I am trying to do that currently... i have put in an IDEABOX thing for just that sort of thing... a 'bug report forum' or similar type of thing..
Something were we can more directly post known/proven bugs.
Even if the techs/devs/engineers dont directlycommunicate to that board.. at least its a place that the info can directly be passed along from, and not get mixed in with other questions, etc.
Just to let you know that I am also getting the frequent dropback from Dolby 5.1 to Dolby prologic when playing recorded programs on the netbox 3.0 using the optical audio out and it is a real reproducable problem.
If I use the optical out from the TV which gets the audio from the Netbox 3.0 through the HDMI output the problem is not so pronounced, but there is a obvious audio sync delay routing the audio that way so I perfer not to use it.
If use set the Netbox 3.0 audio from <dolby> to <other> it outputs Dolby Prologic which does not have the drop back problem because it is already dropped back.
Please ensure a proper bug report is generated for this issue. It is really disturbing to pay that much for a piece of Hardware and have bugs like this. It rally destroyes the whole home theater effect.
FATBADCAT, I have a couple of comments regarding your post.
1. When the NB3 isn't outputting Dolby Digital, the NB3 is not outputting Dolby Pro Logic. It is outputting PCM and your AVR is converting this two channel signal to Dolby Pro Logic.
2. When going "through" a TV as you mentioned, the TV often converts the signal to PCM. This depends on how the TV transcodes the incoming signal (from HDMI for example) and what the audio settings are in the TV. I'm not saying your TV isn't sending DD5.1, I'm just saying that often TVs are not set up that way as the default audio setting for any inputs (this doesn't apply to OTA channels tuned by the TV, but that's a different story).
3. You may wish to check the signal that comes into your AVR to see when/if it's PCM. This is usually accomplished by looking at the front display of the AVR which may show PCM instead of DD, or by swtiching inputs and seeing the input signal when you switch back to the NB3 input, or by going into the user menu On-screen Display to see the incoming signal information. DPL just indicates what your AVR is doing to an incoming 2 channel signal, not what the incoming signal is.
4. DPL is perfectly normal docoding for an incoming 2 channel DD2.0 signal, like you would see on most SD channels. Most HD channels are DD5.1, but not all.
One must differentiate between what the NB3 is doing when it switches from DD to PCM and what the AVR is doing to an incoming signal, since they are totally different and just because something is being decoded to DPL, it doesn't meen that DD is not coming from the NB3.
Using the correct terminology is extremely important when communicating with Rogers. The fact that your AVR goes to DPL may be interpretted by their technicians as you simply being tuned to a 2-channel programme, while a proper diagnosis of the input to the AVR of PCM is a different story since you should not see a PCM signal if the NB3 is set to DD. And you should be able to switch to DD, but in this case, as soon as the NB3 switches to PCM on its own, the only way to get a DD signal back is with a reboot, which is unacceptable since it needs to be done once a night for those of us who watch a lot of recordings.
In addition to 57's comments, with which I agree, you should also notice a big increase in volume when the NB switches to PCM. I had one for a while and experienced this often. Unless the software has been fixed, you'll also notice in the settings menu the box will still say it's doing DD when it's actually doing Other (PCM).
I am on my second Nextbox 3.0 which I have had since October and I have had the same audio issues 57 describes. I haven't called Rogers since from what others have described it seems like it is of no use and a waste of time and I have wasted too much time with Rogers on other issues that they have messed up on my account.
So if there is anyone here monitoring this forum from Rogers YES there is problem with the audio on the Nexbox 3.0 cutting out the the 5.1 DD that only a r-boot will resolve and it happens frequently. Mine happens if you watch a recording right to the end or fast forward it right to the end, it often but not always will result in the dreaded loud CLICK which is the switch from DD 5.1 to PCM.
I like being able to record more than 2 shows at a time and I like the bigger hard drive on board so I am keeping it but I HATE having to re-boot all the frigging time.
I'm in the same boat as many of you and have spent a fair amount of time on the phone with Rogers tech support on this issue. Suffice to say, this is not an isolated problem. According to the Rogers technician who came out to my house (I live in Ottawa), he has now had at least 10 customers in my area with the issue of dropping audio signal with their Nextbox 3.0.
