Intermittent Sound on 5.1 DVDs

A TechLore "Ask the Experts" Question...


I resently upgraded from pro logic reciever to a digital one. My problem is when in digital mode 5.1 or dts there are skips in sound track every few minutes for maybe a second. I own a fisher dvd player that is probly 4 or 5 years old. I am using a optical input into a marrantz 4400 reciever. Would upgrading to a new progressive scan dvd plyer stop this from happening. or is it the way I have it set up?

-submitted by agincajin


The progressive scan feature deals with how the DVD player sends the DVD image to a digital television, and would not affect the sound in any way. Unless the optical output on your existing player is defective, upgrading to a new player will not solve this problem.

In order to troubleshoot the problem, there are some experiments you'll need to perform in order to narrow down the issue.

  1. Plug the optical cable into a different optical input on the receiver. If the problem persists, the cable is not the problem. If it works, one of the optical inputs on the receiver is not functioning properly.

  2. Try a different optical cable. It's possible the one you're using is defective. If it does not solve the problem, the existing cable is probably fine.

  3. Try connecting the DVD player with a coaxial digital connection, if available. If it works, there is a problem with the optical connection, but this test will not reveal where it is.

  4. Connect a different DVD player to the receiver using the existing optical cable to the current input on the receiver. If the problem goes away, the DVD player optical output is defective, and buying a new DVD player will solve the problem.

  5. Connect the existing DVD player, using the existing optical cable, to a different receiver. If the problem persists, the DVD player is at fault. If not, the receiver is to blame.

Since you're only having issues when the receiver is decoding a Dolby Digital 5.1 or DTS signal, but not PCM stereo signals, I would find it hard to believe that DVD player or cable is at fault. Furthermore, I cannot think of any settings that would affect only the DD or DTS decoder when in this mode. My gut feeling tells me that there is a problem in the receiver, and that it needs to be repaired or replaced.

Use the link at the bottom of the article to take you to the discussion page where you can tell us of your progress in solving this issue.

Matt Whitlock - Editor,


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