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on-demand sound cuts out


Hi all -


experienced some odd issues streaming from Starz and HBO the other night and wanted to see if it's a known issue or one that I need to troubleshoot further.  Here's the situation: I grabbed an on-demand version of Elysium from Starz (if memory serves) the other night and went to watch it after it'd finished downloading.  For some odd reason, the sound would cut out for half a second every minute or so.  Thinking it was a bad download, I deleted it and tried again and experienced the same issue.  Thinking it might've been an issue with the movie, I selected another On-Demand movie from HBO and ran into the same issue.  I do NOT have similar issues with watching live content or watching recorded content from my Genie, so I'm sure it's not the receiver.  I've confirmed that my router is allowing the traffic through (if it weren't, I wouldn't be able to download on-demand content at all), and I have no such issues watching Amazon Prime streaming.


Thoughts on where to go from here?





  • 1. Re: on-demand sound cuts out

    What model of receiver do you have. look for the model number inside the access card door..


    How are you connecting your DirecTV® receivers to the internet?


    How are you connecting your DirecTV® receiver to your TV?

  • 2. Re: on-demand sound cuts out

    Receiver in question is a Genie (HR34, I believe)


    Receiver is connected via ethernet (100Mb), connected to a Powerline Ethernet bridge, into a gigabit managed switch and a Cisco 1841 router.  Internet connection is a 15Mb down/5Mb up.


    Receiver is connected via HDMI through a Yamaha receiver and then out via HDMI to the set.  When the sound drops out, the Yamaha receiver shows no audio for half a second and then switches back to Dolby.



  • 3. Re: on-demand sound cuts out

    try bypassing the AVR.  Post back the results.

  • 4. Re: on-demand sound cuts out

    peds -


    not questioning your troubleshooting but, if it were an issue with the AVR, why would it affect only streamed content and only streamed content from DirecTV?


    I will try bypassing my AVR once I get home.

  • 5. Re: on-demand sound cuts out

    peds48 -


    sorry it took me a couple of days to get around to this.  As expected, I bypassed the AVR and went direct to the TV and still experienced sound cut-outs.  I did a little more troubleshooting and confirmed that this only appears to occur when the DirecTV receiver is set to output in Dolby Digital mode.  If I switch to PCM, the cutouts do not occur.  Obviously, switching to Dolby (particularly for movies) is not desirable.  I can repeat this at will streaming content from Sprout On-Demand.

  • 6. Re: on-demand sound cuts out

    I should also mention that the receiver is actually an HR44/500, not an HR34.

  • 7. Re: on-demand sound cuts out

    We have a similar problem.  On demand content from HBO.  HR34-700 connection either through HDMI or Digital Audio to a Yamaha receiver (same results on both interfaces).  Drop out occurs due to a switching between Dolby Digital content and (I'm assuming) PCM.  Setting the HR34 audio to PCM only in the audio menu "fixes" the problem, but of course you lose Dolby Digital.


    If you go directly to a TV this problem will probably not appear as the TV will typically restrict the interface to PCM and thus no drop out.


    This seems to be only for on demand content - regular TV seems to be fine...

  • 8. Re: on-demand sound cuts out

    We just started experiencing the same problem and it's not only HBO. We first noticed it when we downloaded a couple on-demand episodes of Silicon Valley. It was very noticeable on the main system, which is a pretty new Genie HR44-500, which is plugged into an Onkyo AVR.


    We tested regularly recorded TV shows and have no problems. We also have an older HR24-100 that we recently downloaded American Hustle on and that movie also has the problem on both units. The older DVR is plugged directly into a TV via HDMI and the cutting out isn't as noticeable... it's more of a blip or glitch in the sound. I think the sensitivity of the main AVR's HDMI is what causes it to fully lose sound for half a second, whereas the TV handles it more gracefully and you don't get as big an impact. But it's still very distracting, making movies unwatchable.


    To test, I downloaded on demand show from CBS and ABC also, and they had the same problem. It also happens when streaming the programs directly.


    I can't pinpoint when the problem started, as we hadn't watched any on-demand stuff for a few weeks before tonight.


    I can try the PCM "fix" but that's certainly not a viable long-term solution.

  • 9. Re: on-demand sound cuts out

    Switching the DVR to PCM mode made it so it doesn't cut out completely, but like the older unit on the bedroom TV, now the sound just gives a distorted blip or noise or static very briefly every 20 seconds or so. Still pretty annoying. How do we get DTV to look into this?

  • 10. Re: on-demand sound cuts out

    Have the exact same issue.  Customer service line was less than helpful.  Very irritating. 

  • 11. Re: on-demand sound cuts out

    Did they at least have any suggestions other than rebooting? I'm trying to decide if I should call and waste my time on hold just to get a ticket number

  • 12. Re: on-demand sound cuts out

    They gave me the ole reboot and try again.  I think by this point 95% of know this method and rarely does it solve anything. 


    Sent from my iPad

  • 13. Re: on-demand sound cuts out

    Having the same issue here. We have an HR44-500 in the living room, and all was well for a long time when the DVR was connected directly to a TV input. But recently I added a Sony HT-CT370 sound bar and subwoofer, and rewired my system so that all of the source devices are connected to various HDMI inputs on the sound bar, and the tv is connected to the HDMI output. Live TV plays back fine, as does content from my PS3, which is connected to HDMI 2 on the sound bar (HR-44 is connected to HDMI 1). But I noticed the audio dropping out when I downloaded a couple of movies from HBO On Demand...they all exhibited the same exact problem. But not all On Demand content from the HR-44 is affected. Showtime seems to work just fine. But 95% of everything I try to watch on HBO On Demand has a half second dropout every 5 seconds, like clockwork. Disabling Dolby Audio on the HR-44 gets rid of the obvious pause in the audio, but replaces it with an annoying glitch, again, every 5 seconds. Really frustrating, as there is really no other way I can hook my system up, so if this is an issue with the HDMI connection, I'm up a creek. DirecTV really needs to address this.

  • 14. Re: on-demand sound cuts out

    Called DTV tech support today, and they were of absolutely no help. Kept telling to turn off Dolby Digital, despite me continually telling them that a) it doesn't solve the problem and b) I shouldn't have to give up surround sound for a technical bug that is only affecting one channel on the HR-44. They just repeated the same thing ad nauseum until finally saying they would "have to refer me to my home theater system's manual". What a load of ****.

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