Join Date: May 2002
Location: Toronto, Rogers, 9865 & 8300-eHDD, Panasonic TCP65S1, Denon AVR4310Ci; Sony KDL40W3000, 9865
Astral's response to my response
Here is Astral's response to the points I brought up yesterday. (I got the response first thing this morning after sending it last night). I guess once you're in touch with the "right people" things happen. The "red" are Astral's answers to my questions.
1. I tried changing the audio range on my SA3100HD STB several times and there were no changes to audio levels (using the digital out of the SA3100HD.)
The audio range setting only affects the analog stereo output of the set top.* It is used by the Dolby decoder in the set top to set the audio gain.* With the digital output a compressed Dolby digital signal is sent to your receiver and your receiver does the decode according the factory default (or modified if your receiver lets you get in a play with the Dolby decoding parameters).* You are correct though, with the digital out, the audio range setting will not affect the audio level on your receiver/amp system (again it only affects the analog out of the set top).
2. When I changed the setting on my Yamaha RX-V1 receiver to "analogue" from digital I did notice that there was a change. I took out my trusty sound level meter and would estimate the changes at about 3dB for each shift from Narrow to Normal to Wide, not 11dB as you mentioned. 22 dB is a HUGE amount and my dB meter would have no problem detecting such a massive shift, it was closer to 5-6 dB for the full shift from Wide to Narrow.
I have not done detailed measurements myself.* These numbers come from a Dolby/Scientific Atlanta bulletin.* However, in listening to the changes, in wide mode the audio becomes almost inaudible on most programming, which indicates a pretty large shift.
3. This however, does not solve the problem, as I mentioned earlier, I want to use the digital out, not the analogue out to be able to take advantage of the clearer dolby digital signal and to properly decode DD5.1. I don't want to listen to a digital station in analogue audio. Perhaps this is a problem related to the SA3100HD only (or perhaps only my 3100HD), but a 3dB change is not going to take care of the massive 30db differences I've seen anyway...
The movie that is the "worst" for this audio problem is "The Others". This movie is approximately 30dB (yes that much) lower than the others, in the dialogue. As I mentioned in my original e-mail, it almost seems as though your "digitizer" has missed theentire centre channel material and that the only audio picked up is what is contained in the LF & RF channels.
Just to re-iterate what I was saying yesterday...you are not doing anything wrong (though I strongly recommend you use audio range narrow for any analog output use). The problem is at our end in the digitization process.* We don't have enough audio gain in the system and I will get that fixed.* One of the movies I looked at is "The Others" and I agree that the level is at least 25db lower that it should be.
4. I have one more quick question. How do the movies get to Rogers? Do you send a "signal" or is there actually a "tape" sent to their Head End? You mentioned a video file server, so I would assume that you are sending a signal. Please confirm.
The movies are on a digital video tape format (called D5 if you are aware of professional tape formats).* The video tape is played into an MPEGencoding system for storage on the video file server (this is the digitization process).* I fully expect this problem will be fixed simply by boosting thegain at the output of the video tape deck.* I have the operations people who do this work checking that today.* I will let you know when I think we have it fixed and may ask you to let me know if things have improved.* Again I really appreciate your expert feedback.