Roku Sound Volume Low

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Roku Sound Volume Low

Postby DoolinDalton » Mon Dec 20, 2010 7:31 am

Has anyone else experienced this? The volume is really low even though I have the TV volume set really high. But it's not for all sounds. The background sounds are fine but the conversation volume is very low. So, I would have the TV volume pumped up really high to hear what the actors are saying, and then there would be some kind of background sound in the movie and that sound would just go "BOOM" because I have the volume so high. Do you know what I'm talking about?
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Re: Roku Sound Volume Low

Postby opiate » Mon Dec 20, 2010 8:10 am

I have brought this up in the past. The dialog is quite bad. Background and ambient sounds drowns out the conversations. I did not get a response to my concern so I purchased a soundbar. While this has helped some I still have difficulty understanding what people are saying.
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Re: Roku Sound Volume Low

Postby DoolinDalton » Mon Dec 20, 2010 8:30 am

Ok, At leasts someone understands what I'm talking about. Did you notice that this doesn't happen on some shows? For example, I noticed it doesn't happen with Kid's Cartoons. But so far, it has happened to all Movies. I can't believe there aren't more complaints regrading this, which makes me think maybe there is some kind of sound setting we are missing? Also, I tried watching some movies thru Amazon and those seem fine. So, may be it's just Netflix movies? But then, I don't recall having this problem when I used to watch Netflix on my computer. So, basically, I'm not sure where the problem is.
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Re: Roku Sound Volume Low

Postby Serendip » Mon Dec 20, 2010 10:44 am

Hmmm... I have the reverse problem, the sound volume is too high!

If I forget to lower the sound when I switch the tv input from "cable" to "roku" and select the movie or show I want to watch, and I'm not RIGHT there to lower it, it is deafening. This is on all the channels. (I notice it most on Netflix, Pandora and TuneIn Radio, since I most often use those.) Even the Yule Log popping and crackling is so high, it makes you jump.
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Re: Roku Sound Volume Low

Postby jeffrok » Mon Dec 20, 2010 10:52 am

To to OP- how do you have the Roku hooked up? To a TV? To a home theatre system? What kind of cables? Sometimes that makes a difference.
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Re: Roku Sound Volume Low

Postby KennyJ » Mon Dec 20, 2010 10:55 am

I've never noticed this on either of my Rokus -- hooked in various configurations. I actually have more of a problem with this on Blu-ray/DVD content than I do the Roku.
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Re: Roku Sound Volume Low

Postby mikebdoss » Mon Dec 20, 2010 12:13 pm

A semi-related problem for me. Most Roku channels (Netflix, Hulu+, Mymedia) play sound at a "normal" level - about the same level my other devices use. But Radio Paradise (and the Radio Paradise stream on the Poker game channel) are absurdly loud at that level, and I have to turn the TV WAY down to listen. I connect via HDMI, so I assume there's not much I can do to manually tweak the thing.
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Re: Roku Sound Volume Low

Postby DoolinDalton » Mon Dec 20, 2010 12:28 pm

jeffrok wrote:To to OP- how do you have the Roku hooked up? To a TV? To a home theatre system? What kind of cables? Sometimes that makes a difference.


Roku is connected via HDMI cable. I have no sound system, just speakers on my HDTV. Also, in case you are wondering, Roku is hardwired to the router.

I just started to look into this and from what I'm reading, (as others have chimed in on this thread as well) sound consistency seems to be a general problem, probably because Roku has to handle content from various providers. Provider "A" and provider "B" may have "recorded" the sounds at different levels.

But what I'm experiencing is different because the sound volume inconsistency is from within the same content provider, in this case Netflix, and from within the same show. Just to reiterate using an example, if I were watching a war movie, the conversations would be low but the sounds of bombs and gunfire would be at normal levels. So, if I were to have the TV volume high to hear the conversations, the sounds of bombs and gunfire would get very very loud.
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Re: Roku Sound Volume Low

Postby mikebdoss » Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:46 pm

DoolinDalton wrote:But what I'm experiencing is different because the sound volume inconsistency is from within the same content provider, in this case Netflix, and from within the same show. Just to reiterate using an example, if I were watching a war movie, the conversations would be low but the sounds of bombs and gunfire would be at normal levels. So, if I were to have the TV volume high to hear the conversations, the sounds of bombs and gunfire would get very very loud.


I have that issue as well with Netflix - Sci-fi action shows have dialogue I have to turn up to hear at all, then I'm knocked across the room by the action sequences. That said, I had that same issue with my last few cable boxes, both on my current TV and others. I've always assumed shows are produced that way on purpose.
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Re: Roku Sound Volume Low

Postby DoolinDalton » Tue Dec 21, 2010 1:56 pm

mikebdoss wrote:I have that issue as well with Netflix - Sci-fi action shows have dialogue I have to turn up to hear at all, then I'm knocked across the room by the action sequences. That said, I had that same issue with my last few cable boxes, both on my current TV and others. I've always assumed shows are produced that way on purpose.


I've never had this issue on my HDTV with other inputs. Netflix thru Roku is the only time I get this. You gave an example of a Sci Fi movie which I also experienced. But it also happens with scene where it is mostly conversations. In one scene the volume is OK, but then you go to another scene, where the actors may be speaking softly, and you can't hear them at all. If I were to adjust the TV volume so that I could hear the soft conversation, then the previous scene where the actor were talking in normal tone, would've come thru really loud.

I mean, I can't believe that's how the movie was meant to be. I'm still trying to do some apples to apples comparison, like take the same movie scene that I'm having sound problems via Roku and watch the same scene via Blue Ray, but with the 30 day time limit runnning out, I'm very close to just returning this flakey device.
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Re: Roku Sound Volume Low

Postby RokuMarkn » Tue Dec 21, 2010 2:19 pm

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.

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Re: Roku Sound Volume Low

Postby TheEndless » Tue Dec 21, 2010 2:22 pm

DoolinDalton wrote:I mean, I can't believe that's how the movie was meant to be. I'm still trying to do some apples to apples comparison, like take the same movie scene that I'm having sound problems via Roku and watch the same scene via Blue Ray, but with the 30 day time limit runnning out, I'm very close to just returning this flakey device.

Comparing the Roku Netflix stream with the Bluray isn't going to tell you anything, because the Roku streams are stereo, while the Bluray is some digital surround format. You'd need to compare the same scene on the Roku with the same scene on another Netflix streaming device through the same audio configuration. If they sound the same, then it's either specific to the video or it's a problem with the Netflix encodes (probably due to poor downmixing). If they sound significantly different, then the issue could be with either the Roku itself, or more likely with the Netflix encodes that the Roku uses.
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Re: Roku Sound Volume Low

Postby DoolinDalton » Tue Dec 21, 2010 2:57 pm

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?
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Re: Roku Sound Volume Low

Postby DoolinDalton » Tue Dec 21, 2010 3:01 pm

TheEndless wrote:Comparing the Roku Netflix stream with the Bluray isn't going to tell you anything, because the Roku streams are stereo, while the Bluray is some digital surround format. You'd need to compare the same scene on the Roku with the same scene on another Netflix streaming device through the same audio configuration. If they sound the same, then it's either specific to the video or it's a problem with the Netflix encodes (probably due to poor downmixing). If they sound significantly different, then the issue could be with either the Roku itself, or more likely with the Netflix encodes that the Roku uses.


Yes, that would be a better test. Find a friend who watches Netflix thru, say Xbox, and compare the sound via Xbox vs via my Roku. Except I don't have someone like that.
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Re: Roku Sound Volume Low

Postby RokuMarkn » Tue Dec 21, 2010 3:08 pm

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.

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