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dialog audio too low on Tivo Desktop recordings

Discussion in 'TiVo Home Media Features & TiVoToGo' started by jerrymc, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. jerrymc

    jerrymc TiVo Tinker

    182
    0
    Sep 17, 2001
    Antioch, CA, US
    I have Tivo Desktop Plus v2.8.3 running on my laptop with Windows XP. Playback of shows downloaded from my S3 have perfect sound on commercials, but during the shows, the dialog audio levels are super low while the "background" audio (laugh track, music, ambient sounds) are normal. I can't turn the volume up high enough to make the dialog discernible.

    I've adjusted my laptop audio settings 9 ways from Sunday with no improvement. I tried the same show on my Windows 7 Desktop and the sound is fine. Is this a codec issue?

    I ran ggieseke's TivoDesktopCodecMgr tool. The graph shows AC3 in to MainConcept Dolby Digital Audio Decoder, then to Tivo PCM Boost before going to Default DirectSound Device.

    Is there a setting on my Tivo that needs to change?

    Thanks for any assistance.

    -Jerry
     
  2. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    Nevada
    Which AC3 filter is it using? There is a free one called AC3Filter that has all sorts of settings including some compression settings which would probanly help with that.

    Alternatively you could run the files through VideoReDo and change the audio to 2ch MP2. That should be louder.

    Dan
     
  3. jerrymc

    jerrymc TiVo Tinker

    182
    0
    Sep 17, 2001
    Antioch, CA, US
    Thanks Dan! Installing AC3Filter did the trick!
     
  4. TIVO_GUY_HERE

    TIVO_GUY_HERE I miss the ocean

    6,388
    2
    Jul 10, 2000
    Dallas Texas
    +1

    Thanks Dan, I just installed, it and works perfectly. I couldn't even hear the shows before, now I actually have to turn down the volume.
     
  5. Oct 1, 2013 #5 of 10
    unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    Is there any way to do this sort of thing for stuff that's being played back on a TiVo and watched on a TV?

    Or does mom just need to turn on the TV's closed caption function and leave it on?
     
  6. Oct 2, 2013 #6 of 10
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    Try changing the TiVo to PCM output mode. If it's connected directly to the TV that tends to produce louder audio.
     
  7. Oct 2, 2013 #7 of 10
    unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    I don't think her S2 DT can do that.

    And it's not the audio level that's the problem, it's the level of the dialogue relative to everything else on the soundtrack.

    Partially the blame rests with whoever's producing shows these days and the way they mix, with Burn Notice being the exception that proves the rule and shows that it doesn't have to be that way, just like stuff produced a few decades ago prove it doesn't have to be that way.

    But, being familiar with the way FM radio stations that broadcast in stereo can wind up with a mono signal that sounds like one channel is phase reversed because of something in the processing chain, I wonder if perhaps new stuff designed to be in 5.1 or 7.1 or whatever might have problems when converted to only left and right that goes undetected by people mixing it with 5 and half speakers in the room, and wondered if there was a way to undo some of those unintended consequences.
     
  8. Oct 3, 2013 #8 of 10
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    Is the S2 connected to a cable box? If so check the cable boxes settings and look for one called audio compression. That can help with the disparity between the dialog and the effects. If it's connected directly to the cable then there isn't much you can do. These days analog channels are actually down mixes of the HD channels which have 5.1 audio and unless they apply compression at the time it's converted you're going to get the effect you describe.
     
  9. Oct 3, 2013 #9 of 10
    unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    We haven't been forced to a cable box yet. Just straight TWC analog cable.

    Thanks for the confirmation that the people doing the audio mixing are at least partially to blame.

    I don't suppose there's any way to run left-right line level through something and turn it back into surround sound?
     
  10. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    Apr 17, 2000
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    If you have a surround sound system you can turn it to PLiix mode and then turn up the center speaker and that should help with the dialog.
     

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