Comprehensive Dolby Dropout list?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Natalie M, Jul 13, 2002.

  1. Natalie M

    Natalie M Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2002
    Messages:
    120
    Likes Received:
    0
    Does anyone know if such a list exists? I just found another movie with the problem, "Swordfish" which debuted tonight on HBO via satellite. If anyone knows of such a list, or would like to start one, lets get started. Im really becoming irritated by this.

    Thanks all!
     
  2. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 1999
    Messages:
    11,267
    Likes Received:
    0
    If you're getting dropouts via your cable, talk to your cable company. Usually dropouts are the result of one of the following

    1-Bad DVD
    2-Bad reception (Cable/DBS)
    3-Bad cabling
     
  3. Natalie M

    Natalie M Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2002
    Messages:
    120
    Likes Received:
    0
    In this case, neither of the scenarios apply. We have the Pearl Harbor video which has DTS and DD 5.1. No problems with DTS but dropout with DD 5.1. We experienced the same problem with Shrek. And while watching Swordfish, which was 5.1 on the Satellite, we had to switch to PCM digital and the problem disappeared. All of our signals were fine. Im just wondering if its related to the recent DD dropout issue.
     
  4. Jay_E

    Jay_E Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2000
    Messages:
    212
    Likes Received:
    0
    As far as I know only certain HBO movies with DD 5.1 soundtracks have this problem. Onkyo has verified the problem and said it is investigating. Here is a list of movies (that I am aware of) that exhibit the audio muting problem on certain Onkyo models:

    Titles I have pesonally tested with mutiple airings and multiple receivers (Onkyo and Yamaha). Also tested with 2 differnet Directv receivers (DTC100 and RCA UltimateTV):

    1. Cable Guy
    2. The Net
    3. American Outlaw
    4. Swordfish
    5. Summer Catch
    6. Two Can Play That Game

    Titles that have had credible reports of the problem:

    1. Bad Boys
    2. Angel Eyes
    3. Shrek

    There have been other titles reported but based on the description provided by the poster I am not sure that it was this specific problem. There can be various audio or video dropouts from satellite source from time to time but this is a specific problem that is 100% repeatable.

    If anyone has any other titles to report, I will update this post to keep a running list. Please report the movie title, provider (Directv, Dish, or cable co.), time/date, channel number, make/model of receiver. Thanks.

    Jay
     
  5. Natalie M

    Natalie M Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2002
    Messages:
    120
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have the Onkyo 595, with DISH. On 2 occassions, Shrek had dropout. I remember the premiere of Shrek on HBO 300, cant remember the date, and also the second run of it, maybe a week later. My Pearl Harbor DVD does it too. Swordfish premiere on HBO 300, just this past Saturday. Those are all that I have personally experienced so far.
     
  6. Jay_E

    Jay_E Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2000
    Messages:
    212
    Likes Received:
    0
    Updated list on 7/24. Also, I now believe that ALL 5.1 movies now coming to HBO (or older ones with a new 5.1 sound track) have the problem. I can't think a a single HBO movie that has come out in the last 2 months with 5.1 sound that doesn't have the problem. The only good ones are ones that have been on HBO more than a couple of months. This is getting rediculous. Onkyo needs to wake up and take care of it's customers. They know how to fix the problem because they have already done it with their newer line and with their recent upgrade of the 989, they just don't want the expense.

    Jay
     
  7. Espen Braathen

    Espen Braathen Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 1999
    Messages:
    77
    Likes Received:
    0
    "In this case, neither of the scenarios apply. We have the Pearl Harbor video which has DTS and DD 5.1. No problems with DTS but dropout with DD 5.1."

    Your decoder is defective. The Crystal DSP Chip mutes the signal if one of the new status bits in the bitstream gets changed during the program. This is a malfunction, but in order to avoid a costly recall Dolby has changed the new encoding software. For discs and programs with the new status flags used in the original way nothing can be done if you have a Crystal DSP.


    Espen B
     
  8. Natalie M

    Natalie M Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2002
    Messages:
    120
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well this is what I got from Onkyo when I sent them an email:

    Thank You for contacting Onkyo USA Product Support.

