I am not 100% sure but this is also the case for any good DVD. The sounds will be much quiter... I was told it is because the sounds should be quite, and then the system is suppose to make it load... Not the recoreding being load then you get a problem with not as clear when you turn it up... Not 100% sure but what I was told.
I believe that this is a matter of encoding, not of quality. There is no trade off, at reasonable levels, between level of recording and quality, as Chris intimates. I find it a bit of a pain to have to adjust while surfing, but what the heck. Art
A lot of SD broadcasters also compress (more or less) so that the quiet bits are louder and the whole sound level is boosted close to the max allowed (like FM stations which compress to only a few dB total range , so you stop at a loud channel). For KPIX our local CBS affiliate who does a good job (now) of passing the network feed, they do a lousy job of matching sound levels - network feed is fine and the network commercials are loud (but no louder than the loudest program level) but when they cut in with their local stuff ("film at 11" and local commercials) it's way too loud and has me scrambling to hit the mute button. When you have and make good use of the dynamic range that DD provides you can run into problems!
The worst offender, however, seems to be the Dish demo loop which is way too quiet - if you set the volume so you can hear this well, you might blow out a speaker or a fuse if you switch directly to almost any other channel, let alone an "action" movie!
I noticed this same problem, but my setup splits the OTA antenna before it feeds the STB (Pana TU-HDS20)and the VCR (Pana PV-VS4821). The result is a great sound from the VCR, a diminished volume from the STB and practically no sound at all when switched to TV (Pana CT-34WX50). All sound feeds come directly from the Program Out on the Panny Tau straight to a Teac Surround Recvr. Anyone else experiencing this same problem?
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