TV on Blu-ray, Sound Problems, Misdirected Audio
To Boldly Go
Like you, I am a fan of Star Trek (the original series) on Blu-ray, and I'm wondering if other TV shows I love will possibly be transferred to Blu-ray. What is required for old shows like these to go from standard-definition to high def? Can any show be converted to Blu-ray or do they have to be recorded in a particular format? What does the process involve?
The vast majority of TV shows past and present are originally shot on 35mm film, which is then transferred to video in a process called telecine. Before HDTV came along, that process resulted in standard-def video that was recorded on videotape and broadcast; it was also released on DVD. But film has a very high inherent resolution—much higher even than Blu-ray—so it's relatively easy to go back to the original film and telecine it in high definition.
All that's required to release older TV shows in high def on Blu-ray is access to the original film—which must be in reasonably good condition—and a high-def telecine machine. Another factor is the time technicians must spend to do the telecine and author the Blu-ray. All of this takes money, and the studios won't do it unless they believe it will make a profit.
A Plethora of Problems
I have a Samsung LN52A750 LCD TV, Yamaha RX-V563 AVR, Sony PS3, and DirecTV HD DVR. I have the DVR connected via HDMI to the AVR, the PS3 connected via HDMI to the TV and optical to the AVR, and the AVR connected via HDMI to the TV.
I have experienced several problem scenarios:
1. When I'm watching DirecTV and I select a recorded HD program, the sound from the AVR sometimes drops out. If I change inputs on the receiver back and forth, the sound will eventually restore itself. Video is okay.
2. While playing the PS3, I sometimes get a message that says, "Mode Not Supported." If I unplug the HDMI from the TV and plug it back in, that sometimes fixes it, but other times I am not so lucky, and I have to do a video reset on the PS3.
3. When switching inputs on the AVR, I get a "pop" sound in my surround speakers.
It just seems that my system has a hard time switching inputs from HDMI sources, and it is very frustrating. I am not sure which equipment is the cause. It does not happen all the time, making troubleshooting very difficult.
First of all, your HDMI connection scheme is not ideal. For example, you say the PS3 is connected to the TV via HDMI and to the receiver via optical—why not connect the PS3's HDMI output to the AVR?
The best approach is to connect the HDMI output from both sources to the AVR's HDMI inputs and the receiver's HDMI output to the TV; no other connections are necessary. That way, you simply select which source you want to watch from the receiver, which handles the audio from the selected source and sends the selected video to the TV. This might solve the second problem you cite.
The DirecTV issue sounds like it might be a problem with the DVR hardware; contact DirecTV for this. Alternatively, it might be a defect in that particular HDMI input on the AVR; try connecting the DVR's HDMI output to the AVR's other HDMI input and see if the problem persists. If it doesn't, the original input is probably defective; if the problem remains, it could be the DVR or AVR.
Regarding the PS3, have you updated its firmware to the latest version? That might help.
As for the pop in the surrounds when you switch inputs, I would think that's a problem in the AVR that might require an authorized service tech. If it's not a loud pop, it's probably not harmful, though I'm sure it's annoying.
I have a Panasonic TC-P58V10 connected to a Denon AVR-3310 receiver via HDMI and a PS3 Slim and Xbox 360 Elite, both connected to the Denon via HDMI. Finally, I have a Motorola cable box connected to the Denon with a component cable. The picture and sound from the cable box are great, but I have a problem when playing with the Xbox or PS3.
When starting either game system with my Harmony remote, everything starts up fine, but the sound comes from the TV rather than my Paradigm speakers. When I manually turn on the game system, wait a few seconds, turn on the TV, wait another few seconds, and then turn on the receiver, the audio comes from the speakers. Conversely, if the game system, TV, and receiver are turned on more or less simultaneously, the audio comes from the TV speakers.
When everything is fine, the Denon's front panel shows the Digital and PCM signal indicators along with HDMI, Auto, and AL24. When the sound goes to the TV, the Denon's front panel shows signal indicators for Analog, HDMI, and Auto. I can induce this problem by merely changing the input on the Denon from the Xbox or PS3 to something else and right back again. Doing so routes the sound to the TV. To get the Denon to route the sound back to the Paradigms, I must turn off the AVR, then turn it back on.
I know that everything is hooked up correctly, and the receiver is set to the right inputs and settings. I just can't understand why my receiver needs to be turned on after the source hardware in order for it to route the sound to my speakers.
That is a puzzler alright. I spoke about your problem with my Denon contact, who says to make sure you have the latest firmware update in the 3310, which is accomplished by connecting the AVR's Ethernet port to your broadband router. Also, he recommends that HDMI CEC (Consumer Electronics Control) should be disabled in all devices. (This function goes by different names in different devices.)
Finally, he recommends that you make sure the Panasonic's firmware is up to date, and he speculates that the plasma might have a very tight HDMI-HDCP authentication window, which could be addressed by altering the power-up procedure. You can program the Harmony remote to pause for a few seconds after turning each device on—make sure the AVR is powered up last—which should solve at least part of the problem, though it won't help when switching inputs on the AVR once everything is on.
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