    We have been aware of the Dolby Digital dropout for some time now, and a
    posting was made on our website addressing this issue. Dolby laboratories
    have since corrected the problem and only the 3 movies they released remain
    with this problem.

    Again, thank you for contacting Onkyo USA Product Support,
    if you need further Assistance feel free to call us at 800-229-1687.

    Considering we are still under warranty, my husband has decided to call them and deal with this personally. Unfortunately, I wont know anything until the weekend.

    I bought my 595 in November of last year, I didnt think it was designed to decode the new flags. I'll just have to see what Onkyo says.
     
  9. Espen Braathen

    Espen Braathen Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 1999
    Messages:
    77
    Likes Received:
    0
    You reply from Onkyo is pure "bull", as the problem is the particular DSP microcode.
    The software is 100% spec.
    I have listed the Doly response below (its from knowledgebase on the www.dolby.com website), but let me point you to the following phrase:
    "It is worth noting that none of these titles were mastered incorrectly—the Dolby Digital soundtracks on these discs were created properly in accordance with the new bitstream syntax specification."
    Also, a confidential note exists from the DSP manufacturer (Crystal) describing the cause of the problem.
    Espen B
    Question
    Can you give me more information about the difficulties in listening to the Dolby Digital soundtrack on certain recent DVDs?
    Answer
    Question
    Can you give me more information about the difficulties in listening to the Dolby Digital soundtrack on certain recent DVDs?
    Answer
    Dolby has investigated this issue, and has identified specific conditions that cause audio dropouts when the Dolby Digital soundtrack of specific DVDs is played. The audio dropout problem is caused by an incompatibility between a new set of features added to the Dolby Digital system and certain makes and models of A/V receivers.
    Dolby has regularly incorporated improvements in its professional studio encoders by means of software updates. In our most recent Dolby Digital encoder release, Dolby added several new parameters to the Dolby Digital bitstream, including (among other items) a Dolby Digital Surround EX flag.
    Unfortunately, certain makes and models of A/V receivers contain incompatibilities that cause them to suffer audio dropouts in the presence of these new bitstream flags.
    Specifically, in some receivers, the digital signal processor (DSP) chip responsible for decoding the Dolby Digital bitstream triggers a control signal output whenever the new bitstream flags are present. In many products, this control signal is active but causes no audio problems. In other products, the receiver responds to this control signal by momentarily muting the audio outputs. This results in frequent audio dropouts (or even continuous muting) whenever the new bitstream flags are encountered.
    As soon as these incompatibilities were identified, Dolby contacted all major DVD authoring facilities and encouraged them to switch off the new bitstream flags as a means of preventing further incompatibilities with the affected decoders. Dolby has also been working closely with the manufacturers of the hardware products and components to fully understand the problems and identify potential solutions in these areas.
    Only a limited number of DVD titles were released using the new bitstream flags. It is worth noting that none of these titles were mastered incorrectly—the Dolby Digital soundtracks on these discs were created properly in accordance with the new bitstream syntax specification. However, because this new syntax is not compatible with all A/V receiver products, both Dolby and the DVD content industry are working together to avoid releasing any further content in this format.
    If you experience audio dropouts while playing a recently released DVD, you may have one of the affected receivers. There are four different ways you can still enjoy the picture and the sound.
    1) Change your DVD player configuration to play PCM digital audio instead of Dolby Digital audio through the digital output jack. This way you do not need to change any wiring in the system. Just remember to set it back to play Dolby Digital audio after the movie! (See your DVD player manual for specific instructions on how to change this setting).
    2) Connect your DVD player’s analog audio output jacks to the analog audio inputs on your receiver. Then select the analog audio inputs instead of the digital audio inputs while watching the movie.
    Methods one and two both allow you to listen to the DVD soundtrack in stereo; or you can turn on Pro Logic or Pro Logic II in your receiver for excellent surround sound effects.
    3) If your DVD player has 5.1-channel analog audio outputs, and your receiver has 5.1-channel analog audio inputs, you can connect these together to enjoy fully discrete multichannel sound.
    4) If the DVD disc has an alternative soundtrack option, this may also be used.
    On behalf of our customers who own affected receivers, Dolby and its partners are continuing to work together to identify solutions to this problem. For example, Dolby has developed and is currently deploying a new version of encoder software that allows the Surround EX flag to be used on future DVDs in a way that is compatible with all existing A/V receivers. This new encoder release will provide a longer-term solution enabling everyone to enjoy Dolby Digital DVD soundtracks, whether they are mastered in stereo, 5.1, or Dolby Digital Surround EX.
    In addition, Dolby has been working with several consumer electronics manufacturers to develop remedies for this problem at the decoder device level. Consumers who continue to experience this problem should contact their A/V receiver manufacturer for more details on available service options.
     
