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Volume dropped on DVR

Scholar

Volume dropped on DVR

 

I called Uverse yesterday to get a confirmation number to return one of my STB's I'm not using anymore.  I received the number and then the person told me she was going to waive my $10 HD fee for 6 months.  I'm not sure why but I wasn't going to put up a fuss :smileyhappy:.  Later last night I turned everything on and the volume was down so low I could not hear anything.  I normally listen at about the -40dB range on my Yamaha.  I had to go up to about +10dB on the volume setting to be able to hear.  I NEVER go that high with the volume (normally).  I should have seen the furniture moving!   I checked the Moto DVR volume setting and it was still at the maximum setting of 25.  Rebooted the DVR - no change.  Rebooted the RG - no change.  Recycled the Yamaha - no change.  Checked other inputs (CD, PS3, etc) and volume was fine.  I changed the DVR from Surround to Stereo and the volume is normal again.  Normally, being in Stereo dropped the volume a few dB's from Surround.  Last night it was just the opposite, by a MUCH higher margin.

 

So, did something happen when I disconnected the unused STB?  Did my account get changed somehow at Uverse when it was changed by the Tech to de-activate the STB?  Is the DVR bad and the timing is just a coincidence?  I haven't called Tech Support yet - thought I'd ask here just in case I'd done something stupid. 

 

Any ideas on this one...? 

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Message 1 of 253
Expert

Re: Volume dropped on DVR


innajnod wrote:

 

Pioneer Elite VSX 56txi here too. Are you saying your volume level goes up? Does it happen to you with live TV or just recordings? Mine is recordings only. At least so far. Switching the DVR to stereo doesn't fix it. Switching the AV to direct or stereo doesn't work either. Interestingly, it comes and goes during the same recording.

On mine, I get exactly the following symptom:

 

  • The receiver lights up as Dolby Digital audio, 5.1.  It does not display the dialnorm value, as it usually does with other Dolby Digital sources.
  • The sound is approximately the correct volume, at least from the Front Right / Front Left / Surround Right / Surround Left / LFE speakers.
  • The Center channel volume is quite a bit lower than the other channels.
  • The Center channel is where all the distortion is.  Dialogue, which normally emanates from the center channel, is muffled, garbled, and generally unintelligible.
  • These symptoms are occurring regardless of whether the program is live or recorded, as long as it was after Thursday, the 8th.  Recordings I have from before then are fine.

 

These symptoms only occur when:

 

1. Local HD station

2. Surround sound setting set to surround

3. Optical or HDMI audio in use

 

Take away any one of those three and the bad audio goes away.

 

I send David a detailed e-mail this morning.  Hopefully he can get to the bottom of it.

 

Message 46 of 253
Mentor

Re: Volume dropped on DVR


Banzai wrote:

A new Pioneer Elite SC27 here as well.  Just put that in last Tuesday.  How long has this specific issue been present?  I didn't notice it until Thursday morning, but I may not have tested local HD channels and the problem might have been present from the moment I swapped receivers.  Prior, I was using an old Sony 5.1 AV receiver via optical without any audio issues.


 

For me it started about a week ago. Recorded material only. Is yours with recorded, live or both? BTW: Nice receiver!

 

 

Message 47 of 253
Mentor

Re: Volume dropped on DVR


SomeJoe7777 wrote:

innajnod wrote:

 

Pioneer Elite VSX 56txi here too. Are you saying your volume level goes up? Does it happen to you with live TV or just recordings? Mine is recordings only. At least so far. Switching the DVR to stereo doesn't fix it. Switching the AV to direct or stereo doesn't work either. Interestingly, it comes and goes during the same recording.

