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Comcast- losing digital audio on certain channels

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Old 01-25-2009, 08:26 PM   #1
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Default Comcast- losing digital audio on certain channels

Help...

I have Comcast with a HD DVR and everything was fine until a couple of weeks ago.

I get a digital audio signal through a Denon receiver, and all of my HD channels come through beautifully, EXCEPT 5 of them, all relatively newer channels (NatGeo, FXHD, AMCHD, SPEEDHD, FNCHD). These channels show a consistent video, but a badly stuttering audio. Unless I downgrade the surround sound on my receiver to analog or virtual surround, and then the audio is fine.

Comcast has come out three times. First to swap the box. Next two times the tech plugged my STB directly into my TV with left/right RCA cables and told me he "fixed" it. When I explained to him that he only fixed it by bypassing the receiver, they said they thought I had a bad receiver. Of course, it makes no sense that the majority of channels work great and only 5 do not on this bad receiver.

Other info: coaxial out to receiver (using HDMI and optical for PS3). Doesn't matter whether I use coaxial or optical (same stuttering audio). Component video from STB to TV.

Any suggestions? I really don't want to switch providers, but I'm at wits end.

Last edited by stoboy; 01-25-2009 at 08:58 PM.
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Old 01-26-2009, 06:34 PM   #2
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You mentioned that you used co-ax and optical from the stb to you receiver but did you try the HDMI? This sounds like a problem from the cable co's end but you must try all avenues.
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Old 01-26-2009, 06:59 PM   #3
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Default No HDMI input/output on my Denon

Thanks for responding. This has been pretty frustrating.

No HDMI input/output on my Denon 1602. It does a nice job with digital so I've never seen the reason to upgrade. My PS3 runs HDMI, but only to my TV for video, I still run an optical from the PS3 to the Denon for the audio. So I run coaxial from the STB (since the Denon only has one coax and one optical input) and switch the video from the TV and switch the audio from the receiver. I know if I went with a new receiver I could switch both from the receiver.

Is there any good reason for the receiver to fumble the audio on only a few channels, while most HD channels work perfectly?
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Old 01-27-2009, 12:22 AM   #4
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My dads TV has more audio drop outs from a local PBS station. I never watch that station. He has HDMI to his TV. I have coaxial digital to my stereo, and I get some drop outs on all channels, but never too bad. The beginning of an on demand is more likely to give me audio drop outs. After the first minute or so it goes away. In the past I have had worse problems. Before I had HD, the SD on demand would give me audio drop outs a lot. It was never bad enough to be unwatchable. When I got my HDTV, the HD on demand was really bad. That was unwatchable. Had techs come out. Did not get fixed. For a while I gave up. At that point there was little HD selection on demand, so it was not a big loss. After some time passed, I tried again. Now I watch a lot of HD on demand. Never know what changed. The SD seems better too, though I watch less now that I have HD.

My stereo is fine. Coaxial works from past DVD players, and my current blu-ray player. Fiber optic works from the computer, and an old laser disc player. I have used fiber optic from the cable box, and the results are the same.

I know how you feel. It is very frustrating. In a perfect world, you could find someone locally with a similar digital stereo and see if that person has an identical problem. Then you could really blame the cable company. Do not be afraid to tell the techs that there is nothing wrong with your stereo. You know your equipment. It does not hurt to be persistant.

Comcast charges me 99 cents a month for insurance. I never have to pay more for a tech to come out to the house. Problems may not get fixed, but at least it does not cost a lot of money. Something to think about, in case you did not know.

Hope you get it worked out. Welcome to High Def Forum. Stick around, it is a great place to be.
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Old 01-27-2009, 08:56 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies. After some research and Googling, it appears my issue is related to older Denon digital receivers. Found some Brits online having issues with their older Denons and satellite service. Not sure what the reason is, but it appears to be related to the receiver's inability to properly decode that audio signal.

As the receiver was 8 years old, I replaced it with a new Sony 720. The channels are back, and the audio quality will probably be better once I get everything working.

Thanks again for the support, and if another Denon owner has this problem and finds this thread, perhaps they'll find the answer. After three Comcast trips, it was unlikely they are going to work to find backward compatibility for those few receivers unless a lot more people complained.
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Old 01-28-2009, 01:09 AM   #6
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I do not fully understand. Why only some of the channels? Would your reciever not screw up all of the channels? Please explain.
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Old 01-28-2009, 06:50 PM   #7
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Someone more technically experienced would need to answer that one. 8-year old Denon failed to transmit digital audio on those channels. New Sony has no such issue. But yes, it was 5 HD channels out of 40+ channels. They were all newer channels Comcast added in the last couple of months.
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Old 02-02-2009, 03:04 PM   #8
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I had a similar problem with my service and had to have the box switched out.
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