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Mini has no Analog outputs?

Discussion in 'TiVo Mini' started by mjgraves, Feb 2, 2014.

  1. Feb 2, 2014 #1 of 21
    mjgraves

    mjgraves New Member

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    Back in December we migrated from a pair of TivoHD to a Roamio+Mini. We also had Terk volume levelers installed, which required that we use analog component video and analog stereo audio. The Terk device has analog RCA I/O.

    The new Mini lacks analog IO. This has me asking what other people do to overcome issues volume? We routinely find that when watching movies dialogue is too low, but the music & effects are much too loud.

    It's not clear what we can do to overcome this trouble. In the case of the Roamio it was easy enough to put on of the Terk devices back into service.

    Michael
     
  2. Feb 2, 2014 #2 of 21
    az1097

    az1097 New Member

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    Next to the cable input there are two mini connector inputs, the first is for component the second is for composite which has the analog audio output. You'll need a mini 3.5mm to composite (RCA) cable like the one in the following link:

    http://www.amazon.com/Cmple-3-5mm-C...1391395703&sr=8-2&keywords=3.5mm+to+composite
     
  3. Feb 2, 2014 #3 of 21
    BigJimOutlaw

    BigJimOutlaw Active Member

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  4. Feb 3, 2014 #4 of 21
    dahacker

    dahacker Member

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    Those Terk things have terrible reviews on Amazon. Your best bet is to send everything through a proper HDMI capable receiver and at minimum a left/center/right speaker setup and mess with the center channel mix and volume to your liking.
     
  5. Feb 3, 2014 #5 of 21
    takeshi

    takeshi New Member

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    Manually adjust when needed. It really isn't enough of an issue for us to seek out an auto-leveling solution.
     
  6. Feb 3, 2014 #6 of 21
    mjgraves

    mjgraves New Member

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    I must respectfully disagree. It is a problem for our household. It's a bit less of a problem since TV stations started to take the CALM act seriously, but it remains an issue.

    It's terribly frustrating to constantly be adjusting the volume as you suggest.
     
  7. Feb 3, 2014 #7 of 21
    mjgraves

    mjgraves New Member

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    Oct 11, 2003
    We don't really want/need a surround sound setup. Would one of the L-C-R "speaker bars" that have become so popular be a solution that didn't also require a traditional surround receiver?
     
  8. Feb 3, 2014 #8 of 21
    jrtroo

    jrtroo User

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    Both my TV and my HTIB has sound leveling functions that work well. Its hidden in the TV menus, and not really an obvious feature.
     
  9. Feb 3, 2014 #9 of 21
    mjgraves

    mjgraves New Member

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    Oct 11, 2003
    Thanks for noting that. We have two HDTVs, one a much older 42" Sharp Aquos, the other a 32" Samsung unit. I'll check both for such features.
     
  10. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    Northern...
    Those can work great. Just make sure you get one with a volume leveling feature. I have a couple of Sony speaker bars. An old 3.1 speaker bar and a newer 2.1 speaker bar. They both take HDMI and work great with the Mini. Although my newer one can handle DD+ so there are no issues using Netflix on the Mini.
     
  11. mjgraves

    mjgraves New Member

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    Oct 11, 2003
    Thanks for this. It will help should I get as far as deciding to buy a sound bar.

    Last evening I looked at the HDTV connected to the Mini. It's a Samsung LN32C530 that I bought back in 2010.

    It does have some controls that relate to audio management. It has several audio modes;

    "Standard: Selects the normal sound mode.
    Music: Emphasizes music over voices.
    Movie: Provides the best sound for movies.
    Clear Voice: Emphasizes voices over other sounds.
    Amplify: Increase the intensity of high-frequency sound to allow a better listening experience for the hearing impaired."

    There is an additional "dialogue clarity" option.

    "(standard sound mode only) Dialog Clarity emphasizes voice while maintaining the background sound level"

    For the moment I've set it to "Standard" audio with dialogue clarity enabled. We'll wait a few days and see if that helps significantly.
     
  12. unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    There are actually some glowing reviews on Amazon for the VR1.

    But they're from about a decade ago.

    Apparently at one time those Terk things were decent pieces of gear, but they they kept the enclosure and model number the same and changed the insides to something cheap and nowhere near as good.

    Probably happened when Audiovox bought out Terk.


    One thing I've learned about the newer cheap version is that you need to feed it a fixed level, not too strong, signal, and then do your volume up and down downstream of it.
     
  13. ort

    ort Member

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    Never mind!
     
  14. mjgraves

    mjgraves New Member

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    Oct 11, 2003
    Given other issues with the manner in which our HDTV and Mini work together I've just ordered the breakout cables. I want to try the pair without using HDMI at all.

    Along the way I noticed that SESCOM makes a couple of devices that implement SRS TruVolume volume normalization. One is analog and the other sits in the HDMI chain.

    http://www.sescom.com/product.asp?item=SES-NORMALIZE-IT

    http://www.sescom.com/product.asp?item=SES-NORMAL-HDMI

    After a couple of decades in the broadcasting business my impression is that SESCOM is a low-end maker of terminal gear; adapters, converters, level shifters, etc. I've not read anything good about the SRS features involved. And SRS was bought by DTS a while ago.

    These devices run $130-180, so a little more than I would spend just to satisfy my curiosity. OTOH, I might buy one from a vendor that would ensure a liberal return policy.
     
  15. Bigg

    Bigg Active Member

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    Volume normalizers? Soundbars? BLEH!

    You should be feeding audio through, at minimum, a decent 5.1 setup, and with a good, strong center channel, you won't need to screw around with "normalizing" volume. The whole need to "normalize" volume comes from a lack of, or a poorly set up center channel. For many shows, like anything with commentators or dialog, the center channel does most of the heavy lifting for the rest of the system, giving you nice, loud, crisp, clear dialog.
     
  16. mjgraves

    mjgraves New Member

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    Oct 11, 2003
    There are places where there simply isn't the space or requirement for a full surround setup.

    Moreover, there are industry standards that are supposed to ensure that there's a sensible L/R feed for such situations. Unfortunately, adherence to such standards seems limited.
     
  17. Bigg

    Bigg Active Member

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    If it's a setup big enough to have a bunch of extra equipment like a volume normalizer (bleh!) then it should have surround sound.
     
  18. unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    My mom doesn't have room for surround sound, but she finds plenty of room to complain about relative volume levels, so I got one of those Terk things (it's a little box, not a 7 U rackmount panel with lots of dials and meters) and it helps some, but I am going to experiment with a center channel speaker and turn on the subwoofer output without actually hooking one up to see if I can get some of the boom out and make voices stand out better.

    It's disgraceful how most TV audio is mixed these days, Burn Notice being a shining exception.
     
  19. Bigg

    Bigg Active Member

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    My only complaint would be that a lot of feeds don't have surround sound, or have poor surround. If they are mixed well, they sound great on a 5.1 or 7.1 channel system.
     
  20. waynomo

    waynomo My One Time TCF Club

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    Seven...
    I thought I read that this cable will also work with component video. You just have to figure out which color goes to which color.

    I thought it was in this thread, but I don't see it now.
     

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