A few questions about everything

beldep

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Hello I am new to the forums and very basic in my knowledge of home theater. I know how to hook it all up but that is about it
. I have a few questions that have been bugging me and thought that I would finally ask for help. First let me tell you what my system is (including model #'s to help for reference):

Pioneer 43" Plasma TV - PDP-4340HD
Toshiba DVD Player - SD-3960SU1
JVC Receiver - RX-6020VBK

Now for my questions. I know that the tv can do 480i and p, 720i and p, and 1080i. I have the dvd player connected to the tv using component cabels and when I turn it on it says that is it running at 480p. How do you change the signel to be 720. I have looked in the settings for the dvd player and did not see them and I didn't see any in the settings for the tv either. This is my first HD tv so not sure how all that works.

My second question is in some movies when playing on my setup the action and explosion scenes are very loud but the talking scenes are very low and we have to turn it up pretty loud to hear them and then the next action scene is going to explode my house. I don't know if that is a setting some where in my receiver, dvd player, or if it is my speakers (I just have random speakers from old stereo equipment as my speakers till I can save to get new ones).

Well that is all my questions and I am sorry if they were asked before I did look this this forum to see if they were but I didn't see anything. Thank you for your help.
 

JohnRice

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1) Standard DVD has a resolution of 480 lines, so there is no 720 or higher unless you go to a high definition DVD format like HD-DVD or BluRay. However, you can get an upscaling DVD player which interpolates the additional resolution. It's not as good as the real thing, but may give somewhat of an improvement. The ones from Oppo seem to be quite popular.

2) There should be a dynamic range control on your receiver or DVD player or possibly both. It allows you to reduce the dynamic range of Dolby Digital soundtracks. Just look in the manual for those components for more info. FYI, this control will not affect playback of DTS soundtracks.
 

JohnRice

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Oh yeah, another possibility is that you don't have the speaker levels set right. If the center is too low then no matter of compression will correct for it. Did you do anything to calibrate the channel levels?

EDIT: I realize now you seem to be running 2 channels, so, your problem should be that you have not set up the receiver correctly. I am guessing that is a surround receiver, but you are just using 2 speakers. if so, you need to set the center mode to "Phantom". If you don't, the result will be exactly what you are experiencing.
 

beldep

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I have a 5.1 setup that I use. I do have a center speaker and I have played with the volumes of the speakers so I will have to check into what I set them to. I will also look in the manual to see about the range thing you are talking about. Do you know if that will affect sound quality or will it just even things out? Also thank you for the info on the dvd player I didn't know that. I thought about getting and HD-DVD player but the movies are kind of expensive for it. I have never seen one played so I don't know what the quality will look like.
 

JohnRice

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It won't have a negative effect on the sound quality. It will just reduce the dynamic range of DD movies.
 

Jeff Gatie

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Don't "play" at anything. Read the Primer available on the HT Basics page. It has an entry about "Calibration" which explains how to properly calibrate the audio on your system. "Playing" with the levels is how it got to sound awfull. Every A/V receiver comes with the ability to play test tones that must be set to give the same level of volume from each speaker (not the same volume level on the display, but the actual volume coming from the speaker). You do this by (1) using an SPL meter (available at Radio Shack) or (2) doing it "by ear" - not the best way by far, but better than nothing. Before you go fooling with the dynamic range reduction, get the speakers calibrated.

This is the single biggest improvement you can do for your system!!!
 

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