My scenario has been as follows:
- Initial set up was: Nextbox 3.0 connected to Denon AVR via HDMI, Denon AVR connected via HDMI to Panasonic TV
- symptoms: audio AND video would drop during playback of recordings, only audio would drop during live TV
- what I tried: replaced HDMI cables, rebooted Nextbox
- what happened: problem seemed to go away for a day or two, then came back... audio and video was still dropping
- logged a ticket with Rogers and they sent someone out. He suggested I bypass my AVR for video and avoid audio over HDMI
- next thing I tried: Nextbox 3.0 connected via HDMI to Panasonic tv directly for video signal, Nextbox 3.0 connected via digital optical audio cable to Denon AVR for audio signal
- what happened: video STOPPED dropping, audio still drops.
- At this point I started playing with the Audio setting on the Nextbox, changing it from "Dolby Digital" to "Other", and eventually back. Interestingly enough, I found that if I switched to "Other", my AVR detected 2 channel audio, but when I switched it back to "Dolby Digital" my AVR continued to only get 2-channel audio instead of 5.1. In 2-channel mode, I no longer was receiving drops in audio signal, but obviously I have a surround system so I wanted to get my 5.1 back. I needed to reboot the Nextbox in order to get my 5.1 back. Once I had 5.1 back, the audio drops resumed.
This is where I stand as of today. However, Rogers has been pretty good about all this in terms of following up (I know, I'm a bit surprised as well!) The tech called me back today out of the blue to see how things are going, and he imparted some new information to me... He told me he recently discovered that if the HDMI connection is eliminated altogether then the audio drops go away. In other words, use Component Video (R/B/G) for video signal, and digital optical for audio. As long as the Nextbox has an HDMI cable plugged into it, it is continually trying to send audio through HDMI, even if you aren't using it. If only one audio-enabled cable (digital optical) is plugged in to the Nextbox instead of two (digital optical AND HDMI), then the problem apparently goes away. I just spoke to the guy so I haven't had a chance to try this yet but I plan to in the next couple of days and will report back.
In the end if it works, at least there is a workaround, although I have to say this involves a lot more cabling and hassle than it should. There is definitely a software / firmware issue with the Nextbox 3.0, and it should be fixed so that all configurations are properly supported. I stated this to the tech along with my desire to keep the ticket open until the issue is addressed and resolved and he agreed and is trying to work it up the chain. Of course, who knows if / when that will ever happen!
Will update this thread with any new developments.
You've taken exactly the same steps I did when I had the NB 3 (past tense). I have a Denon AVR but, before I bought one, I was using the NB 3 connected directly to my TV via HDMI. From day one, I always got audio drop outs and had some limited success by using Other instead of Dolby Digital, but that didn't last long. I also tried using component instead of HDMI, but it didn't solve the audio drop out problem. I had audio drop outs with optical out, HDMI, and L/R out. When I got the Denon AVR, nothing changed after I connected the NB 3 to it via HDMI. I never did see the video blank screen problem, but it seems to be related to using HDMI CEC, which I was not using. There's a lot of comments about this in other threads.
I hope the Rogers tech people you've been dealing with can take this issue to the right place, whether it be Rogers or Cisco. As I posted a long time ago, IMO, the NB 3 is not ready for prime time. Admittedly, not everyone seems to be experiencing these problems, though, so it's a real mystery. Many people suspect it boils down to a signal strenght issue and have stated the NB 3 is very "picky" about signal strength compared to earlier boxes. I've had an 8300HD PVR for almost 10 years and never once had any of these issues.
Just to clarify, you were getting audio drops even when there was no HDMI cable connected to your NB3 at all?
Regarding signal strength, that is one of the things the tech looked at and apparently it was a little on the high side, so he adjusted it to the optimum values. This was several weeks ago, so I don't think it's signal strength in play here....
Funny thing is when I switched from Other back to Digital, I didn't have to reboot the box. I have been using component cables from the beginning, I find component cables give me a better picture then HDMI on my TV and using optical cable for digital sound with my AVR. I'am still having the loss of DD, basically have given up. Will just keep rebooting, but I guess I can't complain as long as they keep giving me a discount on the NB3.