and forth and keep swapping them out forever and ever until I get the right model box before I would accept any charges.  I think the tech found that statement entertaining.

 

The next morning, as scheduled, the tech showed up and he did have a VIP 2250 in his truck. 

For some reason, he wanted to see my residential gateway unit (RG).  When he looked at the RG, he was not happy that one of my boxes was hooked up via the coax/HPNA through a splitter (not the DVR box which I was trying to swap).  I told him that the box was working just fine, and I just didn’t have a cat-5 cable going to that room, so I was using HPNA for that one.  He removed the splitter and went into the room and tested the connection.  He spent about a half hour on testing the coax connection to the other room.  I kept saying that that particular box was not giving me any problems, but he kept trying to test that connection anyhow (and apparently his testing wasn’t working).   Finally he gave up on testing the coax and went back to swapping my box out.  All of that coax stuff wasted about a half an hour or so.

 

Before he swapped the box he attempted to charge me (are these guys paid on commission based on what they charge on service calls?).  He said something like “You are aware of the charges for this, right?”.  I put on my best angry face (you know the one where one eyebrow raises higher than the other) and said something like “There are not supposed to be any charges on this service call”.  I was fully prepared to ask him to leave at that point.  He backed out by saying something like “Yes this is a defective box replacement, so wouldn’t be charges for that”.  I was a little irked by that, but he continued on.

 

Anyhow, he replaced the box, and when it was up and running we changed the settings to high definition (I have a 720p plasma TV, but they insist on 1080i, so we set it up as 1080i), and I changed the sound to surround.   Once it was set up, I went to the channels that were causing problems and they worked without any dropouts whatsoever (except for the brief moments during a channel change, which is to be expected). 

 

As he was leaving I asked him why I was not allowed to have a splitter on the co-ax, and he said that it wasn’t one of “their” splitters.  So I asked him if I could have one of “their” splitters, and he gave me one, and then he left.

 

So, like I said, for the most part I think that the service experience was pretty good.  I brought this problem to their attention on Thursday morning, and it was solved by Saturday morning.  I think it can’t get much better than that.  Of course it would have been better for everyone involved if I were just shipped the appropriate box in the first place, but a technician was able to bring one out the next day.  And then there was that cheap attempt by the technician to charge me for the service call.  Other than those two things, I think I didn’t have any problem getting my box swapped out.

 

Anyhow, sorry for writing a short novel here (maybe you found it good reading?).   I hope that this helps someone else someday that has to deal with this, so I guess I was a little verbose.

Re: Confirmed: vip2250 fixes surround sound audio dropouts!

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Dec 28, 2013 7:43:11 PM
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Upgrades of dvrs are tech billable, a 1216 would be replaced with a 1216 if available, otherwise can install 1225.
A 1225 is to be replaced with a 1225 unless tech has none on truck then can be replaced with a 2250 at no charge, otherwise if customer requests upgraded DVR that is billable.

They check to verify give what's on order, tech may receive verbal warning for failure to comply.
So if it comes down to may potential receiving a one day suspension,yor ou being charged or install the 1225.
Who do you thinks needs a paycheck.

The only accounts that will be assigned a 2250 on order is u450, u300 assigned 1225, u200 and ufamily assigned 1216.
If you upgrade your IP TV package can ask for correct DVR associated with package, but if have u200 wanting 2250 should be billed DVR upgrade fee, if order through support $105.
*I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent AT&T’s position, strategies or opinions.

Re: Confirmed: vip2250 fixes surround sound audio dropouts!

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