Low sound levels when using input from cable box

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by trist_001, Jul 10, 2006.

  1. trist_001

    trist_001 New Member

    Jul 10, 2006


    Just got my TiVo setup this weekend, but am having sound level issues with it. Anytime I view a channel on the 2nd tuner (basic cable-RF) the sound levels are just fine. If I view a channel on the cable box tuner (digital cable-RCA), the levels are quite low; I have to turn the volume up a considerable bit to be at the 'normal' levels as before. This results in a lot of high frequency hiss as well. The cable box volume is maxed (motorola dct2500), and it still is low.

    Is there anything that I can do to remedy this? I am almost ready to trade the dct2500 back in for the comcast dvr and forget the tivo setup...

  2. JimSpence

    JimSpence Just hangin'

    Sep 19, 2001
    Binghamton, NY
    The first thing to do is to connect the cable box directly to the TV to see if the problem changes. The problem could be with the cable box.
  3. Andrel

    Andrel Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    You may want to change the audio compression setting of your cable box. The more compressed, the louder it is. You should have a OFF, low and high setting. Try both end of the spectrum.
  4. gastrof

    gastrof Hubcaps r in fashion

    Oct 31, 2003
    Potato and pen.
    I don't have digital cable. Don't even have cable boxes any more. (Don't need'm on our analog service now.) When we did have boxes, tho', there was a volume control on each of them, and not one with three settings. Full range adjustable.

    The volume can't be turned up any higher on a digital cable box?
  5. litzdog911

    litzdog911 TechKnow Guide

    Oct 18, 2002
    Mill Creek,...


    How's the cablebox volume if you connect it directly to the TV and bypass your Tivo? Maybe your cablebox is defective if you've already max'ed its volume level.
  6. trist_001

    trist_001 New Member

    Jul 10, 2006
    If I go directly to the TV from the cablebox the sound is actually slightly louder, but still nowhere near the 2nd tuner (basic cable) or how it was before when I was using just the comcast dvr. I've tried all the compression settings under audio options on the motorola box, still no change in the sound levels. Thanks for the responses.
  7. litzdog911

    litzdog911 TechKnow Guide

    Oct 18, 2002
    Mill Creek,...
    Might be time to have your cable company replace the cable box.
  8. Steeeeven

    Steeeeven New Member

    Jul 16, 2006
    I am having the exact same problem. My digital cable volume over RCA is fine when connected directly to the TV. Through the TiVo it's incredibly low. The basic cable volume is fine. I bought the Series 2 the day it came out, and it didn't start out this way. I believe something happened in one of the software updates. My friend who also owns a Series 2 has the same problem as well.

    I am particularly suspicious that it has something to do with TiVo's encoding because not everything in the digital recording is very low. It seems to just affect dialogue. Watching action scenes I have to turn the sound down. Then when a talking scene comes on I have to turn my TV to max volume and still have to concentrate to hear... and I don't believe the dialogue is being spoken much lower than the other sounds in the original broadcast.

    How do we even go about making TiVo aware that they might have a problem? Their first line technical support is clueless. She actually suggested I "bypass the cable box"--I had to explain that you can't tune digital without the converter.

    TiVo in general is so much better than the cable company's DVR. As soon as the Series 2 came out I switched back to TiVo because I missed its great functionality. But this is really annoying and I know it is not an isolated problem.

    For what it's worth, my cable box has no kind of volume control at all in any menu I could find.
  9. keenanknight

    keenanknight New Member

    Aug 13, 2004
    I have something similar. My channels in under 100 on time warner houston are loud and then when I switch to Premiums (HBO, Sho, etc.) are all much quieter and I have to turn up the volume quiet a bit. Then when I switch back to lower channels the audio is blaring. In my case I'm sure it's the cable box because it's one of the motorola's that everyone has channel changing issues with.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks, Keenan
  10. Steeeeven

    Steeeeven New Member

    Jul 16, 2006
    Apparently there are RCA amplifiers. I wonder if something like that would help? Although I'd still have to turn down the volume during action scenes if TiVo continues to encode dialogue more quietly...
  11. tim4umd

    tim4umd New Member

    May 29, 2007
    On my Scientific Atlantic 3250HD i push "settings" on 3250HD remote twice. use arrows to go to audio and change audio setting from Variable to Fixed.
    Problem solved so far!
  12. mrdazzo7

    mrdazzo7 Well-Known Member

    Jan 8, 2006
    I'm glad I accidently surfed past this post because I've had the same exact problem for a while now and it was really starting to get annoying. Whenever I watch something through the cable box, either through my Tivo or directly into my TV, the volume is incredibly low...It's so annoying that I don't even watch live HD stuff anymore because I can never hear it. The odd thing is that when it goes to a commercial, the sound JUMPS BACK up to normal.

    Oh well...I'll try to adjust the setting on my box, maybe that's it...Although I still don't get why the commercials would be louder then.
  13. ParadiseDave

    ParadiseDave Ignore this!

    Jun 8, 2000
    Tulsa, OK
    I just switched from DirecTV to Cox Digital Cable, General Instruments DCT2244 box. The volume level from the cable box is really low, and if I crank the level up to maximum there is noticeable clipping and distortion. My TV volume ranges from 0 to 60, and 15 was the usual level with DTV or off-air. I have to crank the TV up to 50 to hear anything.

    I tried both RF and RCA connections between the cable box and TiVo, but there was no difference in levels. I also tried the compression settings, mono, stereo, variable and optimized (fixed level) on the cable box.

    Do I need to get a new box from the cable co.?

    BTW, with my TV volume at 50, the medium level SFX from TiVo were loud enough to scare my daughter half to death! :)

    PMPTHATROX New Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    Has anyone ever figured out this problem? I have the same low volume issues on any of my cable box channels.
  15. bonz44

    bonz44 New Member

    Feb 20, 2008
    On motorola dcts you can usually change how the volume is controlled via the remote, either the volume control on your cable box remote will turn your tv up and down, or it will turn the volume control on the cable box up and down.
    Here is one thing you may try, press and hold both the ok/select button and cable button on cable remote till the cable light on remote stays lit, then press the vol+ button then hit the cable button again, the cable button light should blink twice confirming that selection, that just changed the volume control for the remote from controling the tv to controling the cable box volume.

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