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Old 10-03-2006, 08:37 AM   #1
generaltso
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No Audio on Four Channels

Since I got the cable cards installed, I haven't had audio on four digital channels. The video is fine, but there is no sound. Before the S3, I had a digital cable box that didn't have this problem on those channels. I called TiVo support first and was told that it sounds like a problem with my cable provider. I had a tech from Adelphia come out today to look at the problem and he had no clue. He hooked up a digital cable box and confirmed that there was sound on those four channels. Since there's no sound on those channels with EITHER cable card, he concluded that it's not a problem with the cards. He basically said to call TiVo.

Now what?
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Old 10-03-2006, 08:46 AM   #2
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Did you not hook up your S3 before the cable cards were installed? If so did you have sound then?
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Old 10-03-2006, 08:53 AM   #3
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I did hook it up before I had the cable cards. But all four of the channels with no audio are digital (above 100), so they weren't available before the cable cards were installed.
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Old 10-03-2006, 09:34 AM   #4
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How does your some come through? Is it through digital optical, or through hdmi or some other way?
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Old 10-03-2006, 09:36 AM   #5
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It's HDMI directly to the TV.
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Old 10-03-2006, 09:46 AM   #6
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Have you got it set up for dolby digital sound? If so have you tried going digital to PCM? I'm a bit confused about the 4 channel in the first place but your should be getting some type of sound, no doubt.

It may be a bad unit.
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Old 10-03-2006, 09:51 AM   #7
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I have it set on digital to PCM. I can't think of anything that would cause just these four channels to have no audio. Even if it's a bad unit, why would it just pick four channels? I don't get it.
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Old 10-03-2006, 10:11 AM   #8
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I have this exact same problem, but on only one channel. With my SA8300HD box, sound was fine. With the TiVo, video is fine but no audio at all.

I also have it hooked up thru HDMI directly to the TV. I have tried changing the dolby digital settings in the Tivo, but it hasn't solved the problem.

Of course, the channel is G4, so no big loss there.

-Matt
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Old 10-03-2006, 10:18 AM   #9
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I don't really care about three out of the four channels, but I do watch the National Geographic Channel, which is one of the affected. For what it's worth, G4 works fine for me.
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Old 10-03-2006, 10:19 AM   #10
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I have no sound on exactly one channel also (National Geographic Channel, kind of good stuff but not imperative). It is very odd, I have the tivo connected to the TV via HDMI but i use the sound from the receiver (via optical cable). The channel comes in fine with my cable box connected to the receiver the same way (via optical cable)
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Old 10-03-2006, 10:22 AM   #11
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I have a few channels with no sound as well. When I tune any of them they make my receiver click over to some weird mode I've never seen before. Luckily they're channels I don't care about so it doesn't really matter that they don't work.

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Old 10-03-2006, 10:31 AM   #12
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Okay, so it sounds like this isn't necessarily uncommon. I'm going to try to get Adelphia to replace my cable cards, just to rule out the cable company as the problem. Assuming that doesn't fix it, I guess the only option is to RMA the TiVo?
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Old 10-03-2006, 12:01 PM   #13
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Have you tried hooking up the analog audio outputs just to see if they get sound? I think the reason these channels don't work is not due to a TiVo defect or CableCARD problem but because these channels have an odd audio format which is not compatible with most digital audio systems.

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Old 10-03-2006, 12:49 PM   #14
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No, I haven't tried it with analog audio. I'll try that when I get home tonight.
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Old 10-03-2006, 01:18 PM   #15
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Yup, having the same problem with 2 channels and my FiOS cable cards. Thought it might have been a problem with the first cable card (Verizon only had one card when they first came), but I finally got the second cable card today and it has the exact same problem. Both work fine (even via an optical cable) on the HD receiver from Verizon, but not either via optical or HDMI on the Tivo. I'll try tonight with the analog as well and see what happens...
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Old 10-03-2006, 04:23 PM   #16
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HMMMN, I have noticed that I don't have the sound on Fox Soccer Channel. Since it was only one channel, I assumed it was a problem from the cable company's end. I will have to trouble shoot that. I still have my digital cable box, so I will hook that up and see if I get sound.

FWIW, I am hooked up with optical to a digital receiver, and analog connections to my T.V.

I hope I get this fixed before I want to record another Fan Zone presentation of EPL.
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Old 10-03-2006, 05:15 PM   #17
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I just tried hooking up the S3 via analog composite cables for audio and video. That had no effect on the problem. There is still no audio on those same four channels. Does anyone with cable cards have audio on the National Geographic Channel?
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Old 10-03-2006, 05:36 PM   #18
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I read over this pretty quickly so I appologie if someone else said this. Have you tried updating your tv's firmware? I know that I had that same issue. The sound was fine, if I used the composite sound output. However, the sound on the digital cable channels wouldn't work through the optical output until I did a firmware update.
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Old 10-03-2006, 05:42 PM   #19
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Sounds like a problem with MPEG audio vs AC3 audio. Some Satellite programmers have only MPEG audio. Some programmers have both AC3 and MPEG audio. The cable boxes can decode either one. Many CableCARD TVs (and maybe Tivo S3's) only decode AC3. Which specific channels are you having problems with? I know National Geographic is one channel that has both MPEG and AC3 audio.
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Old 10-03-2006, 05:54 PM   #20
generaltso
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There are no firmware updates available for my TV. It's a Dell W4200HD.

