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cruiserandma

join:2008-07-04

Popping/clicking audio drving me nuts..

We've been experiencing clicking/popping noises lately that I simply can't debug. At first I thought it was specific to HD channels, but now I'm getting it on pretty much all channels, on both our DCH3416 (HD DVR), as well as our DCT3412 (SD digital tuner only) box. It's deifnitely coming through the audio signal in the line, because I'm hearing the same thing on both boxes in different rooms with different TVs.

The sound is like the popping or scratching you would hear on an old record.. I've called comcast support a bunch of times when this has been happening, and they try tons of stuff- sending reset signals to the box(es), telling me to make sure the cable box audio is set very low, and the TV audio high, and vice versa, "sending signals" to the boxes. And when I jump through all of the various hoops and tell them I still here the glitches, they end up saying it has to be the box, and I should take the box in for a swap. I've swapped both the DVR, and the tuner box (the DVR was swapped twice, even tried a different model (6412)) and the audio popping is still there.. This is driving me absolutely nuts!

Any advice on what I should ask them to do?

Has anyone else ever experienced similar audio problems with comcast digital cable TV?

Thanks for any ideas!



gar187er
I do this for a living

join:2006-06-24
Dover, DE
kudos:4

stray voltage perhaps...

btw- box volume maxed out, tv should never be maxed out



co

@atx.net
reply to cruiserandma

For most of my HD Channels, my audio will go out once or twice an hour for about a second or two, VERY ANNOYING! I call Comcast, and they don't know what to do, except the usual unplug my Cable Box routine and let it reset crap. I may just go get new HD/DVR Box and see if thats the problem. I swear Comcast is the only company where the customer has to figure out their own problems!


wanger

join:2008-04-20
Reading, PA
reply to cruiserandma

If you have swapped out the boxes multiple times now, why would you still think it's a cable box issue and not something associated with the TV or something else? Not saying it isn't a box issue, but from a troubleshooting stand point different boxes causing the same issue on two different TVs would lead me to to believe that it could be an electrical issue or something else in your place. A bad bond, a neutral going bad, old wiring, an AC unit/electric hot water heater turning on/off, microwave running, refrigerator's compressor, and the list can go on and on...


cruiserandma

join:2008-07-04

I agree that it's not the boxes. Assuming there is some electrical interference going on here, what's a good way for me to check for things like frequent spikes?

Should an average power strip be enough to keep the condition of the current from spikes of the nature that might cause these audio pops?

Could it be an issue that the outlet all my stuff is running from is not grounded?

I appreciate any thoughts you guys have.

Thanks for the replies so far!



RR User

@rr.com
reply to cruiserandma

Does it sound like these?
»www.freesound.org/samplesViewSin···id=41003
»www.freesound.org/samplesViewSin···id=11729



gar187er
I do this for a living

join:2006-06-24
Dover, DE
kudos:4
reply to cruiserandma

powerstrips dont condition the line....a good UPS would that specifically says 'line filtering'

it could be a bad ground anywhere if that indeed is the issue...usually high draw items cause the most problems, fridge, microwave, etc....

how many pieces of electronics do you have near cable box? any unshielded speakers?

cell phones do throw noise into audio speakers, but mostly when they are receiving a call


cruiserandma

join:2008-07-04

The associated AV stuff is all that's anywhere near the box in the living room. And in the bedroom there's nothing but the associated tv even close by.

So if it's electrical interference from something else in the house, it's something much farther away, and is affecting cable boxes on different circuits- which is why I also kind of suspect there is interference coming in through the coax from Comcast..

Thanks again for the ideas!



gar187er
I do this for a living

join:2006-06-24
Dover, DE
kudos:4
reply to cruiserandma

that coax however is tied in with your house's ground at your demarc point outside....



Mallego

@metrocast.net
reply to cruiserandma

You didn't mention how you are connecting the audio to your TV/amplifier. However, I doubt that the problem is electrical interference, if so it would show up in the picture.

More likely is a problem back in the headend, I would suggest a buffer overflow or underflow issue at the MPEG level. You may ask why aren't others complaining, they may be but no one at Comcast has put it together. Or, I have found that some folks don't know enough to ache when they are in pain and they don't complain.

