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Low Sound Volume from HDMI connection compared to Digital/Optical

post #1 of 79
Thread Starter 
I have Observed Low Sound Volume from HDMI connections compared to Output from Digital/Optical of the same devices e.g. Sony Blu ray Player, Tivo etc.

I have tried it on different receivers, different HDMI cables etc. but no luck

What do you think/suggest. Thank You
post #2 of 79
Can't say I have that problem. What receivers have you used?
post #3 of 79
Thread Starter 
Previously I had Onkyo and now I have Pioneer SC-25
post #4 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by DesiMunda View Post

Previously I had Onkyo and now I have Pioneer SC-25

So you are running both HDMI and optical simultaneously from your blu-ray other sources? If so why?
post #5 of 79
Thread Starter 
From Tivo I am running HDMI as primary connection but sound is too low therefore I am using Optical for sound from Tivo.

Also for Sony Blu ray player at present I am using only HDMI but again for watching movies etc. I have to increase volume level (+5 than normal) on receiver for adequate sound
post #6 of 79
Interesting. Could be some setting within one or both of those sources. Have you set them both to HDMI internally? I'm running a Sony BDP-S550 with a SC-27 and don't have that issue.
post #7 of 79
Thread Starter 
Sony Blu Ray Player Settings are

1. Audio Output Priority : HDMI
2. Audio (HDMI) : Auto
3. BD Audio Setting : Direct
4. Audio ATT: off
5. Dolby Digital : Dolby Digital
6. DTS: DTS
7. 48kHz/96KHz PCM : 96kHz/24bit
8. Audio DRC: Wide Range
9. Downmix: normal

Tivo Settings are :
Audio

I tried both available options : Dolby Digital & Dolby Digital to PCM
post #8 of 79
Those settings look correct. Sorry you are having those issues. It is remotely possible the optical link may have a higher gain than HDMI, but if you calibrated your system running the HDMI connection I would think those differences would be negligible.
post #9 of 79
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by croseiv View Post

Those settings look correct. Sorry you are having those issues. It is remotely possible the optical link may have a higher gain than HDMI, but if you calibrated your system running the HDMI connection I would think those differences would be negligible.

Thanks for your help. I am not clear when you say "calibrated your system running the HDMI connection"

How do I calibrate HDMI connections. I just simply connected HDMI cables to receiver and no additional settings are done on the receiver. Is there any audio setting on receiver for HDMI connections ?

Thanks
post #10 of 79
DesiMunda,

Exactly which Sony player do you have?
(So I can locate a manual to read.)

Does the receiver say what kind of audio it is receiving (DD, DTS, PCM) when playing the quiet discs?

Your symptoms are consistent with having the player configured to decompress the audio tracks and send multichannel LPCM over HDMI to your AVR. That method seems to always result in about a 4db reduction in sound level when compared to decompressing the audio in the receiver.

When playing LPCM, the receiver can't determine what kind of audio encoding was used on the disc, since it is receiving audio data which has already been decoded, so it can only display that it is receiving PCM.
post #11 of 79
Thread Starter 
Sony Blu ray Player Model # - BDP-S350
Tivo : TiVo HD DVR (http://www.tivo.com/dvr-products/tivo-hd-dvr/index.html)

When I Play Blu ray Disk - receiver displays TrueHD
post #12 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Selden Ball View Post

DesiMunda,



Your symptoms are consistent with having the player configured to decompress the audio tracks and send multichannel LPCM over HDMI to your AVR. That method seems to always result in about a 4db reduction in sound level when compared to decompressing the audio in the receiver.

Interesting. I did not know that.
post #13 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Selden Ball View Post

Your symptoms are consistent with having the player configured to decompress the audio tracks and send multichannel LPCM over HDMI to your AVR. That method seems to always result in about a 4db reduction in sound level when compared to decompressing the audio in the receiver.

How'd you reach that conclusion? Is this something you measured yourself? If so, what player(s) and processor(s) did you use? Or, is this something you read about elsewhere? If so, where?

I ask these questions because I've never seen anything about volume reductions from player decoding. Dialnorm adjustments reduce volume, often by 4dB with Dolby encodes. But, that happens with both player and receiver decoding. It appears that some processors, including some Onkyos, compensate for dialnorm reductions by raising the volume back up after the decoder has lowered it. That would account for volume differences. But, of course, those differences are not related to player vs. receiver decoding and are produced by specific receivers after decoding.
post #14 of 79
I have no such problem with the Tivo HD. HDMI or optical, sound is fine.
post #15 of 79
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelJHuman View Post

I have no such problem with the Tivo HD. HDMI or optical, sound is fine.

