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Problem with DVD-audio system

 

New member
Username: Aspigler

Post Number: 1
Registered: May-05
Hello. I hope someone out there can help with the following problem.
I have a Marantz receiver and a Pioneer DVD-Audio / SACD player, with a 5.1 speaker system (wharfedale). It sounds great, but recently i had bought the Fleetwood Mac DVD_audio, and when i played it i heard a lot of skipping. I thought the problem was with the disc, since i didn't hear it on any other disc, but now i bought another disc and i heard it again. BUt i still don't hear it on all my discs, and i don't hear it on the classical discs.

Any ideas? Could it be the DVD player?

thanks
 

Silver Member
Username: Claudermilk

Post Number: 144
Registered: Sep-04
Sounds like it is probably the player. Can you take the disks in question to your dealer & have him try to play them on the same model & some other models/manufacturers? That would help narrow down the problem.
 

Silver Member
Username: Arnold_layne

MadridSpain

Post Number: 381
Registered: Jun-04
There is an issue with Pioneer's budget players and newer versions of a DVD-A authoring tool. If this is your case, solution might be a firmware upgrade. I've heard Pioneer's policy has been to apply 3 year warranty in this particular case. For details, google on "Pioneer firmware campaign".

Cheers
AL
 

New member
Username: Aspigler

Post Number: 2
Registered: May-05
thanks. I'll call my dealer and let you know. What's strange is that it doesn't do it on all discs. NOt sure how that works.
 

Silver Member
Username: Arnold_layne

MadridSpain

Post Number: 383
Registered: Jun-04
Record companies use something called "authoring tool" to compile artist's work into some disc format (CD, DVD-A or whatever). These tools are supposedly compliant to the standard of the format. But like most computer software, autoring tools evolves with time. What may have happened was that Pioneer did not foresee a new tool feature, or that a tool eventually diverged from DVD-A standards. Whether a certain disc functions on your player or not depends on which tool it was authored with.

Cheers
AL
 

New member
Username: Aspigler

Post Number: 4
Registered: May-05
thanks, So if that is the case, the problem really isn't with the disc player in the sense that a replacement would work, it would have the same issue. ie some discs would read fine, and some would have this compatibility issue. How would i get a firmware upgrade on a (non-computer_ dvd player?

thanks
 

Silver Member
Username: Arnold_layne

MadridSpain

Post Number: 386
Registered: Jun-04
Correct - if replacement disc works, it's not the player. But if several copies of the same album fail, it is probably the firmware issue.

I've seen people reporting on different ways to get the firmware upgrade in US and Canada. Some sent it to Pioneer, others say local service center just put a CD ROM into it. Here in Europe Pioneer seems to deal rather bluntly with the issue.

Really, you should google for details on how upgrade is going on in your country.

Hasta pronto
AL
 

New member
Username: Aspigler

Post Number: 5
Registered: May-05
thanks very much Al. I have a European model Pioneer 575A, and i called Pioneer and spoke to my local distributor as well. It appears the only firmware upgrade for this pioneer is for a problem with the DVIX codecs. They say it will not help for this problem, they had not encountered this problem before and it probably is a problem with the player. I am skeptical since otherwise why would it play fine with many discs, but be problematic with a few? BY the way, i don't think it is the disc, since when i played it on my computer (albeit the DD track and not the DVD audio track) it was fine.

thanks
 

Silver Member
Username: Arnold_layne

MadridSpain

Post Number: 391
Registered: Jun-04
No problemo :-)

The firmware issue appeared on the earlier model, DV565A, but I think I've seen something on the web regarding the american sister model DV578 as well. It is possible to check firmware version with remote control, but I'm afraid I don't remember how, neither which version was the good one.

Anyway, I suggest going back to HiFi store and ask them to play the problematic disc in another player. Your computer doesn't "see" the DVD-A files, so it cannot be used for checking.

Cheers
AL
 

New member
Username: Wavelength

Post Number: 1
Registered: Aug-04
I have a Pioneer DV 578A and I have a similiar problem on some discs. I found that it depends on what settings I choose for the speaker installation on the Intial Settings menu. On some dvd-a's if I choose 'small' for the rear speakers it sounds very bad. If I switch to 'large' for the rears the problem goes away. All other speakers are set to large. Sub is set to off because I don't have one.
 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

The Land Dow...

