Shaw Direct Audio Dropouts When Using Yamaha Receiver - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes

post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 2015-08-02, 01:03 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: BC Interior, Shaw Direct
Posts: 114
Shaw Direct Audio Dropouts When Using Yamaha Receiver

Hello Everyone!

I've done quite a bit of troubleshooting on this problem, and I think I figured out the problem. Now I need some help to determine the solution.

I have a Yamaha RX-V475 receiver. I have 3 sources connected to it: Shaw Direct DSR605, Apple TV, and a Panasonic Blu Ray player. All three are connected via HDMI.

When watching TV on the DSR605, I experience brief audio drop outs on some HD channels. Just for a second, and it comes back. A bit annoying, but I figured because it was only certain channels it was a problem with the channel source and not my setup.

The Apple TV and blu ray player are absolutely flawless with audio playback. I've watched hours of movies with Dolby Digital 5.1 on both, and never a blip in the audio. I assumed the sources were just more reliable than the Shaw Direct signal.

The dropouts on Shaw Direct have been getting on my nerves more and more lately. Last night trying to watch "Kill the Messenger" on Movie Central was almost unbearable. Multiple drop outs every minute. I immediately went to Twitter and the Digital Home forum to try to find others complaining about it, but no one else was. Hmm, weird.

I thought it might be the DSR605, so I swapped it for an older DSR505 that was on light duty in another room. Audio problems persisted. Signal levels on both receivers were terrific. Swapping HDMI cables didn't help. Changing the HDMI input on the Yamaha didn't help either.

At this point I'm fairly confident it's a source issue with Shaw Direct. After all, both my Apple TV and blu ray are fine, which means the Yamaha receiver must be fine too, right? It happens on two different Shaw Direct receivers (two different generations of receivers). I couldn't believe other people weren't seeing the same problem, surely everyone would be in an uproar. I tried one more thing...

I plugged the DSR605 straight into the TV. Eureka! No more drop outs!

I then went to my trusty friend Google and looked up Yamaha receiver dropouts. Sure enough there were plenty of reports. Mostly from the states, and mostly with people using Motorola cable boxes. Shaw Direct uses Motorola boxes...

The general consensus seems to be there is some type of incompatibility with Motorola and Yamaha hardware. This goes back several years. I couldn't find many solutions though. These are the top contenders:

1) HDMI to TV, and then use the optical audio loopback from the TV to the receiver (I think this is called ARC - Audio Return Channel). My TV seems to support it, but it downmixes to stereo. No good.

2) Change audio compression settings in the DSR605 settings. This setting seems to deal with the dynamic range of the audio output. It levels everything out so nothing is too loud and nothing is too quiet. There are three settings in the DSR605: No compression, light, and heavy. None of the three settings fixed the audio dropouts.

3) I saw one single report on this solution, so I'm hoping someone else can chime in. Someone said putting an HDMI splitter between their cable box and Yamaha receiver fixed the problem. No mention if it was a passive or active splitter. In the past I've heard of this fixing other HDMI problems (notably handshake issues or a 'weak' HDMI signal). Any thoughts on this idea? Any recommendations for a splitter? Active or passive?

Any advice would be appreciated. I think I'm very close to finally solving this

Thanks for reading!
peternm22 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 2015-08-02, 09:47 AM
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 45
I also use a Yamaha receiver (RX-A1030) with my HD 630 and 600 receivers and I do not experience any dropouts.

On the 630 I do have an HDMI switch so that the signal goes to either the TV directly or to the Yamaha receiver. On the 600 it goes directly to the Yamaha.

From your message, it looks like the only test you have not tried is to swap your Yamaha for another receiver (Yamaha or other) to eliminate the possibility that the problem is with your particular Yamaha receiver.

Good luck!
goalsgo is offline  
post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 2015-08-02, 10:02 AM
57
Moderator
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Toronto, Rogers, 9865 & 8300-eHDD, Sharp LC75N8000U, Denon AVR4310Ci; Sony KDL40W3000, 9865
Posts: 54,871
There may be a setting in the TV that will allow you to get DD5.1 instead of PCM. Read the bolding in the following thread:

FAQ - What's Available in DD5.1

Here's the HDMI FAQ - check out those points and the "things to check" link at the bottom.

