[mythtv-users] Sound track overwhelmingly the dialog (HD sound)

Rod Smith mythtv at rodsbooks.com
Thu Oct 11 16:53:07 UTC 2007

On Thursday 11 October 2007 02:58:23 Jon Boehm wrote:
> Hi,
> I'm running alsa digital audio out to a 5.1 receiver.  Tonight I
> recorded Bionic Women in HD off of NBC.  The audio track was Dolby
> Digital but I couldn't understand 1/2 the scenes because the music sound
> track volume totally drowned out the dialog.  Has anyone seen this
> problem before.  ABC was fine but NBC was unwatchable.  The commercials
> during the Bionic Women were fine but the show it self had problems.
> I assume this was problem with the feed but I wanted to confirm before
> calling to complain.

First off, I use AC3 passthrough to a 5.1-enabled receiver, so if my 
understanding is correct, in my setup MythTV doesn't modify the audio; I'd 
hear precisely the same thing playing via MythTV as I would if I tuned 
directly using a hi-def TV with AC3 output to my receiver. From your 
description, it sounds like you've got a similar setup, but if not MythTV 
could be messing with the audio.

That said, I've run into this problem with some recordings -- mainly from my 
local CW affiliate's NTSC feed as recorded on a Hauppauge PVR-USB2. I didn't 
notice any problems with last night's Bionic Woman on my local (Providence) 
NBC affiliate's high-def feed as delivered by my local cable company (Cox in 
Rhode Island); however, they also seemed to mess up and delivered a 
double-letterboxed image (a 16:9 rectangular image surrounded by black on all 
sides) with 2-channel AC3 audio.

As a general comment, I'll add that the general trend in recent years has been 
to emphasize the music track on TV shows, often at the expense of the 
intelligibility of the dialog. I don't think yours is an isolated incident, 
although it's possible your affiliate did something to make matters worse for 
that particular broadcast.

Rod Smith

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