DVD Sound Level Problem

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by PaulCD, Jul 14, 2002.

  1. PaulCD

    PaulCD Auditioning

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    I have two systems that seem to have the same problem: when playing DVDs, the music and sound effects play very loud, but the dialogue plays very soft.

    Both systems are msotly-Sony equipment, bought over time and put together by a pure amateur (me).

    One is a Sony 32" direct view TV, with a Sony DVPS7700, a small non-Sony stereo amp and two external speakers.

    The other is a Sony 27" direct view TV, with a Sony DVP-NS500V, connected to a $900 Sony "component" stereo setup (ie cheap one with separate components but you buy it all together in a rack). This has Dolby but not DCS, and has 5 speakers (center but not subwoofer).

    The DVP-NS500V even has a menu setting called "Night" which supposedly reduces the sound level of music and special effects to avoid disturbing others. But even that doesn't seem to have much effect.

    Help! Hope someone out there has experienced and resolved this before!

    Thanks
     
  2. Frank Zimkas

    Frank Zimkas Supporting Actor

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    Sounds like you need to get an SPL meter and calibrate your system. Most of us had the same problem until our systems were properly calibrated. you might want to invest in a calibration disk. I used the "S&V Mag. Home Theater Tune Up," but a lot of members use the AVIA disc. I found mine at MediaPlay for $20.
     
  3. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Paul,
    I would start by seconding what Frank said. One of the keys to getting balanced sound in HT is to calibrate your system with some test tones and a SPL meter. This puts every speaker at the same level in your environment.
    But, I would caution you that this might not entirely solve your "problem". You should understand that DVD movie audio is a very dynamic format- the difference between loud and soft can be quite great (and done deliberately so). If you're accustomed to the squashed dynamics of CD or VHS, the real dynamics of DVD might take some getting used to.
    I would suggest calibrating and seeing what you think.
    -Vince
    PS: Here is another thread, although not the exact same topic- I discussed the concept of dynamics a little bit which might help:
    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...threadid=81472
     
  4. Luc

    Luc Stunt Coordinator

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    I found that many people don't like the loud theater experience prefer to have audio compression "on". You can set that in your DVD player and your audio receiver. This will close the sound level gap between the dialogue and the sound effects. Whenever I have people over, I have the compression to max because that's what they prefer.
     
  5. Tim Fennell

    Tim Fennell Stunt Coordinator

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    I have managed to lose my owner's manual for my Sony dvd player. The model is DVP S330. I know that I want to go into the setup menu to turn on compression but am not exactly sure what to change. Any help out there?

    I am still looking through my owner's manual for the corresponding compression setting on the surround processor. It is a Lexicon DC-1. I know that some makes such as Adcom have variable compression settings (ie 25%, 50%, 75% etc) but haven't been able to find a similar capability on the DC-1.

    It would be nice to be able to easily turn compression on and off but I think it will be a chore given the trouble I've had trying to figure out how.

    Tim
     
  6. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Tim, if you have your dvd player hooked digitally to a processor (which from the following line, it sounds like you have a DC-1)- the setting in the player will do nothing for you. The player compression setting controls DRC for the analog output on the player itself- it has no effect on the digital stream you feed to the processor.

    If you wish to engage Compression, you must do it on the processor.

    -V
     
  7. Tim Fennell

    Tim Fennell Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks,

    I saw the DRC setting and fooling around with it noticed it had little effect. I have the dvd player connected
    to the processor using an optical cable. I generally am very good with owners manuals - it should have been put back in the box which is carefully stored...

    I can however use the tv to select the dvd which should
    get me the analog output. That way I can use both the digital and analog output. I have the s-video output of the dvd going directly into the tv and have bypassed the DC-1 since it is almost 18 feet away from the tv. (It's a long story and involves aesthetics in the viewing room)

    What is Audio ATT?

    Also which has the most compression, standard or tv mode in the DRC setting?

    Thanks again,

    Tim
     
  8. PaulCD

    PaulCD Auditioning

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    Thanks to all, especially Vince for the link to the "dynamics" explanation - it seems to explain exactly the problem.

    Also, I have ordered the S&V Home Theater Tune Up DVD from Amazon.

    Last question: what is an SPL meter and where can I get one (cheap)?

    Thanks again,

    Paul
     
  9. PaulCD

    PaulCD Auditioning

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    Never mind - I read your primer and found out what an SPL is and where to get one. Thanks again.
     
  10. Drew Eckhardt

    Drew Eckhardt Stunt Coordinator

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  11. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Man, why don't this manufacturers standardize their labels!?! I would guess TV mode, but again the manual would probably be helpful for that.

    -V
     

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