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Huge audio volume difference btw SD and HD channels


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36 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Snydley

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Posted 12 September 2007 - 08:25 PM

This has been going on since I've had my VIP622, 18 months, and I never bothered to find an answer to this, but enough is enough.
The audio volume on the SD channels is about 3 or 4 times louder than the volume on the HD channels. I'm using a middle of the road TEAC surround sound receiver and TEAC speakers. The TEAC receiver doesn't have an HDMI input, so I'm using the optical audio connection between the VIP622 and TEAC for audio, and the HDMI connection for the video feed to my Sony 50" Grand Wega projection TV, TV speakers off. I have 2 dishes on my house, one for the SD feed and one for the HD feed.
Is there any way to adjust the volume on the VIP622/dishes so that the audio volume is the same from both dishes? When I happen to forget to turn the volume down on the TEAC receiver BEFORE switching from an HD channel to an SD channel it just about blows the windows out of the house, and I'm afraid I'm gonna blow a speaker up one of these days! I appreciate any help you can give me on this.
Thanks,
Snyde

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#2 OFFLINE   TERRYB2241

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Posted 12 September 2007 - 08:30 PM

This has been going on since I've had my VIP622, 18 months, and I never bothered to find an answer to this, but enough is enough.
The audio volume on the SD channels is about 3 or 4 times louder than the volume on the HD channels. I'm using a middle of the road TEAC surround sound receiver and TEAC speakers. The TEAC receiver doesn't have an HDMI input, so I'm using the optical audio connection between the VIP622 and TEAC for audio, and the HDMI connection for the video feed to my Sony 50" Grand Wega projection TV, TV speakers off. I have 2 dishes on my house, one for the SD feed and one for the HD feed.
Is there any way to adjust the volume on the VIP622/dishes so that the audio volume is the same from both dishes? When I happen to forget to turn the volume down on the TEAC receiver BEFORE switching from an HD channel to an SD channel it just about blows the windows out of the house, and I'm afraid I'm gonna blow a speaker up one of these days! I appreciate any help you can give me on this.
Thanks,
Snyde


I am having the same problem with my HR-20 receiver connected to my TV with HDMI. All the local HD channels have a real low volume and the SD locals and other Satelite channels are loud. I have to turn the volume completly up on the HD channels have a normal volume level.

#3 OFFLINE   Ron Barry

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Posted 12 September 2007 - 08:36 PM

Terry,

Try switching for DD/PCM to PCM only and see if that helps.

Snydley.... The SD/HD difference is most likley caused by PCM vs DD and there is not a lot one can do unless your receiver has some feature that allows you to make an adjustment in this area. If you want to confirm this... Switch to PCM only and see if you notice big audio differences.
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#4 OFFLINE   Snydley

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Posted 12 September 2007 - 08:41 PM

I am having the same problem with my HR-20 receiver connected to my TV with HDMI. All the local HD channels have a real low volume and the SD locals and other Satelite channels are loud. I have to turn the volume completly up on the HD channels have a normal volume level.

Yeah, and if you don't turn it down BEFORE going back to an SD channel it shakes the whole house, which in and of itself is just an annoyance, but I'm afraid one of these times I'm gonna lose a speaker in the deal. Do you have separate HD and SD dishes?
I have no antennae hookup, I live too far away from the stations, all of my channels are coming from the satellites.

#5 OFFLINE   Snydley

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Posted 12 September 2007 - 08:49 PM

Terry,

Try switching for DD/PCM to PCM only and see if that helps.

Snydley.... The SD/HD difference is most likley caused by PCM vs DD and there is not a lot one can do unless your receiver has some feature that allows you to make an adjustment in this area. If you want to confirm this... Switch to PCM only and see if you notice big audio differences.


But isn't there Dolby Digital coming from both the HD dish and the SD dish? I thought maybe there was some kind of audio gain adjustment on the dishes themselves, because it is virtually EVERY SD channel that is 3 to 4 times louder than EVERY HD channel.
I will try your suggestion though.
Thanks
Snyde

#6 OFFLINE   ryan8886

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 06:50 AM

Not really too much you can do. Pretty much everyone suffers the same problem and it IS very annoying. As I understand it, Dolby Digital recordings are mastered at a lower level, resulting in the differnce over PCM (regular stereo). So, it has nothing to do with Dish, the sat dishes or your dish receivers. Thank Dolby Labs. :rolleyes:
Ryan

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#7 OFFLINE   LinkNuc

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 06:55 AM

I have seen this problem with everthing from my old HR-20 (D*) to my current 622* and both the Motorola Box (Comcast Philly cable) and Sci-At box (Comast-Weast PA)
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#8 OFFLINE   Snydley

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 08:11 AM

Terry,

Try switching for DD/PCM to PCM only and see if that helps.

