Digital Cable and volume

Oren

Well-Known Member
Oct 13, 2008
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NE NJ
I have iO Digital Cable by Cablevision.

Does anyone else have the issue where the volume fluctuates drastically from channel to channel, or even on the same channel during commercials?

In other words, we can be watching a program at a comfortable volume level, then some commercials are obnoxiously loud, others are not loud enough, etc. We find ourselves constantly with the remote at hand to keep adjusting the volume level.

Same when changing channels... one channel can be way too loud, the next channel not loud enough, etc.

Is this normal? Is there anything that I can do that'll help maintain a consistent volume level?
 

MM

Administrator
Oct 9, 2008
4,312
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New England
My in laws live in NJ and they have the same issue with the same company.

When commercials come on it gets so loud, then quiet. You have to have the remote ready at all times.
 

kc1ih

Active Member
Oct 16, 2008
220
26
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Hudson, Florida
I think this becomes an issue because the audio on analog TV is quite compressed, so that it will still make it thru in areas of bad reception. In digital, there is no need for this compression, and therefore volume differences become more obvious.
 

Sirius Rich

Well-Known Member
Oct 11, 2008
2,153
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Houston
I have the same problem with DISH Network and is much worse on the HD channels. I called DISH complaining and they said it was my TV and they could do nothing about it. This problem has gotten worse over the past few months, I have had DISH for 8 years and never noticed the problem before. It has to be the advertisers demanding an increase in volume and the irritation is exaggerated when the commercials are not in HD.

I have even tried to lower my maximum volume setting on my home theater system, but cannot hear the audio during the broadcast of whatever HD program I am watching. Now that Fox News is in HD, my piss offness is reaching new levels.:eek:
 

Grüpsaar

DRC Forum Bum
Oct 11, 2008
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www.youtube.com
DISH at my folks house does the same, yes. THe commercials change volumes and my mom and dad are constantly bickering at eachother at how loud they have the tv, or how quiet it is. :)
 

memebag

Top Brass, ADVP
Oct 11, 2008
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Memebag explains "dynamic range":

It happens because some audio content (especially commercials, especially local commercials) has smaller dynamic range. "Dynamic range" is the difference between the loudest and quietest sounds, and it's determined by the production chain, and sometimes altered by compressors and expanders. The loudest sound your speakers can make is determined by your volume control. The quietest sound is then determined in part by the dynamic range of the content. So if you're watching CSI, which has a wide dynamic range, you have to turn the volume up to hear the quiet bits. When Crazy Floyd's used car commercial comes on, his quietest sounds are very close to his loudest sounds, making the whole thing just sound louder. The same applies when switching channels. Each one has a different dynamic range, so the noise floor keeps moving up and down.

Many consumer audio systems, TVs and even cable boxes include compressors that will reduce the dynamic range of all signals. It's often labels "late night mode" or something like that. It will make CSI sound more like Crazy Floyd, so you can turn the volume down and have a more even listening experience.
 

Oren

Well-Known Member
Oct 13, 2008
1,863
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NE NJ
Now that Fox News is in HD, my piss offness is reaching new levels.:eek:


Well, GOOD!!! LOL!!! :p. Thank Hey-Zeus!!

Yeah, Rich, it's worse on the HD channels for me as well. AND my cable company is "clueless" just like they're "clueless" about me not having to frequently reboot my cable box, and just like how their clueless about not improving the channel guide.

I think you're right! It might be a HD/non-HD thing! I'll have to watch and see.

;) Thanks!
 

limegrass69

Confused
Oct 12, 2008
6,079
245
63
New York
I have Cablevison and experience the same problem as well. It is for one or more reasons...

The local inserts are of particular annoyance. It has a lot to do with laziness on the part of the cable co. properly configuring their equipment.

The networks and affiliates are also part of the problem as well. I can't tell you the number of times I'd be watching a show in DD5.1, and then a commercial would come on and the audio comes out of one of the rear speakers, or out of one of the front side speakers. Either poorly engineered plan or poorly engineered material.

A lot of the material you see is prepared by third parties and can be mastered (either intentionally or unintentionally) to different specs. And, some stuff is just intended to be L-O-U-D!!!!
 

IronJabroni

Well-Known Member
Oct 13, 2008
1,607
94
48
I have iO Digital Cable by Cablevision.

Does anyone else have the issue where the volume fluctuates drastically from channel to channel, or even on the same channel during commercials?

iO, same as you...and yes the same deal here
 

JoeTan

Well-Known Member
Oct 14, 2008
1,425
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48
I hate when you go to turn up the TV and the cable box volume starts adjusting and you have NO IDEA THAT IT EVEN EXISTS and now you have another volume to contend with.
 

limegrass69

Confused
Oct 12, 2008
6,079
245
63
New York
I hate when you go to turn up the TV and the cable box volume starts adjusting and you have NO IDEA THAT IT EVEN EXISTS and now you have another volume to contend with.

Most cable boxes have the ability to lock the volume at a fixed level and thus you'd control volume at the component or TV.
 

blyons200

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Oct 12, 2008
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The dynamic range thing Memebag exlplained is how commercials get around the rules concerning volume. The techniques obviously work. I have the same issue on Directv on HD channels and non HD channels. Football games have a very large dynamic range and commercials about blow you out of the room when they come on. It's extremely irritating that I have to constantly change the volume. I have a smart sound setting that helps, but it ruins the dynamic range too, which is important for the show you're watching.

I dunno, maybe a new rule that commercials have to use a certain percentage of dynamic range? There needs to be some way to fix this. It drives me insane!:mad:
 

memebag

Top Brass, ADVP
Oct 11, 2008
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The dynamic range thing Memebag exlplained is how commercials get around the rules concerning volume. The techniques obviously work. I have the same issue on Directv on HD channels and non HD channels. Football games have a very large dynamic range and commercials about blow you out of the room when they come on. It's extremely irritating that I have to constantly change the volume. I have a smart sound setting that helps, but it ruins the dynamic range too, which is important for the show you're watching.

I dunno, maybe a new rule that commercials have to use a certain percentage of dynamic range? There needs to be some way to fix this. It drives me insane!:mad:

It isn't a rule, it's an effect of production technology. If a local commercial is recorded and produced on crap gear, it's going to have tiny dynamic range. The reason we're all aware of it now is that some technology has gotten better (network production & distribution, consumer digital audio gear) while other technology hasn't.

It never bothers me. I just don't watch commercials.
 

blyons200

These pretzels are making me thirsty.
Oct 12, 2008
8,449
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The BBQ Capital
It isn't a rule, it's an effect of production technology. If a local commercial is recorded and produced on crap gear, it's going to have tiny dynamic range. The reason we're all aware of it now is that some technology has gotten better (network production & distribution, consumer digital audio gear) while other technology hasn't.

It never bothers me. I just don't watch commercials.
There are FCC rules concerning the volume of commercials. They aren't supposed to be aired louder than the TV program. They use dynamic range compression to increase the volume, to get around this rule.