Try to get a supervisor at your home. Have specific details and information for him/her. Programs, time of day, channels,etc. The phone support or trouble technician doesn't have the horsepower to deal with this kind of problem.

Retired CATV engineer.


cruiserandma

join:2008-07-04

You may ask why aren't others complaining, they may be but no one at Comcast has put it together. Or, I have found that some folks don't know enough to ache when they are in pain and they don't complain.



RR User

@rr.com
reply to cruiserandma

Can you record a clip and post it?



sparky1

@comcast.net
reply to cruiserandma

Turn of all the breakers in your house except the one the television and cable box are on and see if the problem goes away.


wanger

join:2008-04-20
Reading, PA
reply to cruiserandma

It could very well be that the outlets you have all your stuff in not being grounded. If you had a true electrical issue, you would see Hum Bars on your TVs. However, like I said before it could be some device actually turning on or off. Do you have the coax running parrelle with your electrical lines in close proximity? Also, maybe a Ham Radio operator close by could be causing the issues. Having old/poorly shielded cable may lead to many issues for your digital cable experience.


BleedMarshal

join:2009-04-11
reply to cruiserandma

Saw this problem before and it was a bad drop. Changed it as a last ditch effort and the popping/cracking stopped as soon as I hooked up the new drop. Funny the drop was an rg6, and looked less than a year old. This may not be the cause at your home, but it is a thought.


cruiserandma

join:2008-07-04
reply to RR User

downloadpopping_audio.mp3 540,288 bytes
poping audio on NBC
Listen to the attached audio file to hear how this sounds..This is definitely happening at or before the split where the cable enters immediately inside the house. Because from that point it splits into three completely different routes through the house. One ends up at a 3416 HD STB, another at an older SD STB, and another goes directly into a TV that has a digital tuner built-in. All three points exhibit this audio popping...

BleedMarshal

join:2009-04-11
reply to cruiserandma

Sounds like the popping I heard when I replaced the drop. That is my guess still since I don't have a meter at your house to check carrier noise or ingress, or anything else. *shrugs* Sorry, but that is all I can say right now. Wish I was of more help.


cruiserandma

join:2008-07-04

What exactly is the drop? Is that the line going from the street to the house? I'm going to call and ask them to send someone out.

Thanks for the responses!



koshoka

join:2006-12-01
Pottsville, PA

When most people say "drop", they mean the wire from the pole to the house.

Technically, the drop is from the tap to your terminal devices (converter box, modem.)
--
*******
Disclaimer: I am a Comcast employee. Any statements are my own and should not be construed as official Comcast communications.



markofmayhem
Why not now?
Premium
join:2004-04-08
Pittsburgh, PA
kudos:5

NBC...

How about USA or Discovery or TNT? I chose those because they are muxed nationally for Comcast.



Robotics
See You On The Dark Side
Premium
join:2003-10-23
Louisa, VA
reply to cruiserandma

Interesting. I thought I would jump in here and mention I get the same popping noise...but I have satellite.

Has me wondering if it is something to do with grounding.
--
Long you live and high you fly and Smiles you'll give and tears you'll cry
and all you touch and all you see, is all your life will ever be.


robertl101

join:2003-10-10
Napa, CA
reply to co

said by co :

For most of my HD Channels, my audio will go out once or twice an hour for about a second or two, I call Comcast, and they don't know what to do, except the usual unplug my Cable Box routine and let it reset crap. I may just go get new HD/DVR Box and see if thats the problem.
I have exactly the same problem in Napa, CA. Have you had any success in resolving the problem since you posted originally?

cruiserandma

join:2008-07-04

1 edit
reply to markofmayhem

I was at two different friends apartments in completely different parts of the city this weekend (San Francisco) who had comcast- and was amazed and somewhat relieved that they both had the exact same popping audio on their NBC (both SD & HD) broadcasts... As far as I can tell now this is specific to their NBC cast. I think this has been isolated to NBC all along, but I was just perceiving it as hapopening on more channels, not realizing I was on NBC whenever it was happening..

markofmayhem- Discovery USA & TNT are all completely clean audio-wise for me. Thanks for pointing those out though..



