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  #1  
Old 02-13-2011, 07:49 PM
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Pinan Pinan is offline
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HD volume issues with Shark007 codecs

Hi All. I got involved in this thread:

http://forums.sagetv.com/forums/showthread.php?t=53275

Figured it best to start a new one. Perhaps it will help others in the future as well.

Here's the jist of it: I followed GollyJer's blog here http://www.gollyjer.com/2011/01/4-st...tter-free.html

All is well with smooth playback on all content, but AC3 audio is too low, as has been discussed by users in the past (http://forums.sagetv.com/forums/show...ght=low+volume). Before following the blog I was using AC3filter to raise the AC3 volume which worked great. However, there was some video choppiness/stutter with all content. Now I'm trying to raise the AC3 volume using Shark007 but I'm not sure how too.

My goal is to have as close to equal volume as possible with all content.

Win7 32
SageTV v7
EVGA GT-220
One Hauppauge 2250, and one Hauppauge 150.
Gigabyte 965P-DS3 mobo
3GB RAM
Core 2 Quad Q8400
DVR direct to TV. Two speaker only.

Hoping for some guidance.

Last edited by Pinan; 02-14-2011 at 09:57 AM. Reason: Changed "HD" to AC3.
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  #2  
Old 02-13-2011, 10:20 PM
Spectrum Spectrum is offline
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The biggest problem you're going to run into is whatever you try to apply is going to be applied to all audio streams so you will end up with HD audio being right and everything else being WAY TO LOUD.

That said, you could try making sure the Shark Codec pack is set to use ffdshow for audio and opening up the ffdsow audio config and setting the audio config to something similar to

to have ffdshow normalize the volume which is what GJ recommended in the previous post. Might work, might not. This is moot if you are bitstreaming, but from the other post I think you said you are connecting from the computer straight to the TV?

Of course if you are indeed connecting to your TV and using the TV's speakers, this begs the question why even bother with HD audio? It is going to be downconverted to stereo somewhere in the chain and that down conversion is going to make using the HD source a moot point. Not to mention that even the most discriminating ear will probably never notice the difference between an HD source and a DTS/AC3 source on TV speakers.... Just use the core DTS/AC3 track for blue rays and forgo the extra config with the HD stuff. Just my opinion though
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  #3  
Old 02-14-2011, 12:17 AM
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Pinan Pinan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spectrum View Post
1. The biggest problem you're going to run into is whatever you try to apply is going to be applied to all audio streams so you will end up with HD audio being right and everything else being WAY TO LOUD.

2. Of course if you are indeed connecting to your TV and using the TV's speakers, this begs the question why even bother with HD audio?
1. Yup. That's the problem that I'm trying to "fix".

2. Indeed, and agreed. I don't need the HD audio at all. I simply want equal'ish volume for all of my shows. Perhaps there's a way to record HD shows without HD audio? Another setting?

Feeling pretty silly here.

Thank you Spectrum.
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  #4  
Old 02-14-2011, 02:15 AM
Spectrum Spectrum is offline
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I think you are confusing HD with AC3. HD audio implies DTS-MA or Dolby TrueHD which are the 2 lossless compression techniques used on blue ray movies. It sounds like what you are describing is just vanilla AC3 audio from a QAM/OTA/HDPVR recording. It could be stereo, it could be 5.1, but it is just AC3 and not HD. AC3 does have a notoriously low reference level which is why it is noticably quieter than other compression techniques.

Assuming the above is correct what you may be able to do is use the Shark control applet to enable AC3filter. I was playing with it in a VM earlier and I think there is an option that disables AC3filter by default. Even after it is enabled, you may need to open the ffdshow audio config and set the AC3 and DTS decoders to disabled in the codecs panel. If you can get it enabled, you will see the AC3 filter icon in the system tray when it is being used.

If you can get AC3filter enabled you can go to the config panel in AC3 filter and set it to only be used for AC3 and DTS. See last screenshot here (uncheck everything but AC3 and DTS) then push up the gain on the main tab. That should get AC3filter in the loop for only those audio formats and give you the ability to push the volume on only those and leave everything else unchanged.