FAQ - HDMI Comments/Issues

How long is your HDMI cable on the 605? If it's 10' or longer, then temporarily try a shorter one. I doubt a switch/splitter would solve the issue if the cable is shorter than 10'. I see you've already tried different cables and different inputs on the AVR.

Have you performed a firmware update on the AVR?

57's Home Theatre (Latest equipment & photos)
57 is offline  
 
post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 2015-08-02, 12:36 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: BC Interior, Shaw Direct
Posts: 114
Thanks for the ideas.

goalsgo,

I only have the one amplifier so I don't have anything to swap out.


57,

My TV is an older model (2009 I think), and it definitely only supports stereo from its optical output. I've been through the manual, and they warn repeatedly that it will only output stereo from the optical connection when using an HDMI input to the TV.

I went through the FAQ's last night but didn't see anything that I hadn't tried with my specific setup.

I've used both 3 foot and 6 foot HDMI cables, and neither seems to make a difference. I even have same very thick gauge HDMI cables that I tried.

Firmware of the Yamaha is up to date. Last firmware release was November of last year.

One additional option I tried was changing the audio output setting on the DSR605. There are three settings: auto, pass through, and PCM. Changing the output to PCM seems to fix the audio dropouts, however it only outputs stereo. The Yamaha then does some magic (I'm guessing something like Dolby Pro Logic), and I get 5.1 output. I don't think the channel separation is as good as the original Dolby Digital 5.1 signal, things do seem a bit "muddier", if that makes sense. Still an improvement over the audio dropouts though.

At this point my only options seem to be swapping out the Yamaha or trying the HDMI switch idea. The switch idea might be a long shot, but it's definitely cheaper than a new audio receiver.

Any recommendations for an HDMI switch? I would think I should try an active switcher, since it may modify signal a bit. I don't think a passive switch would have as much likelihood of working. If anyone knows a specific model that would be great because there are a ton out there and it's hard to know which ones are decent.

Thanks for the help everyone.
peternm22 is offline  
post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 2015-08-20, 06:24 PM
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Peterborough, Ontario
Posts: 36
Can you use the optical output on the 605 to the yamaha?
Straffer44 is offline  
post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 2015-08-21, 09:03 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: BC Interior, Shaw Direct
Posts: 114
Optical output has the same dropouts. I've switched the audio output to PCM for the time being. It's only stereo, but stereo is better than 5.1 that has constant dropouts.
peternm22 is offline  
post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 2015-08-21, 11:33 PM
57
Moderator
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Toronto, Rogers, 9865 & 8300-eHDD, Sharp LC75N8000U, Denon AVR4310Ci; Sony KDL40W3000, 9865
Posts: 54,871
You should be able to invoke Dolby Pro-Logic II on your AVR. This will decode embedded DPL within the stereo signal and provide surround sound. Not as good as discrete, but not bad in my experience.

57's Home Theatre (Latest equipment & photos)
57 is offline  
post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 2015-08-22, 12:42 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: BC Interior, Shaw Direct
Posts: 114
Hi 57,

Thanks for the tip. I have been using Pro Logic since switching over to PCM. A step up from stereo for sure, but the channels definitely aren't as well separated as Dolby Digital 5.1.

I did buy a powered HDMI splitter off of Amazon in hopes of that somehow fixing the signal (long shot, I know). It didn't fix the dropouts unfortunately.

I went through many rounds of email exchanges and tests with Yamaha support. They say they do know of a problem with Motorola boxes and HDMI audio, but optical audio should have worked. I won't bore you with the long list of tests they suggested, but ultimately nothing worked.

I have a 10 year old Panasonic AVR (optical only, no HDMI obviously). It supports DD 5.1 and DTS 5.1. No dropouts at all when connected to the Shaw boxes, just like there are no dropouts when the Shaw boxes are connected directly to the TV. Obviously a problem between this particular Yamaha AVR and the Shaw Direct audio signal.

The Yamaha AVR works flawlessly with everything except my Shaw Direct receivers, and my Shaw Direct receivers work flawlessly with everything except the Yamaha AVR.

