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#27242 - 12/31/04 02:57 AM 1st impressions & tivo delay
jeffc Offline
Deputy Gunslinger

Registered: 12/31/04
Posts: 4
Loc: Bellevue, WA
I'm a first time Outlaw buyer with the Model 950. Generally, I'm impressed with the product, but I feel there are a few glaring errors.

First the good - no, excellent! The thing sounds beautiful! Like it's not there! That's what I wanted, and I'm thrilled with the sound. I've got it running through my Parasound HCA 1205A and 750A amps, and after I put their power cords on cheater plugs (eliminating the ground loops), it's wonderful.

Now the not-so-goods.

First, the remote has no integrated transport buttons (I know - old news). I knew this when I bought it, and purchased anyway. I just figured I'd budget in a separate learning remote that would suit my needs. But c'mon. Just to control a DVD player requires programming the buttons to something useable. If I decide to keep the 950 (see below) I'll have to draw on the remote buttons so anyone who comes along can pick it up and figure out how to use it.

Second, and this is really minor, but a 3rd component input would have been nice (HD receiver, DVD player, X-Box). I know... When they designed it, that was a really unlikely scenario... What else can you get in this price range... and so forth.

Third, and most imporantly, I experience average delays of about 4 full seconds before audio synch-up when using my DirecTivo (original Philips version). I've searched the board, and have only found the answer, "learn to live with it". That's really rough. Although I bought the Outlaw for its excellent audio and theater capabilities and sonic quality, the reality is that it is most often used for rendering TV audio from my Tivo. 4 Second delays means that every time I fast forward, rewind, or replay, I have to follow with an additional "replay" command, in order to move back far enough so that the audio will be synched up by the time I get to the part of the show I want to hear.

Yes, I could connect up the analog inputs, but that decreases useability, and while having to switch between inputs when watching a movie isn't the end of the world, it is a nuisance.

I tried locking the input to PCM, but that made no difference. I'd have to manually switch the mode when watching a movie anyway, and this method is far more inconvenient than switching inputs.

Bottom line, this isn't something I'm willing to live with. When I drop a lump of cash on something like this, I expect it to work BETTER than my $250 disposable Sony or Onkyo receiver. I'm also not ready to drop $1k on an HD DirecTivo.

However, I AM getting Comcast digital cable installed next week, along with their leased HD DVR. If this unit cures the delay problem, then I'll be a happy camper. If it has the same delay, the 950 goes back to Outlaw.

Sorry for the rant. I really admire Outlaw's products, and the company's philosophy of standing behind what they buy. I'll be very disappointed if I end up returning the 950. And despite the experience, I'll be looking forward to the release of their next pre/pro.

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#27243 - 12/31/04 04:07 AM Re: 1st impressions & tivo delay
worldwide Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 03/31/01
Posts: 129
Loc: las vegas, NV 89031
How do you have your Tivo hooked into the 950? I use a Dish Network DVR and I've never experienced any audio delays. I don't have any delay with my DVD player either.

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#27244 - 12/31/04 11:31 AM Re: 1st impressions & tivo delay
Goldsco Offline
Deputy Gunslinger

Registered: 10/01/04
Posts: 8
Loc: United States
I have the delay and it is very annoying. I have a dish dvr as well hooked up through the digital output. Don't think there is anything you can do as it takes that long to decode the signal.

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#27245 - 12/31/04 11:41 AM Re: 1st impressions & tivo delay
jeffdavis Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 08/08/03
Posts: 98
Loc: Columbia, SC
jeffc,

I'm glad that you like the sound produced by the 950. I've been extremely happy with mine since getting the 950/770 como in early October. I too have an early DirecTiVo unit, Sony SAT-T60, connected to my 950, it's connected via a digital optical cable (also analog, but this is never used). Whenever I change channels or fastforward/rewind I too experience a delay before the audio signal syncs back up, but the delay that I experience is usually about 2 seconds, but never more than 3. As annoying as this is, I decided to "learn to live with it" because of the quality of the sound that I receive from the 950. And while it's still annoying, it's no big deal since I now expect this to happen. I wouldn't give up on the 950 so quickly, keep it as long as you can during the 30-day trial and see if the sound quality doesn't outweigh the other annoyaces.

