The tech came by, measured the signals, and said everything was OK. Then he looked at the cables. We had used the existing in house RG-59 coax, which I installed in the 80's for our roof top antenna, and that's not rated for HD. So I just pulled and terminated a length of RG-6 and we'll see how that works over the next few days. We're supposed to let him know if the problem persists. I'll post here as / if anything changes.
OK - last night I changed the cable to the TV. So it's now RG-6 all the way from the outside optical terminator to the TV. Everything was fine last night and again this morning. This afternoon my wife tried it and there was no audio on 526, but she was able to get it to start up after several channel changes.
Then tonight, we watched the news on 507 until 7 PM and then switched to 526. No audio. Tried changing channels with no luck. On a lark, I connected the STB to the TV using the composite video / L-R audio cable. No audio there either. Kept changing channels and the audio finally returned and stayed on for the news on 526 from 7 to 9.The non-HD feed worked fine through all of this.
I also had set it to record the two shows from 8 to 9 so after we finished watching live I tried the recordings. The 8:30 - 9 recording was fine, but the 8 - 8:30 recording was not - the sound dropped off about 3 minutes into the recording. Went upstairs and tried it on the STB there - there was audio for the entire recording! Not sure if it's relevant, but when I was trying to fast forward on one of the recordings, that STB decided to spontaneously reboot.
Went back downstairs and swapped the composite/L-R cable back in but the sound still disappeared after 3 minutes. So I am completely confused by all of this but also annoyed that we don't have a reliable set up.
The technician said he would come back on Saturday (tomorrow) so we'll see what he says. I think the next step, if he doesn't have another fix, is to move the DVR STB upstairs and the regular STB down. Then we can see if the non-DVR box loses audio (we don't watch upstairs that much so we don't know). If the non-DVR STB never loses audio on 526, then we'll know there's an issue with the DVR STB. And if it also loses audio, that leaves only the optical receiver or the actual WETA HD feed as being the problem.
I would say that I liked the old days when you turned on the TV and everything worked, except that back in the old days and tube TVs, I used to think the TV repairman (with his box of assorted replacement tubes) was a relative because he spent so much time in our house.
OK - the technician did not come back today as promised. Meanwhile I replaced the old RG-59 cables with RG-6 so that can't be blamed any more. And the problem is still there with the sound regularly not working on 526 (WETA HD) until we change channels back and forth several times.
Today I swapped the two boxes so the DVR is upstairs and the problem followed it up the steps.
So I guess I'm waiting for a technician to resolve it. If the non-DVR proves reliable I may just exchange the DVR for a non-DVR and pick up an elgato EyeTV.
I too have been experiencing intermittant loss of audio on WETA PBS HD Channel 526 and now also on the new WETA UK PBS Channel 474. I have made numerous calls to Tech Support and each time I am sent a Technician who replaces this and that, new STB (Cisco, of course) and problem persists. I have a Technician here as I speak who changed HDMI over to Component. The consesus seems toi be that Cisco is the problem, but they will not change out to Motorola because VZ is no longer using them. They simply cannot fix THEIR problem.
Maybe one way to get VZ to get their problem fixed one way or the other, is to tell PBS you will not contribute because Verizon is cutting off the audio. $$$$$ always talks.
I filed a complaint with the Fairfax County office that handles cable regulation. The problem has been escalated (supposedly). Someone called shortly before Memorial Day weekend to ask some questions - basically told him the same things I've posted here and told other techs - it really seems they don't have a system for managing these trouble tickets. Also told him we were headed out for vacation the week of Memorial Day so not to expect to communicate with us and he said he would note that. In keeping with their inability to actually retain what's been said, they called a half dozen times while we were gone - said they pushed out an update but were not sure what it fixed. And they were closing out my ticket because we had not responded in 24 hours.
I called the person in our county office and he in turn contacted his Verizon liason, reporting that their patch had not resolved our problem. Yesterday I had a call from the Verizon liason to confirm that we still had a problem and told him, yes, we still do. And by the way, others have reported the identical problem on your discussion boards so it's not just us and our connection or hardware. He was unaware of that, of course (see above comment on them not having a way to track communications) and said he would relay my comments on the details and on others with the same problems (right, like that will ever happen). So the ticket system says our problem will be resolved today! Ha!
When / if this is ever resolved, I'm sending a letter (yes, on paper) to the Verizon CEO offering to contract with them to implement a proper CRM so they can work more efficiently.
Some discoveries made yesterday while VZ Tech was here. He has discovered that my Cisco equipment is not configured to Cisco, but still to Motorola. My Cisco equipment was installed when I moved and all Motorola was turned in, but the configuration was not changed. Also, he switched out my Router from an older silver band one to a red band one. I received a response from WETA PBS and they are aware of the audio problems. They attribute this to the Language settings:
"The SAP (second audio program) settings must be set to "English" or channel/setting 1.
What does that mean? Most TVs now come equipped with up to four audio settings. The different settings accommodate different audio streams for English, Spanish, Descriptive Video Service and possibly a fourth variable. If your remote control is not set to 1 or for English, you may pick up either no sound at all (because the program is not fed with Spanish or DVS), Descriptive Video Service (the narration that explains the action for visually impaired viewers) or other possibilities and odd nuances such as (ambient sound but no dialog). It may also be that you hear sound on some programs and some stations, but not on others.
It's a simple fix. Some remote controls have a dedicated language button (press it until you get to the English setting), others may have the SAP controlled within the Menu or other settings. Consult your manual for assistance.
If you are a cable or satellite subscriber and you are certain your SAP is set to English, the problem may rest with your provider.
We do find on occasion (especially when cable companies feed a program to DVRs), that a provider might mistakenly be feeding the audio on the wrong setting, which means the viewer at home will hear nothing at all (or some variation of the scenarios above). The best course is to call your company's customer service desk and ask them to contact the engineering department to determine whether the audio of the program is feeding on the English setting."
All my settings are on English, so this doesn't apply to me. I am now awaiting the VZ Tech to come back and reconfigure.
Well, here I am again. Technician never showed. I don't know if any 'configuration' was done to get Cisco / Motorola in sinc. I have again been losing audio on WETA UK PBS Channel 474. Once again called into Verizon and once again, they are sending another Tech. Once again, I have to take time off to wait for someone to show up who can't fix this problem.
One thing I was told that's different is that Motorola equipment can be ordered from Billing, refurbished, that is. If they can't fix this problem I am cancelling Verizon FiOS TV and going with another provider. Incredible that all these people that work for the largest provider CAN'T FIX THIS PROBLEM!!!