sound dropouts with DD recordings


Active SatelliteGuys Member
Original poster
May 12, 2004

I have a problem with programs recorded in DD. When I try to play the program back, I get intermittent sound dropouts, rendering the recording unwatchable (I guess "unlistenable" would be a more appropriate term). I don't have this problem with live DD broadcasts or with shows not recorded in DD. Any solutions or is my 522 just bad?

DD Dropout


:( Appears you are not alone. I tried to record Finding Nemo from Starz 352 last Sunday and sufferd the same issue. After the first 10 min my Sony receiver finnaly locked on. Then about half way through it lost it again. Suspect we may all suffer this issue.
DD Dropouts

I dropped by to search for anyone else reporting DD dropout from their 522 and am disappointed that it didn't take long to see that this appears to be a common problem.

After finally getting my optical output connected last night, I am seeing DD data dropouts for a couple of seconds every couple of minutes. This pretty much makes the movie unwatchable as far as I am concerned. I have not yet seen the same problem using PCM but have not had a chance to try all the possible combinations yet.

What are other people seeing:

1. Is this problem only heard when using DD output and not PCM?
2. Does it occur when the movie is being watched live or does it only occur when playing back a DVR event?

Overall, I like the 522 but I am rather disappointed at the number of playback glitches and dropouts when coming from the disk. Our signal strength from the dish is great but I still see video macroblocking at least once every 5 minutes when watching a recording. Is this something others experience too or do I have a bad disk?


Dave Wilson
dave_wilson said:
...but I still see video macroblocking at least once every 5 minutes when watching a recording.
What is "video macroblocking?" Is it the MPEG artifacts caused by poor bitrate and/or compression?

On a similar note, is there some sorta of glossary here or elsewhere that you would recommend so I can stop interrupting you guys with my questions?


You are correct. "Macroblocks" are video encoding units in MPEG-2 and describe a small square of pixels on the screen. When you get errors in the bitstream, the decoder tries to cover them up but the usual effect is for blocks on the screen to be missed or incorrect resulting in the blocking effect.


Dave Wilson
I don't have any sound dropout problems when watching live, only recordings in DD. Sometimes the problem goes away if I stop and start the recording again. Sometimes not. If I watch the same recording through an analog output, the sound dropouts disappear.
I get sound dropouts without DD (through coax or RCA cables). It happens frequently while watching recorded programs. I assume the occasional drops while watching live TV is due to interruptions in the signal.

My DVR 522 is new (only a week old) so I took it to the company who installed it but, of course, it wouldn't act up for them (Murphy's law). They won't do anything about it unless they can verify for themselves. I just want to get as many bugs and glitches resolved before I have to start paying for service calls.
Software bug?


I get the feeling this is probably a software problem to do with playback from the hard disk - clock recovery/av-sync related? I also notice that the lip sync is sometimes terrible but it clears up if I stop playback and restart.

I'll complain to Dish and see if there are any software updates in the works (if they will tell me, of course!). My 522 is also very new and, like you, I want to iron this out before they start charging me for their bugs.


Add me to the list

From day 1 I've had issues with recording programs dropping audio periodically on Dolby Digital audio output. At that time it was infrequent enough that I could cope.

Now - a month later - not only are recorded DD shows dropping out, but ALL audio going through the tuner quickly starts to stutter and finally drops out altogether. Powering down the tuner and restarting gets the audio to resume but within a minute or two I get a fast stutter and then...nothing :confused:

My Harman receiver plays DD from DVDs and other sources perfectly and I've tested my TOSlink with other sources and that's not the problem...

Superdish installation

switch problems

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