Oh and no need to feel silly, we all have to learn these things from somewhere/someone
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  #5  
Old 02-14-2011, 09:55 AM
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Pinan Pinan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spectrum View Post
I think you are confusing HD with AC3.
You are absolutely right (duh on me). I will work on getting AC3filter enabled.

I will also edit the OP to reflect AC3 (not HD), if I can.

I'll check back in later. Thank you very much Spectrum.
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  #6  
Old 02-15-2011, 03:33 AM
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GollyJer GollyJer is offline
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Pinan, Spectrum gives great advice if you want to approach it from the decoder perspective. It does suck a little that the config gets more confusing.

Another approach could be to adjust the volume level of the AC3 recording. I remember doing this before I switched to all one tuner type, which is how I ultimately solved this problem.

If I remember correctly PVR Tweaker allows you to set the volume level of SD recordings. I haven't installed it but give it a try and let me know if it helps.
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Currently using SageTV Media Center Server on Windows 7, SageTV Client as an HTPC on Windows 7, and an HD Theater HD200. The server controls 3 Motorola DCH-3200 cable boxes and 3 Hauppauge HD-PVRs (all Rev F1) with HD audio and changes channels via firewire WITH NO LOCKUPS. It's awesome.
4 Steps to Perfect Stutter Free Playback for SageTV
Quick Guide: How to Bitstream Audio in Windows 7
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  #7  
Old 02-15-2011, 07:48 AM
Spectrum Spectrum is offline
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Having a single tuner type helps immensly, but there is still way too much variation from channel to channel even on the same tuner /grumble /grumble

Oh and @GollyJer, I have managed to extract just the PowerDVD 10 codecs out of shark's pack I now have them working for mpeg2 and x.264 with DXVA and an SVN build of ffdshow. It's all gravy now, so I don't think I'm going to install the full shark pack again. To get DXVA enabled though, I had to go into the directshow filter properties while it was playing back in Sage and click the DXVA checkbox. The setting stuck, but I had to do it via clicking on the filter in the ffdshow icon during playback, just enabling it through graphstudio was not enough. Strange, but it's working and I'm happy now
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  #8  
Old 02-15-2011, 09:43 AM
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Pinan Pinan is offline
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Hi Guys.

So far I'm still using only Shark. After I set the Output Type to 2 Speaker, the volume has remained fairly even with various content. Within 5 clicks or so. I'll let it ride for now.

One issue I'm having though is "declining volume" while watching a show. The show starts at x volume, but then declines somewhat over a few minutes. I imagine this has something to do with Normalization?

Thanks for the assist.
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  #9  
Old 02-15-2011, 12:22 PM
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GollyJer GollyJer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spectrum View Post
Having a single tuner type helps immensly, but there is still way too much variation from channel to channel even on the same tuner /grumble /grumble

Oh and @GollyJer, I have managed to extract just the PowerDVD 10 codecs out of shark's pack I now have them working for mpeg2 and x.264 with DXVA and an SVN build of ffdshow. It's all gravy now, so I don't think I'm going to install the full shark pack again. To get DXVA enabled though, I had to go into the directshow filter properties while it was playing back in Sage and click the DXVA checkbox. The setting stuck, but I had to do it via clicking on the filter in the ffdshow icon during playback, just enabling it through graphstudio was not enough. Strange, but it's working and I'm happy now
You know, now that you say it channel variation wasn't perfect even when I had all three tuners the same. It must be my denon receiver that solved the problem.

