I can't say for certain that I disconnected the HDMI cable while I was doing my tests. I did notice your comment about that and found it very interesting. Even if component works without an HDMI connection, that's just a work around and not an acceptable solution. Component is analogue, not digital and, to me, there's a significant difference in PQ between the 2 in favour of HDMI. Also, a lot of TV's don't have an optical input, so that solution would not work for many people who need a direct connection to their TV. AVR's are usually OK, though. I have a current generation Samsung Smart TV and it does not have an optical input, just an output.
Please let us know how your experiment with component goes when HDMI is connected. If that's the key, then Rogers/Cisco should be able to figure out how to fix it.
Try replacing the HDMI cable from the Nextbox to the AVR with a High-Speed with Ethernet cable. (cheapest you can buy... no need for expensive cables.) This has solved my issues with audio drops and intermittant split second black screens.
In my opinion it's the video portion causing the issue more so than the audio. The video signal glitches just enough and causes audio to drop. Checking diagnostic screen on the Nextbox and audio is listed as HDCP disabled so no encryption on the audio portion. HDCP handshaking on video content.
This doesn't explain why some are still getting the glitch even when no cables are connected or when using component but maybe HDMI is still active (I haven't tried both component and HDMI at the same time from the Nextbox).
Maybe using HDMI with Ethernet cables provides just enough extra grounding/shielding that keeps the handshaking constant due to the extra pins in the cables that are connected but not so in standard HDMI cables without Ethernet.
Jim, in a way I agree with you and in a way I don't.
I agree that Rogers should be ensuring their hardware offers both a working HDMI configuration option and a working analog option to its customers, since the NB 3 has connections for both.
I disagree about a perceived quality difference between HDMI and Component. The Rogers box's maximum resolution is 720p / 1080i, and both connection types are equal in their abilities at those resolutions. Some people argue that there can be a variance in quality between different types of analog component cables. I'm not sure if that's the case... maybe. I know that argument on the HDMI side holds little weight though... Someone also commented about trying an HDMI cable that carries ethernet capability, but I have no idea how they came to that conclusion, it doesn't make sense. I have already tried several different HDMI cables anyway, all high speed, and the problem has been present with all of them.
In any event, I'm now on day 4 using component connected directly from NB 3 to TV for video, and digital optical from NB 3 to Denon AVR for audio. HDMI cable has been completely removed. Not happy with the extra cabling involved, but as far as picture quality goes - no difference - the component connection looks just as good as the HDMI did. As far as audio drops go, I noticed one or two but those may have been related to the feed. In comparison to how it was before using HDMI, they have been non-existent. No loss of Dolby Digital as yet either... Fingers crossed!
I find the problem was always most prevalent during prime-time weeknights on the US HD feeds, so I will have an opportunity this week to make further observations during those time slots and will report back.
I actually agree with your comments about using component. I was commenting on using it with an NB 3 to my Samsung Smart TV, although I did not state that in my post. The PQ wasn't as good as HDMI, although it could be a matter of setting the TV up properly. I used to have a Pioneer 50" plasma, which used component (before the HDMI days), and it had excellent PQ. I also calibrated it properly with equipment I had at the time (light meter, calibration software, signal generator, etc.). As an excellent article I read says regarding the debate between using component vs. HDMI, the answer is "it depends". There's a lot of factors which come into play, including the quality of the display itself, which device is best for scaling and many others. Here's a link to the article, which appears to be fairly old now but still very relevant: http://www.bluejeanscable.com/articles/dvihdmicomponent.htm
I know we're getting slightly off-topic here so I'll keep it short. But I just wanted to say that pic quality between inputs can definitely be affected by the fact that each input has it's own memory. At least on newer sets anyway... For example, I had my custom settings all optimized for viewing on HDMI but when I flipped over to Component those custom tweaks were gone and the picture did not look good. Luckily (again on most newer sets I think), I had the option to copy over my custom settings from HDMI onto my Component input. After that, awesome picture, 🙂
Following the plasma I mentioned, i had a Pioneer Kuro 50" plasma for a few years. It had ISF settings in its service menu, which had to be unlocked. I calibrated each input separately, plus each input had separate day and night settings.
Well, after several days of observation I regret to report that eliminating HDMI from my configuration has NOT resolved the audio drop issue. During live viewing, I have not seen many drops, over the last week only a few. The problem seems to be with recorded programs for me, which represents the majority of my viewing time. With recorded shows, the drops were at first very few, but over time they have come back with the same frequency as before. note - I have not rebooted my NB 3 during this time. I have not lost my Dolby Digital signal yet, as had happened before, which is reason for a little optimism. But switching to Component / Digital optical did not eliminate the problem as had been suggested to me by the Rogers tech last week. Back to rebooting the NB3 on a regular basis and hoping for some kind of a firmware update trom Rogers to resolve this I guess...
I received the new firmware yesterday (0109) and just to be certain that it was properly seated, I did a reboot before going to bed last night. I watched quite a few programmes this evening and was thinking that perhaps it had been fixed, however, my hopes were dashed. After viewing about 10 different programmes, when I changed to a channel from watching a programme, it switched to PCM, just like with the 0131 firmware.
I tried to change the audio settings - didn't work. I tried several combinations of turning devices on/off - didn't work.
The "switching to PCM" issue as outlined in this thread has therefore NOT been fixed with the latest firmware and a reboot is required to get Dolby Digital back.
I'm using an HDMI connection from the 9865 to my Denon AVR and HDMI to my Panasonic TV from my Denon. I tried an optical connection instead of HDMI for audio from the 9865 with the same results. My 10-year old SA8300, right above my 9865 in my equipment rack is still functioning properly connected in an identical manner (HDMI)!