There is 1-2 big threads on this on the digitalhome.ca forums..
Many users, who have found experincing the audio drops or the PCM drop.. rebooting seems to help for up to 24-48 hours.
A few have set up like a timer, to auto re-start it over night
(though things like this.. SHOULDNT be needed to be done.. they need to FIX the issue)
I was hoping that Rogers firmware update would fix this problem but still waiting for update. They told me a while ago it would happen late January but nothing yet.
I switched my NB3 to TV I use less. I use my 4642 in room I normally watch TV which allows me to watch recorded programs with no drops.
My NB3 is now connected directly to TV using HDMI and I tried with ethernet cable and I am still getting audio cracks/pops, not drops, and it is noticed most on channel others have said, CTV. I was getting drops when NB3 was connected to AVR.
From what I have read, there are only two potential "fixes" for this audio dropping,
1) Try HDMI Ehternet cables as mentioned above. (this did not work for me, or my cable was no good)
2) In most cases from what I've seen the Audio drop is mainly noticeable for people going through their AVR (revceivers) for sound. In my case I used the other suggestion and set the NETBOX to Audio "Other" (not Dolby) and using my AVR to take care of the surround. (Prologic Movie II, on my Yamaha) So far no drops at all in over a week. A few hiccups mind you, and tend to happen during American Idol for some reason. Or maybe more noticeable during music.
All in all the option I used is very acceptable as my receiver creates a pretty good surround sound from PCM, 2.0. (other setting in Netbox)
Can't say that I'm overly impressed with the NextBox 3.0. I think they called the 2.0 and 3.0 that because we're waiting on the NEXT BOX to arrive that actually works.
As for the HDMI cable with Ethernet, I haven't tried the one mentioned in the thread here that can be picked up at Canada Computers but I do have this one (which hasn't worked):
I've tried monkeying around with various settings but have found the audio drop issue is rather infrequent when watching CBC live (or from the PVR) but is extremely frequent when watching HGTV HD on playback. I've given up on Dolby Digital and switched to "Other" but it has only helped so much.
Frustrating to say the least how Rogers has KNOWN about this issue since the box's release but has yet to actually fix the issue. Pretty pathetic.
What is worse is when you call, the rep acts like it has never been reported. They even sent someone to look at signal and the guy basically said that he is not going to bother. The box has a problem and the software needs to be updated.
Not sure it will help but my setting are "Other" and "Narrow". i have no idea if Narrow helps but I have yet to notice a real drop since i changed it.
I have my NB3 hooked up directly to the TV. I tried 3 different HDMI cables, all with Ethernet. I also tried the component out with L/R audio. The crackling, the pops, and split second drops are still there. They are more prominent on recordings as opposed to live TV. I know it is the box and not the TV because my NB2 and 8300 do not exhibit this behavior. After talking to Rogers and reading about these audio issues, I will wait until the firmware upgrade which is supposed to be out soon. If that doesn't fix the issues, I will swap out the box and hope for the best.
I went through the same steps you did. I started with the NB 3 being connected to my TV, followed by a connection to an AVR I bought soon after. I had all the same audio issues regardless of which connection I used (HDMI, component L/R, and optical). Nothing worked, so I swapped the box, but it had exactly the same problems. I returned it and went back to my old reliable SA8300HD PVR, which has none of the NB 3 problems, including CEC and ARC not working. They both work fine with the 8300. What I can't understand is why, with a technology which is at least 10 years newer than the 8300, these issues exist with the NB 3, but not on the older 8300. This may be due to the fact the 8300 is a Scientific Atlanta box and was not designed by Cisco. It's a shame really, as I liked most of the NB 3's features and could live with some of its quirks, but not the audio drop outs.
I've tried monkeying around with various settings but have found the audio drop issue is rather infrequent when watching CBC live (or from the PVR) but is extremely frequent when watching HGTV HD on playback.
I find that CBC is 720p and HGTV is 1080i. Maybe CBC works better because it uses less resources.
The NB3 look's like a Satellite box to me. I remember the old boxes were brand new, when I got my SA8300 PVR, I got it in a big box. When I got the NB3, it was scratched, dirty and old looking. I think Cisco just gave these old boxes to Rogers from a cable company in the States who probably gave up on these junk boxes and gave their customers something better.