I have a 60GB Australian PAL launch PS3. I have been experiencing a severe audio crackling glitch with my PS3.
I found a number of threads through Google, of people reporting similar concerns, so it looks like a specific glitch that needs to be reported to Sony, but the problem does not seem to be fully widespread yet. Right now nobody on the internet who is experiencing the issue seems to know what is causing it.
So I will add my voice to the chorus here confirming the following problem, in the hopes that Sony's engineers may be able to identify the fault and work toward a fix:
I have my PS3 audio hooked up to a Sony brand Dolby Digital 5.1 & DTS 5.1 supporting AV system (model MHC-DP800AV), using optical audio connection. (my video signal gets sent to a 52 inch Samsung Series 6 HDTV via HDMI)
I'm one of a number of people who experience a severe sound crackling/popping/static burst affecting the digital sound output only when playing PS3 games, and I never have the problem during Blu-ray or DVD discs (BD and DVD audio is absolutely perfect).
I have confirmed that if I uncheck the Dolby Digital 5.1 box in my PS3's optical output options menu, which disables Dolby Digital 5.1 and switches the PS3 to only use Stereo sound, then the severe audio crackling glitch completely dissapears when Dolby Digital 5.1 is disabled.
Also, I have found that games which include support for DTS 5.1 (not to be confused with Dolby Digital 5.1) audio such as Dead Space, will work completely fine in DTS 5.1 surround without any crackling, only if I uncheck the Dolby Digital 5.1 box in my PS3's optical output options menu. If I leave both DTS 5.1 and Dolby Digital 5.1 boxes checked though, then Dead Space's audio starts to crackle again, presumably since the Dolby Digital 5.1 overrides the DTS 5.1 in signal priority if both boxes are checked.
So if I had to guess, it looks like maybe this PS3 sound glitch might be a glitch within the PS3's Dolby Digital 5.1 decoding during games. I imagine it's more likely to be a software glitch rather than a hardware failure, since the PS3's Dolby Digital 5.1 works perfectly fine without any glitches for all Blu-ray movies and DVD movies. Only PS3 games are affected. It may be the case that the PS3 uses a different method for Dolby Digital 5.1 decoding when playing games or movies, and the latter isn't affected by this software glitch (?). Either that or indeed my PS3 hardware is malfunctioning in some complex way.
Sony's support engineer can hopefully review this matter, and maybe find out what should be my next move. I have tried all combinations of settings changes that I can think of, but can't seem to fix this severe PS3 audio glitch. The effects of the glitch are worse in some game scenes than others, sometimes the sound glitch is subtle and possible to ignore the erratic crackling, while in other game scenes the bursts of static noise are so severe and frequent as to make the game unplayable in Dolby Digital 5.1. (The Conan game for PS3 seems particularly full of scenes which trigger this sound crackling issue when the Dolby Digital 5.1 box is checked in my PS3's optical output options menu.)
Also, anyone else who is experiencing such an issue (and I know you are out there, I've seen threads about this in other forums), please post your experiences and experiments here, maybe we can help point Sony's support engineers towards a root cause and possible fix for this. I have seen some folks with this problem have been speculating that maybe this is a symptom of when a PS3 console is overheating, and no longer being able to perform at peak efficiency, causing this audio glitch (?). Honestly, I have been considering whether to just go out and buy a new PS3 or AV receiver, but I don't want to buy new hardware unnecessarily and have the problem remain...
If this problem is firmware upgrade related, then somehow this problem should be communicated in detail to Sony, so they can start work on including a fix in a future firmware. The fact that they haven't fixed it to date suggests Sony are not aware of this glitch.
Please pass this on to Sony. Thanks very much.
The only time I can recall having it is with Motorstorm - when I first started playing it (PS3 release) it was fine, but after a couple of weeks the crackling started. I cleaned the disc and it seemed to go away but came back a couple of weeks later. by then I wasn't playing Motorstorm so much so I didn't bother with a disc clean again. I haven't noticed it with other games,BluRay, video or music though.
I'm running Optical sound output...
I've started to notice this problem just in the last few days when playing Wipeout HD,it's a downloaded game so that rules game disc problems out.
So by eliminating that,it only leaves the hard drive....it could be that since the same sectors of the hard drive are being repeatedly read it is some how creating HD reading errors,most likely manifesting itself by dropping bits in the audio stream....hence the crackling .
I have been having this problem since I bought my PS3, so I took it back and got a new one, but still the same. I have had it from both games and BluRay movies, runninig the sound directly to my tv using HDMI. I have tried 2 HDMI cables that both played up, but everything was fine when i tried the RCA cables.
There's no difference in audio quality between bitstream and linear pcm. It's just with bitstreaming the receiver does the audio decoding rather than the PS3. The only thing that you can't bitstream is the HD audio formats, but they are few and far between on bluray movies at the moment so it's not really an issue.