  10. Natalie M

    Natalie M Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2002
    Messages:
    120
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yeah I know, I read that before. Nowhere in there does it say "defective", rather its incompatible. Since they're working on the problem, both with DVD manufacturers and receiver manufacturers, is it actually worth going through the trouble of returning my unit? In that statement, they say they are working on making it compatible with all existing receivers, I take that to mean in the future, my receiver should no longer have the problem.

    In my way of thinking, incompatible, doesn't necessarily mean defective. So with all of this said, should I sit back and wait for the problems to be corrected DVD-wise, or should I confront ONkyo?
     
  11. Jay_E

    Jay_E Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2000
    Messages:
    212
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  12. Natalie M

    Natalie M Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2002
    Messages:
    120
    Likes Received:
    0
    Times like these make me wish people would take responsibility, instead of masking the problem. I am not happy knowing that I paid all this money for something with a glitch, but noone will fess up to it, and if they did, good luck at still finding it.
     
  13. Espen Braathen

    Espen Braathen Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 1999
    Messages:
    77
    Likes Received:
    0
    The technical brief from Cirrus Logic is a one page pdf; its code is "DS339TB2", issued in january 2002.
    I only have print out myself.

    Its a technical brief about the CS49300 Family DSP named "Concerning Decoding of External AC-3 Bitstreams Encoded using the Dolby Digital Extended Bit Stream Syntax".

    The decoder software is clearly behaving in the wrongfull way, i.e. its not opperating according to Dolby specifications.

    Alas, recalling 100.000's of products is big expense so Dolby has more or less agreed to change the behavior of the new extended bitstream syntax so the problem will not appear again.

    However, products with mutes on these discs are still defective.


    Espen B
     
  14. Roger Dressler

    Roger Dressler Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 1999
    Messages:
    187
    Likes Received:
    0
    Those of you having these dropout problems on HBO satellite will eventually find they are fixed. Dolby has issued revised encoder code to the broadcasters to avoid the problem, similar to how it was done for DVD encoding. The timing of the code installation is up to each broadcaster.
     
  15. Dave Moritz

    Dave Moritz Producer
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2001
    Messages:
    5,568
    Likes Received:
    486
    Location:
    California
    Real Name:
    Dave Moritz
    Just another reason why I choose not to get movies in the inferior Doly Digital format. There is always something with DD just like high error rates in the theater when decoding DD tracks. I would like to see the day when I did not have to play anything back in DD IMHO it sucks. Dolby Labs with there perceptial coding does not work as they advertise on there site. I feel they over rate there product to the extreme.

    Sorry just venting :b
     
  16. Adam Barratt

    Adam Barratt Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 1998
    Messages:
    2,343
    Likes Received:
    1
    Real Name:
    Adam
    Dave, it's clear this problem has been traced to a defective decoder, not to any problem with the Dolby Digital soundtracks themselves. It also has nothing to do with theatrical soundtrack reproduction.

    Dropouts in cinemas are almost certainly due to poor handling of the physical film medium itself, so a problem with the theatre's cleaning/handling practices.

     
  17. Natalie M

    Natalie M Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2002
    Messages:
    120
    Likes Received:
    0
    I guess this means my Onkyo is ok? Onkyo has stated in an email to me that my receiver is not defective. Hopefully, theyre telling the truth. In light of this new information, they just might be.
     

Share This Page