Intermittent, distorted audio from optical out

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Intermittent, distorted audio from optical out

Postby aslg » Sun Dec 13, 2009 1:07 pm

My roku HD is connected to a Panasonic plasma via HDMI out and to a Musical Fidelity X-DAC v3 via the optical out. Roku's audio setting is set to Stereo.

The analog audio from the X-DAC is distorted and intermittent.

Does anybody have a similar problem? Did you find a fix?
Do you know what type of audio signal is passed from the Roku HD to the optical out? Is it PCM or something different?

Thanks!
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Postby philsoft » Sun Dec 13, 2009 5:38 pm

Make sure that the cable is seated well in the back of the DVP. They are difficult to seat I have noticed.
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Postby aslg » Sun Dec 13, 2009 6:04 pm

The cable (an audioquest optical cable) is seated all the way in the roku dvp.
I connected the same cable to an oppo blu-ray player and it works fine.
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Postby philsoft » Sun Dec 13, 2009 6:11 pm

aslg wrote:The cable (an audioquest optical cable) is seated all the way in the roku dvp.
I connected the same cable to an oppo blu-ray player and it works fine.


I currently have mine hooked up using the optical (and it took an unbelieveable amount of force to seat it into the DVP), and i have experienced occasional audio drops. It is not common but it does happen. I have heard of others having occasional audio drops if they were connecting to an Onkyo receiver (which I am as well). I have not heard of a fix for it, but like I was saying it happens only on rare occasions.
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Postby aslg » Sun Dec 13, 2009 7:49 pm

philsoft wrote:I currently have mine hooked up using the optical (and it took an unbelieveable amount of force to seat it into the DVP), and i have experienced occasional audio drops. It is not common but it does happen. I have heard of others having occasional audio drops if they were connecting to an Onkyo receiver (which I am as well). I have not heard of a fix for it, but like I was saying it happens only on rare occasions.


Philsoft,
thanks!

In my case the sound is always intermittent and distorted.
I am worried that the audio signal is not PCM (that's all my DAC can receive).
Can you please check what signal type shows up on your Onkyo?

Thanks!
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Postby tombonneau » Mon Dec 14, 2009 9:12 am

I tried to get the optical audio to work, but the audio was always choppy. Tried multiple cables, multiple optical jacks on my DAC, nothing worked. I arrived at the conclusion that it was a Roku issue and I just used the analog out instead.

Similarly, I had to use composite video instead of HDMI because the Roku was having serious handshake delays with my Kuro.
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Postby philsoft » Mon Dec 14, 2009 10:38 am

aslg wrote:Philsoft,
thanks!

In my case the sound is always intermittent and distorted.
I am worried that the audio signal is not PCM (that's all my DAC can receive).
Can you please check what signal type shows up on your Onkyo?

Thanks!


If I have this set right (I don't usually use this display setting) it is showing "2 channel PCM".
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Postby gadrago » Mon Dec 14, 2009 2:21 pm

To confirm for the Roku HD box, output from a Netflix source via optical digital is 2-channel PCM.
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Postby aslg » Mon Dec 14, 2009 5:47 pm

Thinking there was a problem with my Audioquest optical cable, I bought another cable (Monster) at Best Buy today. Same problem.
I read in another thread that the optical sensor is more recessed than normal in the roku dvp.
Maybe only certain optical cables that enter more deep in the socket work fine.
Can you please list which optical cable works for you? I will buy the same.

Thanks!
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Postby philsoft » Mon Dec 14, 2009 6:01 pm

aslg wrote:Thinking there was a problem with my Audioquest optical cable, I bought another cable (Monster) at Best Buy today. Same problem.
I read in another thread that the optical sensor is more recessed than normal in the roku dvp.
Maybe only certain optical cables that enter more deep in the socket work fine.
Can you please list which optical cable works for you? I will buy the same.

Thanks!


That is the "seating" I was talking about. You may think it is seated properly, yet it may not be. It took a LOT of force for me to be able to seat the thing properly. I am just using some generic optical cable that I got at (I believe) Monoprice.com
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Postby aslg » Mon Dec 14, 2009 7:41 pm

I pushed the cable in until I heard a click.
The surrounding plastic connector is completely adjacent to the back of the roku. There is no gap to fill. It is physically impossible to pushed it further in, unless I want to break the back panel of the roku.
Did you continued to push after you heard the click?
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Postby philsoft » Mon Dec 14, 2009 8:05 pm

No, only until I heard the click. It sounds like the DVP and your receiver are not getting along together.
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Postby aslg » Tue Dec 15, 2009 2:25 pm

Yes, thinking the same. I do not have a receiver but a hi-fi stereo DAC.
It supports stereo PCM only with sampling frequencies from 8 to 108 Khz and 16, 20, 24 bit word lengths.
I am wondering if there is something in the PCM stream of the Roku DVP that an AV receiver is able to interpret while my DAC is not.

Is there anyone using a stereo DAC, not an AV Receiver with a successful story?

Thanks!
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Postby tombonneau » Wed Dec 16, 2009 1:11 am

aslg wrote:Yes, thinking the same. I do not have a receiver but a hi-fi stereo DAC.
It supports stereo PCM only with sampling frequencies from 8 to 108 Khz and 16, 20, 24 bit word lengths.
I am wondering if there is something in the PCM stream of the Roku DVP that an AV receiver is able to interpret while my DAC is not.

Is there anyone using a stereo DAC, not an AV Receiver with a successful story?

Thanks!


I'm with you on the DAC front. Maybe that is the issue?
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Postby aslg » Wed Dec 16, 2009 2:09 pm

tombonneau wrote:I'm with you on the DAC front. Maybe that is the issue?


Tombonneau,
thanks!

I investigated this a little further...
Let's assume, for the moment, that the Roku DVP does not output a pure PCM stream. I tried to I hear inside what happens with my DAC and I hear decent (not perfect) sound when there is only one person speaking with no accompanying sound or noise in the background. Things get worse when there is sound on the background. This behavior sounds to me like Dolby Surround or Pro Logic that, by the way, on optical, it is passed on a stereo PCM stream... This could explain why people with an AV receiver sees a PCM stream.
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