Roku Sound Volume Low

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Re: Roku Sound Volume Low

Postby kc8pql » Tue Dec 21, 2010 3:14 pm

DoolinDalton wrote:
RokuMarkn wrote:What you're describing has to be an issue in the encoding. There's no way that the Roku could change the volume of dialog without affecting background noise or vice versa in content with stereo (as opposed to 5.1) audio.

--Mark


What if the movie that I was having this volume problem via Roku didn't have the problem when viewed on my computer? Does this encoding issue only affect movies viewed through Roku? Or should it also affect movies viewed through computer?

Different devices have different requirements and use different encodes. Your computer doesn't use the same streams as the Roku, so it's quite possible for one to play just fine and the other won't because of a bad encode.
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Re: Roku Sound Volume Low

Postby SuetyStanes » Tue Dec 21, 2010 3:20 pm

What scene in what movie are you experiencing this?
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Re: Roku Sound Volume Low

Postby DoolinDalton » Tue Dec 21, 2010 3:23 pm

RokuMarkn wrote:
DoolinDalton wrote:What if the movie that I was having this volume problem via Roku didn't have the problem when viewed on my computer? Does this encoding issue only affect movies viewed through Roku? Or should it also affect movies viewed through computer?


Netflix provides different streams to computers vs. the streams to the Roku. So playing the "same" movie on your computer is actually playing a completely different file which was probably encoded differently.

--Mark


Mark, what you say makes sense. But not one Roku or Netflix support person mentioned this over the past week or so that I've been calling them regarding this issue. In fact, one Netflix person told me that a stream viewed thru the computer is the same stream viewed thru Roku and if viewing the movie thru Roku is giving a sound problem, then it's a problem somewhere in the Roku to TV connection or set up.
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Re: Roku Sound Volume Low

Postby antmen » Tue Dec 21, 2010 3:25 pm

The problem might be your HDTV default audio settings. Some TV's have a "virtual surround" setting or other settings to create a "bigger" space. This is accomplished with a multitude of dynamic processors like EQ and multi-band audio compressors. The problem is that the movies or media are mixed in a certain environment and, the best mixers, try to create a compromised mix. That is to say, where it will sound as best as possible on a variety of systems/places.

When I used to mix for video (or even radio) I first tested in my studio, then burned several CD's to test in a car, home, portable player, etc. then went back and tweaked. However, if my final mastered mix was then further processed by either the radio station or the system that played the music, it would create some weird changes - in some cases phasing, distortion, etc.

The best thing for you to try is to see if your TV has a NONE or FLAT setting or something similar in its audio settings. Any other setting is intended to make the TV sound much better to the user, but it plays with the mixers' intended mix.

-Anthony
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Re: Roku Sound Volume Low

Postby DoolinDalton » Tue Dec 21, 2010 3:32 pm

SuetyStanes wrote:What scene in what movie are you experiencing this?


I've had Roku for about 3 weeks and I just started paying closer attention to this phenomenon for about a week. So within this week, I've watched and sampled over 10 movies and ALL of them displayed this sound behavior. I don't know if you are asking because you want to test this, but one movie you can test is "Unders Suspicion".

I should reiterate, documentaries and children's cartoons didn't have this sound issue.
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Re: Roku Sound Volume Low

Postby DoolinDalton » Tue Dec 21, 2010 3:38 pm

antmen wrote:The best thing for you to try is to see if your TV has a NONE or FLAT setting or something similar in its audio settings. Any other setting is intended to make the TV sound much better to the user, but it plays with the mixers' intended mix.
-Anthony


I believe I tried the various sound settings on my HDTV without knowing what they do or what to hear for, but I will try your suggestion when I get home tonight.
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Re: Roku Sound Volume Low

Postby Watchfreak » Thu Dec 23, 2010 6:49 am

Hi,
New to the Forum and Roku. Bought one on the $20 and free shipping deal but have only started playing with it this week.

I noticed the sound issue, low volume on my TV and my sound system both with sound effects quite loud but voice minimal and hard to understand.

After 4 days of this I discovered how to fix it.

