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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Film Handlers' Forum   » Dolby CP650 Firmware upgrade causes switching silence (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: Dolby CP650 Firmware upgrade causes switching silence
Danny Hart
Film Handler

Posts: 50
From: St Andrews, Scotland
Registered: Nov 2000


 - posted 07-01-2008 09:10 AM      Profile for Danny Hart   Email Danny Hart   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I've just upgraded the firmware in one of our CP650's from version 1.2.3.0 to version 2.3.6.3, fresh from Dolby's Extranet. After running some tests, I notice that, whan flicking between formats, the sound totally cuts out for a split second. I ran some film with a good Dolby Digital track and turned the digital reader on and off a few times - whenever it reverted to analogue, or switched back to digital, there was this split-second silence. It's not long, probably only a tenth of a second or something - but it makes reversions VERY noticeable. Even with Dolby Digital playing quite happily, if I press the Format 10 button on the front of the unit, the sound cuts out for this split second.

It's not restricted to Dolby Digital. When non-sync is playing, if I press Format 60 on the front of the unit, the sound cuts out momentarily. The same with DTS playing through format 11.

Luckily I still have firmware version 1.2.3.0 so I have downgraded the unit back to this version and the problem has disappeared. Switching between formats is seamless. I wondered if this was a unit-specific glitch, so I tried the new version on another unit - but it had the same results, so it's also back to version 1.2.3.0.

Has anyone else had this problem? How can I upgrade to the newer firmware without having this glitch?

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Marco Giustini
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1244
From: Reading, UK
Registered: Nov 2007


 - posted 07-01-2008 02:47 PM      Profile for Marco Giustini   Email Marco Giustini   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Perhaps it's just a glitch in the 2.3.6.3. I suggest to update the software to a lower version, since 1.2.3.0 is a very old version.
I remember when I upgraded all my 650 to 2.2.5.0 that the reversion was LESS noticeable with absolutely no interruptions in sound. So I suppose that the 2.3.6.3 is just not the best release out! [Smile]

Someone with more experience than me will give us more clues!

Marco

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Louis Bornwasser
Film God

Posts: 4165
From: prospect ky usa
Registered: Mar 2005


 - posted 07-01-2008 03:11 PM      Profile for Louis Bornwasser   Author's Homepage   Email Louis Bornwasser   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Never upgrade anything that is working properly. Not Dolby, not dts, not anything. Louis

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David Stambaugh
Film God

Posts: 3934
From: Eugene, Oregon
Registered: Jan 2002


 - posted 07-01-2008 10:19 PM      Profile for David Stambaugh   Email David Stambaugh   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hopefully the publisher of the upgrade includes a change history that you can review to decide whether the upgrade applies to you and is worth the risk to apply it. 99% of upgrades work fine but there is the occasional one that goes awry.

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Mark Gulbrandsen
Film God

Posts: 14573
From: Bountiful, Utah
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 07-01-2008 10:39 PM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Louis Bornwasser
Never upgrade anything that is working properly. Not Dolby, not dts, not anything. Louis

I couldn't disagree more on this mainly because I've had CP-650's arrive with defective firmware in them to begin with!! Many D-Cinema upgrades are mandatory to keep the units functioning or to improve performance. Like all things digital some research needs to be done before any upgrade is attempted. In 90% of the cases the firmware it can be reverted back to the old version anyway. In the case of DTS and the XD-10 and sometimes with Dolby and USL it actually adds handy functionality aspects to the unit or may increase it's overall performance from one or several aspects. Its one of the things that's best left to a qualified tech that has done the upgrade or has at least been in a position to test it before hand.

Mark

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 9547
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 07-01-2008 10:49 PM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I mostly agree with Louis. That is, I don't upgrade just for upgrading's sake. There better be a good reason for the upgrade. There better be true fixes, improvements or desired features to justify the upgrade.

I'm not familiar with 2.3.6.3 so I can't comment. If you are indeed an authorized entity for Dolby Secure...I'd suggest filling out their on-line field report to describe the problem. If you do that, it will become a matter of record that has to be addressed.

There is GOOD reason for you to upgrade beyond 1.2.3.0 though. Any CP650 running firmware below 2.x.x.x is subject to dumping its memory and that is a good reason to get away from version 1.x.x.x.

2.0.10.8, [previously] available from Dolby Secure is a rather stable version of the firmware. 2.1.9.0 brings along support for the Cat 790 and Cat 791.

