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TV Volume Problem

 
 
Reply Sun 5 Jul, 2009 09:00 pm
Several months ago, I got a Magnavox HDTV. Compared to the old set, it is wonderful. Just one problem: When I watch theatrical movies, I can't get the volume high enough to understand much of the dialog. I suppose I'm screwed, because I can't afford anything else. Anybody out there know a way to get more sound?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 8 • Views: 9,509 • Replies: 54
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Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Jul, 2009 09:03 pm
@edgarblythe,
Are you watching them on TV? Or on DVD (in which case a separate volume control may be at play).

If it's on TV then maybe you can try playing with the type of sound output (e.g. mono, stereo, surround etc) or even the secondary language settings.
0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Jul, 2009 09:08 pm
@edgarblythe,
edgarblythe wrote:

Several months ago, I got a Magnavox HDTV. Compared to the old set, it is wonderful. Just one problem: When I watch theatrical movies, I can't get the volume high enough to understand much of the dialog. I suppose I'm screwed, because I can't afford anything else. Anybody out there know a way to get more sound?
I don't now if this relates to you but, I have to put the t.v. way up up in volume then use the cable control as the volume contol as the listening control don't know this makes sense.
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Jul, 2009 09:12 pm
@edgarblythe,
can you run an audio input cable to a sound system?

when I had a tv, i ran it through the stereo for viewing movies...
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Jul, 2009 09:14 pm
It's more money, but running it through and amplifier and then speakers will enable you to get any volume you want. But if you say you can't afford anything else, I guess that's out.
0 Replies
 
MontereyJack
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Jul, 2009 09:15 pm
If it's got a headphone jack (don't know if they put those on HDs), or an audio output (usually red and white jacks on regular analog tvs, probably similar if they still exist on HDs), you can get a cable at Radio Shack and run it thru a stereo amp (or thru the TV in jacks on more modern receivers), which usually can give you far more volume than the puny amps and speakers they seem to put on tvs.
0 Replies
 
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Jul, 2009 09:16 pm
@dyslexia,
yes...there are two spearate controls for volume so there's "interplay" due to separate amplification. In other words. adjust the cable system's remote volume so it's say 3/4 of max...then adjust the other device remote to complete the adjustment.

also what RG siad. sometimes one of the surround sound or theater audio mode (option) settings could need switching. This also could give you the added volume you seek.

All of this assumes that you've got functioning speakers w/ cables that're making proper connection.
0 Replies
 
MontereyJack
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Jul, 2009 09:18 pm
If you've got a stereo for records or CDs, and compatible jacks, you can probably get a cable at Radio Shack or Best Buy or someplace similar for under twenty bucks, and that's all you'll need.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Jul, 2009 09:56 pm
I'm slow on the uptake. I will have to read all your replies over again tomorrow to make sense out of them. Thanks. You have given me hope.

If I play a DVD or watch a movie on My TV, it's the same.
Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Jul, 2009 08:54 am
@edgarblythe,
You've got to set the sound for "fixed" or "variable" setting in your configuration menu. You have to adjust the volume range to its' highest setting. Variable has to do with connecting to an outside sound system so you have control over the level from your TV remote, or your cable/satellite control if it's programmed to adjust your TV. I don't know if this would be in "setup," "options," or whatever Magnavox has decided to label their configuration. Sometimes that actually may also have to do with your cable or satellite remote which also may have a sound level range in its configuration. Also, if you've got a 1080i or 1080p, you want to go into the cable/satellite configuration and uncheck the 720p -- the Magnavox should then upscale any 720p to 1080i. It won't upscale 420p DVD's unless you have an unscaler or a Blu-Ray player. If you don't have a new DVD but want to add one, I'd recommend an upscaler DVD player which is fine for screens 36" or less, 'cause you really won't see the difference of Blu-Ray discs, especially older movies.
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Jul, 2009 09:27 am
@Lightwizard,
Great job, LW! I get that. Hope Edgar (no offense intended) doesn't get glassy-eyed.
Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Jul, 2009 09:44 am
@Ragman,
If I had the model of the Magnavox, I can look up the manual and give more definite instructions -- just think Edgarblythe can look in his manual and find the adjustment for sound level on the TV. Also, if you use the TV's simulated surround (if it has one), it can affect the sound level of the voices. The best solution for watching movies in the last thirty years or so which still have good stereo surround sound channels is to purchase a home entertainment all-in-one system. They always have a sub-woofer and will sound really good compared to the TV sound coming out of the actually set, which usually the quality of speaker you'd find in an old cheap portable stereo. This makes the voices even more diffuse.

