[SOLVED] PS3 audio cuts out on specific spots in one movie ?

Twinrehz

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Sep 17, 2012
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I've come across a rather weird problem: When playing the 2020 BD release of the movie "Akira" (the 2K one, not the 4K remaster thingy), using the Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1 bitstream audio track, the movie audio seems to drop out in particularly loud bits. It drops out for less than a second, and it's always the exact same spots. I've done quite a lot of troubleshooting on this for the last week, here's what I got so far:

  1. Changing to LPCM on the player, the problem goes away
  2. It doesn't happen with the other audio tracks on the same disc
  3. It doesn't happen with my 2011 (Manga UK) BD release, which should (in theory) have the exact same audio specifications (24-bit 192kHz audio remaster)
  4. Turning down the volume doesn't help
  5. I can't find any settings to adjust how my sound bar handles audio peaking. I was wondering if this could potentially be the issue, but Sony's user interface is so n00b-friendly that the only thing I can really adjust is this "sound field" thing
  6. Turning off DRC didn't change anything
  7. This has not happened on any other movie (The closest would be experiencing weird noises on the DTS-track of Cabin Fever on DVD).
Some specifications:
Blu-ray player is a PS3 super slim (purchased ca. 2014 or something)
Soundbar is a Sony HT-ST5000
The PS3 is connected directly to the soundbar via an HDMI cable. Since this doesn't happen with any other movie (and doesn't happen on what is more or less an identical release), I see no reason to suspect that the cable is at fault (I guess I can try unplugging it and plugging it back in).

The only thing I haven't yet tried, at time of writing, is using a different player because I have to borrow one, something I'm hoping to do the coming week.

The main reason why I'm asking for help is to decide whether I need to have the disc replaced, or if the issue is more of a "this is a problem you might encounter on occasion and there's nothing that can really be done with it"-kind of thing, and I'm wondering why changing from bitstream to LPCM works.
 

Lutfij

Titan
Moderator
Instead of borrowing the player, you could just hand the disc over to a friend or neighbor(during this pandemic) and see if they experience the audio issue, although from experience, they might not notice what you've noticed.

The only way is to change the player, since the issue is not found on any other discs. If you have cables lying around, then swap them out and see if the issue crops again. Perhaps see if the player borrowed can come with a cable or two. Try with different connectivity options and see if they also bring up the issue.
 
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Lutfij

Titan
Moderator
Instead of borrowing the player, you could just hand the disc over to a friend or neighbor(during this pandemic) and see if they experience the audio issue, although from experience, they might not notice what you've noticed.

The only way is to change the player, since the issue is not found on any other discs. If you have cables lying around, then swap them out and see if the issue crops again. Perhaps see if the player borrowed can come with a cable or two. Try with different connectivity options and see if they also bring up the issue.
 
Reactions: Twinrehz

Twinrehz

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Sep 17, 2012
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Thanks for your reply :)

So, I got a different player and used a different cable to test with, and the problem still persists when passing (what I assume to be) the raw bitstream directly to the sound bar. This player I got to borrow was a fairly old one (Philips BDP3000, ca. 2009, latest firmware update from 2011), and it did not have a setting to swap output to PCM on HDMI, but using "Auto"-setting on output changes the output frequency to 48kHz rather than the original 192kHz (I don't know if bit depth is changed, my sound bar doesn't display that info), which also eliminates the audio drops. Any form of signal processing on the player side seems to remedy the issue, which makes me think it's an issue with the encoding on the disc, assuming the sound bar itself doesn't have any error correction.

One thing I noticed was that this player had some other issues with playing this move - at one point it actually just completely stalled, and I had to rewind for a few seconds to get it to move forward - and had more audio drops than my PS3 did; these were seemingly random, though. At this point I consider my troubleshooting to be well and thoroughly done; there are more steps I could take (test it with a different sound bar/amplifier or a newer BD player, for example), but that's quite a lot more hassle than it's worth, and to me it looks like a faulty disc and an issue that's actually outside of what I'm able to meaningfully fix anyway.

I'll be contacting the place I bought it from and checking if I can get a replacement disc or a refund (the case itself was also broken, so need a replacement for that as well). I've not come across anyone else saying they have problems with this release, so it seems reasonable to think it's a technical problem with the disc. Not that I'm sure how that works, but.
 

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