If you have remotes, 2.3.4.4 should be the lowest firmware as previous versions were very flaky for remotes. Version 2.3.x.x also allows one to assign everything except formats 05 and 10 to something else. 2.3.5.3 has proven to be a good one for us so I have not looked to 2.3.6.x

Steve

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Louis Bornwasser
Film God

Posts: 4165
From: prospect ky usa
Registered: Mar 2005


 - posted 07-02-2008 07:05 AM      Profile for Louis Bornwasser   Author's Homepage   Email Louis Bornwasser   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Not complicated: "Anything that is working properly......" Louis

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Kenneth Wuepper
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 857
From: Saginaw, MI, USA
Registered: Feb 2002


 - posted 07-02-2008 08:15 AM      Profile for Kenneth Wuepper   Email Kenneth Wuepper   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
"If it ain't BROKE, don't FIX it!"

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 9547
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 07-02-2008 08:20 PM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
"If it ain't BROKE, don't FIX it!"
While there is certainly truth in that statement...it is too often used as an excuse to let mediocrity continue. In this case...running on a firmware below 2.x.x.x is the same as running on "broke" firmware. It can dump your memory.

If you service several locations and they are spread out...those sorts of problems are the kinds that drive a service company nuts. Ever been paged because 6 out of 8 theatres just dumped their memory after a strom blew through? I have...and guess what...the bypass was also reset to (0) since the optical preamps were set to 0. As such, the potential to memory dumps strikes a chord with me.

As I say...I don't upgrade for upgrade's sake but if there are true benefits to the upgrade, then I go ahead and do it. I have a great many CP650s running on 2.0.10.8 and a great many CP500s running on 1.31 and have no intention of upgrading either unless some great benefit that the customer would realize comes along. I had a location of CP500s that had 1.2 running...never upgraded them since the day they went in and never had any software related problems either.

Steve

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Mark Gulbrandsen
Film God

Posts: 14573
From: Bountiful, Utah
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 07-02-2008 08:32 PM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Guys,

My IT friend had a good laugh when he read this thread. As he puts it if there was no need to do firmware updates the manufacturers wouldn't be spending gobs of money doing it past a certain point that all things work just satisfactorily. There are however many reasons to be doing firmware updates including gaining increased stability of the unit itself and an occasional useful operational feature gain. Not unlike a new engine module that can get more gas milage and also more performance out of your car's engine or a better front end in your short wave radio resulting in clearer sound. Software updates are generally about stability, and overall improving how the unit involved functions over the long haul. YES! They need to be carefully sorted out and tested before hand on a smaller scale. But there is no real reason not to be doing known good firmware updates as they become available for what ever units are involved. In D-Cinema its the firmware updates that made these systems all come together and work reliably. Things didn't become as reliable as they are by everyone ignoring those updates, in fact its interesting how several folks on F-T have remarked how well their systems do run after a firmware upgrade! I've always viewed not doing viable updates as akin leaving your customer out of the loop and behind the existing inproved technology that is very definately available to him and usually at no cost.

Mark

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Louis Bornwasser
Film God

Posts: 4165
From: prospect ky usa
Registered: Mar 2005


 - posted 07-02-2008 08:53 PM      Profile for Louis Bornwasser   Author's Homepage   Email Louis Bornwasser   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Dolby, dts, and, yes, even my business software has a history of "updates" that leave you worse off than before. Certainly, if you have something unstable or defective, then you MUST move forward (or backward) to help your customer.

What I have an issue with is that "It's NEW!!!! It's wonderful!!!" This industry is certainly silent testimony that this is more often NOT the truth. I recently moved 3 CP-500 out of a distant location, since the owner wanted them gone. Moving backward (away from Surround ex) made them reliable. They are now happily installed in a mom/pop that is local and are just fine, with older software. Louis

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Mark Gulbrandsen
Film God

Posts: 14573
From: Bountiful, Utah
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 07-02-2008 10:15 PM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
What I have an issue with is that "It's NEW!!!! It's wonderful!!!"
Personally I haven't heard that line used in this industry pertaining to firmware updates. Now Microsoft is another story in that department but I'm talking Cinema and D-cinema here... not anything MS related.

Re: The CP-500's I have a number of 500's several with DA-10's all running the last version written for it. 1.65 and 1.65ex (I believe... its been years since I looked at the actual firmware number in them) However never a problem with them ever. The last version written for them is quite well known for being very very stable.

