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  #1  
Old 11-04-2013, 12:12 PM
Brent94Z Brent94Z is offline
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Audio muffled but only for commercials???

Hey Guys!

I recently rebuilt my Sage Server and didn't notice this happening in the beginning but it seems to be either happening more or I don't know. LOL

I am using the HDMI out of my video card going to a higher end Pioneer audio/video receiver. The program I am recording sounds great and has no problems BUT, often times but not always, when a commercial comes on, the audio will be there but very muffled for a few seconds then go back to normal. Sometimes it goes from muffled back to normal and muffled and fluctuates back and forth. Then, when the show I'm recording comes back on, everything is instantly perfect again. Another oddity is that last Sunday I watched Sunday Night Football and in the introduction where Carrie Underwood sings is very muffled but goes to back to normal when the announcers start talking... same thing happened last night too???

I have tried all the settings on my Pioneer and even just straight "stereo" does it. I record using a HD PVR off my cable box as well as using a couple HDHRs and I've noticed this with all recordings. I have rewound and replayed some commercials where this happens and it happens exactly the same each time.

I did have to recently replace my motherboard due to a failure of the HDMI port and during that time I used the TOS/LINK optical out and I'm pretty sure I didn't notice this. It seems to have started after the motherboard replacement but not 100% sure.

Any ideas as to what could be causing my programming to be just fine but sometimes the commercials all muffled like I mentioned? Very strange to me and I have no idea what it could be

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 11-04-2013, 12:53 PM
BobPhoenix BobPhoenix is offline
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That sounds like the reverse of my problem. Commercials loud - program muffled. For me it is because the station doesn't have equipment to even out the sound as required by law now - so they set the sound volume based on the commercials now instead of the program. This means that YES the commercial isn't blaring now but you can't hear the program so you turn it up to hear the program and your back to the original problem but with a poorer audio signal since you had to amplify it. It is caused by the fact the commercial is recorded in a different format than the program and the station isn't leveling out the "apparent" volume of the commercial to the show volume. Or so I've read and been told anyway.

Yours sounds like it is the reverse problem but still the same ultimate cause probably: different audio formats (5.1 sound verses stereo for instance but not limited to that).
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  #3  
Old 11-04-2013, 01:59 PM
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Skirge01 Skirge01 is offline
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Soooooo... what you're really trying to do is figure out how to get the entire commercial muffled, right?

Sorry, but I don't have anything actually helpful to offer up.
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  #4  
Old 11-04-2013, 03:06 PM
BobPhoenix BobPhoenix is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skirge01 View Post
Soooooo... what you're really trying to do is figure out how to get the entire commercial muffled, right?

Sorry, but I don't have anything actually helpful to offer up.
That would certainly be MY desire anyway
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  #5  
Old 11-04-2013, 03:17 PM
MattHelm MattHelm is offline
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With that stereo, can you see the "audio format" in real time? (I had one that would, and most commercial were in a different format than most shows.) Could it be an issue switching between lets say 5.1 and plain old stereo or 2.1???
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  #6  
Old 11-04-2013, 03:20 PM
Brent94Z Brent94Z is offline
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LOL! I actually watch some of the commercials

But, mine is still a little different because after a few seconds the commercial will *usually* start sounding normal again.

The Sunday Night Football is really weird though as that is the only actual program (not commercial) I have noticed that the sound was muffled... and it happened two weeks in a row but with just her singing (maybe somebody is trying to say something?? LOL) and it doesn't even seem to change screens or miss a beat and the announcers I think even talked over her a little and they sounded fine. WEIRD

I'm going to see if it does it with the optical and also see if I can get a recording of it and post it.

Thanks!
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  #7  
Old 11-04-2013, 04:11 PM
Brent94Z Brent94Z is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattHelm View Post
With that stereo, can you see the "audio format" in real time? (I had one that would, and most commercial were in a different format than most shows.) Could it be an issue switching between lets say 5.1 and plain old stereo or 2.1???
Yes, I can see it in real time and even what speakers are being used. I see no "flickering" or changes on the display when this is happening. I was thinking similar too but thought it odd that it just recently started happening (had this receiver for several years now) and only (usually) lasts a few seconds at the first part of the commercial or when the show is over and it goes to like a news at 10 show or something.

I need to see if I can get a recording of this. Working long hours so might be a few days but I'll see if I can and if it shows up in the recording.
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  #8  
Old 11-05-2013, 05:49 PM
ccsmoke ccsmoke is offline
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The first thing I would check is what the cable box is set to output, should be mono, stereo, then dynamic stereo. Probably under the settings menu.

