DVD Audio Levels and You

I’m one of those folks who doesn’t have a phat, super rad 5.1 surround setup in my family room. My DVD player is connected to a good old-fashioned stereo… two speakers. While watching The Matrix DVD last night I noticed that much of the dialogue is drowned out by the musical score. This is especially noticable when people were speaking softly. I’d increase the volume and then, as soon as the action picked up, I’d dive for the remote to turn it back down because it because was suddenly too loud.

I remember reading somewhere that this is because when encoding for 5.1, much of the dialogue is pumped through the center channel. It seems that most DVDs don’t give your an option for plain old stereo. Has anyone else noticed this and is there anything that can be done about it?

Actually, all DVD’s will give you the option for regular PCM Stereo or Dolby Digital Stereo. It’s just finding it that’s the real pain in the ass.

You can also tell your DVD player what kind of stereo you have, and that helps. Sort of. Maybe. It depends, really. But it’s worth a try. It’ll simply be under your audio options during setup.

Thanks Met. I’ll give everything another once over.

Good luck, I completely understand your problem, which is why I didn’t give anymore options. As wonderful as DVD’s are, they really are a pain sometimes.

It would be nice if there was a second menu option in DVD’s, as opposed to the animated main menu. One where all the options were simply laid out nice with no animated transitions and the likes. Much easier if they had that, too.

Some of the animated menus are a pain. It’s like all the cut scene designers for older computer games are now designing menus for DVD movies.

Speaking as someone with a decent 6.1 setup, I find DVDs that default to stereo annoying, too. It’s too bad there’s no way to automagically detect what you have and set the movie’s audio ouput accordingly.

you might try looking at your dvd player remote to, some have an audio button that will switch without leaving the viewing.

That being said speaker prices have come down considerably, even a bad 5.1 setup is better than plain stereo or, God forbid, using your tv speakers.