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DVD audio level relatively low - why?

Posted on 2002-06-11
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Last Modified: 2008-02-01
I'm putting my new machine together, and have hit a few obstacles in the audio area...

1x Sony CDR/RW
1x Sony DVD-ROM
Neither is physically connected to the audio card (PHILIPS PSC705)

Digital audio (via IDE cable) is fine from the CDR/RW drive and levels are ok from other sources.

However, audio from the DVD is relatively low, and if I set the 'mixer' level controls to max (DVD still not very loud) I am likely to blow my ears out if I play a CD later, or receive an email!

Both the CDR and DVD come in on the WAV fader...  can I separate them somehow, and more importantly how can I get the DVD audio up to a decent level.

Thanx
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Question by:mcoop
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by:Crash2100
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have you checked the windows volume control for anything like video?

have you tried updating or reinstalling your dvd drivers and software?
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by:Asta Cu
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I'd also run the DirectX diagnostics (all tests) start-run-msinfo32-tools to check out the entire multimedia setup (all tests), and make sure you've checked the HW for compatibility and any related drivers updated for XP.  I encountered problems and due to tons of add-on software for the audio card which messed with my setting and when I finally fixed it, nearly blew out my ears, so sympathize totally.
":0) Asta
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by:Asta Cu
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It also helps to know your specific type/model information if this hasn't helped you.  Windows XP had about 40MB of updates, did you update your OS from WindowsUpdate?  If not, highly recommended, a couple dealt with DVD issues.
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by:mcoop
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ok - will check XP updates...
I also found that ignoring the 'budled' applications was a great help...  it took about 6 reinstallations of the driver before I had a stable environment.



...checked the windows volume control for anything like video...

I'm not sure I get you?   Since posting, I have turned off digital audio on the CDR - so I can move the analog audio across to the CDROM fader, but the (quiet) DVD audio is still firmly entrenched under the WAV fader - along with the Windows sounds (at much higher amplitude!)

It's almost like I need some patch to remap the WAV source from the DVD audio decoder to another unused 'channel' of the audio mixer - is this possible ?

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by:Asta Cu
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It helps to know more details about the model in use, also check the DirectX diagnostics (all).  You may also have decoder problems and need an updated codec.
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by:Asta Cu
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What type of software do you have, and did you do a compatibility check on it?  I know we had problems in terms of a CD/RW and using old software that caused tons of problems with the entire setup and should have been uninstalled first.  Unclear about your environment to recommend much more.
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by:mcoop
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Dual Xeon 2.2
512MB
iWlll DP400 motherboard
Win XP Pro

Sony CDR/RW CRX-175A1
Sony DVD-ROM DDU-1621
Philips Sound PSC705
nVidia GeForce4 MX-460


Is that enough to assist ?

Thanks
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by:dew_associates
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mc, attach a cable from the DVD drive to the sound card as a test and then try the sound again.

Dennis
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by:Asta Cu
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Thanks for responding here, Dennis, I'm swamped.
":0) Asta
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by:mcoop
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DVD audio is not decoded within the drive - but in the hardware / software decoder...

Hence audio is not available from the analog out connectors of the drive.  I thought about this early on, and only after trying it - did I realise that I was chasing a 'non-starter'.

Thanks for the input
mc
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by:dew_associates
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MC, think about it as you will, I don't know much, I only do this for a living. The small cable with the black connectors goes into either the CD in or audio in on the sound card, or if you have a more sophisticated sound card device, then use a spdif cable.
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by:dew_associates
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The decoding device, either hardware or software, does not replace the need for a sound connection between the DVD drive and the sound card. Putting sound through the IDE cable only causes problems.
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by:mcoop
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I don't want this to degenerate to a fight - audio is fine but low-level -  both ways.

I have tried to 'disable' digital audio in the device properties - but this only affects CD audio - not DVD audio - DVD audio doesn't want to come out the analog cable.

The two different audio streams are handled in quite different manner due to the MPEG2 multiplexed stream vs the CD audio-only PCM stream.

As far as CD audio is concerned, I can have both drives with _no_ analog cables installed - and still get CD and DVD audio - if the devices are set for digital audio.  obviously the reverse is true if digital audio is turned off.

I have another idea - more a programming approach - to remap the DVD's MPEG audio decoder to some other fader than the WAVE fader in the Windows audio mixer - this would allow me to balance the CD / DVD abd WAVE sources independently - if anyoe has experience in tweaking the Windows audio mixer...

Thanks for keeping this alive!
mc
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by:Asta Cu
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When you check in SAFE MODE, control panel, mulimedia devices, are there any erroneous or multiples listed for codecs?
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by:Asta Cu
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by:dew_associates
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Tried Asta, but I'm going to take a pass on this one.
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by:Asta Cu
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Have you checked with the Sony site in case there is a Firmware update for your devices?
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by:mcoop
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Thanks - I've checked for dup devices / codecs - nothing
Good point - about the only place I haven't looked so far is the Sony site - I'll get over there tonoght.

dew - thanks for your pointers

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by:Asta Cu
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by:Asta Cu
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by:mcoop
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Yup - checked those pages
Oddly as mentioned earlier PowerDVD crashed when I tried to play a DVD, while WMPlayer was quite happy.  Both are ok with CDs...

I'm reluctant to reinstall PowerDVD again - as I have done it twice, and I'd like to minimise the litter left behind by the install routines (duplicated registry entries etc)

Oh well...  maybe I'll explore the software remapping idea.
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Asta Cu earned 100 total points
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If USB speakers are the preferred device, Windows Media Player tries to find a non-preferred, non-USB audio device to play to; the volume control works for that device.
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q306706

HOW TO: Resources for Troubleshooting Sound Problems in Windows XP (Q307918)
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q307918

XP Sound articles
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=HTTP%3a%2f%2fsupport.microsoft.com/common/canned.aspx%3fR%3dd%26amp%3bH%3dWindows+XP+Sound+Articles%26amp%3bLL%3dkbwinxpsearch%2bor%2bkbwinmediaplayerxphome%2bor%2bkbwinmediaplayerxppro%26amp%3bSz%3dkbsound%26amp%3bCDID%3dEN-US-KB%26amp%3bLCID%3d1033

Troubleshooting Playback in Windows Media Player for Windows XP (Q306317)
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q306317

Back to work, out of ideas, sorry.
Asta
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by:mcoop
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I think that the problem is going to be deeper than it appeared at the outset...

astaec - thanks for the supply of links, you've obviously been thinking about htis for me.  The reward is yours.

I'll post the result if/when I decide on a solution in h/w or s/w

mc
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by:Moondancer
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Off topic, sorry.  mcoop - points for you here:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/jsp/qShow.jsp?ta=visualbasic&qid=20310988
Moondancer - EE Moderator
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