I've been having a lot of issues with crackling/popping on my center channels during action scenes with most movies. This has mostly occured during action scenes (gunshots, explosions, etc) [Mostly on the HBO/Cinemax Channels, but others as well].
I would usually chalk this up to the receiver/set-up issues; however, I've watched the same movies using the On-Demand feature and they sound perfect during these scenes (for example, gunshots on Die Hard will be horrendous and crackle during its braodcast; but watching it On-Demand it sounds great).
My question, is the issue my box? I've eliminated my equipment so it has to be some kind of Verizon issue.
I'm using the QIP7100 P2 STB.
Does anyone have any suggestions to improve audio out of these boxes? I'm currently connected competely through HDMI.
Try using an audio connection other than HDMI. HDMI can use copy protection (HDCP). It could operate differently between live and on-demand, and your receiver could have a problem with the live mode.
Try a SPDIF or Optical connection. If they work, then the problem is most likely an incompatibility between HDCP modes used by the set top and ones supported by your receiver.
I've connected via hdmi to the receiver with different cables and stb's, connected via hdmi to tv with different stb's and different hdmi cables; problem still exists. I would highly doubt an hdcp handshake issue at this juncture.
Update: Connected STB to TV directly w/o surround sound; same issue. This has to be a source issue.
Interesting. So you've tried a lot of different combinations of equipment. It seems the only common item is the use of HDMI for audio. You may still want to try optical SPDIF just to make sure HDMI audio is not the issue.
The only other idea I have is to try a different make/model of STB. You said you've tried other STBs. If they are the same model then you haven't ruled out a STB issue completely. It would be best if you could test a STB from a different manufacturer.
Try changing the Audio format in the hidden menu.
Use the FiOS remote and press STB Power once and then OK once and then Menu Once.
The sequence should be STB Power > OK > Menu
you should get a screen that looks similiar to this
Then navigate to additional HDMI Options.
Select Audio output and switch it to L-PCM - I would use that one first, and then experiment with the other setting too.
I've been messing with those settings as well. I've tried L-PCM and Auto; they seem to sound the same to me, at least through my receiver, and still getting distortion.
I think it has to do with the SNR Value of the channels themselves. Might need an attenuate them. That is literally the only difference I can find between the On-Demand and live television versions (On-Demand being 0 db, live TV 42 db).
I also had my router split off the same coax and recently changed it to another one; this helped somewhat and reduced the crackling for some movies, possibly the signal I'm receiving is too low. There is a Verizon tech coming out tomorrow, hopefully he can figure out the issue and see if there are some issues with the split.
Until then, I'll keep toying with the audio settings.