The receiver has a few settings that attempt to control that automatically and each receiver seems to be introducing their own form of control. You can also adjust this manually. Each vendor is different but same basic idea, though they might name it different.

The audio format presets can be set in the receiver. If not set it will probably use that last one used for that format. For me I usually use no post processing added on by the vendor but to each his own. Example being hall, THX Game, THX Movie, Tin Can, etc. Okay last one I made up lol.
PCM 2.0 = All Channel Stereo
Dolby 5.1 = Dolby 5.1
DTS = DTS

Well you get the idea. You can still play around with the other settings but if you uncheck the last used you will get the default presets of what we just set. Now each preset should be adjustable as far as volume and some have range adjustment. You have to go through preset and set accordingly ideally while playing the correct format with a sound meter app or a sound meter.

Ok that can be confusing with the different menu and naming from other vendors, isn't their an automatic way of doing it? Yes and some are better than others. Though I would recommend setting the default presets for the format.

Night mode, DRC, ALC, Dolby Volume, THX Loudness Plus, Audyssey Dynamic Volume are forms adusting the frequency, some in real-time, some just for dolby.

I think night mode and DRC basically tighten the range with a spread around 10db where as the others have a 60 db range. So you can experiment here. ALC or Audyssey Dynamic Volume would probably have the most success.

Keep in mind tough, turning these off with adjusting the +/- db for each preset for volume should give it an overall while keeping the overall frequency range.

One final thing, the audyssey dynamic eq (Yamaha's YPAO) is used if you set up your receiver using a microphone. While this processed has improved over time, it is a good idea to double check it. While it usually gets the distances of the speakers right, it often fails to set the sub(s) up correctly. I usually do this manually personally. Its also a good idea once you set up the receiver how you like it to back up the settings and lock the settings if you have little ones around.
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  #9  
Old 11-05-2013, 06:53 PM
ccsmoke ccsmoke is offline
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Should also point out in windows under sound if you right click hdmi under playback tab go to properties there is also an enhancement tab that also has some control settings. Room correction, loudness correction, LFE correction.
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  #10  
Old 11-06-2013, 08:34 AM
Brent94Z Brent94Z is offline
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Thanks, ccsmoke for the info!

I don't believe it to be a setting on my receiver due to how, when this happens, it is usually just muffled for a few seconds and then corrects itself back to normal. I have a Pioneer SC-07 which is a fairly decent receiver but I suppose it is possible something in the receiver is failing.

I watched a few recordings last night that were just made and there were no problems... well, other than it seems like I have to turn the volume up from where I normally keep it at a -20 to a -14 to have the same volume level and it seems like I don't have near the surround sound effects. However, this could just be me because all of a sudden I'm changing stuff around trying to figure out this muffling thing and in my head it doesn't seem like I can get it back to the way I had it. I'm like my audio and TV but don't pay much attention to the settings... just select stuff until I like the sound and leave it at that for maybe months. This damn Pioneer has so many different settings I honestly don't even know where I was last week or even exactly what they all do... just know that I change them with the remote (can't read the Pioneer because it is too far away) until I get one I like. LOL

I also have my setup wired so I can watch cable TV with my cable box plugged directly into my receiver rather than using the computer/Sage. When (if?) I notice this muffling again I'll switch to this input to see if it is the same.

Oh, another frustrating thing that is happening and I have no idea why it started doing this, is that I have a sound setting on my Pioneer called A.L.C. and I used to use this setting a lot. However, last night when playing around with it, no matter what A.L.C setting I'm on (and there are a few) I have NO center channel!?!? Nothing... some really low frequencies/muffled voices are coming through the front speakers but that is it... the setting is not usable. All other settings the center channel is fine. AC3Filter, during this time, is showing the center channel as being the highest output too. What the heck. LOL

When I rebuilt my Sage server 3 or 4 months ago all I did was load everything up, plug in all the cables, and everything was perfect and the sound was awesome. Maybe I should take the computer apart and put it back together again and start over. Hahahaa

I have some time off this weekend so maybe I'll sit down with the Pioneer manual and see if maybe I accidentally changed some obscure setting. That may be the cause of the A.L.C. issue but likely not the muffled sound going in and out with primarily just commercials... that one is just baffling
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  #11  
Old 11-06-2013, 10:53 AM
MattHelm MattHelm is offline
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First, since you are using the receiver, make sure all sound effects are turned off on the windows box. I've had them turn them self's back on, when any audio change was made (like a headphone added, or video card update).