Mark

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 9547
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 07-02-2008 10:41 PM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yeah but versions 1.50, 1.51, 1.52 and 1.61 (all release versions) were dogs that would allow the unit to dump its memory and also to have it have issues with the automation connector (ignore cues) and such.

The CP500 is a clear case in point of why it is dumb to just upgrade for upgrade's sake. The reasons for a new firmware in something like a Dolby processor may be to merely make it compatible with a new board that will show up in new production. By and large, they don't do anything for the sound (some have...but just to fix glitches).

I repeat, before upgrading, one should assess the risk/benefit. What is this upgrade going to knowingly bring to the system? If there isn't any and the system has been stable...it is down right incompetent (or at least reckless) to just upgrade it anyway. The person that started this thread got to see (and hear) the results of upgrading a working unit to the latest. This is the reason I suggested to just upgrading to 2.0.10.8. It brings the stability of version 2.x.x.x but is a known stable version.

In the case of the CP500...it took Dolby a LONG time to come out with 1.65 and 1.65x. I too have found them to be stable but I won't upgrade a CP500 that is running stable on 1.31.

Software is a complicated thing...there are many, many lines of code and interaction. While beta tests are supposed to flesh out problems...they often don't catch them until the software is released. When a programmer goes and adds a feature or even fixes a known bug...it is entirely possible that they will "break" the software in another area without even knowing they did it. Something calls something else that is no longer there or is different and WHAM you have a glitch that may be serious or minor.

As for DCinema, or any other emerging technology...it is pretty normal for the software to be evolving right along with the industry. It is entirely possible one would HAVE to upgrade just to play the latest feature or to get rid of an annoying problem that finally has been addressed. However, as the industry matures...odds are the need for new software, aside from possible security updates, will settle down quite a bit.

Steve

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Frank Angel
Film God

Posts: 4828
From: Brooklyn NY USA
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 07-03-2008 01:26 AM      Profile for Frank Angel   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Angel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It would do well for manufactures to explain exactly WHY an upgrade is introduced. Is it to fix an stability weakness that should be fixed? Is it to improve sound? Is it to add a feature. Some issues may be mandatory and essential, some may be elective, some maybe a combination. It would help to know the details so informed decisions could be made. I agree that upgrades are usually better installed than ignored, but not always. Hey, just install Win XP SP3 upgrade. If you've got a CPU other than Intel, your computer stops functioning after the upgrade (I've been told this; not seen it myself). But stuff like that does happen. It would have been nice if Microsoft would have said, this upgrade is specific to Intel chips. They guy who's got an AMD processor will know that he doesn't need an upgrade, and indeed shouldn't install it.

Another good example: I have a Navman GPS -- I needed to install new maps because the orginals are now 6 years old and you have to get the latest maps or you will be missing roads.

For the first few years, I never ever had any problem with the unit ingesting maps from CDroms. Everything work flawlessly....until a few months ago when I was going on a trip to Florida and I figured I'd better install the latest maps because in Florida, land of the artificial "development communities," they build whole towns with new roads every ten seconds. But to add new maps software, Navman required you also do a firmware upgrade or the maps wouldn't be accepted. Once that was done (and it can't be undone), some maps would load and some would fail, all from the same disk. Even worse, some would say they were not registered. Literally weeks of back and forth with Navman's TS and hearing just totally bizzarre theories they were putting forth -- like the unit is a counterfit (it was purchased DIRECTLY on line from Naveman) to the map key and fireware key were not valid (the keys were right off the box that the disks came in, again directly from Navman).

Would I have upgraded the firmware if I knew this was going to be so much trouble? Not a chance....I would loose less hair over a road here or there not being on an older map, than all the trauma over this problem (still unresolved, BTW). And even more to make my blood boil, all this seems to be pointing to their freakin SECURITY schemes....you kno, the kind that screws honest people who PAY for the stuff rather than the hackers who laugh these keys.

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Andy Frodsham
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 229
From: Stoke on Trent, Staffs, UK
Registered: Nov 2006


 - posted 07-03-2008 02:26 AM      Profile for Andy Frodsham   Email Andy Frodsham   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I think there is a lot to be said for always sticking with the penultimate version of any upgrade available. I think this also applies to computer operating systems. Unless a particular upgrade release has known issues (and therefore only remains current for a few weeks or days) stick with the next to newest one. If the newest one proves to be reliable, move-up to that when the next version comes-out!

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