As far as extracting PDVD10 from Shark007, that's cool. Some people always need to make things difficult.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinan View Post
One issue I'm having though is "declining volume" while watching a show. The show starts at x volume, but then declines somewhat over a few minutes. I imagine this has something to do with Normalization?
That's a really weird issue I've never heard of. Not sure I can help there. Sorry.
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Currently using SageTV Media Center Server on Windows 7, SageTV Client as an HTPC on Windows 7, and an HD Theater HD200. The server controls 3 Motorola DCH-3200 cable boxes and 3 Hauppauge HD-PVRs (all Rev F1) with HD audio and changes channels via firewire WITH NO LOCKUPS. It's awesome.
4 Steps to Perfect Stutter Free Playback for SageTV
Quick Guide: How to Bitstream Audio in Windows 7
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  #10  
Old 02-15-2011, 01:48 PM
Spectrum Spectrum is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinan View Post
Hi Guys.

So far I'm still using only Shark. After I set the Output Type to 2 Speaker, the volume has remained fairly even with various content. Within 5 clicks or so. I'll let it ride for now.

One issue I'm having though is "declining volume" while watching a show. The show starts at x volume, but then declines somewhat over a few minutes. I imagine this has something to do with Normalization?

Thanks for the assist.
Audio dropping is weird, not something I've ever stumbled across. To rule in or out normalization, just disable it then playback the file and see if the results match
Quote:
Originally Posted by GollyJer View Post
You know, now that you say it channel variation wasn't perfect even when I had all three tuners the same. It must be my denon receiver that solved the problem.

As far as extracting PDVD10 from Shark007, that's cool. Some people always need to make things difficult.


That's a really weird issue I've never heard of. Not sure I can help there. Sorry.
If you have some kind of volume normalization or dynamic range compression enabled on that receiver, that would make sense for it to smooth out the differences in audio levels.

Of course I make things difficult, I am using an HTPC after all
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  #11  
Old 02-16-2011, 03:08 PM
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Pinan Pinan is offline
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Don't know what the volume decreasing is about, but I'm experimenting.

OK. Got AC3filter going for AC3, and volumes evened out the best that I can. I'll see how they hold.

Btw GollyJer, something else great came from this. I have perfect audio/video (lip sync) sync now across all content. That is a first for me. Sometimes it would be good, while others had me staring at lips all night long, bothered by timing being slightly out of sync. Thank you!

Thank you both.
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  #12  
Old 02-17-2011, 12:01 AM
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GollyJer GollyJer is offline
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Awesome! Glad you got things working. You're very welcome.
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Currently using SageTV Media Center Server on Windows 7, SageTV Client as an HTPC on Windows 7, and an HD Theater HD200. The server controls 3 Motorola DCH-3200 cable boxes and 3 Hauppauge HD-PVRs (all Rev F1) with HD audio and changes channels via firewire WITH NO LOCKUPS. It's awesome.
4 Steps to Perfect Stutter Free Playback for SageTV
Quick Guide: How to Bitstream Audio in Windows 7
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  #13  
Old 02-19-2011, 01:11 AM
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Pinan Pinan is offline
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I disabled AC3filter again. Some parts of shows were very quiet, like intros, etc. due to the show being 5.1 but other parts being 2 channel only. Bummer.

I'm back to using Shark only now, but can't seem to get the output of 5.1 to be only 2 channel, even though I set it to 2.0 Stereo on the Audio tab for "Choose a speaker configuration". Playing in 5.1 makes the volume lower by spreading it out over 5 channels of course. I bumped the center speaker up on the Volume page of the ffdshow Audio Decoder Configuration screen and that helped. I also turned off the other two surround speakers by clicking the "M" under them. If I turned off the Center speaker I loose all voice.

How do I tell Shark that I only have 2 speakers for output, when playing 5.1 content (Chuck, Medium, etc)

Note that some HD shows only have 2 channels to begin with. Those are no problem, and play fine (House M.D.,etc.)

I'll get this right yet.
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  #14  
Old 02-19-2011, 01:48 AM
trallyus trallyus is offline
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I had this same problem as well since I had a 5.1 sound card. I had to go in to my sound cards mixer settings and tell it to use a stereo speaker set up rather then the 5.1 setup that it had defaulted to.

Used to be heck watching Lost and have the music blare up and then have the speech get lost over the loud music. That was how I fixed the problem once and for all.
Trallyus
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  #15  
Old 02-19-2011, 10:04 AM
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Pinan Pinan is offline
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Thanks trallyus. My sound card is already set to 2 Speaker Stereo though. Windows 7 installed my sound card, so there aren't many settings.

Something isn't talking to something right, somewhere. Sigh.

~~~
Edit. Just realized that I'm not using my sound card. I'm using HDMI straight from the video card (EVGA GT-220). It's set to 2 Speaker Stereo everywhere that it can be.

There must be something in Shark I can set. One of the guru's might know.

Last edited by Pinan; 02-19-2011 at 10:35 AM.
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  #16  
Old 02-21-2011, 05:11 PM
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GollyJer GollyJer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinan View Post
Thanks trallyus. My sound card is already set to 2 Speaker Stereo though. Windows 7 installed my sound card, so there aren't many settings.

Something isn't talking to something right, somewhere. Sigh.

~~~
Edit. Just realized that I'm not using my sound card. I'm using HDMI straight from the video card (EVGA GT-220). It's set to 2 Speaker Stereo everywhere that it can be.

There must be something in Shark I can set. One of the guru's might know.
OK, now you're really starting to confuse me.
Am I correct now in saying you are using HDMI out of your video card directly into a television? And, the HDMI cable is being used for audio and video?

If so, be sure your hdmi cable is connected, then uninstall your Nvidia drivers and reinstall the newest version available.
At that point you should be able to set this setting.


Then try following steps 1, 2 & 3 of my bitstreaming audio blog and let me know if that helps.
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Currently using SageTV Media Center Server on Windows 7, SageTV Client as an HTPC on Windows 7, and an HD Theater HD200. The server controls 3 Motorola DCH-3200 cable boxes and 3 Hauppauge HD-PVRs (all Rev F1) with HD audio and changes channels via firewire WITH NO LOCKUPS. It's awesome.
4 Steps to Perfect Stutter Free Playback for SageTV
Quick Guide: How to Bitstream Audio in Windows 7
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  #17  
Old 02-22-2011, 09:42 AM
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Pinan Pinan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GollyJer View Post
1. Am I correct now in saying you are using HDMI out of your video card directly into a television? And, the HDMI cable is being used for audio and video?

2. . . at that point you should be able to set this setting.

3. Then try following steps 1, 2 & 3 of my bitstreaming audio blog and let me know if that helps.
1. Yes. That's correct.

2. Yup. Currently set that way.

3. Will do. I'll get on this tomorrow, then post back.

Sorry for the confusion GollyJer. I confused myself as well. Heh

Thank you!

Last edited by Pinan; 02-22-2011 at 09:50 AM.
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  #18  
Old 02-23-2011, 11:12 AM
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Pinan Pinan is offline
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Results (if I'm saying this properly).

I get MP2 (SD) fine.

Dolby Digital (HD recording), = no sound at all.

Example. House M.D. SD = sound. House M.D. HD = no sound.

Same with Chuck HD (5.1) = no sound.

Don't think I missed anything.
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  #19  
Old 02-23-2011, 12:50 PM
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GollyJer GollyJer is offline
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Strange. Are you able to hear the recordings outside of Sage? What other inputs does your TV have; and what outputs does your HTPC have?

HDMI, while meant to make wiring simple, tends to complicates HTPC setups. It is needed if you're sending 3D television signals or High Def (BluRay) audio. If not, then "old school" might be a better option.

Try using DVI (the white computer video cable) or RGB (the blue computer video cable) to carry video and optical (the square black audio cable) or component (the orange coaxial audio cable) to carry audio.

I'm not sure what other advice to give, sorry.
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Currently using SageTV Media Center Server on Windows 7, SageTV Client as an HTPC on Windows 7, and an HD Theater HD200. The server controls 3 Motorola DCH-3200 cable boxes and 3 Hauppauge HD-PVRs (all Rev F1) with HD audio and changes channels via firewire WITH NO LOCKUPS. It's awesome.
4 Steps to Perfect Stutter Free Playback for SageTV
Quick Guide: How to Bitstream Audio in Windows 7
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