My current theory is that there are tiny imperfections (or perhaps even tiny dropouts) in the Dolby Digital signal coming from the Shaw Direct boxes (since this happens with both the Shaw Direct 505 and 605). Most decoders ignore these tiny imperfections, or just glide over them. I'm thinking these are only milliseconds in length. The Yamaha on the other hand sees them and decides "nope, nothing for me to decode, time to turn off the decoder", but then immediately turns the decoder back on once it sees more signal. I think the switch over time of turning the decoder off and on again is where most of the audio dropout is occurring. It seems to take the Yamaha about a second to do this process, which is coincidentally how long the dropouts are. If the Yamaha AVR wasn't so strict about how quickly it shuts off its decoder, I think that would fix the problem.

This is all a theory though. I don't have the tools or technical know how to actually test (or devise a test) for this. I told Yamaha support about this latest theory because they were out of ideas as well, but I haven't heard back from them yet. Which is odd, because they were getting back to me very quickly originally (usually within hours). It was Monday or Tuesday that I emailed them about this latest theory.
peternm22 is offline  
post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 2015-08-28, 07:08 PM
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Peterborough, Ontario
Posts: 36
Strange...
I use the 605 with the same 475 yamaha using the optical and have not experienced the drop-outs.
Straffer44 is offline  
post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 2015-08-28, 09:17 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: BC Interior, Shaw Direct
Posts: 114
It's not on every channel. It's happens very often on HBO HD East (not West very often, strangely), and the two Movie Central HD channels (which I don't think you get in Ontario). Occasionally on the Detroit HD network feeds (ABC and CBS mostly), and occasionally on AMC HD.

I can't watch half an hour of programming on the HBO East or the the Movie Centrals without getting dropouts with Dolby Digital, dropouts are sometimes MUCH worse than other times. PCM audio has been fine since I switched to it though.

Which HD channels do you most often watch? What version of firmware do you have on the Yamaha 475?

Thanks for helping me narrow things down.
peternm22 is offline  
post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 2015-09-01, 09:20 PM
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Peterborough, Ontario
Posts: 36
Fimreware on the yamaha is 1.06
Our shaw package is digital indulgence so no hbo or amc. We hardly watch any live tv anymore and download most of it. Mostly toronto locals and occasionally detroit networks. The 605 is currently in a different room until mid october when it will return to the yamaha.
Straffer44 is offline  
post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 2015-09-20, 12:41 PM
Vic
Rookie
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 4
Hi,I have the same problem only with channel 283{western Canada} i.e Movie Central,but with 3 different brand receivers,Denon,Marantz & Yamaha,3 different receivers,2 605s & the HDPVR! Did you solve it?Thanks.Vic

Last edited by 57; 2015-09-20 at 12:46 PM. Reason: Long Unnecessary Quote Removed
Vic is offline  
post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 2015-09-20, 06:26 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: BC Interior, Shaw Direct
Posts: 114
The plot thickens! Channel 283 (Movie Central HD in western Canada) gives me TONS of dropouts.

I never did find a fix for the solution and Yamaha support stopped responding to me. I've since switched the audio output of the 605 to PCM stereo audio. Then I let my Yamaha receiver split it into 5.1. No more dropouts this way. Not as good as true Dolby Digital 5.1, but it's the best I've come up with.

Vic, what connections are you using to the receivers? HDMI? Have you tried optical audio? Yamaha support said it was a known issue with the HDMI output from the 605 (and I guess 630). They said optical audio should fix it (although it didn't fix it for me). I'd be curious if optical audio fixes it for you with your many different receivers to test.
peternm22 is offline  
post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 2015-09-21, 12:14 AM
Vic
Rookie
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 4
Hi Peternm22,I have one 605 connected to 2 different audio receivers,one being the Pioneer model 1015 to which i have an optical and component connection,the other audio receiver is a new Yamaha Rx-a2050 through which I have an hdmi connection! I noticed I dont have a dropout with the Pioneer/optical connection but do have an extremely annoying issue with the Yamaha/hdmi! I also have a Marantz 7009 connected via hdmi to a 605 that has the same irritation and a Marantz 7002 connected to a 630 with hdmi and yes it sucks! All on that one damn channel 283 Movie Central! I still have a Denon 3806 on hdmi 1.1 running a 505 model that does the same,only i dont remember whether it is opt or hdmi! So what do we do?Thanks.Vic
Vic is offline  
post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 2015-09-21, 12:17 AM
Vic
Rookie
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 4
P.S Peternm22,I prefer the hdmi connections,they sound great,look fantastic etc.Vic
Vic is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools Search this Thread
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome