I want to say firstly I love researching this kind of stuff in these exchanges but my
ability to express it in print is not my strong suite.
The short answer is late night/midnight mode accesses a feature of Dolby called DRC (dynamic
range compression) to "narrow" the volumes of the sound produced by the AVR. (really short
answer) It's encoded into the media so that the dolby decoder can control the dynamic
range of the soundtrack and what reaches mine and my neighbours ears.
So if the player has a decoder I guess it can play a part. My BD player has an on/off selection
for it and it's turned on. But how it plays a part I do not know as this mode existed well
before BD players and I have never been able to turn it off or on.
When you turn down the volume late at night it really affects what you hear
by eliminating a lot of the features of surround format. This Late night mode compresses it
so to speak so you can once again enjoy the benefits of the surround format. Look to the
bottom of the post for more detail info/resources. Getting back to the simple disc stuff.
The movie I was referring to was Blu-ray of Sherlock Holmes.
I looked on the back of the pkg and it had the Dolby Digital symbol
on the back, so bob's your uncle. Well no. Looking at Blu-ray.com
spec for this disc gives me these choices
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
French: Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1
So the late night feature will work if I listen to the French or Spanish or Portuguese audio
tracks. I know how to swear in French but thats about it. To say again to quote csks
"The default to DTS-MA is likely because that's where the English track is" I thought it was
a function of the lack of control not found in my old equpment and a new AVR would fix this.
No, It was the only english track.
In order to save my neighbours from the high and lows of a movie sound track I guess I will either
An English dolby track on the BD for late night to work.
A Pioneer receiver and hoping this feature really works as they say
or the best option a 5.1-9.1 surround system can have......a house.
I would prefer the last one if anyone is in a generous mood.
My AVR just sees the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 as DTS so I guess it backward compatible?
And maybe this is the situation with RealHD also.
Some stuff I found out about all this surround stuff.
This is a description from the onkyo manual of what late night function.
"Late Night Function
With the Late Night function, you can reduce the dynamic range of Dolby Digital material so that you can still hear
quiet parts even when listening at low volume levels—ideal for watching movies late at night when you don’t want
to disturb anyone."
And more importantly for ONKYO
"The Late Night function can be used only when the input source is Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, or Dolby TrueHD."
• The effect of the Late Night function depends on the material that you are playing and the intention of the
original sound designer, and with some material there will be little or no effect when you select the different
Pioneer website refers it as this.
"Midnight Listening Mode is the solution. It adjusts subwoofer, rear and centre speaker levels, while enhancing delay and compressing dynamic range, for greater enjoyment of cinema-like sound at low volume."
Apparently Pioneer is one of the few receivers that can apply this Midnight mode
to any surround format but they are one of a few.
It's not a separate audio track that the producers added but data that controls the
AVR/Dolby decoder. Or what the Dolby Digital guideline says.
Dolby Digital encoders generate control words, dynrng and compr, which can be used in the decoder to
compress and limit the dynamic range of a program.
A better explaination of why midnight mode is needed and what it does from
the Electronic Warehouse.
So what happens when you have to turn the volume down during that exciting movie?
* High and low frequencies are decreased.
* Surround effects are diminished.
* Smooth panning from channel to channel is lost.
* Center channel is too high relative to the other channels.
* Subwoofer level is too low.
Technical Stuff â€“ How Does It Do What It Does? Midnight Mode addresses these low listening volume problems by making several adjustments to the signal to enhance the realism in the "Ambiance Channels" without affecting the overall Sound Pressure Level. Depending on the master volume setting, the following adjustments are applied:
* Dynamic Range Compression is applied for Dolby Digital Soundtracks
* Applies Loudness Curve (High & Low Frequencies) to the Front & Surround Channels
* Adds Delay to the Center (1 ms) & Rear Channels (5 ms)