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Explora 2A automatically changes audio output

Red Carpet

Re: Explora 2A automatically changes audio output

We have had problems with SS sound channels for years!  SS has never bothered to be consistent about which sound channels they use when broadcasting sport.

In the old days, it was simply mixing up languages, but later it became an issue with all the various sound standards MC provides. That is all about decent service management and care is taken when assembling content for broadcast.


Technically, we could always rely on the "fixed" outputs and specifically with the SD PVR, the fixed outputs were "fixed" and the selection of a "fixed" setting ensured that the sounds levels were "fixed"

Then along came the PACE HD PVR2P. After that, the technical performance of audio deteriorated.


Now there is no guarantees anymore.

With the 4 tuner decoders, I stopped pointing out these anomalies because no one cares anymore. At some stage, after a software "downgrade" we ended up with this issue that "fixed" no longer means "fixed". It now means "fixed" at whatever level the variable sound settings is when you set "the sound to "fixed". Now I see that the Exploras are also subjected to this nonsense.

To fix, you need to select "Variable", push up the sound levels to maximum, and then select "Fixed", after which you will get what we all used to get automatically maximum sound levels. 


Then we get to this incredibly ridiculous issues raised by OP, which MC took months to verify. In fact, 24 hours after the first report by OP, I had already established that his observations were spot on and that it has NOTHING to do with the decoder software on the Explora decoders or any other decoders, and EVERYTHING to do with the service authentication process!  It affects ALL the current decoders.  It is all about MC failing to ensure that after they play their stupid games with service authentication, that they ensure the decoder defaults to ALL the settings as set by the customer on his decoders.

Why must MC "scramble" the signals during the service check? 

Why must MC insist on doing this 4 times a day in prime viewing time?

Why must it involve a process that goes back to factory defaults and then fails to restore customised settings?

Why must it cause video pixelation, programme freezes, sound freezes and losses, sound channel switches, loss and clearing of the buffer if one happens to be viewing a recording at the time, termination of the recording you might be watching, loss of recordings that might be in progress?  I could go on and on about all the cr@p we put up with on the 4-tuner, and now, also affecting newer decoder models, just because of this single intrusive process that takes place 4 times a day?


And then to take months to report back that at last MC also have seen the issue and then state that it will be fixed with a sw update when all it really needs is for MC to take a serious look at their service verification processes?






Octo LNB; 2 by 2x4 MS; 2 by ES 5-2; Dedicated PSU for LNB, ES's, MS's; HD PVR 4P x 2; Explora 1; DSD 660; FSM

Re: Explora 2A automatically changes audio output

@Thoko_DStv1  , I'm experiencing something that could well be related or be a clue.


Explora 1

On the Access package

Audio set to Fixed

HDMI in use but only for stereo, no use of surround sound at all.


The "English - Original" stereo soundtrack on the 210 SS10 HD feed is not working correctly - audio volume level is low, sometimes too low to hear, and is missing factor(s) of the soundtrack compared to the other audio choices on the channel - I think it's usually the commentary that's missing.

Can't say if it's all the time, but has been faulty when visiting the channel a number of times in the last week. It's faulty at the moment.


The other 3 audio track options here work fine.

Note that the selection suggests there should be a 5th audio option, but there isn't. (More carelessness??)


This is the same re missing commentary etc. when checking the RF and composite (AV) audio outputs, but the volume is less soft in those cases.


When switching the decoder to Variable audio (which would effectively turn off any surround sound in use as well) then this soundtrack works properly again re the volume and commentary.


I may not be available for anything more.

New poster

Re: Explora 2A automatically changes audio output

thanks @Thoko_DStv1 


Re: Explora 2A automatically changes audio output

@naks We have done an investigation on our side and realized that when the service switches from scrambled to clear, the decoder switches from the Dolby soundtrack to the Stereo soundtrack. The decoder should not be switching to stereo. So we have raised this with the decoder software development team to investigate and fix in an upcoming software release.

New poster

Re: Explora 2A automatically changes audio output


1. yes, the decoder is uptodate

2. no, it happens all the time. But since I mostly watch live sports, that's when I notice it most

3. yes, it happens whether watching live or buffered replay


Re: Explora 2A automatically changes audio output

@naks Please answer the below questions:

  • Is the decoder software up to  date (check the Loader Status screen)?
  • Does the problem happen only during Live sporting events?
  • Does the problem happen if you use Time shift or Trick Modes (such as Pause, Rewind)?
New poster

Re: Explora 2A automatically changes audio output

issue is still occurring

New poster

Re: Explora 2A automatically changes audio output

@Shysta No, @Optimist is right - the signal on most football, cricket, F1, etc., is 5.1. I actually do not like this as it doesn't give you the 'stadium' feel, so I usually switch to stereo and then use my AVR to convert that to Dolby ProLogicII, which gives a nice surround feel to the sound, as if you're right there in the stadium Smiley Happy


@Optimist I don't switch off the decoder, ever, but I do switch it to standby mode every night. I'm going to stop doing this and see if there's any change.


What it does suggest, is that you may have a decoder with faulty circuitry which is triggered by the degree of standard heat build up.

that is probably the best explanation, and would explain why it only occurs after the decoder has been ON for a few hours.


And this is also why, when my price lock plan runs out in October, that I'm ditching DSTV for good.


Re: Explora 2A automatically changes audio output

Also note that the problem is not just about 5.1 issues, as the first post here explains;


@naks wrote:

Hi everyone,


I hope someone can shed some light on this very strange issue that's been occuring on my Explora 2A for a few months now: every so often, the sound output will change from the Default to the Portuguese one.


This usually happens after the decoder has been on for a few hours, for example, about 1.5 hours into an F1 race, suddenly the commentary switches to Portuguese, and than I have to go to the Options and change it back to the English sound output.


Has this happened to anyone else? 

Or does anyone have an idea on how to resolve this permanently?



Later it's also mentioned that this sometimes doesn't happen for days, and is more likely to happen quite a bit of time after "switching on".


@naks  , hope you're not actually powering off the decoder at times, like overnight, that's a no-no with modern decoder needs as they must be always on to get full service properly.

It's also not advisable to use Standby mode, it doesn't save any power (discussed many times here) and tends to be prone to causing problems on some decoders.


What it does suggest, is that you may have a decoder with faulty circuitry which is triggered by the degree of standard heat build up.

But there's very few people posting on this forum, so it's not impossible that MC are doing something which also affects others. I think @GeoffD  suspected it may be their newer authentication checks causing this, and the times you've now reported do suggest it could be within those periods.


That's all from me.


Re: Explora 2A automatically changes audio output

No, I and others had definitely picked up 5.1 signals from the decoder source on one or more SS channels, in my case years ago when I still bothered with that amp. I was surprised too, think the forum discussion at the time was that it is also supplied with some sport broadcasters.

Perhaps it is sometimes 2.0 fed via a regularly offered 5.1 signal, but that would then be on MC's side.


Either way, from the feedback so far I believe the switching from "5.1" to 2.0, on any equipment, is clearly being caused on MC's broadcast systems or decoder.