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I've been having the audio dropouts over HDMI on my VIP1216 pretty much since the beginning. The problem is particularly bad when using digital audio (the "Surround Sound" setting) and an HDMI connection, although it also occurs over an optical connection and with normal "Stereo" audio, although less frequently in both cases.

I was never quite sure that my AV receiver (HK AVR-354) wasn't part of the problem until last weekend when the receiver died on me and I hooked the 1216 directly into my TV and ended up having the same problem. My replacement receiver (HK AVR-3600) also exhibited the same issues, so I finally decided to call Bell and have the STB replaced.

I also had an older silver 1200 in the bedroom from about two years ago as well which wasn't putting out any audio over HDMI -- I had to use a standard analog RCA cable to connect to my TV. I asked Bell to replace that one at the same time as well. I have a newer black 1200 in my daughter's room that has never had any issues whatsoever since it was installed last fall -- at the time the tech who was installing it indicated that the black 1200's are slightly newer and "more stable" than the original silver ones.

Apparently Bell isn't even stocking the 1216's anymore -- warranty and rental unit replacements are all 1232's. Since having the 1232 and new 1200 installed a couple of days ago, I've had absolutely no audio problems, even over a pure HDMI connection. By comparison the 1216 was consistently cutting out audio three or four times per hour when using digital audio over HDMI.

I'd definitely recommend getting your 1216 swapped out for the 1232. As an added bonus, the newer unit also has twice the hard drive space. Unless you actually bought the 1216, Bell should replace it for free under warranty. Mine was transferred to my ownership when I switched from BES to FibeTV, but the warranty on the 1216 was good until June, so I figured it was a good time to have it replaced. If you simply report the problem and ask for a replacement you should get a 1232, as several techs both on the phone and in person have told me flat out that Bell doesn't even have any 1216s on hand anymore as they can't be bothered keeping them around.
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