Snydley.... The SD/HD difference is most likley caused by PCM vs DD and there is not a lot one can do unless your receiver has some feature that allows you to make an adjustment in this area. If you want to confirm this... Switch to PCM only and see if you notice big audio differences.

I tried this, and yes you're right, the volumes corrected themselves. So, I guess I have a choice, watch everything with PCM stereo audio and have the audio volume the same on all channels, or keep it like it is,DD/PCM and put up with it. Well, as long as I know that I can't do anything about it if I want 5.1 DD.
I guess I'll have to live with it.
Thanks,
Snyde

#9 OFFLINE   mikeyinokc

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 12:48 PM

I have seen this problem with everthing from my old HR-20 (D*) to my current 622* and both the Motorola Box (Comcast Philly cable) and Sci-At box (Comast-Weast PA)


Agreed....I too have seen it with several different feeds.....It isn't a "Dish" problem. It is in the way DD is set up vs. non DD sound.

#10 OFFLINE   TBoneit

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 02:43 PM

The problem is the Dolby digital on the HD channels. If you listen carefully you will see it has a wider dynamic range between qiuet and loud passages.

In general it runs quieter to allow for really loud peaks with out distortion.

So if you want your audio in 5.1 you have to live with it.

BTW it has nothing to do with HD. My local CBS station WCBS is in HD and still very loud. Most likely the loudest channel on dish.

#11 OFFLINE   gnm313

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 07:22 PM

My problem went away when I added the center channel speaker to my receiver. It turns out most of the speaking parts go to the center channel. That is the primary channel. If you don't have one, you have to crank your volume higher to get a decent volume out of your front speakers. When you get a show, or commercial for that matter, that doesn't transmit on the center channel, you get blown away.

Using the same setup as the original poster. Optical to my receiver.

#12 OFFLINE   Robert W

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Posted 15 September 2007 - 05:28 PM

I believe there is a bit of mis-information and speculation in this thread as to DD being the problem. Yes you can set your 622 to PCM only and it may help through your receiver. The 622 should process the audio at the same level HD or SD no matter the output though..... HDMI or Optical.

I have a 622 (great room) and 211 (bedroom). Both run HDMI direct to plasmas. Both run optical to pre-amps. Both are set to DD/PCM however ONLY the 622 has the volume problems between SD and HD. And it doesn't matter if it's the volume over the HDMI to the TV's themselves or through the optical to the preamps. The 211 is the same level. If this were a DD problem then both units should be affected....no? :confused:

#13 OFFLINE   Jim5506

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Posted 15 September 2007 - 07:59 PM

I do not find a large difference between the two at all.

Perhaps there is a miscalibration in your setup.
Tuners: Hopper 2000; Hopper w/Sling; 3 Joeys; Samsung SIR-T351; Accurian 6000;2 X HD TiVo; 2 X TiVo Series 2 Stand alone; Panasonic Showstopper 2000
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#14 OFFLINE   Robert W

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Posted 15 September 2007 - 08:36 PM

Not sure what there is to mis calibrate? :confused: If I am watching an SD channel on the 622 over HDMI with the sound on the TV (no home theater) and then change to a HD channel, the volume is MUCH lower and vise versa. HD to SD and the sound is MUCH louder. No matter what the channels are. Same thing happens if I am listening through the optical through the home theater.

For example if I am watching a SD channel at say 12 on the volume meter of my TV, and switch to a HD channel, I then need to increase the volume meter to say 20 or so in order to keep the levels the same. The reverse is also true and very problematic. If I am watching HD and forget that the volume is up and switch to SD then it comes on really loud. HDMI or optical. TV or HT. Doesn't matter.

The 211 is hooked up exactly the same way to a different TV and HT and exhibits none of this behavior. Sound levels remain constant no matter what. Kind of says to me that this is just another annoying issue with the 622.

#15 OFFLINE   Ron Barry

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Posted 16 September 2007 - 12:47 AM

The 211 is hooked up exactly the same way to a different TV and HT and exhibits none of this behavior. Sound levels remain constant no matter what. Kind of says to me that this is just another annoying issue with the 622.


The key word here is different TVs. From my understanding some TV actually have auto-leveling settings that can level the differences. Might want to look for something like that in your Bedroom TV and check to see if it is turned on. As for HD.. well if you want to confirm this you can also compare SD DD vs SD non-DD.

The other factor here is the HDMI being delivered as 5.1 into TVs. I am sure there is a whole wide range of how this is handled by the TV and I how it is effected depending on the TV settings you have.

TV does have audio settings and based on my experiences these can effect the listening experience depending on the delivery and TV settings.

