Audio Equipment and Home Theater Audio : Audio decoder and HDTV-

Audio decoder and HDTV-

If you have HDTV, do you need one of those audio decoders so that music and sound effects will not sound louder than voices on a DVD?

I'm asking because even though I have hi-def TV on a widescreen TV set, and I get hi-def cable, I don't actually have a home theatre audio system. I play the sound through my TV speakers (it's still stereo, though, and I can get surround stereo too). But I recently got a DVD of a movie musical, and for the first time ever, it seemed as if the orchestra was louder than the vocal tracks. That only happens on the DVD, not when I'm watching television.

I have always heard that this only happened if you tried to play the sound through a home theater setup without using a decoder, but not when you played it through your speakers.

Re: Audio decoder and HDTV-

First, check on the DVD player controls to make sure that it's set for 2 channel. It should be in the control menu under audio.

The TV is NOT true surround sound, they are using special circuitry to create a "wide" sounding effect. For true surround, you have to have the back speakers.

The "decoder" is built into a HT reciever, it knows to seperate the 5 channels + subwoofer and send it to the 5 speakers. It's the center channel speaker's job to handle the voices.

Re: Audio decoder and HDTV-

The disc that I played has only 5.1 for the English audio track. The Spanish audio track is in 2.0 sound.

I switched the surround settings to "off" for the next time I play it, just to see what it would sound like.

Re: Audio decoder and HDTV-

then you're in trouble.

set the dvd-player to do the downmix to stereo, it should help...

...but likely the result is that it crams the rear channels to the front aswell as the center. it might be okay with movies - they don't use the rear channels that much anyway - but with a music dvd it is an issue (recently tested shine a light on a stereo set).

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Downmix to stereo? How?

Does every DVD player come with that?

I have searched using the phrase "downmix to stereo" and all the explanations are much too technical for me. Can anyone phrase it in easy language? I am not looking for mp3 solutions. I am just looking for a way to see and hear a musical on DVD so that the orchestra doesn't sound louder than the singers (BTW, this only happens when they actually sing, not when there is music under dialogue, and not when there is only one instrument, like a single acoustic guitar, playing the accompaniment for the song).

Re: Downmix to stereo? How?

Your DVD player should have a setup menu where you tell it what kind of TV and sound system is connected, what language you want on the menus, what picture tweaks, stuff like that. Sometimes the full settings are only available when there's no DVD playing (stopped or ejected).

Just what the menu says will vary from one player to another. If you tell us what make and model you have, someone may be able to look up the owner's manual and explain it more exactly.

Or just get a home theater receiver... $100 or so should get a used or clearance model from a brand people have actually heard of before. Pick up 4 reasonably similar bookshelf (or larger) stereo speakers at yard sales or thrift stores, and you can do 4.0. Any decent surround receiver can be set to mix the center and subwoofer channels into the main speakers if necessary. In the future, add a subwoofer or 2, center channel, or a full matched set of speakers like the Energy Take 5 setup. If you can't afford a surround receiver, just use a stereo receiver. That should cost next to nothing. People are just chucking out excellent (but "obsolete") stereo equipment. Any stereo that didn't come from a department store should sound indescribably better than TV speakers.

Re: Downmix to stereo? How?

Does every DVD player come with that?
is it a required fuction of a dvd player set in the standard? hardly.
has the option been in every dvd player i ever saw? yes.
do i know the options on every single dvd player ever manufactured? no.

I have searched using the phrase "downmix to stereo" and all the explanations are much too technical for me. Can anyone phrase it in easy language?
search through the settings of the dvd player, where-ever there's the sound set up, set it to stereo/2.0/whatever (as opposed to "digital surround", "dolby digital", "dts" or whatever).

whatever the actual option says, what you want to do is to set it for 2 stereo speakers. look for equivalent.

also, check if the actual dvd has more then one audiotrack, and if it does, always use the 2.0 stereo, if possible. most music discs seem to have 2.0 tracks.

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