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Doctor Who [New Series 1-3] DVD Sets & Audio Issues - Anyone Else/Any Ideas?

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Doctor Who [New Series 1-3] DVD Sets & Audio Issues - Anyone Else/Any Ideas?

Old 01-04-09, 08:40 PM
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Doctor Who [New Series 1-3] DVD Sets & Audio Issues - Anyone Else/Any Ideas?

Hi all,

Big fan of the new series of Doctor Who (looking forward to getting into some of the classics eventually too when I have the time), and I have the first 4 series on DVD, but I have a strange issue that is really hampering my enjoyment of the sets.

On any of the first 3 series DVDs, when I output 5.1 audio (Panasonic S97 DVD player & Kenwood VRS-6100 receiver) via bitstream, the sound effects are much louder than the dialog. IE, if I turn the volume up to the level where dialog is pleasing to me, the sound effects practically blast me out of the room (especially explosions, etc., which I know are supposed to be loud, but this seems ridiculously so). If I turn down the sound and calibrate to the sound effects, obviously the dialog (and sometimes music) is less than ideal.

This seems strange to me as though I don't watch a ton of DVD's, I haven't really experienced this with others (in bitstream mode). Similarly, I was surprised to find so far, this does not seem to be a problem for me with the Series 4 DVDs, so I'm wondering if production changed.

I did find a workaround - switching my DVD player's output to PCM instead of Bitstream and letting my receiver use Dolby Pro Logic II to output 5.1 from the 2-channel signal. This works fairly well, but obviously downgrade the audio a bit as it's simply not as good as Bitstream. But the sound levels are corrected this way.

Anybody have similar issues? Any ideas what may be causing this? I've looked up reviews of the DVD and have seen no complaints about the audio, so I'm thinking it has got to be something with my configuration, but I can't seem to figure out what.

Thanks for any advice! =o)
Old 01-04-09, 08:50 PM
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Does your receiver or DVD player support a "boost" in the center channel? Try that out.

Is your receiver not properly calibrated? Run a THX disc and see if any speakers are out of phase, lower setting, etc.
Old 01-04-09, 09:22 PM
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There has been several reports of the New Who series releases having a lower Center Channel resulting in quiet dialogue but over-powering music & effects. Series 1 was especially horrible. My work-around was just turning up the center channel.

2entertain is aware of complaints to this matter. Torchwood Series 2 and Doctor Who Series 4 are the first two releases that seemed more balanced. Hopefully, they learned their lesson.

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Old 01-05-09, 12:29 AM
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I usually just turn on the Dynamic Range Compression on my receiver for those titles, maybe at the Max level if I remember correctly. Otherwise temporarily raise the Center channel on your system.
Old 01-06-09, 12:05 AM
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Re: Doctor Who [New Series 1-3] DVD Sets & Audio Issues - Anyone Else/Any Ideas?

Thanks for the fantastic responses all! I really appreciate it!

Ahhh, so it *is* an issue with the DVDs and not my setup. Just knowing this helps a lot as I was pulling my hair out wondering why other things sounded fine.

Looking through my options, my DVD player does support both Dialog Enhancer and Dynamic Range Compression. I tried the Dialog Enhancer before, and it didn't seem to help that much, but I haven't tried Dynamic Range Compression yet - I'll give that a shot and hopefully it'll help and be a better option than PCM. If that still doesn't work, I can boost the center channel volume, though it'd take some time to figure out where it should be at. I'm just glad they're finally fixing the issue on current (and hopefully then upcoming) releases.

Also, thanks for the warm invite to the Doctor Who thread - I just may check it out. =o)

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