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Old 04-06-2009, 02:57 PM   #1
Valkyr47 Valkyr47 is offline
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Default Sony BDP-S350 volume too low on some movies

I recently purchased the BDP-S350 and have it hooked to my Sony Bravia KDL-46S4100 via HDMI. I do not have a sound system at all, im playing audio right out of my tv's speakers

When i first got it and set it up, the volume was way to low on all movies... i would have to turn my bravia volume to almost 50 just to hear it

then i saw a forum post to go into audio options and change the dynamic range setting to "TV" instead of "Auto" because i DONT have a sound system.

This seemed to fix it at the time, however as ive been purchasing more and more blu-rays, ive noticed a new trend.

the only movies where the audio is loud enough are ones that support a 2 channel audio track, like POTC and ratatouille for example

yesterday i went to watch transformers and the only english audio track was some trueHD or something like that... and once again, ive gotta crank the bravia to 50+ just to hear it

that creates a huge problem when switching between sources as i sometimes forget to lower volume, and shouldnt have to worry about that

plus i cant imagine its good to have the tv's volume setting that high

any ideas what i can do?
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Old 04-06-2009, 03:55 PM   #2
Cortiz Cortiz is offline
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I too had the same problem, and I ended up getting the Panasonic player instead. Basically, there's no way around it. If you set the player to TV mode, all movies with the True HD soundtrack the volume will be way too low and compressed. If you choose the Wide Range or Auto setting, then all movies with regular Dolby 2.0 or 5.1 soundtrack, the volume will be way too low. Also, I found the dialog from this player too be way too low and hard to hear on many movies, SD or Blu. I struggled with this player for almost a month and couldn't find a happy medium. That and the fact the player doesn't have slow mo, was a deal breaker to me. I went ahead and bought the new Panny BD60 and problem solved!...No more audio problems and everything is just normal. PQ is also great as well......
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Old 04-06-2009, 04:12 PM   #3
Valkyr47 Valkyr47 is offline
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really? so its an audio problem directly related to this model?

weird

i cant really return the player and theres no way i can afford another one

guess im stuck with it

next time i will read more reviews i suppose!
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Old 04-06-2009, 04:45 PM   #4
Cortiz Cortiz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valkyr47 View Post
really? so its an audio problem directly related to this model?

weird

i cant really return the player and theres no way i can afford another one

guess im stuck with it

next time i will read more reviews i suppose!

I don't think it's a problem. It's just the way Sony designed it I guess. There's one more thing you can do though. Under Audio settings, go to BD audio settings and change it to Direct. It will sound a lot better but you won't be able to listen to the PIP commentaries as by setting the player to direct you are turning off the secondary audio....Also, if you have a Sony TV, go to the audio settings and turn Steady Sound on...Hope this helps...
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Old 04-06-2009, 04:49 PM   #5
Valkyr47 Valkyr47 is offline
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i will check for that setting and adjust it as you described

i dont even bother with special features and pip and all that stuff so if it fixes the volume issue than im happy

i chatted with sony support and he wanted me to install latest firmware... i dont see the point, as i read the firmware details and mentions no fix for such issue, but i suppose it cant hurt

i will try both of these and let you know if its better

thanks for all the help guys!
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Old 04-06-2009, 04:50 PM   #6
Valkyr47 Valkyr47 is offline
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btw whats steady sound?

i will look tonight but i dont recall any option like that on my tv

because my tv is the lowest quality bravia model, its very limited in its menu's / options
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Old 04-06-2009, 05:07 PM   #7
Cortiz Cortiz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valkyr47 View Post
btw whats steady sound?

i will look tonight but i dont recall any option like that on my tv

because my tv is the lowest quality bravia model, its very limited in its menu's / options

Your Bravia TV should have it under the Audio settings. It will even out the sound so that louder parts are not too loud and dialog is louder and clearer....
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Old 04-06-2009, 05:08 PM   #8
Trix Trix is offline
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If it is feasible, you may also want to consider routing your audio through regular RCA cables instead of through the HDMI. If you have an audio input that can be assigned for an HDMI, this would force the player to do the decoding and send the signal as a line level out, which should, in theory, be of very similar audio level for all audio formats. Worth a try?
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Old 04-06-2009, 05:14 PM   #9
Valkyr47 Valkyr47 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trix View Post
If it is feasible, you may also want to consider routing your audio through regular RCA cables instead of through the HDMI. If you have an audio input that can be assigned for an HDMI, this would force the player to do the decoding and send the signal as a line level out, which should, in theory, be of very similar audio level for all audio formats. Worth a try?
sure, i dont see any reason i couldnt do that, just didnt think to as all my devices are using only HDMI

what are rca cables? the white and red audio ones?

