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sound level varies by channel

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by cneo, Feb 19, 2008.

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  1. cneo

    cneo AllStar

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    Oct 30, 2007
    I have an HR20-100. As of today I noticed the sound level varies by channel, some channels are loud, while others are low (major problem when channel surfing at night with quiet house). I've reset the box a number of times with no success. Any help would be appreciated.

    thanks
     
  2. Mike Bertelson

    Mike Bertelson 6EQUJ5 WOW! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Jan 24, 2007
    This has long been an issue. There is nothing you can do to you receiver to fix this problem.

    I find the SD channels to louder than the HD. Sometimes a lot louder.

    I'm used to it. I set the volume levels on my surround system to a point I know I won't wake anybody but still be able to hear. Sometimes it a juggling act.

    Mike
     
  3. MartyS

    MartyS New Member

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    Dec 29, 2006
    This has happened on my HR20, HR21, R15, HDTiVo and OTA... commercials sometimes blast through while the shows are muted. Dolby Digital is "quieter" than SD PCM broadcast.

    Some of it has to do with Technology... some of it has to do with the broadcaster/network trying to punch their commercials through the clutter.
     
  4. wmj5

    wmj5 Godfather

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    Aug 26, 2007
    you can buy a volume controller, audiovox model vr1 off the internet at bb for $35.99, but you need to hook it from D* receiver to dolby receiver, If you hook it from tv to dolby receiver you will get a poping sound.
     
  5. MountainMan10

    MountainMan10 Icon

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    Jan 30, 2008
    I took a look at this box. It is rca only. Is there something like this that uses the optical output?
     
  6. hasan

    hasan Well-Known Member

    5,957
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    Sep 22, 2006
    Ogden, IA
    There are some HT receivers like the Onkyo series that have an "evening" mode, that does this. Keep in mind, this kills the dynamic range of the sound system. Of course. late at night, that's exactly what you are trying to do.

    The providers do not have standardized audio levels, which is one problem, and D* has no control over it. Secondly, the DD 5.x channels are inherently higher dynamic range (lowest sound to highest sound), as this is part of the appeal of DD. If you turn the sound up to get solid dialog, then a loud explosion or high music level comes on, you get blasted. As annoying as that can be, it is intentional, making full use of the dynamic range capabilities of DD.

    One can defeat this by sharply increasing the level of the center channel w/r to the others, such that when the master volume is reduced, the non-center channels recede into the background, while the center channel is still intelligible.

    There are external "audio limiters" that operate in the digital domain, but they are a lot pricier than the RCA analog ones.

    Since I spent a small fortune getting an audio system that would take full advantage of the DD stream, and can make non-DD sources sound very good, I end up putting up with the spikes in loudness. I don't like the sound of limiters...I find them more annoying than the sound spikes. YMMV.
     
  7. cneo

    cneo AllStar

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    Oct 30, 2007
    I understand that there will be variations in sound which to some degree can't be controlled, but I'm not sure if that's the problem I'm experiencing as I just noticed the problem yesterday after 4 months of using the box; and Im sensitive to the sound variations in my system so I think I would've noticed it before yesterday. Do all agree that it must something with the directv receiver and not my sound system since the sound system is simply passing the signal through?

    thanks
     
  8. Shawn Parr

    Shawn Parr Cool Member

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    Feb 4, 2008
    It is the signal that the D* receiver is getting, not the receiver itself or your sound system. Different channels will have different overall levels, and different programs on the channels will be different as well. This is normal.

    Technically the Dolby Digital specifications allows for the decoder to automatically apply limiting to lessen this effect, at least on DD streams, however I do not think that the D* receivers have it exposed via menus, and YMMV on your sound system. I've seen it on Sony DVD players, which is what I typically suggest to people without dedicated audio systems, as they seem to complain the most about the volume issues.
     
  9. sstv

    sstv Legend

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    Jul 30, 2006
    DALLAS TX
    Hi All
    The AUDIOVOX VR1 works great. I got mine from Amazon for less then $30 and it takes about 5 min to hook up.
    SSTV
     
  10. Richierich

    Richierich Hall Of Fame

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    Jan 10, 2008
    I noticed the VOLUME PROBLEM after getting the new software release. Why would that change the volume???
     
  11. cneo

    cneo AllStar

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    Oct 30, 2007
    Same here.
     
  12. Richierich

    Richierich Hall Of Fame

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    Jan 10, 2008
    I Do Not Have The Volume Problem With My Hr10-250 Or My Hr21-700 Before The Software Release.

    Why Would The Software Update Affect The Volume???
     
  13. Scott J

    Scott J Legend

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    Feb 13, 2007
    For me, the problem came with the latest HR20-700 software update.
     
  14. jaguar325

    jaguar325 Legend

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    Jan 2, 2006
    One thing I have battled with for as long as I can remember is the variability on center channel output, most notably - voices in the soundtracks. This is particularly noticeable on some Dolby Digital soundtracks, where the subwoofer/LFE output is too loud in relationship to the rest of the speakers (sometimes the effects channels as well). The result it that I turn up the volume to hear what people are saying and an action scene comes along and the sub blows me off the couch.. complaints ensue and I have to turn it down and strain to hear the dialogue.

    One way you can at least partially remedy this problem is to adjust your DD output on your A/V receiver and up the center channel output in relationship to other speakers. On mine (Yamaha), you can adjust each speaker's output separately.. leave the sub where it is (or lower it a little) and turn the center channel up higher (I've got mine at +3.5db over the factory preset level).
     
  15. Richierich

    Richierich Hall Of Fame

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    Jan 10, 2008
    That seems to be a BANDAID approach and I just hope Directv monitors this thread and fixes it via software!!!
     
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