Jeff
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#27246 - 12/31/04 12:23 PM Re: 1st impressions & tivo delay
Unferth Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 12/31/02
Posts: 148
Loc: Homewood, AL, US
I had the delay problem with my old SD- direct tivo.. but in September, I got an HD-Tivo and now the only delays I have is the reacquisition if the format changes.. (like DD to stereo) so fast forwarding has no delay and typically changing channels has no delay either..

So.. I'd think it's more of a design flaw in the other tivo's rather than with the 950.. It seems like the sd-tivo's are ressetting the output when something is changed and that's not always necessary

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#27247 - 12/31/04 06:44 PM Re: 1st impressions & tivo delay
jeffc Offline
Deputy Gunslinger

Registered: 12/31/04
Posts: 4
Loc: Bellevue, WA
I have the Tivo connected via optical cable. I also agree that the problem may be partially due to the Tivo, as my DVD player (also connected optically) plays nearly instantly.

I could see the 48kHz PCM signal being low on the list when the 950 is attempting to decode a signal. My cd player - optically connected - also has no delay.

I'm just really hoping that the new HD DVR from Comcast will fix the problem. I think I'll try a different optical cable as well Does anyone think that could make a difference?

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#27248 - 12/31/04 09:54 PM Re: 1st impressions & tivo delay
gonk Offline
Desperado

Registered: 03/21/01
Posts: 14054
Loc: Memphis, TN USA
I doubt the cable used would make any difference - the signal should arrive the same way in either case.

DVD and CD playback have been good on signal lock-on, while my digital cable box is a bit slower. In that case, it appears that at least half of the delay is due to the box not providing a signal initially - nothing for the 950 to try to lock on to. Maybe the HD DVR will offer a better signal.
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#27249 - 01/01/05 11:04 AM Re: 1st impressions & tivo delay
phogandive Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 05/30/04
Posts: 15
Loc: Fitchburg, MA USA
Hi,
I suspect this is caused by a combination of BOTH the 950 and the digital source. It seems the 950 can tolerate a short break (1/4 to 1/2 second) in the digital data stream, and then continue decoding when it reappears. However, if the break is longer than this, it sees the digital data stream when it comes back as a "new" signal, and has to go through it's recognition and synching routine before it allows audio out. This is where the 2-3 second delay comes in (and if the source has a longer break, that time will be added to the 950's 2-3 seconds). So if the new HD DVR can switch channels and keep the data break under the 950's threshold, there will be no delay in the audio, the old box must go over the threshold, and then gets the 2-3 second delay as well as any additional delay from the box.

HTH,
Peter

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#27250 - 01/01/05 11:49 AM Re: 1st impressions & tivo delay
gonk Offline
Desperado

Registered: 03/21/01
Posts: 14054
Loc: Memphis, TN USA
It's also worth noting that with my digital cable box (Pace DC-550), the delay only appears when changing formats - if the channel I change to uses the same format as the previous channel, the box doesn't break the signal and the 950 stays locked. It's when I go one format to another - PCM (analog channels converted to digital by the box), Dolby 2.0, or Dolby 5.1 - that the signal resets.
_________________________
gonk
HT Basics | HDMI FAQ | Pics | Remote Files | Art Show
Reviews: Index | 990 | speakers | BDP-93

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#27251 - 01/02/05 04:08 AM Re: 1st impressions & tivo delay
jeffc Offline
Deputy Gunslinger

Registered: 12/31/04
Posts: 4
Loc: Bellevue, WA
To clarify, switching channels might be a problem, but I actually don't channel surf much - well, ever. I really only watch what I recorde with Tivo, so I'm primarily concerned with fastfoward, rewind, and pausing. Those will always result in a longer break in the signal. Also, I suspect the 950 is doing a fine job, because I don't notice a dramatic delay when pausing and playing DVD's, or CD audio from my DVD player (also connected optically).

Thanks all for the insights.

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