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OTA HDTV lip sync and qam decoding questions

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by David Strand, Nov 7, 2004.

  1. David Strand

    David Strand Agent

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    1 issue, 1 question.

    Issue: I recently purchased a samsung SIR-T351 OTA HD receiver and a terk indoor powered antenna. I am able to get stunning video on all the local channels, but I am having problems with the lip sync being off. Often the audio is not in sync with the video so when people talk it looks like they are in a chinese video. I am using the analog audio outputs into the tv, not using optical at the moment. Does this sound like a problem with my receiver, antenna, or local broadcasts?

    Question: I was also wondering about units that can decode atsc qam signals (a.k.a. cable hdtv). I read on the description of an LG unit it can tune "unscrambled" signals; would it be likely to be able to get ESPN? I am in SoCal and have Adelphia as my cable provider.
     
  2. David Strand

    David Strand Agent

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    I used to have an early sony DVD player that had this problem until they eventually fixed the firmware so I was leaning toward it being a hardware problem. Does anyone here have the t351 that can vouch for it either having this audio lip sync problem or not?
     
  3. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    David,

    I've had 2 different HD stbs over the last 3 years, a Hughes E-86 and more recently a Sony HD-200 (built by LG).

    With both I've had intermittent audio synch problems, mostly on OTA but also sometimes on DirecTV HD channels. In the last few months it's become more and more rare to have the problem.

    I am totally convinced it's a problem with the broadcasters and not my gear. I've often gone over to the AVS forum and checked on their local HD forums and HD programming forums and read posts from other people with all kinds of different stbs encountering the same glitches on the same shows.

    For some reason I don't really understand, audio synch is hard to maintain on ATSC broadcasts, it's one of the most frequent complaints people have, along with missing channels on 5.1 broadcasts and failure on the part of the station crew to "flip the HD switch" after a local commercial break.

    The station engineer for my local CBS affilliate has posted that they don't attempt to do 5.1 audio for that very reason--too difficult to keep the audio in synch.

    My local ABC station has 5.1 on their HD feed 24/7, has had it since April of 01, and it would get in and out of audio synch quite frequently up until early last summer when they got an equipment upgrade.

    Regular tv is so glitch-free these days that we don't expect this sort of thing to happen but ATSC is still fairly new. Back in the 50s (yes I'm that old) there were plenty of glitches on ntsc tv.

    The rule of thumb then was that if one channel was screwed up in some way but the others were ok, the problem was at the broadcast end. I think that still applies today with the new HD channels.

    If I get lots of macroblocking on one channel on one show one evening but the others are ok, it's most likely a problem at the station with the digital encoder and not my gear. If they're all messed up all the time the same way, then I start checking out my gear.

    btw, I also had the Sony DVPS-550D player with the audio synch problem. Sent it in for the free repair years ago and it's still going strong for my ex.

    Your Samsung should tune QAM cable channels but only if they are not scrambled by the cable company. In some areas Comcast let's local digital channels thru unscrambled but ESPN and all other "cable" HD channels are scrambled. Don't know what Adelphia does.
     
  4. Legairre

    Legairre Supporting Actor

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    I have a Samsung Sir-T351 as well and have the lip sync issue too, but ONLY on Moday Night Football.
     
  5. David Strand

    David Strand Agent

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    I tried to watch the lord of the rings broadcast the other night and the lip sync problem was so bad I couldn't watch it. I think it is this box because when it is happening it seems to be the same on all channels. I'm not sure if it does this when using it in 5.1 mode, I only have it hooked up to TV stereo audio.


    So I went to Circuit City to either have them send it in for service or exchange it. I got helped by some impatient customer service girl apparently in a bad mood. She was very abrupt and semi-rude. The end result was that they would neither service it or exchange it and said my only option was to call samsung myself. When she looked it up and said it was "not serviceable" I thought for sure it would be exchanged. When I worked at Best Buy we called that "DEVO" and the customers could exchange it within the factory warranty period and best buy would send the item back for full credit from their distributors (as long as it had all it's accessories and manuals with it). She said if I was within 30 days of purchase it would be no problem, but I have had it for just under 2 months. I would have been happy with them servicing it, but I was rather upset when I left the store....

    Sorry for the rant, just had to vent. Does anyone here happen to work at circuit city or know their policies? Do they have anything like "devo" that best buy does or are customers forced to deal with it themselves and pay their own shipping in situations like this? I did not get their service plan on this unit, I wasn't even offered one when I bought it.
     
  6. Legairre

    Legairre Supporting Actor

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    David is the 351 less than 30 days old and do you have the receipt? If so unless I'm mistaken they have to take it back and give you a full refund. Don't deal with the counter help, ask for the manager.
     
  7. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    The LOTR broadcast in HDTV was a less-than-optimal experience for most viewers across the country, so you weren't alone.
     
  8. Legairre

    Legairre Supporting Actor

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    Same with the HDTV Saving Private Ryan last night on ABC.
     
  9. zack mortimer

    zack mortimer Auditioning

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    I get ESPN in Chattanooga, TN via unscrambled digital cable connection and I have the LG tuner/DVD player. However, the lip sync is off by an annoying amount. I am using an optical cable into a Yamaha receiver, but it is basically the same when using analog directly to my TV.
     

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