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HDMI Audio Issues


HDMI Audio Issues

I've been an AT&T U-Verse customer for a number of years now, since it was first available in our neighborhood.  I recently upgraded my two non-DVR Motorola boxes to the new Cisco wireless boxes.  On one of my TV's, the one in the family room, I cannot get any audio when the STB is set to surround sound and I'm viewing any HD channel.  If I go to the SD equivalent of the same channel, I get audio.


I've googled now for the past couple of hours and read all sorts of posts, but nothing helps.


My TV (Panasonic TH-50PZ77U) is mounted above our fireplace using in-wall cabling.  It is fed via HDMI and then I use the optical out from the TV to feed my Bose Cinemate II as it sits on the mantle right below the TV.


I have multiple HDMI devices in play and they normally run through a switch box, so that audio follows the device selected.  As part of my troubleshooting, I've wired directly to the TV and skipped the switch box as I've had more than one AT&T rep blame the switch box.


What's funny is that if I turn on system sounds, I can hear them on SD channels, but if I switch to the HD channel, I get nothing.  So the Cisco STB is simply not sending audio via HDMI when it's in surround sound mode.


I should mention that this setup/configuration has worked flawlessly for years now with the old boxes.  It has only manifested itself recently after upgrading my boxes.  I have another Cisco STB in the bedroom that is driving a Samsung HD TV via HDMI and it works fine.


I've upgraded firmware on my Panasonic, but no go.


Any advise?  I remember the HDMI issues when U-Verse first rolled out.  I fought through those, refusing to downgrade my connections/technology in order to support their new technology.


I've called and talked to support, fought with support, they were supposed to have shipped me a new box that should have been here six days ago, but it hasn't showed up.


I've done complete factory resets on the box, TV, etc.  It just simply seems that the Cisco STB is not compatible with my Panasonic TV.


AT&T is very close to losing a customer at this point.  I'm just tired of fighting it, and I'm tired of hearing support reps in India reading scripts and telling me to use red/white audio cables on my 5.1 surround sound system.  They insist on blaming my setup, even though it worked with the old boxes, continues to work fine with my BlueRay player, Boxee Box, PS3, Apple TV, etc.  They just simply don't understand simply troubleshooting methodology, then can only read their scripts and when it says the screen should be red and it's blue, they are completely lost.


Guess I'll go see what options ComCast has, because like the hundreds, if not thousands, of other posts regarding audio seem to have yielded absolutely no results.



Message 1 of 6
ACE - Master

Re: HDMI Audio Issues

You say the one box works with the Samsung.  Can you switch boxes between the Samsung and the Panasonic?  If it stays with the box you need a new one.  If not well.......

"If you find this post helpful and it solved your issue please mark it as a solution.  This will help other forum members locate it and will also let everyone know that it corrected your problem. If they have the same issue they will know how to solve theirs"

*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.
Message 2 of 6
ACE - Expert

Re: HDMI Audio Issues

wdatkinson - My first choice answer was going to be - TVs generally do not support surround sound. even the feed from the TV to the Bose often only feed OTA surround. But, you head that off by saying it worked previously.

BeeBee's swap suggestion is a great trouble shooting tool. One caution, make sure you consider that the HDMI cable may have failed.


Any chance an option on the TV or Bose changed??

*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.
Message 3 of 6

Re: HDMI Audio Issues

Nothing has changed in the setup besides the STB's.  The Bose really has no configuration.  After upgrading the firmware on the TV tonight, hoping that would help (it didn't), the TV was reset the factory defaults and I walked through the setup again, confirming the settings.


Last weekend while on the phone with the AT&T rep, I did try swapping the boxes out, however, I need to re-run the tests again, now that I'm able to connect to the TV directly, by-passing the switchbox.  I want to say that the results were the same, being that I had no audio on HD with the other receiver.  However, taking the original "trouble" receiver into the bedroom, it also did not work on the Samsung.  So that test yielded no real results.


Figuring in the fact that the STB doesn't even send the system sounds when tuned to an HD channel, including playing an HD recording, seems to indicate to me that the box is just not doing what it should.  I do not have any sort of tools to analyze what's on the HDMI cable, all of my electronics monitoring equipment is for RF gear.

Message 4 of 6
ACE - Expert

Re: HDMI Audio Issues

wdatkinson - I believe there is no way to test an HDMI cable. Rule it out by swapping with another spare.

It would be great if you could try it with a surround system that has an HDMI input.

I believe I saw a optical/HDMI converter, but you probably do not want to go that far.

*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.
Message 5 of 6

Re: HDMI Audio Issues

My first suggestion was going to be to take the known good set top box and see if it works where you are having the trouble. Also plug the "bad" box in to the tv that is working fine. If it still works fine you can isolate the trouble to being something in your set up on the other system. If it doesn't work on the "good" tv then obviously it's just a bad box. If we rule out the box being ok through this method, the next step I would take would be to try to hook the set top box directly to the Bose via an optical cable. It's possible the newer boxes are using a different type of encoding that perhaps isn't compatable with your TV's HDMI to optical pass-through. It's also important to note that 99% of the tvs out there do not support Dolby Digital through the optical output. So even when it IS working, you are probably only getting stereo sound, not true 5.1 surround. The preferred method is always to hook directly from your device to your receiver. Any respectable home theatre receiver will have multiple inputs for all of your different devices so you shouldn't need any type of switch using this method. Hope some of this helps!

Message 6 of 6
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