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Need some insight


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#1 of 5 Fernalfer

Fernalfer

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Posted January 25 2007 - 12:21 PM

I have the Yamaha RX-V1700. I have it hooked to my TV via Digital Optical Cable. I have my receiver set to straight. So a Dolby Digital signal is coming thru while watching HDTV with antenna. FOX that is. Why is it that when the actual program comes on it sounds a lot quieter and when it is commercial time my speakers explode with power and the 5.1 surround really kicks in.

It sounds good like that until the damn program we are watching comes on.

Why is that and is there something i'm not setting right?

#2 of 5 Paul_Dunlop

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Posted January 25 2007 - 11:38 PM

A lot of shows run the commercials 'hot' - much louder than the show - its total BS, but they are the ones paying the network

I am sure it is because people tend to leave the room during commercials - this way they can hear from the kitchen or bathroom

You are probably listening to the show quieter, to avoid the blast of a commercial - that is why it seems to sound better on commercials

Turn up the regular show, and get ready to mute when the commercials come on - a serious pain? YES - but you usually know when they are coming, and you do want to enjoy the shows sound content

I have a PVR, so I skip the loud commercials

Hope this helps
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#3 of 5 Rod Martin

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Posted January 26 2007 - 04:30 PM

Actually, this is a misconception. Audio engineers and MCO's (Master Control Operators) monitor audio signals to ensure that the loudest "sound" hits as close to "100%" on their boards as possible. Broadcasters get their shows from different production houses. Commercials come from hundreds of different studios and marketing groups. They have a standard hz tone (can't remember what it is now) they calibrate to 100%, which is usually put at the beginning of the spot so the engineers responsible for playing them back don't have to preview the entire program to set levels correctly.

The reason commercials sound so much louder is for several reasons. Most likely, the loudest part of the program you are watching does not happen right before every commercial break. If you were to take the loudest part of the show and play it next to the commercials, you would find them remarkably similar. Most shows have long quiet passages or conversations. The commercials are only 30 seconds, or a minute at most, so the time in which you hit 100% is much shorter, so it's more likely they will be at or near 100% when it starts up. Commercials also tend to be high-energy and want to get your attention quickly, so they are more likely to start with loud music or noise or announcer, right at that 100% point. There's also less chance a commercial will change in tempo or pitch during its 30 seconds, so a "quieter" commercial will still hit 100% even though it might be only conversation. The engineers can adjust the levels to make it louder without going over.

The thing is, if the audio goes too much over 100%, they're going to overmodulate, and that distorts the signal, and the FCC doesn't take kindly to messing with the signal.
Roderick Martin
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#4 of 5 DavidJ

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Posted January 26 2007 - 05:14 PM

Rod makes some good points. Another reason the commercials seem so much louder is that they are highly compressed so that they do not have much dynamic range (range between loudest and softest sounds). The result of this is that they sound louder than programming that has more range. The highest peaks are still the same, but programming has more range and softer sounds.

#5 of 5 Paul_Dunlop

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Posted January 29 2007 - 12:12 AM

Thanks for the info

I stand corrected
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