I have a Panasonic 42 inch plasma TV (TH-42PX60U) and under the audio settings there is one called "sound equalization". Default setting is 1 but if you raise it to 4 or 5 the problem goes away. Dont have to change volume setting anymore between Roku and cable TV and voice is louder and clear. Sound effects are only affected slightly but become more realistic instead of "booming". I am guessing most newer sets may have a similar setting adjustment.

Could hardly hear or understand "Law Abiding Citizen" dialog when I first watched it and had to raise my TV volume to 20 from 12. Now its better than in a theater. I am on Comcast and changing the setting hasnt affected that much unless it has improved it. Both Roku and CC are hooked up via HDMI BTW.

Elementary info I know and maybe partially touched on before but I hope this helps someone.

Ill continue to experiment and report any other findings.
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Re: Roku Sound Volume Low

Postby Heyitsrick » Fri Dec 24, 2010 7:46 am

As mentioned by another poster, I find that my Roku outputs audio (on all channels) at a much higher gain than my other devices (cable box, blue-ray, etc.). I really have to turn the tv volume down when switching to the Roku. And no, my TV doesn't have indivudual gain adjustments on inputs.

Edit: I have a Panasonic 50U series plasma --one model older than the poster above-- and I don't have the equalization settings he does.

2nd Edit: Disregard first edit, lol. I went back in to the TV settings and found that while there is only one "master" audio section in the menu, the settings in this one section do change dynamically depending upon which source you are using. In other words, it's not like I have an audio menu for "HDMI" and another for "Component", etc. But when I switch between sources, whatever settings I had set for HDMI and Component (I have one HDMI in) change. I happened to notice that my Component settings were being boosted by 6 on its scale, a pretty hefty increase. I guess I must have had the gain boosted at some prior time with a different device attached. So much for my memory! I have the Roku on my Component in. I brought it back down to unity gain and now the audio level is consistent with my other source inputs.
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Re: Roku Sound Volume Low

Postby JustDaveMamm » Mon Dec 27, 2010 8:31 am

RokuMarkn wrote:
DoolinDalton wrote:What if the movie that I was having this volume problem via Roku didn't have the problem when viewed on my computer? Does this encoding issue only affect movies viewed through Roku? Or should it also affect movies viewed through computer?


Netflix provides different streams to computers vs. the streams to the Roku. So playing the "same" movie on your computer is actually playing a completely different file which was probably encoded differently.

--Mark


I'll agree, Mark. My wife is constantly complaining about having to adjust the volume, scene by scene. Playing the same Netflix instant movie on a computer gives good results. We are using analog.
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Re: Roku Sound Volume Low

Postby lithcanine » Sun Aug 28, 2011 11:36 pm

Doolin Dalton: I know you posted your volume problem a long time ago, but I recently bought a Roku to watch Netflix on my old regular t.v., and I am experiencing the exact same problem. I watch movies with my t.v. remote in hand so I can keep adjusting the volume. Music and background noise are deafening if the volume is high enough for me to hear the dialogue. Did you ever resolve this problem? Thanks.
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Re: Roku Sound Volume Low

Postby tens » Mon Sep 05, 2011 12:17 pm

I am having the same problem when watching netflix movies through roku (HDMI) with my Phillips HDTV - low dialogue volume. I went out and bought a second speaker set for the TV because I initially thought the problem was due to my speakers. After Googling the issue, it appears that many people are also experiencing it on their computer from as long ago as 2008.

A great example would be the movie "Fear" or "Winters Bone" (or most other movies).

Basically the problem is the dialogue is low and muddy and everything else is normal or loud even. So when you turn it up to try and hear what is being said, the music, sound effects and others sounds get very loud in a jarring way. It's difficult to listen to.

An example of a video (documentary) that plays fine without this imbalanced volume issue on netflix through roku is "WW2 in HD".

I've tried adjusting settings and though it does improve a little if I remove any special surround sound and keep the sound flat eq wise, I still have to put the volume up pretty loud and it's still jarring and doesn't work when you are trying to keep the tv sound low at night.
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Re: Roku Sound Volume Low

Postby doctor_who42 » Fri Sep 16, 2011 6:45 pm

I'm having the same problem with my roku, I tried the same movie streaming on the wii and noticed the same problem. When I stream youtube everything is fine, it is only through netflix.
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