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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,


I have a rather strange issue, which I'm excited I'm finally beginning to sort out, but is really strange and I'd love some input. Hopefully this is the right forum section for this, as I really wasn't sure whether to post here in DVD players or the audio theory section, but I have a feeling the issue may be in the DVD player (though it's possible it's the receiver also).


First off, my DVD Player is the Panasonic S97. My stereo receiver is a Kenwood VRS-6100. The discs I'm having the issue with are the Doctor Who Series (1-4; doesn't matter which Season) [the new series]. I'm honestly not sure if other discs experience the issue as I've been backlogged on my DirecTivo and mostly watch that.


I've been disappointed for quite some time as every time I play the discs, sound seems way off balance to the point of ruining the experience. To try to be more specific, if I increased the volume to where voices sounded to be of proper volume (and music as well), sound effects (explosions, etc.) were WAY too loud, painfully so. And if I decreased volume to where sound effects were reasonable, everything else seemed way too soft, especially voices.


So last night I got fed up and decided to play around with the DVD player/stereo receiver and try to fix the problem. Played with AV Enhance, Dialogue Enhance, raising Center Channel output, etc...etc. (eventually turned it all back off). Eventually I found two possible solutions:


1.) If I made the receiver output stereo despite the 5.1 mix, sound levels were correct, but that obviously is not ideal as I want the 5.1.


2.) What I'm using now is PCM audio instead of Bitstream in the DVD Player Settings, which also (thank goodness - this was driving me nuts!) has proper audio levels for the sound effects AND 5.1. Now, from everything I've read, PCM converts to a dual channel stream, then the receiver reconverts it to 5.1, whereas Bitstream sends the full signal directly and thus needs no conversion (so *should* be the better signal). I tested and retested - Bitstream gives me the wacky levels and PCM works perfectly with 5.1 sound.


Does anyone have any idea what is going on here? This is a fine solutions if that's the best we can do, but I'm rather perplexed by it. By the way, an interesting note is that my DirecTivo (one of the old HR10 models), also connected like the DVD player via HDMI, works fine for 5.1 Dolby Digital and does not exhibit this problem - I also checked and while conversion to PCM is an option for the DirecTV receiver, it is NOT enabled - it's sending full Dolby Digital and sounds fine, which I would think should be equivalent to Bitstream on a DVD player. Anyways, scratching my head over this one - thanks for any input!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Just in case anybody also having this problem looks at this thread, I was able to find out this happens to simply be a problem with these DVD's (Series 1-3; it's apparently fixed in 4 and hopefully future releases). Apparently the center channel is far too soft, and the fix is either boosting the center channel or possibly (haven't tried it yet but heard it may work) using something like Dynamic Range Control. At any rate, at least I now know it's not my setup and it can be worked around.
 
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