Post Number: 1975
Registered: Aug-04
On some dvd-a's if I choose 'small' for the rear speakers it sounds very bad . . .
. . . Sub is set to off because I don't have one.


Well, there's your answer then :-)

 

New member
Username: Aspigler

Post Number: 8
Registered: May-05
THANKS. HAven't brought my player in as yet but i will try playing with the speaker settings. Just curious, but why would this be? Why would the speaker settings have an effect on how the DVD-a plays on the player. Did you try it on a different player with the "old" speaker settings? ie is it a player problem?

 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

The Land Dow...

Post Number: 1976
Registered: Aug-04
Amatsia

The speaker settings have nothing to do with your problem. Wavelength has a different problem - in not understanding speaker settings he is not getting the optimum sound for his set up. As Arnold said, your problem sounds like a firmware fix is needed.
 

New member
Username: Aspigler

Post Number: 9
Registered: May-05
ok. Although i thought Wavelength was saying he was having the same problem as i was. BY the way, here is a disadvantage of buying equipment through the internet: i can't take the disc and try it on another machine. NOt sure if any stores are set up here with DVD-audio equipment.

IN any case, as i mentioned it appears that this is a new problem for Pioneer.
 

New member
Username: Wavelength

Post Number: 2
Registered: Aug-04
I don't mean "bad" as in the sound isn't as good as it could be; I mean "bad" as in there is something wrong with the sound - the signal is screwed up. It's like a ripping sound - maybe you could call it skipping. If I switch to Large for the rears the problem goes away. I've have this problem on Machine Head, Nitty Gritty Surround, and Harvest. I have Rumors - not sure if it has the same issue - I just played a bit and it was okay. Sometimes the problem only shows on certain tracks. Regardless it's something to try. I have 30-some other dvd-a's and they're okay. The only common link I can see is that the problem discs are older releases.
 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

The Land Dow...

Post Number: 1979
Registered: Aug-04
Wavelengh

I apologise - I guess it's that I just can't see how the speaker size selection could create a disc reading problem. And especially only on older discs - this is very strange indeed. I would look to a warranty replacement if it can't be fixed.
 

New member
Username: Aspigler

Post Number: 10
Registered: May-05
YEs Wavelength, It sounds like the problem i have as well. Only on one or two discs (by the way of which one was rumors), and a few tracks on two others. The rest are fine. Haven't tried the settings yet, but i'll let you know.
 

Silver Member
Username: Arnold_layne

MadridSpain

Post Number: 399
Registered: Jun-04
In case you need arguments when talking to Tech service:

Here's a link to the "Pioneer firmware campaign" (DV563A player and not the same discs as yours, though). http://www.quadraphonicquad.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3020

And the Pioneer statement on extended firmware warranty: http://www.pioneerelectronics.ca/PioneerCanadaEng/Files/POC_warranty.html

Pls keep me posted on the proceedings
Hasta pronto
AL
 

New member
Username: Wavelength

Post Number: 3
Registered: Aug-04
Thanks Arnold for the warranty link although it appears to be orphaned. I found the same content on the Pioneer.ca site at: 32171715_32252969_164151800%2C00.html,http://www.pioneerelectronics.ca/pna/artic le/0,,32171715_32252969_164151800,00.html
After going to your link I knew what to look for.

I had a closer listen to Rumors. Track 1, Second Hand News, plays fine up to the 2:02 mark. Then the skipping/ripping starts. Switch to Large - plays correctly.

Also, I played Machine Head in a Toshiba SD-4700 with no problems.

Not sure if I'm going to try to get this fixed. I have a workaround and I don't want to give up my player.
 

New member
Username: Wavelength

Post Number: 4
Registered: Aug-04
Sorry - the link in my post #3 should be:

www.pioneerelectronics.ca/pna/article/0,,32171715_32252969_164151800,00.html
 

Silver Member
Username: Arnold_layne

MadridSpain

Post Number: 404
Registered: Jun-04
Amatsia, does wawelenght's trick work on your player too?

