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home threater surround sound question

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dcguy

Guest
Hello. I recently set up a Dolby digital 5.1 surround home theater system. I am getting frustrated by how much time I have to spend tweaking my receiver (a brand new Yamaha HTR-5740) when I am watching movies vs. watching high def. television vs. regular non-high def. television.

I have read the receiver's user manual from front to back and have spent at least a month using the system to get a feel for the difference settings. The average person probably would not notice the subtleties that concern me, but as you know, if you spend a lot of money on a top-of-the-line system you expect it to work with minimum effort and maximum consistency.

It just seems for all these different media formats there is no one perfect setting. What is your experience? For example, it is normal that I should have to change the volume on the center channel almost 10db when watching a DVD (which I assume they are all in 5.1 or 6.1 Dolby) vs. watching 5.1 HDTV like HBO?

My last question is, sometimes when a DVD is playing and the volume is just right, all of the sudden during an action scene or something the volume will get REALLY loud and so I constantly have to have my finger on the volume control so I don't annoy my wife or the neighbors (I live in a townhouse) with the extreme volume and sub-woofer responses. Is this normal? I mean, should I have to adjust the volume many times throughout a movie in order to keep the peace? I have tried using “night” mode on the receiver, which is supposed to subdue the volume on large action scenes yet amplify voices, but the action scenes still turn out too loud.

I’m just looking for consistency in my home theater experience, and I think I have top of the line equipment and a knack for understand how things are “supposed” to work, but I am frustrated after a month of constant tweaking.

Thanks in advance for any feedback and personal experiences you can provide.
 

Ed Selley

AVF Reviewer
Given the abscence of HDTV in the UK- there won't be many people who can give you positive and useful feedback on using it. There is however a sizable difference between various digital sources and these can often need you to monkey around with the settings on the receiver- my Xbox behaves significantly differently to Sky+ etc. This can be vexing for people like myself with auto calibrated Pioneers!
Ultimately I would suggest that you try for the most neutral setting you can muster (that as much as possible doesn't play to any one of your inputs) and experiment with level from there.
 

LV426

Administrator
Staff member
See reply in your duplicate post.

(By the way, the mods don't like duplicate posts).
 
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dcguy

Guest
You're right. I didn't intend to post twice, but I am new to these forums and didn't reaize there was a dedicated "home theater" forum. Thanks for the quick replies, however. I really thought these forums would be independent of "where" you live, meaning, I'm surprised this is so UK focused.

One thing that caught my attention in the reply above...the UK does not have HDTV??? If not, does that mean everybody over there is buying plasmas and other high-def. televisions just to watch DVDs??? I am very interested in the answer to this. :)
 

Ed Selley

AVF Reviewer
Originally posted by dcguy
One thing that caught my attention in the reply above...the UK does not have HDTV??? If not, does that mean everybody over there is buying plasmas and other high-def. televisions just to watch DVDs??? I am very interested in the answer to this. :)
Well not everybody is buying plasma's or High def units- but yes the sole application for these units is DVD etc.
 
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dcguy

Guest
Wow, DVDs only? Is America the only country with HDTV? I never thought of it before. I can tell you I never would have shelled out $2,700 (UK: 1,519) for a plasma TV just for DVDs. HDTV is really great, I hope you get it soon!
 

tom_nieto

Standard Member
Can you not configure the amps different inputs separately so they remember them? I know I can with my Denon.
 
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Beastie Boy

Guest
dcguy, is there the option on your amp to enable Dynamic Range Compression? This is sometimes described as settings for noisy or quiet environments.

With DRC enabled, there will be less difference between the loud and quiet parts of the DVD soundtrack so there shouldn't be sudden loudness.

Cheers, Beastie.
 
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dcguy

Guest
My receiver lets me adjust the "dynamic range" from Max. (the default) to Std. or Min. I will have to try the Min. setting and play a spot in the movie that I know has an unusually loud scene. I have a feeling this will solve my "finger constantly on the volume button" issue. My wife will be happy if it does. :clap:
 

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