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AV Stuttering.....Arrrrggghhh!

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Vader, Sep 19, 2006.

  1. Vader

    Vader Well-Known Member

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    I know that this has been beaten to death, but some people still have the occational AV "hiccup", even with FW 1.4 (I thought it was solved completely with 1.2). Yet many people have had no problems whatsoever. One poster claimed to not be able to get through "Sky Captain" without at least dozen hiccups. Then, after changing the SPDIF setting to PCM, he had no further issues (Hence the theory that at least part of the cause is a buffer problem). Others do not have as much luck (before changing SPDIF to PCM, I was getting some pretty severe hiccups, but switching it to PCM alleviated most of them). Another theory is that the players are simply less forgiving than SD-DVD about dust and scratches, but many who rent from Netflix still report no problems. For those who have had flawless playback (some from day 1 with the original firmware?!?), what is your secret? How do you have the player configured?
     
  2. Tim Glover

    Tim Glover Well-Known Member

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    Yes, nearly all of the HD-DVDs I rented from Netflix had some issues. I had to stop the player, take it out, clean it up and put back in. Problem solved. 2 of the movies I rented I ended up buying new from amazon and they have worked flawlessly.

    The HD-A1 is a rather sensitive little mother. [​IMG] Needs to toughen up a bit [​IMG]
     
  3. Terry-A

    Terry-A Well-Known Member

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    i had the same problem so i had to toughen up the little mother by kicking it a few times...works flawlessly now....
     
  4. Vader

    Vader Well-Known Member

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  5. Tim Glover

    Tim Glover Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG] This is Terry telling his HD-A1..."whose your Daddy!" [​IMG]
     
  6. Ron-P

    Ron-P Well-Known Member

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    I've not had a single issue with my player from day one which I bought on day one of release, actually 2 days early. I did have a problem with video dropouts and that was due to my HDMI cable not being seated tight enough (a little velcro fixed that). I have done all the firmware updates less this latest one as it's, I hope, in the mail.
     
  7. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    Sorry to hear you're having problems with your Toshiba Derek. I haven't had a single solitary issue with my HD-A1. It was shipped with firmware v1.4 and I downgraded it v1.2. Since then I've played probably 18 or so HD-DVDs (including several totally trashed discs from Netflix), a couple of dozen SD DVDs, and a few Redbook CDs. Not a hiccup, stutter, skip, pop, freeze-up, or pixelation to be seen. The player has performed flawlessly.

    My setup is HDMI output to DVI input on my display via a HDMI->DVI cable and 5.1 analog outs connected to the 6 channel input on my Aragon Soundstage processor.
     
  8. Vader

    Vader Well-Known Member

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    I'm using component video...... Last night, I watched Serenity again, and the audio/video stuttered only once: for about two seconds towards the beginning of the film. After the film ended, I tried to reproduce the hiccup at the same spot with no success, so it isn't the disc (which is flawless, without even a hint of dust). I wonder if there isn't an issue with not using HDMI? In any case, the 2.0 upgrade does address "certain playback issues identified by Toshiba", and I hope this is one of them....
     
  9. Vader

    Vader Well-Known Member

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    OK, it's official: now I am confused (more than normal).

    Afer a little troubleshooting session (read: playing back Serenity and noting exactly where the "layer-change-type" skip occured, and playing back the same sequence several times with different audio settings), I have more questions than answers. While the pause does not occur at the same spot, it does occur around the same *time*, and mostly the first time the sequence is played. After the initial pass, repeating the sequence only reproduced the glitch once, and not in the same place. Also, the severity (for lack of a better word) varied with pass. After the third time running the same sequence ("Do you know what your sin is, Doctor? I'ts pride."), I was unable to reproduce the skip at all. This seems to eliminate the disc being the culprit: after the initial run, it is unlikely that the glitch would happen again anyway. In a large majority of cases, I suspect, it would be mere coincidence that removing the disc and cleaning it, would then replay (the same scene) without incident. Further, the player was barely warm (strike heat as a possible cause), and the scene was not bass heavy (strike vibration - I have knocked pictures off the walls two floors up with no problems). And I think it highly unlikely that the player hardware is at fault: We all have the exact same hardware, and yet some of us have had no problems whatsoever. The rest of us have seen varying severity of glitches, even with the same firmware (everything from momentary pauses to complete lockups). There has to be a commonality to those who are getting flawless playback; some combination of setup settings that avoids a S/W conflict, a buffer overload, or an error-correction problem? I have read posts by every combination I can think of: Component, HDMI, SPDIF = PCM (even though that one did help somewhat), etc. I cannot see any pattern. Even the FW updates seem to vary in effectiveness..... on the exact same hardware...?!? I was tempted to return my player for an exchange (hoping to get a "flawless" one), but even that is little more than a crap-shoot. I am at a loss....... any my barber is losing business because of it.... aaaarrrgggghhhh!
     