I was also under the impression that even with only tv speakers the audio quality is better through HDMI than through the older white/red cables
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Old 04-06-2009, 08:15 PM   #10
Trix Trix is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valkyr47 View Post
sure, i dont see any reason i couldnt do that, just didnt think to as all my devices are using only HDMI

what are rca cables? the white and red audio ones?

I was also under the impression that even with only tv speakers the audio quality is better through HDMI than through the older white/red cables
Yes, sorry, RCA cables are the regular white/red audio cables. As far as quality goes, that statement is really debatable. If your TV has no way of handling any audio beyond 2.0 PCM, then there is essentially no difference between the TV converting any incoming audio to 2.0 PCM, and the player converting it first for transport. Just consider players with 7.1 analog outs that do the decoding from non-HDMI receivers; same audio quality, different method of digital-to-analog-conversion.
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Old 04-06-2009, 08:30 PM   #11
Valkyr47 Valkyr47 is offline
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im not sure what my tv is capable of audio-wise to be honest

if the audio quality between HDMI and RCA would be no different without a sound system then i will just do that

im going to try the firmware update and audio settings change first, as that will spare me having an extra cable running behind my tv

will post later tonight about results!

thanks everyone!
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Old 04-07-2009, 10:14 AM   #12
Valkyr47 Valkyr47 is offline
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ok so i installed the firmware last night, made no difference volume still needed to be on 45+ just to hear transformers well enough

went to audio options and saw nothing called "direct"

i didnt find under HDMI audio options theres a choice between "Auto" and "2ch PCM"

what is 2ch PCM, and do you think this would help?
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Old 04-07-2009, 12:44 PM   #13
RailNut69 RailNut69 is offline
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Valkyr47, I can sympathise with you as I have the exact same problem going on here with my S350. I have a 2008 model Sony Bravia-S KDL-32S3000 and a new BDP-S350. Like you, I have my BD player hooked directly to my TV via HDMI.

I've played about 10 movies so far and basically am experiencing the same thing as you. If I turn the volume up high enough to be able to here the dialog, some of the sound effects and music will darn near blow my speakers out when they come on. I do not have this problem with anything but the blu-ray discs.

Yesterday I tried to switch 2 or 3 different things in the BD player audio settings:

1. I tried to "AUDIO (HDMI)" I switched this from the default which is "auto" to "2ch PCM". No noticable help so I switched it back.

2. "BD AUDIO SETTING" I switched it from the default which was "mix" to "direct". No noticable help so I switched it back.

3. "AUDIO DRC" I switched from the default "auto" to "TV Mode" and again I didn't see any difference so I switched it back.

I don't know anything about this stuff, but I know this stinks... I had to watch Iron Man last night with subtitles so I didn't wake everyone in the house. Like I said, turn it up loud enough to hear the dialog and the other sound effects and music audio can come through and knock you out of your chair. It's almost like the sound isn't mixed right for the 2 tv speakers at all.

Otherwise loving the player so this is very frustrating.



Edit: Forgot to say, some movies are worse than others with this problem, but it exists with all movies I've tried. Also, I'm having to turn up my volume to 50 or more on some movies which is really high compared to everything else I've had hooked to the tv.

Last edited by RailNut69; 04-07-2009 at 12:48 PM.
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Old 04-07-2009, 01:01 PM   #14
RailNut69 RailNut69 is offline
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I might try something else today which I guess is kinda what Trix suggested.

I noticed that my second HDMI connection on the back of my tv has a pair of red and white analog jacks under it. That is the HDMI port I am using for the BD player. According to the TV manual this is something to do with using a DVI to HDMI adapter, but anyway...

I think I will hook red/white type RCA cables to the back of the BD player and the other end into the red/white under the HDMI connection on the back of the tv. THEN, go into the BD player audio settings and change AUDIO OUTPUT PRIORITY from HDMI to STEREO ANALOG.

I'm assuming this way the video will be HDMI and the audio will be through the RCA jacks?? I wonder if I would have to change anything else like would it screw up the sync between picture and sound?

I really can't understand why just changing the "Audio (HDMI)" setting to "2ch PCM" doesn't fix our problem because the manual says that it "Downmixes to 2ch linear PCM signals before outputting from the HDMI OUT jack.

admittedly I don't even know what PCM means or any of this stuff. I barely know what "tv" means. LOL
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Old 04-07-2009, 02:04 PM   #15
RailNut69 RailNut69 is offline
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Okay, I just rigged up things the exact way I said I'd try in post #14. I can tell you with great certainty that isn't the answer.

