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The volume on my Pioneer VSX-819H-K has to be set to almost full volume an most TV channels also for Bluray and DVD's played on my HTPC. I've tried all sorts of different settings to no avail.......
I don't like having to run the amp on almost FULL volume all the time. Music cd's are awesome (AC/DC really rattle the windows)...


Any help would be appreciated..
 

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Sounds like it may not be a problem.


Channels will differ in volume. This is common. Unless you find some commonality, like have all channels playing in PCM being quiet, and ones playing in DD loud, I would not worry too much about it.


Movies on DVD will often have similar mastering, and will average 75 dB SPL with peaks at 95 dB. This is per non subwoofer channel, and only if the receiver's auto setup calibrates that way. Not all movies are mastered to the THX standard, so this is not universal.


No idea about HTPC, I don't use one.


You can test PCM audio simply enough, download a test tone, and play it back from computer with PCM. Make sure you know the level of a test tone. A common value would be -20 dBfs. That means 20 dB below full scale. You would need an SPL meter (something like $45 at Radio Shack or so, I forget.) With standard THX reference level calibration, a -20 dBfs test tone, should play at 75 dB SPL (per channel) at -10 dB on the volume setting. Note that your receiver may not calibrate that way, but it seems common.


Testing Dolby Digital is also possible. Play a movie known to be mastered to THX standards, like Star Wars. Again, with standard receiver calibration, we would expect peak SPL levels to be 95 dB, roughly, with volume at -10 dB.


Analog input is harder to test, so I won't go into that. If you are using analog audio from your HTPC, there's settings to look at. Even digital audio from an HTPC could be subject to some settings which could be modifying it's output level.
 
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