What are your audio settings on Tivo; may be I can try that

what is your receiver make/model

Thank You
post #16 of 79
Yamaha RX-Z7. No special settings, really.
post #17 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post

How'd you reach that conclusion? Is this something you measured yourself? If so, what player(s) and processor(s) did you use? Or, is this something you read about elsewhere? If so, where?

There's a long-running AVS thread dedicated to just this issue. See
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1205652

In particular, see the measurements in
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...3#post17720973

and a third-hand response from Dolby at
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...1#post17745831
post #18 of 79
Thanks for the reply. But, I must say those links do not come close to supporting your earlier statement that player decoding always results in a 4dB reduction compared to AVR decoding. (Here's your claim: Your symptoms are consistent with having the player configured to decompress the audio tracks and send multichannel LPCM over HDMI to your AVR. That method seems to always result in about a 4db reduction in sound level when compared to decompressing the audio in the receiver.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Selden Ball View Post

There's a long-running AVS thread dedicated to just this issue. See
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1205652

That thread runs through the usual discussions of digital vs analog (not relevant here), dialnorm (which does not account for player vs. receiver decoding differences), and a host of other comments not related to volume.

Quote:


In particular, see the measurements in
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...3#post17720973

That's the only part of the thread related to PCM vs. bitstream volume and that was a test done by one individual on one movie using PLIIx processing that compared the LPCM and TrueHD outputs from a PS3 Slim to an Integra processor. When you read through the subsequent discussion, led by Sanjay Durani, it's clear that this test doesn't establish much of anything one way or another. At best, it would be limited to what the PS3 does with PCM output, a machine specific finding.

Quote:


and a third-hand response from Dolby at
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...1#post17745831

As you know, I responded to that post in that thread shortly after you posted it. Dolby is saying some manufacturers attempt to compensate for dialnorm by adding their own adjustments on top of the dialnorm reductions done by the decoder. Dolby decoders will adjust for dialnorm exactly the same way regardless of whether the decoding is being done in the player or the receiver. But, then, some players and processors may makes additional adjustments of their own.

Bottom line: I do not think you have presented anything which supports the statement you made about player decoding being responsible for a 4dB reduction in volume compared to receiver decoding. Player vs. receiver decoding is a subject that generates a lot more heat than light and I think we should all make an effort to shed extra light here. Given the lack of substantiation, it appears your statement belongs on the heat side of the balance.
post #19 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by DesiMunda View Post

I have Observed Low Sound Volume from HDMI connections compared to Output from Digital/Optical of the same devices e.g. Sony Blu ray Player, Tivo etc.

I have tried it on different receivers, different HDMI cables etc. but no luck

What do you think/suggest. Thank You

I've had the same problem with HDMI with three different receivers. Audio was always lower at the same setting when compared to my digital cables. Hence why I no longer use HDMI in my setup. Years and years of ********. Two many bugs with each version they put out. I'm back to Digital Coax/Optical and loving it.
post #20 of 79
I feel the need to point out that a minor difference like 4 dB seems unimportant. Certainly I see no reason to be concerned with using HDMI if the only "issue" is a 4 dB reduction in SPL (no matter what the cause.)

If the sound was effected in some way other than gain I could see why someone would be worried.
post #21 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by diamonddelts View Post

I've had the same problem with HDMI with three different receivers. Audio was always lower at the same setting when compared to my digital cables. Hence why I no longer use HDMI in my setup. Years and years of ********. Two many bugs with each version they put out. I'm back to Digital Coax/Optical and loving it.

I hope you realize that the HDMI cable and HDMI interface have nothing to do with this. It's the volume of the PCM output on tracks decoded in the player. If you set your player to bitstream, the volume of a legacy DD 5.1 or DTS track will be the same regardless of whether it is sent over an HDMI or an S/PDIF connection.
post #22 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post

I hope you realize that the HDMI cable and HDMI interface have nothing to do with this. It's the volume of the PCM output on tracks decoded in the player. If you set your player to bitstream, the volume of a legacy DD 5.1 or DTS track will be the same regardless of whether it is sent over an HDMI or an S/PDIF connection.

