Recently I noticed something troubling when renting VOD titles via FiOS. We don't rent very often (maybe once a month), so this might have been going on for a while.
During New Year's we rented No Good Deed, and today we rented Nightcrawler.
I do have to say the VOD video has improved over the years to where it's comparable to watching the same title via a movie channel (still not as good as Netflix or BD, of course).
What I'm hearing in the audio, however, is very distracting. Both titles are DD5.1, but they appear to be applying some type of amplitude limiter on loud passages. Whenever there's a loud sting in the score, or a bang, or an explosion, the volume of the entire soundtrack drops down for a few seconds and is muffled, after which it cranks back up to its normal volume and clarity. It's as if there's a flexible compression being used.
Has anyone else noticed it? I guess they're trying to reduce bandwidth, but it seems like compressing the video would accomplish more for them.
Before you ask: No, the settings on my receiver haven't changed a bit, and I don't notice the same effect while watching a regular channel. It only occurs when renting VOD.