Then get your receiver set the way YOU want it, then worry about the tweaks to get it right!
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  #12  
Old 11-06-2013, 04:55 PM
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routerunner routerunner is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent94Z View Post
I have a sound setting on my Pioneer called A.L.C. and I used to use this setting a lot
I'm sorry I cannot help you on this, however A.L.C. means Automatic Loudness Control and is used in broadcast to level the audio so that the transition between "program > commercial > program" is in theory seamless. In USA the use of ALC has recently become compulsory for all broadcasters, but there is the possibility that some channels do not implement it properly as yet, so the problem might be at the source rather that at your end. I do work in the broadcast industry and we had to implement the ALC for the US market while ago, obviously the faulty channels doesn't use our equipment

Eddy
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  #13  
Old 11-07-2013, 06:46 AM
ccsmoke ccsmoke is offline
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As Matt pointed out and its good you checked ac filter settings, its important to make sure no enhancements going on the computer sound settings and set to 5.1. Basically want unmolested sound and video coming into the receiver the pass the video through to the tv and let the tv take care of the video and have the control for audio on the receiver.

Then it would be great if you could switch the sources when that issue happens again.

After glacing at the manual, it certainly is fully loaded lol. After doing a little research, doesn't look like an app is supported with your model unless third party as it would be easier to adjust.

Two possibilities on the receiver if your source test still shows the issues are:

1) Listening modes are stackable on your receiver. As an example, say your running Dolby Prologic+THX Cinema, a 5.1 would sound like it should but a 2.0 would sound like the center channel is muffled but sound would come out the other 4 speakers.

2) Night Mode, ALC, and THX Loudness are also stackable on your receiver, if all enabled wouldn't expect good sound from that IMO. Would shut these off then test it.

Last edited by ccsmoke; 11-07-2013 at 06:50 AM.
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  #14  
Old 11-11-2013, 07:23 AM
Brent94Z Brent94Z is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccsmoke View Post
As Matt pointed out and its good you checked ac filter settings, its important to make sure no enhancements going on the computer sound settings and set to 5.1.
Thanks much guys for the assistance!

Also, my computer settings are set to 7.1 since, I thought, I had a 7.1 receiver this would be appropriate. I'll try changing them.

I hadn't seen it happen all week but guess what happened during Sunday Night Football?!?!? Yep... started doing it again. I did not notice the fading in out this time but rather some commercials were "muffled" and some weren't. I did some quick trouble shooting last night...

* What I described as "muffled" is very similar to what I described above as was happening with the ALC setting. Previously what I described as muffled was just the sound but I did not notice what was actually happening. What is happening, I believe, is that there is NO center channel sound at all and it sounds muffled because instead of getting the voice out of the center channel all I am hearing are the very lows, from the voices, out of my front speakers.

* When this happened, I switched between my SageTV setup and watching it with just my cablebox. It is happening as well coming straight from the cablebox!?!? From my Sage system it is being recorded via an HDHR which does NOT use the cablebox so that eliminates something in the cablebox. Seems like it is more related to something in my receiver but I have no idea what it could be... on this recording I even had numerous instances where there were three commercials during the football game and the game is perfect, first commercial muffled, second commercial perfect, third commercial muffled, game perfect. What the heck.

In my computer room I have an HD300 (rarely used) hooked up to a Logitech ZS5500 which has some Dolby settings on it. I watched the same commercial area of the recording on the HD300 with Dolby PLII Movie selected (has obvious center channel) and there are NO problems... the center channel does NOT go away with the ZS5500.

I then selected my computer for input on the ZS5500 and played the the game recording via several programs and all seemed OK no matter what effect (Dolby, stereo, 6 ch Direct, etc) I had selected on the ZS5500.

Seems like it is a problem with the source when I watch it in my living room but then, because the same recording seems to play fine in my office on an HD300, it almost seems like I have something going on with my Pioneer receiver. That is the only common item when watching it directly from the cable company or my Sage server and is not common in the office with the HD300.

Guess I gots some more playing to do and see if I can figure out something with the receiver as that is what is looking like the culprit but I am mystified at how things can be just fine all week and then with Sunday Night Football it be selective in which commercials it wants to play/decode correctly??? But, I did notice this is on NBC and I don't watch too much NBC so will try watching some NBC and see if it is possibly a combination of the source (NBC) and my receiver just not dealing with THEIR commercials very well. LOL

Sorry for the long post but since I started asking questions here and you guys have been very helpful I figured I'd post with what I found even if I have ruled out Sage/the computer from causing the weirdness
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