digital cable audio range setting - wide, narrow, normal

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jeff Meininger, Jun 16, 2002.

  1. Jeff Meininger

    Jeff Meininger Second Unit

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    I was taking a look at the "Settings" of my digital cable box (Scientific Atlanta Explorer 2000), and came across an "audio range" option. The three choices are Wide, Narrow, and Normal. I don't have my HT set up yet (waiting on shipment), so audio just comes from the crap speakers in the TV. The only difference I perceive between the settings is _volume_. I don't have the manual for the digital cable box... can anyone here tell me what these settings are supposed to affect?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Pamela

    Pamela Supporting Actor

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  3. Jeff Meininger

    Jeff Meininger Second Unit

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    I joined the explorer club (geez), but couldn't find anything there that went into detail about the "Settings". Bummer. I guess I'll just leave it on "normal".
    Thanks [​IMG]
     
  4. Mark Tranchant

    Mark Tranchant Stunt Coordinator

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    This is a dynamic range control. Dynamic range is the ratio of "loud" to "quiet". Imagine your typical thrash metal concert - that has a very narrow dynamic range (very loud to very very loud). A classical concert will usually have a very wide dynamic range (ppp to fff).

    The classical concert is successful because the audience is quiet, the hall acoustics are good, and the "loud" end of the range is really surprisingly loud.

    In the home, you'll probably need to play a recording of that concert quieter than "real life", which will push the "quiet" end into inaudibility, especially with a less optimum acoustic environment and higher background noise; the "middle" of the range will be annoyingly quiet and the loud bits will still be loud.

    Movies are similar - from whispered (yet critical) dialogue to earthquakes and explosions. If you have the volume set to catch the whispers, you'll be diving on the volume control to tame every explosion.

    The dynamic range "narrow" setting compresses this range, making the whispers louder and the explosions quieter. I'm going to guess that "normal" is still a slight compression and "wide" is no modification, but it's possible that "normal" is no modification and "wide" is actually an expansion of the range.

    Using this setting for music reduces the accuracy of what you hear, but it's all about enjoyment in the end!
     
  5. Jeff Meininger

    Jeff Meininger Second Unit

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    Awesome... thanks for the explanation!
     

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