I suggest doing a search for DD/PCM .. this topic gets brought up a number of times and I am sure you can read some other experiences by users.
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#16 OFFLINE   isuzudave

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Posted 16 September 2007 - 10:11 AM

Not sure what there is to mis calibrate? :confused: If I am watching an SD channel on the 622 over HDMI with the sound on the TV (no home theater) and then change to a HD channel, the volume is MUCH lower and vise versa. HD to SD and the sound is MUCH louder. No matter what the channels are. Same thing happens if I am listening through the optical through the home theater.

For example if I am watching a SD channel at say 12 on the volume meter of my TV, and switch to a HD channel, I then need to increase the volume meter to say 20 or so in order to keep the levels the same. The reverse is also true and very problematic. If I am watching HD and forget that the volume is up and switch to SD then it comes on really loud. HDMI or optical. TV or HT. Doesn't matter.

The 211 is hooked up exactly the same way to a different TV and HT and exhibits none of this behavior. Sound levels remain constant no matter what. Kind of says to me that this is just another annoying issue with the 622.


If you have different model TVs and audio receivers in the two rooms, you still cannot be sure it is the 622 causing the problem. I am not saying that it is not the problem, but the only way to be sure is to swap locations of the 622 and 211.

I have a 622 hooked to a 50” Panasonic plasma with HDMI and a Sony receiver with optical. The receiver is about 10 years old. I do about 95% of my TV viewing with the TV speakers providing sound, and have had no issues with volume changes. When I watch a movie I run the sound through the Sony receiver for the DD and still have no problems with volume changes.

It might have something to do with how your TV processes the DD it gets from HDMI. Maybe it only passes the front left and right channels to the speakers. One other thing to check is the center channel volume. Like another poster said, most dialogue comes through the center channel on DD 5.1. Make sure your audio receiver does not have the center channel turned down too low. And of course you must have a center channel speaker hooked up to the Sony receiver

#17 OFFLINE   Jim5506

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Posted 16 September 2007 - 05:20 PM

My audio goes by TOSLink to an RCA Surround sound system. Audio levels are very close. I never have to volume up or down when switching.
Tuners: Hopper 2000; Hopper w/Sling; 3 Joeys; Samsung SIR-T351; Accurian 6000;2 X HD TiVo; 2 X TiVo Series 2 Stand alone; Panasonic Showstopper 2000
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#18 OFFLINE   Slordak

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Posted 17 September 2007 - 01:18 PM

Different people seem to be reporting different things in this thread. In my personal experience, I've always seen a relatively large volume difference between Dolby Digital sources and non-Dolby Digital sources. This is regardless of the type or source.

Example:
A) Take a copy of a movie on VHS, and feed the audio to the stereo receiver via analog L/R connections. Set volume level on stereo as desired.

B) Take a copy of the same movie on DVD, and feed the audio to the stereo receiver via optical connection. Listen to the Dolby Digital version of the audio track on the DVD. Set volume level on stereo to achieve equivalent level.

C) Result? In the second case, one will have to set the volume significantly higher than in the first to achieve the same volume level. Say, 40 vs. 20. This is completely independent of source device, and in fact, there's no volume output on a VCR or DVD player (except for headphones).

In summary, I don't see how anyone can blaim the fact that Dolby Digital is typically encoded at a lower line level on Dish Network. The 622 is completely blameless and should *not* be attempting to somehow "normalize" the volume itself, since source devices should *never* do this under normal circumstances.

#19 OFFLINE   ryan8886

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Posted 17 September 2007 - 10:18 PM

Agree with Slordak. Like I said earlier, Dolby Digital is mastered at a lower level than standard PCM. The 622 just passes on what it receives. Some TV's have an automatic level function that can balance that out (which may explain the poster above with the bedroom TV). However, if you're routing audio to your pre/pro or receiver for a 5.1 home theater setup, you're pretty much stuck with it. It existed in my rig when my H/K AVR 330 was the primary amplification for my system and (as expected) continued once I switched it to a pre/pro capacity and added my Emotiva amp. It's one of those things that IS very annoying but just is. I'm not aware of any AV recevier or pre/pro that does auto level adjustment like some TV's. If you really want to research it, go over to http://audioholics.com and do a search there.
Ryan

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Harman Kardon AVR 330
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Center: Athena AS-C1.2
Surround: Athena AS-B1.2
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#20 OFFLINE   cdub998

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Posted 18 September 2007 - 05:17 AM

Here is what I do that works pretty well. The other night my wife was switching between the emmys preshow in HD and the one on E in SD. The E program was loud as could be and the HD show was fine. My receiver lets me control the muting level on it. So I set the muting level to only 20db and when we switched to the SD channel I would use mute. Then both channels were perfect and I didn't have to hear them yelling about dresses while I was in the other room.




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