Movie Sound Question

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by Roger Weir, Feb 6, 2009.

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  1. Roger Weir

    Roger Weir
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    We currently watch movies either DVD or Apple TV through our Arcam Solo (music not Movie). Generally it's fine, but with some movie's (e.g. modern American - like the new Batman movie), the speech is very difficult to understand in parts. We've also noticed this on the Prince Caspian movie. DVD/Apple TV viewing of TV series is always fine.

    My question is would the sound be enhanced if we swapped the Arcam Solo, for an Arcam Solo Movie 2.1? We don't really want to go to 5.1. Does the Solo Movie 2.1 have an optical-in for sound?

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Roger
     
  2. ianmacd

    ianmacd
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    Could be a few things. How is the DVD player connected? Are you sure it's pushing out Stereo and not the L and R channels in a 5.1 soundtrack? May be speaker placment.

    Have you got (or can get) access to a surround test DVD (like DVE) to test the centre channel?

    I would guess (without more info) that the movies you have issues with have DD or DTS soundtracks and the TV ep's are all Stereo.

    Ian.
     
  3. Roger Weir

    Roger Weir
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    The DVD Player is connected to the TV via HDMI and to the Arcam via phonos, the same with the Apple TV. Movies from the Apple TV such as the Batman Dark Knight are Dolby Pro Logic II mixdowns from the AC3 5.1 soundtrack. This movie only seems to have AC3 5.1 or AC3 Dolby Surround audio sources anyway.

    The DVD player settings are external amp Y/N and I've tried both. The DVD doesn't offer a setup option at all.

    It definitely sounds clearer from Apple TV rather than the original DVD (perhaps because the encode gives more flexibility over audio) - but it is still difficult - chapter 3 is particularly muffled. Perhaps this is a poor choice of movie to measure?

    But I do wonder if Solo movie 2.1 audio interface would help.

    Roger
     
  4. JHAz

    JHAz
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    It may be all down to the software. The Batman movies have very quiet dialog. Some other movies do as well, but I've noticed I have to turn the new Batman movies up higher than normal (for movies) to hear the dialog. Maybe the Apple sound is compressed a bit, which would have the effect of "turning up" the very quiet dialog (and "turning down" the loud parts).

    Just a thought . . .
     
  5. ianmacd

    ianmacd
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    Of course, using a movie 2.1 will reduce your box count too as you will no longer need the seperate DVD player. I would suspect that this would also not be such an issue too (and may well support compression to assist).

    Have you tried some other DD DvD's to see if its as pronounced on them as on the Dark Knight one?

    Ian.
     
  6. Roger Weir

    Roger Weir
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    Our primary use of DVD's is to rip them into iTunes and watch via Apple TV (over 600 and counting), but the sound on the Batman film has me stumped.

    We'd both rather not have to use the DVD player, but we're considering promoting it over the Apple TV if the sound was better. It doesn't seem that it will noticeably improve if we swap the Solo for a Solo Movie 2.1.

    The ripping software does allow dynamic range compression to even the loud-to-soft sounds and this is why I believe the movie sounds marginally clearer from Apple TV to the original DVD.

    I was really looking at whether the emphasis of sound on the solo movie offered a better way to handle speech by being specifically designed to handle DVD's in stereo, rather than the music handling design of our current solo.

    Roger
     

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