942 DD Audio Oddity

Tom Bombadil

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
May 5, 2005
3,601
1
Chicago-Milwaukee Region
Just installed a 942 w/L282. Connected the optical audio out to my Harmon Kardon receiver with the same cable I had been using from my 811. Which had previously been used by a 4900. All went into the same input jack on the H-K, I never touched that end of the cable. Set the 942 up for DD/PCM.

What I am finding is that this works fine when I tune to a stereo station. My H-K receiver goes into DPL II mode as it always has. It remains fine as I switch between stereo channels. When I switch to a HDTV or SD w/DD (like HBO) channel, the H-K receiver automatically switches to DD mode. However when I switch back to a stereo channel, the H-K receiver remains in DD mode and the sound mutes. If I switch back and forth several times, the H-K remains in DD mode - so I have sound from a DD channel and silence from stereo channels. For stereo channels, I have to manually hit my H-K remote to put it back into DPL II (or stereo) and then it works fine.

With all previous Dish receivers, my H-K was able to automatically switch back and forth. I've never had this problem before.

Any ideas? Some strange setting that I'm overlooking?
 

faceprint

Member
Sep 25, 2005
6
0
Blacksburg, VA
I've had that happen once or twice with my 942 and my Yamaha receiver. Usually hitting swap a couple of times fixes the problem.

My real issue with the optical out is the volume difference between the 5.1 and the stereo. My receiver doesn't have the option to set individual settings for each, so I usually end up getting blasted, or having to turn it up, depending on which direction I'm switching.
 

Tom Bombadil

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May 5, 2005
3,601
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Chicago-Milwaukee Region
I can hit swap until the cows come home and my H-K never detects the switch. It has worked perfectly for the past three years with the 4900 and 811 on the same input, and a 7100 and 510 on the other input. I cannot remember a single time when it failed to successfully switch. The 942 must be doing something different in its optical audio output stream.

Also when I switch back to the DD channel, the volume instantly comes on because the receiver is still locked in DD mode. Normally there is a 2 second delay when switching to DD.

Even after going into my 942 setup menus and changing the Dolby Digital setting to PCM only, it still does the same thing. And I still get DD from DD channels even with the 942 DD setting turned off.

It also works exactly the same with the 942 set to DD only. I still get the non-DD channels in stereo if I hit my H-K's stereo button and it still doesn't auto switch. Thus the 942's DD setting doesn't appear to do anything, it operates in exactly the same way with DD/PCM, DD only, or PCM only.
 

Caffeinated

New Member
Nov 28, 2005
1
0
See if you can do a firmware upgrade on that receiver. (if it has an rs232 port)

The new sat box may simply be spitting out a lot of jitter / junk when it changes channels / and as such it's locking up the H/K. This is a problem receiver manufactures are always trying to upgrade. Try a new optical cable also as the connectors can loose alignment and only make matters worse. I wish Dish put digital co-ax on thier boxes as it is much more stable/ no conversion. Or you may just need to get the receiver fixed. (digital boards can die) ...also try a different optical input on the H-K
 

pdxsam

SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 11, 2004
918
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Tigard, Oregon
Have you also noticed that the levels on airing material vs recorded material is vastly different? Stuff I've played back from recordings is a lower level needing a volume boost, then when I come out of the recording the level coming off broadcast is much much higher.
 

lakebum431

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Lifetime Supporter
Sep 5, 2005
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Norris, TN
Usually the difference in audio levels is a result of 1 show being in DD 5.1 and another being in 2 channel stereo. (At least in my case)
 

Tom Bombadil

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
May 5, 2005
3,601
1
Chicago-Milwaukee Region
I've tried the following:

1) Three different toslink optical cables.
2) Two different receiver inputs.
3) The 942 set to DD/PCM, DD only, and PCM only. (I still get DD on the DD channels with PCM only selected!)

Under all combinations above, I get stereo/DPL when I start with a stereo channel, it switches correctly to DD when going to a DD channel, but will not switch back to stereo/DPL when returning to a stereo channel.

Using the same receiver, it switches perfectly when I'm using a Dish 4900, 7100, 510, or 811 receiver. It is only a problem with the 942.
 

pacman

SatelliteGuys Family
Sep 30, 2003
102
0
SF Bay Area, CA
I have seen more and more of the home theater receivers coming with "auto-sensing" inputs on them. When you change the source, it defaults to the "best" quality signal, which is typically going to be an optical input and it will then determine if it is DD or not. If it detects DD, it will switch to that mode. With today's receivers now having an optical, coax, and analog audio input available on "Video 1" and then automatically choosing the "right" one it makes this kind of issue more commonplace. Not sure if this is the issue with you H-K, but I know on my cheaper Kenwood receiver I had to rewire several times to make sure I didn't have the same problem.
 

Tom Bombadil

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
May 5, 2005
3,601
1
Chicago-Milwaukee Region
It could be more with the H-K, but given that it works correctly with 4 different Dish receivers, and three different DVD players, and only doesn't work with the 942, there has to be something different about the 942 optical signal.
 

bobhaze

SatelliteGuys Family
Nov 28, 2004
72
0
Strange. I have the same symptom occurring with an 811 and the input on a Creative X-Fi sound card in my HTPC. Other sources (Voom box, DVD player) work fine on that input, only the 811 causes the problem. No problem on the HK I have in another room with the same 811.
About two years ago I was involved in the product development of a DVD receiver and found that an earlier E* receiver (5900 if memory serves) flagged 44.1kHz PCM output incorrectly as 48kHz. This confused the SPDIF in on that model and we had to come up with a workaround where the input ignored the flag and locked to the signal differently. It wouldn't surprise me if something slightly off spec was happening here too.
 

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