How To Stabilize The Level Of An Audio Signal In Television Broadcast - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 9 Old 10-20-2007, 07:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Just install a new Direct Receiver DVR for my father. I have the direct receiver installed using RCA out of the receiver to RCA in on the TV for stereo. Here is the problem, with the TV volume set to a level that he can hear during a telecast of a show the volume will increase to an unbearable level during commercials. Both my father and mother wear hearing aids. This increase in volume is both very disrupting to the both of them.

Is there a product on the market that I can run the output audio signal through before reaching the TV inputs to normalize the audio? I was told to run the audio through a stereo VCR that has left and right inputs and outputs and the circuitry of the VCR will normalize the audio.

Looking For Any Help
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post #2 of 9 Old 10-20-2007, 07:39 PM
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Basically you are wanting to run the signal though a compressor of some sort before you enter the AVR.

The commercials are not actually any louder than the regular programing peaks. Here is an article that will roughly explain it for you.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17229281/

You can use something like this. (The terk)
http://www.smarthome.com/7848T.html


or

You can go for a pro model setup like an Alesis compressor
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/produ...ate?sku=182525

Just remember you will also be compressing the sound of the actual TV or movie program as well. The sound will not have the dynamic highs and lows that you normally experience in a TV program.

Due to the fact they are on hearing aids..... I don't really think this will be an issue.

Good Luck with it.

.


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I keep pointing my remote at my turntable but, it never advances to the next track.
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post #3 of 9 Old 10-22-2007, 08:03 AM - Thread Starter
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I found this piece of equipment that keeps the audio and video in sync where the Terk VR-1 has trouble maintaining the audio/video in sync. From reading customer reviews it senses within 0.000002 of a commercial and levels the audio to a pleasant level, and it really works!!! For the hearing impaired I think a product such as this may work, but for someone who whats to hear the sound in all of its dramatic glory then I would pass on this equipment.

http://www.tvsoundregulator.com/




Why is it that TV stations are permitted to raise the volume during the commercials? I find it very aggravating.
— Bob K.


Ask any TV station this question and you’ll get the same answer, “the commercials are no louder than any of the other programming we broadcast — they just sound louder.”

It’s true, the station isn’t turning up the volume when the commercials run, but that’s not the complete answer. Otherwise, you wouldn’t need to reach for the remote to turn down the volume during the commercial break. So what’s really going on here? This gets a little complicated, so stick with me on this.

The Federal Communications Commission does not specifically regulate the volume of TV programs or TV commercials. However, broadcasters are required to have equipment that limits the peak power they can use to send out their audio and video signals. That means the loudest TV commercial will never be any louder than the loudest part of any TV program.

A TV program has a mix of audio levels. There are loud parts and soft parts. Nuance is used to build the dramatic effect.
Most advertisers don’t want nuance. They want to grab your attention. To do that, the audio track is electronically processed to make every part of it as loud as possible within legal limits. “Nothing is allowed to be subtle,” says Brian Dooley, Editor-At-Large for CNET.com. “Everything is loud – the voices, the music and the sound effects.”

Spencer Critchley, writing in Digital Audio last month, explained it this way: “The peak levels of commercials are no higher than the peak levels of program content. But the average level is way, way higher, and that’s the level your ears care about. If someone sets off a camera flash every now and then it’s one thing; if they aim a steady spot light into your eyes it’s another, even if the peak brightness is no higher.”

There’s also what Brian Dooley of CNET.com calls “perceived loudness.” If you’re watching a drama with soft music and quiet dialogue and the station slams into a commercial for the July 4th Blow Out Sale, it’s going to be jarring. If you happen to go from the program into a commercial for a sleeping pill, one with a subtle soundtrack, it probably won’t bother you.

Help is on the way! Last month Dolby Laboratories announced it has developed technology to level out the sound differences that take place during shows and between TV programs and commercials. You pick the volume you like and the Dolby software will make the adjustments in real time automatically.