The channels with no audio are:

-National Geographic
-Fuse
-DIY
-Lifetime Movies
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Old 10-03-2006, 05:58 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by routerman
Sounds like a problem with MPEG audio vs AC3 audio. Some Satellite programmers have only MPEG audio. Some programmers have both AC3 and MPEG audio. The cable boxes can decode either one. Many CableCARD TVs (and maybe Tivo S3's) only decode AC3. Which specific channels are you having problems with? I know National Geographic is one channel that has both MPEG and AC3 audio.
The decoder chip in the TiVo is definitely capable of decoding MP2 audio. However it's possible that the TiVo software was not written to take advatange of that feature. Perhaps they made the assumption that all digital used AC3 and that's why we're all seeing it so sporatically. If they're simply streaming the MP2 audio stream out the optical port as is that could explain why my receiver kind of freaks out when I tune to one of the channels that don't work on my S3.

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Old 10-03-2006, 06:01 PM   #22
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Do you think my cable company would be able to tell me if they're sending National Geographic in MPEG or AC3?
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Old 10-03-2006, 08:02 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by generaltso
There are no firmware updates available for my TV. It's a Dell W4200HD.

The channels with no audio are:

-National Geographic
-Fuse
-DIY
-Lifetime Movies

All of those channels have both AC3 and MPEG audio feeds. My suggestion would be to call and talk to someone in Engineering or Programming. They are the only ones that can/will fix the issue.
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Old 10-03-2006, 08:09 PM   #24
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So are you thinking that this is definately a cable company issue and not a TiVo issue?
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Old 10-03-2006, 09:25 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by generaltso
So are you thinking that this is definately a cable company issue and not a TiVo issue?
Depends who you ask. The Cable company probably isn't required to provide AC3. If their converters work, what is their motivation to change it? On the other hand, my opinion is that the audio quality of AC3 far exceeds MPEG audio at the same bitrate.

You said that you thought Tivo worked on MPEG2 audio. Have you tried to go audio out to your receiver? If the audio works, then it is your receiver not able to decode the digital stream. Have you tried to record or just pause the program? If this works, and you hear it through the receiver, it means that the Tivo is somehow transcoding the audio into the proper format. My guess would be that the audio would still not work because Tivo probably records the bitstream and is still sending MPEG audio out the S/PDIF cable to the receiver.

I apologize if these suggestions are redundant, I just wanted to throw out some ideas.
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Old 10-04-2006, 07:33 AM   #26
generaltso
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I don't have a receiver. The S3 is connected directly to my TV using HDMI for video and audio. I see what you're saying about AC3 vs MPEG, but if those channels are broadcast with both, how likely is it that my cable company is only broadcasting MPEG for four random channels?
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Old 10-04-2006, 09:47 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by generaltso
I don't have a receiver. The S3 is connected directly to my TV using HDMI for video and audio. I see what you're saying about AC3 vs MPEG, but if those channels are broadcast with both, how likely is it that my cable company is only broadcasting MPEG for four random channels?
There are only a few services that have both audio sources available. All of the channels you mention have both audio streams available. Whoever set them up picked MPEG instead of AC3.
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Old 10-04-2006, 10:01 AM   #28
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Okay, so I guess I'll try to get Adelphia to tell me if those channels are AC3 or MPEG. If I discover that they're MPEG, I'll try to get TiVo to confirm or deny that MPEG is supported with the current software. I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks!
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Old 10-05-2006, 03:37 PM   #29
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It took an act of Congress, but I was finally able to talk to an engineer at Adelphia that deals with programming the channel feeds. He double checked the audio format and confirmed that all of their channels, including the four that are giving me problems, are AC3. I guess my next step is to try to get TiVo to send me a new box to see if I have the same problem with those channels.
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Old 10-05-2006, 06:19 PM   #30
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I really don't think that's going to do you any good. The S3 TiVo records digital cable channels directly, bit for bit. When using the optical or HDMI outputs, with the PCM audio option turned off, the digital audio in that stream is sent out in its original format, bit for bit. If these channels were actually using AC3 audio then your receiver, or TV, would be able to decode them regardless of any bugs in the TiVo software.

I know you said you talked to somone in engineering, and they assured you they were using AC3, but I think they are wrong. I also think that you're going to get the new TiVo, go through all the hassle of setting it back up, only to find it has the exact same problem. Obviously it's your choice, but be prepared.

That being said there should be something TiVo can do about this. The decoder chip is definitely capable of decoding MP2 audio, and they obviously have the ability to output decoded audio as PCM, so at the very least they should be able to detect the MP2 audio and transcode it to PCM so that you can still hear the channel. I'm going to report this bug to someone I know over at TiVo and see if there is anything they can do about it.

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