On mine, I get exactly the following symptom:

 

  • The receiver lights up as Dolby Digital audio, 5.1.  It does not display the dialnorm value, as it usually does with other Dolby Digital sources.
  • The sound is approximately the correct volume, at least from the Front Right / Front Left / Surround Right / Surround Left / LFE speakers.
  • The Center channel volume is quite a bit lower than the other channels.
  • The Center channel is where all the distortion is.  Dialogue, which normally emanates from the center channel, is muffled, garbled, and generally unintelligible.
  • These symptoms are occurring regardless of whether the program is live or recorded, as long as it was after Thursday, the 8th.  Recordings I have from before then are fine.

 

These symptoms only occur when:

 

1. Local HD station

2. Surround sound setting set to surround

3. Optical or HDMI audio in use

 

Take away any one of those three and the bad audio goes away.

 

I send David a detailed e-mail this morning.  Hopefully he can get to the bottom of it.

 


 

I haven't listened to individual speakers so I don't know if it's the same as yours. For me it's recordings only. Does that of any significance? Older recording are okay as well as some more recent recordings but they were Showtime channels or SyFy. 

 

Not a lot of consistancy in findings so far. My nornal listening volume is from -27 to -20 depending on the source/channel etc. When audio jumps up I have to quickly reduce the volume to around -50 before blowing my ears or speakers.

Message 48 of 253
Scholar

Re: Volume dropped on DVR


SomeJoe7777 wrote:

Mine is a Pioneer as well (VSX-1018AH-K).  I believe we've found a pattern.

 

The problem is as I've posted above ... their Dolby Digital encoders are not flagging the dialogue normalization value in the datastream, or are setting it to zero.  Both are incorrect and out-of-spec for a Dolby Digital stream.

 

drmosh -- the -27dB you're seeing is the "default" value for Dolby Digital dialnorm.  That is further proof that the stream hasn't set the value.

 

 

This missing dialogue normalization value causes this distortion on Pioneer receivers.  On other brands, it causes very low volume, as those receivers treat the value as 0, and then apply 31 dB of attenuation to the audio (as the Dolby specs say to).

 

This is a 2-minute change to the audio encoder at the local VHO to fix.  Of course, convincing AT&T of this will be harder than achieving middle East peace. :smileymad:

 

I'm going to contact David, since tech support doesn't have a clue, and the Networking team is no doubt baffled by their own stupidity.

 


SomeJoe, I'm going to have to send you some tuition money for all you teach me.  I saw the same -27 dB reference on my Yamaha receiver info screen when this all started.  I went through every setting on my unit to try and raise the level but could not find anything that would let me do that.  You just explained why.  I also saw a "dialnorm" message for a few seconds that I hadn't seen before.  With the DVR now set to Stereo I don't see the message anymore.  Tonight I'll take a second look at the message just so I'll know what is going on if something like this happens in the future.  Of course that's betting on the fact that they get this fixed in the first place.:smileymad: 

 

EDIT:  (Doh!!  Must run spellcheck, must run spellcheck, must run spellcheck... then hit Post!)

Message 49 of 253
Scholar

Re: Volume dropped on DVR

Live or recorded does not matter for me.  The problem exists on either.  The same recordings played on a different STB that is only connected via RCA and set to stereo are fine of course.

 

I'll have to go back and test out older recordings if I can find any from pre 4/8 for any of the problem channels.  That would be a great test for me becaue it also would help eliminate the receiver as the cause on my end and points back to a change on 4/8 if older recordings of local HD channels do not exhibit the audio quality issue.

 

I'll like the new receiver a bunch more after this problem is gone.  I'm still doing some of the minor fine tuning, but the major setup hurdles have been tackled already.

 

 

Message 50 of 253
Highlighted
Contributor

Re: Volume dropped on DVR

I just posted a new thread thinking I was the only one with this problem.  Happy I guess to see I'm not the only one.  Have a Pioneer VSX 919 with HDMI audio.   digital audio went to h**l on 4/7 or 4/8.  All recordings before then were fine.  Now happens on live or recorded HD, but I didn't think to check the non-local HD stations.  will have to do that tonight.  I had tech support at my house on Saturday and he swapped the box and the problem remained, so he said it was probably my equipment.  Knew that couldn't be the case given that recorded HD from before 4/7 worked fine, but until I read this thread didn't have any evidence to the contrary.

