Audio cut-outs on S3

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by fallingwater, Jun 22, 2009.

  1. fallingwater

    fallingwater New Member

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    Dec 28, 2007
    Bellingham WA

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    I'm aware of this thread but it didn't resolve anything.

    I believe that the audio problem one of my S3's exhibits isn't related specifically to TiVo's software, but rather to HDD behavior. I can live with the glitch but seek a knowledgable poster's opinion.

    One of my ReplayTV 5000's has always been affected by a similiar problem. Its problem remained unchanged after its HDD was replaced. Both the ReplayTV and S3 work fine in every other respect.

    The S3, used with Comcast without CableCARDS, is connected to a flatscreen TV via HDMI. It records and plays back uneventfully. But when left buffering for an extended period, such as overnight, with no recordings scheduled the audio begins to cut out. The apparent cut-outs occur from both tuners and from any and all channels. If enough time passes the audio completely disappears.

    The audio cut-outs are a playback malfunction. Hitting pause ever so briefly and then play brings audio back to normal. Rewinding into a buffer and playing it back brings normal sound at all times.

    After pausing and playing brings back normal audio, FF'ing to the end of the buffer results in normal audio. Then the cycle will eventually repeat.

    The difference between the RTV problem and S3's is that with ReplayTV FF'ing to the end of the buffer results in either normal audio or no audio (approx. ⅓ of the time) with no progressive degredation.

    With either the RTV or S3 the successful workaround is to never leave the DVR playing from the end of a buffer but rather delay playback for a fraction of a second.

    Thanks in advance for any explanation of what may be happening.
     
  2. threephi

    threephi Member

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    Jan 16, 2002
    NYC
    I too have audio playback issues on my S3 and I am convinced it is a software issue. If it were a hardware (hard drive) issue, then I would expect the audio track glitch would have occurred upon recording, which would make it irrecoverable, and that's not the case.

    My symptoms are a little different from the above, but very similar:

    For a recorded program, When I play it from the beginning, very frequently there are problems with the first five seconds or so of audio. The audio will play for a fraction of a second at the start of the recorded program, then cut out for about five seconds, and then return normally. This happens on almost every recording I make on my TiVo and is highly frustrating. When I record a show, I want to hear the _entire_ show. The audio itself is not lost or missing since I can sometimes get it to play if I pause after the glitch, then back up by frames or by using the 'replay' button. That is a very finicky and tricky procedure however and it is very difficult to hit the correct spot where the audio will sync to the video correctly.

    The second symptom I see is less common but still quite frequent. When changing the tuner to a different channel in live play, sometimes the new channel's audio will skip and stutter, one second on, one second off. The video play stays steady. Pausing playback and then hitting play again will make the audio play back correctly, and if I back up over the stuttery section to replay it, the audio is fine.

    I would really like to hear from someone of authority at TiVo that they are working on these glitches. After a few years of this it is getting annoying.
     
  3. bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

    7,902
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    Jan 9, 2003
    DC Metro Area
    I assume you have the TiVo set to PCM output under Settings -> Audio -> Dolby Digital. That's always the first thing to check when you are using your TV's speakers.

    When you lose audio output, does turning the TV off and then back on restore the audio? If so, that would indicate a TV problem, not a TiVo problem. TVs can have memory leaks in their software, just like any computer program.

    If you are using your TV speakers, with HDMI to the TV, is your TiVo set to output PCM under Settings -> Audio -> Dolby Digital?

    Some TVs and A/V receivers do have trouble locking on to audio instantly. As an example, my old Onkyo receiver took 3-4 seconds to provide a stable audio stream whenever I started a recording or used trickplay functions like instant replay. My current Denon receiver is able to output a stable audio signal after about 0.5 seconds.
     
  4. lessd

    lessd Well-Known Member

    7,963
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    Jan 23, 2005
    CT
    The best way to check out this problem is to use the normal RCA jacks for the audio and see if you have the same problem, if you do it's the TiVo for sure if not follow some of the advice given in this Thread.
     
