DVD & volume

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  • 02-18-2004, 05:17 PM
    Willow
    DVD & volume
    I was wondering if it's just my system or does this happen to everyone.
    When I listen to TV or VHS the volume is at about -50dbs. When cd's its about -45dbs, but when we watch dvds its set to about -35 to -30dbs. Does this seem right and if so why does it happen? is it due to the fact that the receiver is driving 5.1 ? or that my receiver is underpowered ?
  • 02-18-2004, 05:26 PM
    Woochifer
    Volume position has NOTHING to do with whether your receiver's underpowered or not. ALL sources, whether broadcast, CD, DVDs, or analog sources, are recorded at different levels. Only with movies is there anything close to consistency with the levels because there are industry guidelines for the levels on those soundtracks. But, even there the guidelines are no always followed. The differences are in the line level before the signal gets sent to the amplifier. If anything, you don't want the levels to be too high, otherwise you get distortion.

    Also, the dynamic range with movie soundtracks is typically pretty wide. This means that the difference between the loudest and softest sounds is big. TV broadcasts and a lot of music have varying amounts of compression applied that limits the dynamic range. The average level might seem higher, compared to the DVD, but the peaks on the DVD might be much greater.
  • 02-18-2004, 05:49 PM
    Willow
    should I be concerned that I must turn up the volume higher for the dvds??

    Thanks Woochifer
  • 02-18-2004, 06:24 PM
    Woochifer
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Willow
    should I be concerned that I must turn up the volume higher for the dvds??

    Thanks Woochifer

    Not at all. So long as the sound is not getting harsh and distorted, you're fine. Audible changes in the sound or signs of distortion indicate that your receiver's underpowered. Having to turn the volume up with DVDs does not.
  • 02-18-2004, 09:55 PM
    mtrycraft
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Willow
    should I be concerned that I must turn up the volume higher for the dvds??

    Thanks Woochifer


    As woo pointed out, different mediums, CD, DVD are recorded at different levels. CD about -20dB full scale, or less, especially popular music that has low dynamic range, classical would be recorded differently.
    DVDs at -30dB full scale, or at least that is the signal the system is calibrated with.

    Not to worry, just adjust the volume control to taste :)
  • 02-19-2004, 03:47 PM
    Willow
    Thanks guys !!!
  • 02-21-2004, 04:35 PM
    Quagmire
    As Woochifer already pointed out, the DVD format boast better dynamic range over VHS and other sources. This is a good thing but can take some folks awhile to get used to it. Another factor which has some bearing on DVD volume is Dolby's Dialog Normalization function. The overall goal of this feature is to set a standard playback level for all Dolby encoded material, which usually results in an attenuation (reduction) of the signal. I happen to own the Denon AVD-2000 decoder which allows Dialog Normalization to be turned off (one of the few decoders that I know of which has this feature) and I can verify that it definitely does effect volume. So this perceived volume reduction is real and not just imagined.

    One other factor which becomes very important with the inclusion of DVD to your system is ensuring that speaker calibration levels are set correctly. This needs to be done with a test disc, not just your receiver's test tones, and calibrated with an SPL meter. It is not uncommon at all to find substantial differences in calibration, particularly for the center channel speaker, when using a test disc instead of the receiver's internal test tones. The increased dynamic range of DVD only exacerbates dialog intelligability problems when speaker levels are not properly set.

    Q