 

Suffering with "stereo" for now...  don't know what else to do.

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Message 51 of 253
Contributor

Re: Volume dropped on DVR

Have been frustrated by this too-- have Philips TV (have HDMI issue with dvr and that, but that would be a different thread) and Denon AVR 3300 Toslink from DVR to the Denon,  HDMI to tv, also component, (for when HDMI is not working) ---  the audio was working flawessly  a few weeks ago and then I lost Dolby digital capability --- so I had to switch to "stereo" mode---   they must have sent an update out to the boxes (we're a new customer) that got rid of this capability--- hope they fix it soon, it sucks watching premium movies in dolby pro logic...  

Message 52 of 253
Expert

Re: Volume dropped on DVR

All of you that are having problems, please call technical support at 1-800-983-2811 and report the problem.  Do not let them tell you that it's your equipment.  Your argument is as follows:

 

--> The problem only appears on local HD channels.  My equipment cannot "know" what channel I'm watching.  So if I get distorted or low volume audio on an HD local (for instance, my local FOX affiliate), and perfectly fine audio on a national channel (like ESPN), how can it be my equipment?

 

As has been discussed, tier 2 knows that this is a known problem and it is supposedly being worked, but AT&T needs to know how many people this is affecting.

 

Message 53 of 253
Scholar

Re: Volume dropped on DVR

I have logged two calls via the support online chat.  Does that still count since they collected and verify your account info before providing support?  Or do I need to make an actual phone call?

Message 54 of 253
Contributor

Re: Volume dropped on DVR

I am having this same problem with the low\distorted audio only on local hd channels.  goes away when i switch to stereo.  Called TS before finding this thread.  They said to use rca cables instead of hdmi as if there were no tradeoffs.  I have a pioneer vsx 919ah and i live in tx.

Message 55 of 253
Teacher

Re: Volume dropped on DVR

I noticed a lot of you are having problems with Pioneer receivers. Mine is a Yamaha. Anyone else have a Yamaha?

Message 56 of 253
Contributor

Re: Volume dropped on DVR

Add another user.  Local HD channels only.  Yamaha receiver here.

Message 57 of 253
Contributor

Re: Volume dropped on DVR

VSX1019ah

 

Recommend calling into billing, 800-288-2020, and requesting a credit on your account if you plan on staying w/ ATT after this fiasco.  Authorized giving me $10.00 off p/month for 6 months, as well as increasing my internet speed to the next level up at no additional charge.  Switching back to Cox Cable on Saturday, rates are less than ATT, and I've never had as much difficulty working with their tech support people as I have w/ ATT.  I may not see much savings over the next 3 days, but it's the principle of the matter.

Message 58 of 253
Expert

Re: Volume dropped on DVR

I don't blame you.  This is extraordinarily irritating for me as well.  I'm going to give them some more time, but if it goes into the weeks/months and isn't fixed, I'm going to have to consider leaving myself.  I don't want to, because there's no good choice.  In Houston, we have Comcast which has really crappy HD and is expensive.  I could go back to DirecTV or Dish, but I hate the entire idea of the contract.

 

Message 59 of 253
Expert

Re: Volume dropped on DVR


SomeJoe7777 wrote:

 

I don't blame you.  This is extraordinarily irritating for me as well.  I'm going to give them some more time, but if it goes into the weeks/months and isn't fixed, I'm going to have to consider leaving myself.  I don't want to, because there's no good choice.  In Houston, we have Comcast which has really crappy HD and is expensive.  I could go back to DirecTV or Dish, but I hate the entire idea of the contract. 


I hope it gets fixed soon.  We don't want to see you leave.

 

Message 60 of 253
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