Sony Bravia sound, a big, big disappointment

dpcam

Standard Member
I bought a sony bravia kdl-32v5500 about a year ago mainly with the desire to watch HD movies. I did not buy a surround sound system to go with it. I connected my Blu-ray player, a Sony Bdp-360 via HDMI. I've spent most of this year struggling to hear the vocal track of the blu-ray without turning it up to such a volume that any music or sound effects come through blaringly loud. I've changed so many sound setting on the tele to improve the sound that I couldn't even begin to list the different combinations I've used. I've certainly managed to improve things a little by turning on the s-force feature and increasing the voice zoom and after watching a couple of blu rays I thought that I had things sorted out but the other day I watched "War of the Worlds" and the same old problems were back again....very low vocals and uncomfortably loud effects. I accept that these teles only have two small speakers but I do not believe Bravias handle the 5.1 or 7.1 sound well, at all. I'm annoyed that I wasn't told at the time of buying the blu-ray player and tv that there is not much point if you don't have the surround sound system as well. Am I right in thinking this or do others believe as I do that these teles should be processing the digital sound correctly without the use of a surround system. Have others experienced this frustration?
 

KelvinS1965

Distinguished Member
TBH I take it as read that a flat screen TV won't sound any good for serious listening. The only TV in my house without an external sound system (32S2010 about 3-4 years old) is in my kitchen and I just about cope with that as it's mostly just to catch the news in the morning. I have my main system in the living room as in my signature, my 'hand me down' stuff (Denon 3805 and some M&K 15 and 4 speakers, plus an XLS200 sub) in the conservatory with the 32EX703 and even in the bedroom I have an older Aego2 sub/satellite system.

I suppose there's a certain irony that you buy a thin flat screen TV and then have to take up space with bulky speakers. :rolleyes:

Anyway, welcome to the forums. :thumbsup:
 

dpcam

Standard Member
thanks for your reply. Do you agree, though, that there shouldn't be issues in hearing voices clearly with blu-ray? If I'm watching a dvd there's no problem at all. I think its an issue with the digital sound track on a blu-ray. Maybe it's not the tele but the blu-ray player downprocessing the digital signal to two channels properly. Can't work that one out. Pretty frustrating though. I haven't finished paying it off so I feel like taking it back. Is this a problem with panasonic and samsung?
 

KelvinS1965

Distinguished Member
Just a thought, on my Sony BluRay player there is a setting in the audio section to limit dynamic range. I can't remember what this is called now (as mine is set to no compression for use with a full surround system). It may well help as the idea of DRC (I think this is what they call it) is to limit loud sounds and help boost quieter ones.

If I have my player on later I'll check the setting options.

EDIT: In my player (Sony BDP-S350) in the audio setup is the setting for audio DRC. Options are wide range (for external home cinemas with full dynamic range), TV mode (I guess that's you ;) ), Standard (whatever) and Auto.
 
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dpcam

Standard Member
I have mine set to TV Mode. I've improved things in the last two days by changing the downmix setting on the player to normal in order to avoid dolby surround all together. I hope this is what I've done by changing this setting!!! I was watching Avatar last night and the sound was much better. I've also realized that it pays to go into the audio options for the blu ray as there is sometimes an option to select dolby digital and bypass the dts-hd track. I noticed when I did this that I only had to turn my volume up to about 20 to hear voices clearly. In fact the sound seemed downmixed to something closer to dolby 2.0 (hope I've used the right term). I really believe, after reading lots of info on dts, dolby, encoding and decoding that the player doesn't downmix the dts or dolby 5.1 at all well. There is an option in the 360's setting, under Audio(HDMI) to downmix the sound track to 2ch PCM . Surely this is the only setting you should have to change to downmix the five or seven channels of dts to the two channels needed for decent sound on a tele. I'm not expecting to hear fabulous dts surround sound from my tv, just a basic two channel mix with voices, music and effects all at a similar level. Surely, this should all be much simpler!!!!
 

KelvinS1965

Distinguished Member
Yes, it should be much simpler. I've recently found that Sony products see to have been setup to use settings that don't necessarily get the best out them. My 32EX703 for example needed a '+1' setting in the overscan menu to give a sharper picture for SD...no idea why this isn't the default as it made a small, but noticable difference to PQ. At least they've setup 'Theatre mode' reasonably well on the TVs I've seen with it, unlike the old awful 'Vivid' setting as default from a few years back.:eek:
 
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dsb

Standard Member
my parents have a 32" bravia and i find the sound pretty rotten - almost like through a cardboard tube.
my new hx803 is the same so far - certainly far inferior to the speaker bar that came bolted to the bottom of my 7 year old sharp 26" aquos - that manages to produce real bass.
 

beecee

Well-known Member
just got a 46" bravia 3D tv and the sound is terrible, i got better sound from a 20 year old mono portable..

mono is the best way to describe, no base, treble is non existent.
 
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