Here's CNet's reviews and prices on external budget sound systems (one can invest in the BOSE which is arguably the best but the cost is a factor):

http://reviews.cnet.com/home-theater-systems/
0 Replies
 
Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Jul, 2009 09:51 am
The company I free lance design for, Creative Concept Sound, is a SONY dealer, so when I've had a customer on a budger, I've heard this system and it's pretty good and not expensive:

http://reviews.cnet.com/home-theater-systems/sony-ht-ss360/4505-6740_7-33539726.html?tag=mncol;lst

They're is center channel voice enhancement and so the actors sound like they are in the room with you.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Jul, 2009 11:42 am
The TV is Magnavox
32MF338B LCD TV

All I have been able to find is increase bass and treble.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Jul, 2009 12:22 pm
And I get my TV signals from air.
Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Jul, 2009 07:52 pm
@edgarblythe,
So you're getting digital TV but no HD. I looked up the manual and you're right -- although the set has simulated surround built it, it will not let you turn it off! There is no center channel speaker so what it is doing on most movies, especially those which are not surround sound, is diffusing the center channel which is, unfortunately, the one that carries the voices. You would be better off setting the sound at mono and forgetting the 2 channel surround, or, as I suggested, add on an inexpensive outboard surround system. This will completely clear up your problem and give you generally 100% better sound overall. This is really a monitor so they slighted you on the speakers. It does have an HDMI input which would give you HD with an HD tuner, but would not clear up the sound problem. Right now, you are actually seeing a 420p standard DVD quality picture on most channels.
0 Replies
 
Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Jul, 2009 08:02 pm
Here's the cheapest price on the SONY:

http://www.thenerds.net/SONY.Sony_HTSS360_Home_Theater_System.HTSS360.html?affid=1&affid=2&ID=HTSS360&srccode=cii_5784816&cpncode=21-25298603-2
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Jul, 2009 10:47 pm
I can't find a way to put the sound entirely on mono. I guess I will try to get the ouboardsurround system you mentioned.
Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Jul, 2009 09:01 am
@edgarblythe,
The plus of buying a monitor is that they are not meant for multi-purpose so all the money goes into the display. Only one HDMI input means you'd have to decide if you want a Blu-ray player or hook up the satellite to handle HD. The sound is an afterthought on most TVs but on a monitor, it's usually not even offered. If it is, the standard is two speaker 10 watts which leaves you missing that important middle channel that is voice only, not to mention practically no bass and the sound effects from movies of the last 30 plus years. I haven't checked to see if the SONY has an adjustment to change the volume on the center channel which is important. I have my Yamaha set above the factory and testing level so I rarely get whispering voices. But some films are guilty of a dynamic range that's really messed up, like "Slumdog Millionaire" where the center channel voices are often close to inaudible but if one turns them up, the special effects like a train going bar are ear splitting. I can change the surround settings quickly and that sometimes helps but easier access to the volume of the center channel would help. If I select "concert hall," solo voices or instruments are lost in the orchestra. My Yamaha does have a "General" movie setting which is aimed at old movies and enhances the center channel. This is because the old stereophonic movies mixed in the actor's voices into multiple channels across the CinemaScope screen so it would sound like it was coming from that part of the screen which is no longer done. If you notice on old CinemaScope, it was a habit of the director to have his actors on the far side of the left and right hand side of the screen to show off the wide screen, like the ping-pong effect in the first stereo recordings.

Read that review of the SONY -- it does have automatic level tuning with a microphone to place in the sitting area. It has three HDMI connectors which means you can attach more than one HD combonent to the monitor. But the sound quality is for most movies and not meant for listening to music.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Jul, 2009 09:26 am
I am not too bright in this area, but will reread your advice a few more times before taking action. I can't spend the next several years with a system which makes all voices sound like Harison Ford talking to Marlon Brando. When I played Gran Torino last week, I was able to pick up on enough of the story to follow along, but rarely understood whole statements by any of the characters. Fortunately, it wasn't Shakespeare.
 

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