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Blu-ray player volume too low

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by tanaleaf, Jun 6, 2017.

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  1. Message #1 of 9 Jun 6, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2017
    tanaleaf

    tanaleaf Agent

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    This is actually an old problem. Up until now, I've just put up with it, or tried to compensate in various ways. But it's not getting any better, so now at last I'm trying to figure out how it might be resolved.

    The audio level from my Blu-ray player is much, much too low.

    It's very low when compared with watching ordinary (cable) TV programming.

    It's so low that I have to turn the receiver volume up all the way (max level), and even then it's still too low -- and nowhere near as loud as cablebox programming (which is fine with the receiver volume nowhere near maxed out).

    I've tried researching this issue online, Googling it. It seems that lots of people have complained about this issue, but I've yet to find any adequate explanation or solution offered.

    My setup is extremely simple, and rather old fashioned. No 5.1 or 6.1 or 7.1 surround sound for me, in my modest surroundings.

    I have a Samsung LED TV with two HDMI inputs. A Comcast cable TV box feeds one of those inputs. A Sony blu-ray player feeds the other. Both are connected with identical HDMI cables.

    Yet the cable box audio output seems to be vastly louder than that of the blu-ray player.

    Lowering the cable box volume to match that of the blu-ray player (if even possible) would even things out, but is not a good solution. The blu-ray volume is so low I have trouble hearing quieter passages of music and dialogue. I would't want cable TV shows to become equally difficult to hear.

    Rather, the blu-ray player should be as loud as the cable box's audio output. And I'm deeply puzzled why it isn't.

    I've experimented with altering audio settings in both the blu-ray player and the TV. Nothing has resulted in boosting the blu-ray's volume to make it comparable to that of the cable box.

    Both the blu-ray player and the cable box are fed, as mentioned, into separate HDMI inputs on the TV. Then the TV's own analog stereo audio output (no HDTV output exists here) is fed into the analog stereo (RCA jacks) of an old Sony stereo receiver (too old for HDMI, although it is 5.1 capable -- but I dont use that capability, and the cable box sounds plenty loud through it).

    I don't know if that matters. It's just that two sources (cable and blu-ray) are fed straight into the TV, whose single output then is fed into a stereo receiver. Yet one such source (the blu-ray) comes out far quieter than the other source (the cable TV). I'm at a loss to understand why, or how to fix it.

    And as mentioned, the resulting volume of the blu-ray audio as fed through the receiver from the same single TV analog audio output is far quieter than that of the cable TV as fed through that same single output -- so much so that, even when the receiver's volume is maxed (80 watts/channel), it's so low that subtleties are hard to hear (unlike when watching cable TV, which is actually too loud at that same maxed-out receiver volume setting).

    Any ideas for a solution would be most greatly appreciated!
     
  2. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    Hmm. Look at the blu-ray player's audio options and see if it has an option to downmix the audio track to stereo/dolby surround (not dolby digital). It's a stretch.

    Do the BR player and cable box both have analog outputs you could connect to the receiver instead of running from the TV?
     
  3. tanaleaf

    tanaleaf Agent

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    In the blu-ray player's audio settings, the output is currently (and has always been) set to downmix to stereo.

    The blu-ray player does not have any analog audio outputs (no RCA jacks).

    If it did, I suppose it would be worth trying (and an okay workaround, if it resulted in a volume boost). But I'd still wonder why that sort of connection worked well, and the intended connection (HDMI, which one would expect to be optimal) resulted in such low volume.

    The blu-ray player has only two options for audio output: HDMI, and something called Digital Out (Coaxial).

    The receiver does seem to have a digital DVD/LD input (coaxial). I assume this is audio only, though its label doesn't specify. I further assume this is one of those cables that looks like an RCA cable on steroids (the kind that my subwoofer is connected with).

    I suppose I could pick up one of those and try it, going directly from the blu-ray player into the receiver (instead of into the TV, and then from the TV into the receiver).

    How likely is that likely to result in a big volume boost, as compared with the blu-ray player's current analog connection from the TV?

    And of course, if it does work, I'll still be wondering why that gives a superior result than just going the HDMI route.

    Of course, that route is HDMI into TV, and then back out via analog stereo from TV into receiver. Maybe that changes something. But it doesn't affect the audio from the cable box, which is connected in precisely the same way. Hence my continuing puzzlement.

    If this my predicament sounds puzzling to others, does this mean that others aren't experiencing a similiar problem (low volume blu-ray audio, compared to audio from other sources like cable boxes, all sources connected the same way)?

    Is it possible it's my particular blu-ray player model? Are Sony blu-ray players (mine's a BDP-S3200) particularly notorious for this sort of thing, perhaps in a way that doesn't seem to plague other models (or other manufacturers' players)?
     
  4. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Producer

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    Have you reversed the HDMI cables from the cable box/blu-ray player to rule out a possible defective HDMI port? If the HDMI cables aren't identical you might also try swapping them should a port swap rule out a defective HDMI port. Heck... you may as well try a cable swap anyway just to rule out a defective cable.
     
  5. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    I would try connecting the BD player's digital coax output to your receiver's digital coax input for the audio. You can use any RCA video cable to do this. You would still use a HDMI connection from the BD player to your TV for video.
     
  6. David Weicker

    David Weicker Producer

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    I know you are listening through your receiver. Have you noticed the sound discrepancy listening through the TV speakers?
     
  7. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Low volume complaints date back to the days of the original DVD players. It’s because of the huge dynamic range the format offers (and blu-ray, too). The idea is that you have to turn it up to hear dialog, then you get a great impact during explosions and such.

    By comparison, TV programming is highly compressed, so the relative volume will always be louder than that of DVD or blu-ray.

    It’s also possible that your particular player has lower output that normal.

    I’m guessing that your TV does not offer variable output from its RCA outputs? I.e. the volume doesn’t change with the TV’s remote control? If it did you might be able to get more signal into the Sony receiver’s inputs. You might try instead using the TV’s headphone jack to the Sony instead (requires an adapter with a headphone plug on one end and two RCAs on the other).

    Another option, you could send the blu-ray’s digital coax output to a like input on the Sony. Many receivers have a “Night Mode” that will compress the audio and make it more like TV audio.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  8. tanaleaf

    tanaleaf Agent

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    Thanks for all the helpful suggestions, tips and insights. I'll try them/ check everything all out, as soon as I can free up some time to fiddle with it all again.
     
  9. Svenstadt

    Svenstadt Auditioning

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    You have to
    You have to go to audio options, switch from 'auto' to 'pcv' that should fix it.
     

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