Dolby Volume could show up in some TV sets by the end of this year or early next year.
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post #4 of 9 Old 10-22-2007, 06:27 PM
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post #5 of 9 Old 11-20-2007, 09:42 PM
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Here's a mini-review of the tvsoundregulator. Setup: DirecTV HD setup via an Onkyo SR800 AVR. Our situation was that most evening network shows seem to bump the sound level of the commercials way up - some here have said it's peak levels, not the overall volume. Either way, it was so annoying that either my wife or I had to act like sound engineers with the remote in hand, anticipating the commercial breaks. If kept the volume down, dialog was difficult to understand.
In desparation, I looked at the few home devices out there and, based on the few reviews available, decided on the tvsoundregulator. Like many, I was so sceptical when UPS delivered the little box, that I carefully used an x-acto to remove the packaging and kept everything inside in perfect condition, anticipating sending the little "miracle box" back the next day.
Well, I installed it without using the video cable(s) - just L&R out of sat box through TVSR then into AVR. I then turned everything on and expected to spend some time "finding" the new input on the Onkyo, etc. and then facing disappointment and immediately returning the item.
Well, the Onkyo, sat box and plasma fired up with sound. I wasn't sure if the little thing was working so I disconnected it's power adapter cord. Yep, it was working with clear sound. After watching a few nights of TV, my wife & I felt it must be working, as we hadn't reached for the remote once. The real test, however, was Monday night with CSI Miami - the ultimate loud/soft soundtrack with ear-pounding commercials!
The only downside is the lack of 5.1 (since it's analog) but my DVD still has that and what good is 5.1 if you can't lay back and enjoy it without knowing that some commercial is going to send your heartbeat skyrocketing! Also, it seems to amplify very descreet sounds when there are no others - example: during Jeopardy when they're waiting for someone to buzz-in on an answer, there's silence, but there seems to be a very slight background noise. This happens only on some (studio?) shows.
I have no affiliation with this company &/or it's product. I've only had it for 12 days now, so I can't comment on it's longevity. But for now, the thing not only works, but works very well and I'd recomment it to anyone (like myself) who became very irritated with the sound level changes of tv broadcasts.
Bill.
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post #6 of 9 Old 11-24-2007, 09:29 AM - Thread Starter
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In this drawing I am showing why commercials appear to be louder over regular programming. The red peak line is the same for commercials and regular programming. This red line is the limit of which all broadcasters can not exceed. What is different is that when a commercial is present the peak is at a steady sound level during a given time frame while the regular programming is a combination of peaks and valleys of sound level. It is during this steady sound level that our ears perceive that the commercials are louder when in fact they are not louder, just loud for a longer period of time.
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post #7 of 9 Old 12-06-2007, 07:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Well I had to break down and buy one of the, http://www.tvsoundregulator.com/ first to test for myself but mainly to give to my parents who are in the mid eighties. I too was skeptical of this product. With sound meter in tow I headed over to my parents house to give this product a work over. To my surprise the damn thing works as advertised. Gone are the loud annoying commercials with pleasant transitions from normal programming to commercials then back to normal programming. The meter readings said it all. My parents who wear hearing aids both committed on how the female voices that were hard to understand are lively and can make out what is being said. On the down side is the dramatic impact you would normally hear say in a movie, but for my parents this was a great choice for them. So if you're looking to eliminate those annoying commercials this is the product that works and works very well. I too have no connection with this company but I did my homework and had read what does work and does not work. I can safely recommend this product as it does what it state that it will do On another note I did hook up the video input and output as I did not want my parents to experience any video/audio sync problems. In the image above it loos as though you can hookup another device if you were to have the cables, but I do not recall reading this in the manual...

I am also buying a product for my parents for Christmas called TV Ears. From doing a lot of reading I believe this is the ideal product for the hearing impaired to watch TV or go to the movie theaters as it has the ability to receive the audio signal that most indoor theaters broadcast. Visit their website if you're interested. It only makes complete sense that if the listener can hear the audio directly at their ears, not have the audio traveling from a distance competing with surrounding sounds or being absorbed my the carpet or reflected off of hard surfaces, then the listener will have a more enjoyable time watching, listening and understanding whats being said on TV. Also this product has the ability to remove peaks from commericals.
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post #8 of 9 Old 02-27-2008, 09:05 PM
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Some amplifiers and tvs have a feature that is often called Night mode, which regulates peaks in volume levels. My particular Harmon Kardon's version of this is not effective, but it may be something to look into. I find that dialogue is sometimes easier to understand when i have my speakers set to "small" instead of "large" on my amp, which attenuates out the lower frequencies on the main speakers and sends them to the subwoofer. I then turn off my subwoofer. Male voices sound less chesty and there is less background noise.

I have also experimented with various surround modes, but the one i find suits dialog the best is my center channel running in mono.

I own the terk volume regulator and i do find that i reach for the remote less than before, but sometimes it just makes the sound odd, emphasizing some sounds while depressing others in an inconsistent way.
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post #9 of 9 Old 03-05-2008, 12:14 PM
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I like the mute button

Or if on Tivo, the skip forward...

Sailn...
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