I had to turn up the tv atleast as loud if not louder to hear the voice and when the first explosion hit the humvee (Iron Man) it was like 10x louder than the dialog and scared the crap out of me. LOL

This is ridiculous...
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Old 04-07-2009, 02:13 PM   #16
FRAK FRAK is offline
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Default Finally! Issue resolved!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cortiz View Post
Under Audio settings, go to BD audio settings and change it to Direct.
THANK YOU for posting this info, Cortiz. I was having this exact same problem with two of my titles: Trading Places and V for Vendetta. We had to crank the volume up creating an annoying hum in all the speakers. I tried this setting, as you suggested, popped in V... and it sounds perfect!

And thanks to Valkyr47 for posting the problem that I never got around to posting.

I LOVE THIS FORUM!!!
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Old 04-07-2009, 02:56 PM   #17
RailNut69 RailNut69 is offline
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Originally Posted by FRAK View Post
THANK YOU for posting this info, Cortiz. I was having this exact same problem with two of my titles: Trading Places and V for Vendetta. We had to crank the volume up creating an annoying hum in all the speakers. I tried this setting, as you suggested, popped in V... and it sounds perfect!

And thanks to Valkyr47 for posting the problem that I never got around to posting.

I LOVE THIS FORUM!!!

I wonder why switching to direct did nothing for me? I even tried it again to make sure. I think TROY was one of the BD movies I have that I really had to crank the volume with. I'll have to try it with the "direct" setting next time. I guess my problem was a little different than you guys. I had to turn it way up on some movies, but more my problem was the dialog being too quiet and the sound effects and music being way too loud at the setting that was right for the dialog.

After spending all morning changing just about everything possible to change I finally found what I guess I'm going to try to live with. I went into my TV's menu and I turned on "steady sound". Now with Iron Man for example, when I play the opening scene I turn up the volume to whatever I need to hear the dialog well (in this case 35 which seems about like my dvd player) and when the explosions hit it made a dramatic difference in not blowing me upside down in my recliner.

I assume that one day when I can get a home theater system everything will output and sound the way it should. For the forseeable future I have to just have it connected directly to the tv.
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Old 04-07-2009, 03:30 PM   #18
BIslander BIslander is online now
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I believe "steady sound" compresses dynamic range, similar to "night mode". That usually helps with dialog.

As for all the other machinations, the HDMI handshake between TV and player should produce a stereo output. Presumably, that's the same output you get when setting HDMI Audio to 2ch.

Direct/Mix shouldn't matter. The player will decode and downmix to stereo either way when connected to a TV, which is a two channel device. (FRAK didn't say how he was connected. But, he mentioned getting a hum in all of his speakers, suggesting there's a receiver involved. Direct/Mix matters with some AVR connections, but it shouldn't make a difference when the player is decoding and downmixing for stereo output.)

The L/R output might make a difference. It's still a stereo downmix. But, the player does the digital-analog conversion and it might increase the volume a bit with that output.
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Old 04-07-2009, 03:46 PM   #19
RailNut69 RailNut69 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post
I believe "steady sound" compresses dynamic range, similar to "night mode". That usually helps with dialog.

As for all the other machinations, the HDMI handshake between TV and player should produce a stereo output. Presumably, that's the same output you get when setting HDMI Audio to 2ch.

Direct/Mix shouldn't matter. The player will decode and downmix to stereo either way when connected to a TV, which is a two channel device. (FRAK didn't say how he was connected. But, he mentioned getting a hum in all of his speakers, suggesting there's a receiver involved. Direct/Mix matters with some AVR connections, but it shouldn't make a difference when the player is decoding and downmixing for stereo output.)

The L/R output might make a difference. It's still a stereo downmix. But, the player does the digital-analog conversion and it might increase the volume a bit with that output.
So that setting in the BD player audio menu called "Audio (HDMI)" should I change it from the default which is "auto" to "2ch PCM" instead? The manual doesn't expand on this stuff much if at all. I have my BD player connected straight to the tv via HDMI
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Old 04-07-2009, 05:04 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RailNut69 View Post
So that setting in the BD player audio menu called "Audio (HDMI)" should I change it from the default which is "auto" to "2ch PCM" instead? The manual doesn't expand on this stuff much if at all. I have my BD player connected straight to the tv via HDMI
You shouldn't need to use the 2ch setting because the TV and player will negotiate a two channel connection. But, that assumes the TV will tell the player it wants stereo PCM instead of a multichannel soundtrack. That's true of most TVs. But, since you never know for sure with these things, give the 2ch setting a try and see if it makes a difference.
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