Sacto

@comcast.net
reply to cruiserandma

I have this same issue at 3 HOUSES!!!!

Between us all, we have a total of 10 DCH3416 HD/DVR's and ALL of them have this same popping noise...

Most noticeably, is at one of the houses when the washer and dryer are running.... As the cycles changed in regards to speed, the "Pops" occur SO MUCH more frequently!! The washer and dryer are in the room over from the family "Home Theater", but I believe they are on separate breakers than are the rest of the HT equip etc...

Also, the wiring is brand new (Q RG6), and has been looked at MANY times by Comcast... They cannot seem to figure it out either.

It is not fun having to deal with this.... especially when we are paying so much money for all of those boxes!

Any fix coming?


wanger

join:2008-04-20
Reading, PA

You problem is associated with something w/ your electrical system. Especially when you get the problem when your washer and dryer are on. Bad ground, bad neutral, reversed ground, bad bonding, EMI coming from your electric lines(especially if your cable is ran in parallel w/ your electric lines.) Seen this issue many times in newer homes.

So, saying you pay so much for your service doesn't amount to anything. Doesn't entitle anyone to any special treatment because one person pays more than others. Especially when there is an electrical issue when you use your washer/dryer.



markofmayhem
Why not now?
Premium
join:2004-04-08
Pittsburgh, PA
kudos:5
reply to cruiserandma

said by cruiserandma:

I was at two different friends apartments in completely different parts of the city this weekend (San Francisco) who had comcast- and was amazed and somewhat relieved that they both had the exact same popping audio on their NBC (both SD & HD) broadcasts...
Call Comcast and let them know this. When you hang up, get the yellow pages and look up your NBC's call letters in the phone book. Call them and tell them it is happening as well. That's both ends of the string, someone's soup can will get adjusted.


Tderisi

@exponent.com
reply to cruiserandma

I have the same issue going on. It seemed to start as far as I can recall on or during the switch to Digital. It happens on 2 boxes (one with DVR) and also on two of the small adapter boxes I just got for the two non-box TVs. It's in there audio signal.


cruiserandma

join:2008-07-04
reply to cruiserandma

It's only happening on NBC (SD & HD channels). I've since confirmed that it's not just me, but every single friend I have in the city that has comcast, gets the exact same popping audio dropouts on NBC. This includes varying STBs. So it seems pretty clear this is a very centralized problem.. I've complained to comcast several times. They always want to trouble shoot my setup which ends up wasting 1/2+ hour on the phone, then they offer to send someone out to check it out. I kept declining to setup an appointment for someone to come out because I was pretty sure the problem wasn't at my location, and frankly I can't afford the time. However I got so sick of the popping I had a tech come out, and he could not find a single thing wrong with the signal at any point in our installation, or any issues with any of our hardware. I was able to point out the audio popping which he confirmed hearing, but basically ended up doing nothing about since everything checked out ok.

I have no earthly idea why more people aren't reporting this. It really does sound like listening to a CD that keeps skipping.

Who can I contact, or push on at comcast to really investigate this properly?


cruiserandma

join:2008-07-04
reply to markofmayhem

said by markofmayhem:

said by cruiserandma:

get the yellow pages and look up your NBC's call letters in the phone book. Call them and tell them it is happening as well.
I contacted the local NBC affiliate (KNTV) via email, and within 24hrs got the following response:
quote:
Hi - thank you for your note. This is an elusive problem - it doesn't
seem to affect all Comcast subscribers - but we're trying to track it
down. Sorry we don't have an answer yet, but we're working on it.

Jim Monroe
NBC Bay Area

Given this problem has been going on for a very very long time now, I don't know whether this response is honest, or if he's basically blowing me off..



comcastuser

@comcast.net
reply to cruiserandma

Oh my gosh I am so glad someone made a thread about this!! I thought I had a bad DVR or something!!!!!! I am also having this issue with NBC HD channel 703!! I was pulling my hair out over this issue!