  10. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    Not the disc as in bad pressing, but dust or lint or a tiny smudge is rather obvious. After the head passes the spot in question, the chance increases that it took the little dirt particle away. Or the laser melted the grease just enough to make it transparent.


    Cees
     
  11. Vader

    Vader Well-Known Member

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    I had considered that as well,Cees. To my eye, the disc is spotless. I use a damp microfiber cloth (using distilled water so nothing is left behind), and I cannot see even so much as a dust particle. Also confusing are the reports of some who play netflix discs perfectly, some that look like they've been doing double duty keeping drink rings off of the coffee table. Some guy even posted a picture of the netflix disc that played flawlessly over on AVS , and it re-affirmed why I don't rent (I get bent out of shape if I find so much as a fingerprint on the case, never mind the disc inside - yes, I need help [​IMG])....
     
  12. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    Ah, I see. You're the normal collector type. Just like me. And many of us.

    Wait a minute, that disc isn't exactly horizontal in the case (the text). Ho! The artwork is a bit out of alignment. And what's THIS???
    Sorry, Derek, can't answer now... Busy.


    Cees
     
  13. Vader

    Vader Well-Known Member

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    Cees, based on your earlier suggestion concerning bad discs, I have come up with a theory, with not a single fact to back it up (just my own reasoning and physics background). It does seem to explain the variation between players, why the skipping seems to disappear with multiple passes, and why cleaning is sometimes helpful, while other players will play coasters with no problems…

    ***********************************
    Question: Why does the disc skipping seem to vary between identical hardware and firmware?

    Proposal: Light of a given wavelength (420 nm?) must make it to the reflective layer with sufficient intensity to give return a 1 or a 0, right? Now, if the laser was obstructed by, say, a piece of dirt, or even a fingerprint, this would decrease the intensity at the source. It still may be fine, because all we care about is that there is enough to return 1 or 0. However, if there were something on the disc itself that further decreased the intensity before reflection we might run into problems, even to the point of not getting anything. What if an extremely thin film (of varying thickness) was left behind in the manufacturing process, one that either blocks some of the light, or absorbs it (or at least part of it). This could be the cause of "garbage data", resulting in pauses, skips, and lockups. Exactly how severe an error would depend on the amount of "garbage data" relative to what the error correction code can compensate for. This would in turn be determined by the thickness of the film, and how broad an area is obscured (to the laser, not the naked eye). This might explain the variation between disc playback on different machines.

    Question: Why does the skipping seem to disappear after one or two passes?

    Proposal: While the player does not get hot to the touch (or even warm, in my case), at the surface of the DVD it's a different story. The laser light will heat up the surface of the disc, expanding the film. This might make it less of an optical obstruction, and where we were getting garbage before now might be just fine. It would also explain why some people have had luck cleaning their discs with warm water, removing the film altogether.

    Question: Why do some players play everything thrown at them with no problems at all?

    Proposal: There is no dirt on the laser itself, so the full intensity of light makes it to the surface of the disc. With full intensity, enough light would make it through even scratched, dirty discs (ie. Netflix) with no problem (who cares if you lose a little when you start with a lot?). Just through the luck of the draw, some people got a player with a clean laser…
    ***********************************
    This is the result of my mind constantly trying to fit some explanation to the facts, so I would like the experts here to tear it apart and let me know where I'm on the wrong track. On the plus side, it would mean that the player is not defective (per se), but on the minus side I have no idea how to clean the laser: I have heard from many people that commercial disc player cleaners are bad news, in that you run the risk of either knocking the laser out of alignment, or scratching it. Commence criticism and ridicule….[​IMG]
     

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