  5. fallingwater

    fallingwater New Member

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    Dec 28, 2007
    Bellingham WA

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    The last post from the 'Audio Cutting Out' thread is similiar to the second post in this thread:

    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?p=7283640#post7283640
    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?p=7344085#post7344085

    Yes; PCM.

    Turning the TV off and on makes no difference.

    In the past I did have an HDMI 'handshake' problem which turning the TV off and then on reset, but this glitch is different.

    I'm using the TV's RCA stereo jacks to supply a Panasonic mini-stereo for sound. The sound cuts out using either the mini-stereo or the TV's internal speakers.
     
  6. Lenonn

    Lenonn Active Member TCF Club

    330
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    May 30, 2004
    I have an audio drop problem on my Series 3, too. It just briefly cuts out - for a split second, seemingly randomly. I thought it was the hard drive, so I upgraded the hard drive and it still happens. So if it's a hard drive, I either got two bad ones, or it is something else.
     
  7. morac

    morac Cat God TCF Club

    15,372
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    Mar 14, 2003
    NJ
    I'm not sure if this is the same problem or not, but I've seen instances where every now and then the TiVo S3 demuxer seems to be unable to parse the mpeg stream correctly after a channel change. The symptoms are either stuttering video or loss of audio with occasional "noise". Like the OP it's a playback issue and any type of trick play will fix the problem.

    This has been happening on of the 9.0 software iterations. I have noticed a temporary loss of audio on trick play for many TiVoCast downloads (NY Times and The Onion for example).
     
  8. lessd

    lessd Well-Known Member

    7,963
    94
    Jan 23, 2005
    CT
    OK than I would guess your TiVo is the problem, can you get it replaced by TiVo ?
     
  9. fallingwater

    fallingwater New Member

    869
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    Dec 28, 2007
    Bellingham WA
    I doubt it; it's over a year old, way out of warranty.

    But I wouldn't want to swap it for a current model even if it could be; it's an S3, no longer available. The only thing wrong with it is this sound glitch which has an easy, viable workaround.

    My question isn't necessarily how to fix the glitch but rather if a digitally knowlegable poster has an idea of what theoretically may be causing it.
     
  10. rifleman69

    rifleman69 Member

    853
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    Jan 6, 2005
    Oregon
    I get pretty much the same thing as the OP, a simple pause or rewind and the audio comes back. It sounds just like the audio leak the HR10-250 for DirecTV had a few years back which was eventually fixed. It's a minor bug to me since I've gotten used to a simple pause/unpause to fix it.
     
  11. oViTynoT

    oViTynoT Obvious Forum Lurker

    348
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    May 18, 2007
    Plano, TX
    Huh... Never had that happen to me.

    Only thing remotely similiar is if I pause TiVo, then turn off my TV, and leave it for an indeterminate amount of time, then turn the TV on, I will have no audio when I try to resume playing the program. No amount of Trick Play restores it; I have to go back to a menu and get a few "Bonk Bonks" by scrolling around a few clicks, then start playing and it's fine...

    But I think that's my TV's fault, and I don't care either way.
     
  12. NT09

    NT09 New Member

    14
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    Nov 29, 2009
    If you guys ever find a solution, please post it up. I just got my Tivo HD and have the 1/2 second sound disruption. I only have basic cable, still glitches intermittently. Seems like this has been going on for several years. Guess I have 29 days left to figure out a solution or take it back.
     
  13. tamon77

    tamon77 New Member

    38
    0
    Feb 3, 2008
    Here is what is happening to me:

    Audio is fine from TivoHD to HDTV over HDMI.
    Audio cuts on live and recorded tv when going through a receiver using the digital connection. I also have the tivo hooked via analog and can switch the receiver over - On analog everything is fine. Issues occur when switching to the digital connection. Have not tried the techniques described in this thread. Guess I will need to now.
    Have had the tivo for about 2 years and this just started 1 month ago... Today (christmas of all days) it has gotten worse. At least I can watch through my tv speakers but it just aint the same. Someone please tell me there is a way to fix this!!!

    :mad:
     
  14. tamon77

    tamon77 New Member

    38
    0
    Feb 3, 2008
    Small update - I completely shut down my external drive and tivo then rebooted. That seemed to fix things ... for now ... I know the symptoms will return though
     

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