Solution to poor quality dialogue DVD surround sound system?

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by galvincameron, Jul 1, 2013.

  1. galvincameron

    galvincameron Auditioning

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    Until now we had been unable to adequately hear dialogue above the sound effects and music, especially with new release DVD's and Blu ray discs, on our new 5.1 surround sound system. We tried connecting the dvd player to the amplifier/receiver via an optical cable, without disconnecting the HDMI cable. When the optical mode was selected on the receiver, the problem was miraculously solved. Speech/dialogue is now loud and clear and proportionate to music and sound effects!!

    This problem seems to have been a chronic source of frustration for many people on various forums. Has any one else tried this?
     
  2. Type A

    Type A HW Reviewer
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    Welcome to the forum Michael :)

    Glad you found a solution but it does bring up some questions. Cause basically what you are doing is downgrading your processing (at least in the case of blu ray) from lossless to dolby digitial.

    What receiver are you using? What listening modes and settings did you try? Did you experiment with the angle of your speakers?

    Have you done any acoustic treatments to your room? What is the room like, is it acoustically bright (hardwood floors, bare windows, lots of hard surfaces ect?)
     
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  3. galvincameron

    galvincameron Auditioning

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    Hi Type AThe Receiver is a Brauhn HTE-400. The room lay out is less than optimal for a home theatre, thus compromises had to be made. The improvement however in speech volume and clarity was so marked, I feel the problem must have been in the transfer of the audio signal from the Samsung blu ray player to the receiver. It is possible it was due to the HDMI cable. Are there varieties of HDMI cable, could my cable be outmoded?Thanks for you input.Michael
     
  4. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Incredibly, Braun makes a toaster (the kind that heats sliced bread!) with the model number HT400! So it took me a bit to find the BAUHN HTE-400...but I did! :D

    Welcome to the HTF, Michael! :welcome:

    I'm no expert on the hardware side of things...but when I read your first post, I figured there must be something amiss with your connection to your center channel speaker since most dialogue is driven through the center channel in any 5.1 or 7.1 system. But since you say the optical connection sounds vastly better in terms of your problem that might serve to rule out that particular suggestion. I'm guessing the system doesn't come with a self-calibrating audio system (like Audyssey). Does it have menu settings in which you can raise/lower the volume of individual speakers to compensate for room dynamics, etc?

    It IS always possible that you have a bad HDMI cable. Have you got more than one that you can swap out the cable from the player to receiver to check? Do NOT go out and buy an expensive HDMI cable--thinking that you might improve the connection. The least expensive one you can find (if you need to buy another one) will do just as well. There is a ton of mark-up and marketing in terms of audio cables.
     
  5. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    My first question is...and it will be in the owners manual(have you read it?)

    Does it actually take 5.1 off the HDMI inputs?

    More than likely no, it does not. There in was the entire problem.

    Does it(once you've read the manual) require you to use the AC3 analog 5.1 for 5.1 lossless audio?
     
  6. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Sam:

    Some HTIBs don't pass multi-channel audio through their HDMI inputs?!? That's crazy. Why have them then?

    So, then, his optical connection (or the coaxial) is going to be as good as it's going to get with this unit?

    And if the coaxial/optical are a "one or the other" proposition, then he wouldn't be able to hook up a cable box, let's say, and get 5.1 off that?
     
  7. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    None of the craptastic all-in-one HTiB(Sony, Panasonic, Smasung and LG) take 5.1 off the incoming HDMI.

    In all the manuals I've cared to litter my hard drive with is this...in the notes...

    "incoming audio from the HDMI is sent to the speakers and TV at the same time"

    Ergo...no 5.1. (to give Samsung, some, credit...they actually tell you that the HDMI inputs are 2.0 only in their tech sheets)
     
  8. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Huh. Live and learn.

    I'm glad when I got my kid a system after graduating college last year that I went with Onkyo then (a 5400 IIRC). It's a nice little system for his apartment. And it gives him the ability to upgrade as he sees fit. But he's quite happy with it for now. And the neighbors haven't reported him...yet.
     
  9. galvincameron

    galvincameron Auditioning

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    I have read the manual cover to cover, all 16 pages. Unfortunately there is no information in the manual regarding the 4 HDMI inputs other than that they're there.I can't believe that the manufacturers are expecting their customers to use separate optical or coaxial cable for audio, neither of which is provided. They only supply an HDMI cable. If, which I now suspect (consistent with your observations), the HDMI inputs do not in fact support 5.1 audio, how can they market the product as a 5.1 system? I have made an enquiry of Bauhn about this and am awaiting their reply.
     
  10. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    Well, it probably has Dolby ProLogic.Since it probably has that...They aren't lying. If it doesn't have DPL, it probably has rudimentary DSP to create a "sense of 5.1" from 2.0.
     
  11. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    I'm also going to ask another question that will seem "already asked"...

    Did you read all the notes(or footnotes) in the manual? Somewhere I bet it states pretty much what I said, "sends audio to the speakers and TV at the same time".

    I've been doing audio since Quadraphonic was new(Disco in the 70's). Granted I was a kid...but my older brothers were all HSers in the 70s. I've seen every trick written in every OM you can imagine to trick people into thinking they are buying "more than they are".
     
  12. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Is the unit something you can return, Michael?
     
  13. galvincameron

    galvincameron Auditioning

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    Thanks Mike and SamThere are no footnotes in the manual, it is very basic.Prologic does come up on the receiver display No response from my enquiries to the manufacturer...why am I not surprised!We can return it, but as it was quite cheap, $299, the sound is Pretty good for our purposes in our games room. I think it has been useful to point out the limits of some of these 5.1 systems in your forum and to offer a compromise solutionCheers
     
  14. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Michael:

    You are welcome. As I pointed out above, my son and I have been very pleased with his Onkyo system. I'm not sure if they are available in your part of the world or if their cost might be prohibitive...but check them out. You'll get a much more substantive system and one in which the HDMI will properly handle 5.1. It will also allow you a chance to properly upgrade your components as time marches on and certain things (media/standards/etc.) change over time.

    You might find the upgrade worth the cost and time and effort to return the Brahn unit and try something else.

    Good luck.

    Here's the amazon.com link to the unit my son purchased (or pretty close to it)--the HT-S5500 for $399 US dollars. It is a 7.1 system with a powered subwoofer and the HDMI handles everything you'd ever want. There's a nice description of the features of the unit on the amazon page.
     

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