In general, it's better to build a SACD system with full-range speakers. This to avoid signal manipulation, which bass management definitely is. My budget is limited, so I just topped up HT speaker kit substituting mains with a pair of decent bookshelf speakers. I run SACD and DVD-A "as-is", all speakers = large, and it sounds OK for most albums. BTW, by this you end up with spare surround speakers to be used for extended system, i.e. 6.1 or 7.1... :-)

Cheers
AL
 

Bronze Member
Username: Aspigler

Post Number: 11
Registered: May-05
i'll try it over the weekend, and i'll report back. thanks
 

Bronze Member
Username: Aspigler

Post Number: 12
Registered: May-05
hi again, i had a look at the website you posted. It is for the US version of the player (the European version, which i have (575A) is the same except that it also decodes DViX (illegal in the US, as far as i know). SO i guess i have to call London Service center and refer them to this problem (which i had done, and they knew nothing about it). HAve you seen any European version of the thread?
 

Silver Member
Username: Arnold_layne

MadridSpain

Post Number: 406
Registered: Jun-04
I saw somewhere firmware version numbers were reported to be the same for DV-563A (US) and DV-565A (EU). I wrote to Pioneer Europe, their Belgian (!) support replied to me in Flamish (!). I think they said they passed the issue to Spanish support, which probably will deal with it "manana" (i.e. never, this was in 2004).

Since you actually have failing discs (I don't), I would recommend to contact Pioneer again, informing them about the forum discussions and threatening to make a fuzz in specialized press.

Good luck
AL
 

Bronze Member
Username: Aspigler

Post Number: 13
Registered: May-05
Thanks, i was planning to contact the UK office again. BY the way, changing my speaker settings didn't make a difference for me.

Do you have the Fleetwood Mac Rumors? I still don't understand why some pioneer players would have a problem, and others of the same models wouldn't, if it is a firmware issue?


 

Silver Member
Username: Arnold_layne

MadridSpain

Post Number: 410
Registered: Jun-04
I'm afraid I don't have Rumours, I will eventually buy it if I find it at the right price :-)

The firmware contains (I think) instructions on how the player should read the compressed and copy protected files on the DVD-A disc. I guess Pioneer made a too basic firmware. I.e. not covering the entire DVD-A specifications, but a subset of commonly used calgorithms for copy protection.

A practical example: I recently bought a DVD burner with dual layer (DL) capacity. Now, there are two recordable DVD formats, -R and +R. My "toaster" was manufactured before industry reached final agreement on specs for DVD-R DL. So from the beginning I could only record on DVD+R DL discs. Then finally the other format became avilable. But I had to download and install a new firmware version. It contained the necessary "instructions" on how to deal with a DVD-R DL discs.

Cheers
AL
 

Bronze Member
Username: Aspigler

Post Number: 14
Registered: May-05
if that is the case, then why does it play it at all? In your example, your player wouldn't even record DVD -R? Ie if it doesn't read it, it doesn't read it, can it read it partially?
 

Silver Member
Username: Arnold_layne

MadridSpain

Post Number: 411
Registered: Jun-04
Actually my burner could record on DVD-R media. Just that it couldn't record properly on DL discs, nor on 16X single layer media. But I admit my example is a different case. It was meant to show that both format and firmware are constantly evolving.

My guess is that your case, the partially playing disc, is an issue between firmware and copy protection. There are several ways to copy protect:
- Ordinary encryption, to read media one or more numerical keys are needed.
- Logical imperfections, blank or corrupted data blocks are inserted here and there.
- Physical imperfections, such as varying the length of the small pits representing 0 or 1 on disc.

These techniques are being refined little by little, because of the never-ending battle between industry and so-called "pirates". Sometimes the outcome is a disc that doesn't play correctly on older equipment. I have a few CD's that cant be played using digital output from my Pioneer, they're muting every 10th second, but curiously work fine using analogue output to receiver. Surely a case of too big logical imperfections. The Pioneer player can handle them, but my old receiver cannot.

Cheers
AL
 

Bronze Member
Username: Aspigler

Post Number: 15
Registered: May-05
Well, i called Pioneer Antwerp (Belgium) which is apparently their European headquarters. The technical support guy knew exactly what i was talking about, and send me by email within a day the firmware upgrade file. I did it and it works fine. The skip disappeared. Not only that, but all my dvd-audios sound crisper ie better channel seperation.

Thank you very much Al for putting me on this track. I appreciate it. I am waiting for my new rumours album to come (i had sent the old one back thinking it was a disc problem) to have the final test.

If anyone needs the file, let me know.

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