This problem was with everyday tv watching.
post #23 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by diamonddelts View Post

This problem was with everyday tv watching.

So turn it up!

You do realize that not every source component outputs audio at the same level don't you? Movies are created to play back at a certain reference level. In a properly calibrated system they will do exactly that (if the system is capable). TV on the other hand does not adhere to any particular standard. There can be different volume levels between different channels. There can be different volume levels between programs on the same channel. Then there are commercials! CDs are even worse sometimes. None of this has anything to do with HDMI or other digital cables. This is the reason capabilities like Dolby Volume, THX Loudness Plus, and Audyssey Dynamic Volume/Dyanamic EQ were created: To compensate for these volume differences.

As far as the OP's complaint goes, he never defined "low volume" (He did mention he had to turn things up 5 dB over "normal" volume whatever that is.) nor was any data presented to substantiate his claim. Without that information, my response is the same: So turn it up!
post #24 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluesky636 View Post

So turn it up!


Amen, brother. Never understood why volume differences between inputs, components, sources, or different cable types was such a big deal. Every receiver and pre/pro I've ever owned came with this amazing feature designed to compensate for these differences: the volume knob.
post #25 of 79
Not to mention that many receivers and processors have per-input audio-level trims. What exactly are those for, if not to compensate for varying output levels of different source devices?

You adjust it once when you add a new component, never touch it again, and everything is magically at the same level.
post #26 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by diamonddelts View Post

This problem was with everyday tv watching.

Which matters not at all.

If you send encoded audio (DD 5.1) from a TV source over HDMI and over S/PDIF, you'll get the same volume. If you send stereo PCM from a TV source over HDMI and ver S/PDIF, you'll get the same volume. The HDMI cable and the HDMI interface have nothing to do with what you observed.
post #27 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post

Which matters not at all.

If you send encoded audio (DD 5.1) from a TV source over HDMI and over S/PDIF, you'll get the same volume. If you send stereo PCM from a TV source over HDMI and ver S/PDIF, you'll get the same volume. The HDMI cable and the HDMI interface have nothing to do with what you observed.

There was a difference which was annoying. Never had this problem since I went back to digital coax/optical. I'm never going back to any version of HDMI. So there will be no other issues of this nature.
post #28 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluesky636 View Post

So turn it up!

You do realize that not every source component outputs audio at the same level don't you? Movies are created to play back at a certain reference level. In a properly calibrated system they will do exactly that (if the system is capable). TV on the other hand does not adhere to any particular standard. There can be different volume levels between different channels. There can be different volume levels between programs on the same channel. Then there are commercials! CDs are even worse sometimes. None of this has anything to do with HDMI or other digital cables. This is the reason capabilities like Dolby Volume, THX Loudness Plus, and Audyssey Dynamic Volume/Dyanamic EQ were created: To compensate for these volume differences.

As far as the OP's complaint goes, he never defined "low volume" (He did mention he had to turn things up 5 dB over "normal" volume whatever that is.) nor was any data presented to substantiate his claim. Without that information, my response is the same: So turn it up!

No need to turn it up with my hdmi cables in the trash where they belong. Digital coax/optical all the way. May HDMI rest in peace.
post #29 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by diamonddelts View Post

There was a difference which was annoying. Never had this problem since I went back to digital coax/optical. I'm never going back to any version of HDMI. So there will be no other issues of this nature.

That's fine. I don't doubt you heard a difference. I am just pointing out that the cause of that difference is not the type of cable you were using. What you describe is not possible when the audio source is the same. Perhaps you have different settings on the HDMI and S/PDIF outputs of your player/TV source or different settings on the HDMI and S/PDIF inputs on your receiver.
post #30 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post

That's fine. I don't doubt you heard a difference. I am just pointing out that the cause of that difference is not the type of cable you were using. What you describe is not possible when the audio source is the same. Perhaps you have different settings on the HDMI and S/PDIF outputs of your player/TV source or different settings on the HDMI and S/PDIF inputs on your receiver.

Thanks for your posts. They really were informative instead of the usual "you disagree with me so let me explain why your an idiot" posts that flood every forum on the web. I've saved your post and should I ever decide to give HDMI another try in the future I will definitely revisit this information. Thanks again.
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