While viewing the new "Star Wars: The Complete Saga" set on Blu-ray Disc, I noticed some audio glitches in a few places, that occurred only on certain A/V receivers. Specifically, some high frequency "hash" during the opening scene to "Star Wars: A New Hope" (does not always reproduce) and some additional glitches in the stream at 36:55 into the same film. There may be other issues but these ones were obvious and the second one is consistently reproducible.
At 36:55 into Star Wars: Episode IV (end of chapter 15/beginning of chapter 16), during the transition between scenes, as the Star Destroyer approaches the Death Star, I heard a quick boost in volume, followed by a brief audio drop-out. Other users have reported persistent audio drop-outs in "Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones" on certain hardware as well. This may be related.
Upon testing multiple brand players (OPPO, Sony, Panasonic), it does not appear to be a player problem. The problem only occurs with certain receivers, when streaming the DTS-HD Master Audio 6.1 track over HDMI using the player's BITSTREAM output option.
As a work-around, switching the Blu-ray players to PCM decoding seems to eliminate the problem. In this situation, the player decodes the DTS-HD MA track to multi-channel PCM and the receivers do not seem to have any problem with the decoded PCM track. The audio glitch does not occur on all hardware, and we are investigating to see if we can identify the culprit. It is unclear at this point whether this is a software problem (a problem in the stream itself), or a hardware problem with select DTS-HD Master Audio decoders.
Please post here your hardware (player and receiver) and let us know if you are seeing similar audio problems on this boxed set or even if you are not! Chapter/time details and film title would be helpful for reproduction purposes.
It seems that the DTS-HD Master Audio stream is causing problems in some decoders but we don't have any details as to why. Our writer Chris Chiarella did not experience this problem as he viewed the set on a Sony PS3 set to internally decode the DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack to PCM. This delivers the full uncompressed PCM multi-channel soundtrack to the receiver. But others with a PS3 "slim" (which does offer bitstreaming of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA soundtracks) have reported hearing the problem on certain receivers.
Also, Chris tested two other players (Samsung and Sony) and was not able to reproduce the problem on his Onkyo receiver
RECEIVERS and PRE/PROs which exhibit the "bad behavior:"
- Pioneer VSX-91TX, VSX-92TXH, VSX-94TXH, SC-09 (fix available from Pioneer, see UPDATE from PIONEER below for details)
- Yamaha Aventage RX-A2000 (may be fixed with newer firmware)
- Denon models: AVR2808, AVR3310, AVR889, AVR1909, AVR890, AVR990, AVR4810CI (fix available from Denon - see UPDATE FROM DENON below for details)
RECEIVERS THAT ARE CONFIRMED TO *NOT* HAVE THIS PROBLEM:*
- Integra DTC-9.8 preamp/processor
- Onkyo TX-SR605, TX-SR606
ONKYO/Integra "DTS Bomb" Resurfaces
*We are hearing from some Onkyo receiver owners that fast forwarding, rewinding or using the Chapters menu to access scenes can lead to the dreaded "DTS Bomb" - a loud noise in all speakers. An issue similar to this was acknowledged and fixed by Onkyo in the x05 and early x06 series of receivers several years ago, but even users who have applied that DSP fix are reporting this problem. Affected receivers may include the TX-SR705, TX-SR805, TX-SR806, TX-NR3008 and other models in the x05, x06 and x07 lines.
A potential reproduction of the DTS-HD "bomb" issue on Onkyo receivers follows, although I tested this on a TX-SR605 receiver and on an Integra DTC-9.8 pre/pro both with factory base level firmware and was not able to get it to fail:
* Access the "Search... Scenes" menu on "Star Wars: Episode IV (A New Hope)", select "Millenium Falcon" scene, hit OK (make sure your volume is very LOW when doing this test - damage to speakers/amp is possible if levels are too high).
Although less common than the audio glitches, some player owners are reporting video glitches, stuttering or drop-outs in the video stream on these discs. So far we have heard about these specifically on the Panasonic DMP-BD30 and DMP-BD50, DMP-BD35/DMP-BD55 and the Pioneer BDP-320 (other players may be affected). Panasonic has reproduced the issue and is working on delivering a fix. Affected owners should contact Panasonic support in their local countries to be notified when a fix is available. Owners of OPPO Blu-ray players have also reported a problem where the rear channel is missing (the sixth channel in the 6.1 mix) when setting their players to PCM output mode. OPPO has apparently acknowledged the issue and is working on a fix.
We will keep this first post updated with results/feedback.
Additional information is available in the Star Wars audio thread on AVS Forum.
UPDATE from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment and LucasFilm, Ltd. (9/21):
Our contacts at Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment and LucasFilm, Ltd. have looked into the issue and have deemed this to be hardware-related. And I quote:
"Should you encounter audio drop outs or an audio playback anomaly within your center surround speaker channel, simply switch your Blu-ray Disc player Audio Output setting from Bitstream to PCM, or consult your AV Receiver manufacturer for further assistance."
UPDATE from DENON (9/22):
Denon has reproduced the issue on an AVR-2308CI. According to Denon, the problem is not actually new as it occurred previously on "The Golden Compass" Blu-ray, which also features a DTS-HD Master Audio 6.1 soundtrack. Owners of network-connected AVRs should update their receiver's firmware to the latest release and this should solve the problem. For those receivers without a network connection, you will need to bring or ship your receiver to an authorized Denon service center. Affected customers should call their local Denon service organization to arrange for service (Tel: 201-762-6665 in the US). Those with RS232 ports on their receivers might be interested in reading this thread on avsforum.
UPDATE from PIONEER (10/4)
Pioneer has reproduced and acknowledged the issues and confirmed that this is a known issue with the VSX-91TX, VSX-92TXH, VSX-94TXH and SC-09. They have a firmware update to correct this issue and recommend that affected owners call Pioneer's Contact Center at 800-421-1404 (in the US) for instructions on how to get this update.
UPDATE from PANASONIC (10/7)
Firmware upgrades to improve playability of the "Star Wars" boxed set on specific 2007/2008 model year players will be available on or near the following dates:
- DMP-BD30 - 10/17
- DMP-BD35/DMP-BDBD55 - 10/17
- DMP-BD50 - 11/21