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'auto volume leveling' LCD TV question...need advice!!!

by 7moon12 / March 26, 2008 2:03 PM PDT

i have a 47" philips lcd tv(47pfl7432d). one of the features is the 'auto volume leveling' option which is supposed to even out the difference in volume between the commercials and program you're watching. it's a useful feature because there's a usually a noticeable difference in sound volume between the show i'm watching and when the commercials come on. for my set-up, i'm only running regular tv stations via roof-mounted antenna(don't have cable tv or satellite yet). i receive about 15 stations, most of which have the analog and digital/hd equivalent(ex, cbs analog is 5.0 and cbs hd is 5.1. my question is that the 'auto volume leveling' feature only works for the analog stations. when i switch to the digital/hd stations, the feature will not let me select it. this is a little annoying since obviously if you have an hd tv, you're going to watch the hd channels. i've called philips support, they sent out a tech who couldn't answer the problem either. he's supposed to get back to me. the tv is only 4 months old and otherwise works perfectly. any thoughts???

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auto volume leveling
by wittmu2usa / April 2, 2008 5:04 AM PDT

I have a Samsung 52 inch 65f series which also has auto volume leveling. Its ads and specs spell out that this function will level out volume between stations and advertisement increases and the menu has an on and off for this function. However, I have found little to no leveling for either annoyances. I asked Samsung tech support about this feature and was told that the problem was signal strength coming from the supplier and their tv's are not capable of changing the signal strength coming from the station whether that be cable or over the air (I'm on cable). I again asked what this feature does and was given the same response. I was left with mis advertisement and selling features that do little or nothing for the product yet one pays extra money for. I also have found there are many functions that are available for the analogue tuner but are not available for the digital tuner. I know I haven't answered your question and hoping a technical person will come along and provide a more feasible response to both our inquiries.

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My theory on volume differences
by Dan Filice / April 2, 2008 8:25 AM PDT
In reply to: auto volume leveling

The large difference between programs and advertisements has annoyed me for years. I remember the FCC pasted some regulation years ago that would not allow broadcasters to "turn up" the volume of commercials. My conspiracy theory is that broadcasters cheated this rule by turning down the signal level of their TV shows, thus achieving the same result. Think about it: You need to turn up the volume to hear the TV show, then when an ad comes on you get blasted out of your chair. But, the broadcasters have not violated the FCC rule because the Ad volume has not been turned up and the Ad volume falls within the max signal levels allowed. Someone please prove to me that my theory is wrong.

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thanks for the help guys!!!
by 7moon12 / April 2, 2008 8:43 AM PDT

i'm gonna have to chalk this up to 'oh well' i suppose. it's strange that i never noticed a difference with my 3yr old analog tv. seems like these new lcd tv's tout there great benefits, and then conveniently leave out the disadvantages. love the better picture my philips provides but this volume difference is just annoying!!! anyway, thanks again for the input!!!

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oh well indeed
by jostenmeat / April 2, 2008 8:49 AM PDT

there was a guy at audioholics a while back looking for advice, who confessed to being "that guy" who made these commercials unbearable.

He didn't at first, but then companies would be disappointed and he would be out of work. Commericals have the maximum possible compression applied to them. Meaning that the maximum volume is always had, and that anything softer is brought to the same level. If my understanding is correct, anyways.

Auto-level stuff on electronics is also using compression. I find it a shame to use any of it, unless purely for not waking others up. If we had all of our voices ultra-compressed, we would probably all sound like robots.

My rec is to minimize compression in the receiver, the player, the cable/sat, box, everywhere. All mine have settings. Then just familiarize yourself with the mute button.

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No louder than loudest part of program
by rdunn / September 26, 2010 11:38 PM PDT
In reply to: oh well indeed

Late post, but...
My understanding, if I remember right, is that there was a law saying that commercials may not be louder than the loudest part of the programming it accompanies... and my impression is that this just gets violated because who's checking up on them? And if they were caught in violation, how severe would the penalty be anyway.

If iTunes can do volume leveling on songs, I don't see why TV's can't be equipped with auto-volume controls. Supposedly Dolby has a system, announced in 2007, but where is it?

This is more than just for late night viewing to avoid waking others... too often now, either the sound-editing of films is just poor and dialog is hard to hear over the booms and bangs, or the dialog is oh-so-soft-and-dramatic followed by a boisterous upswell of music to shock the audience out of their dramatic tension, thanks to the directors or whoever... this just doesn't play well at home. Television should be equipped with volume leveling, period.
Somebody could make some money selling an external audio-leveling device anyway... plug the TV audio-out into the device and then back into whatever sound system you like. What's so difficult about boosting soft sounds and minimizing loud ones? Yes, I want flat volume... sick and tired of straining to hear dialog and jumping to turn down explosions, etc... explosions of sound. Sick of sitting with the remote in my hand to be ready to do so... some of us live in communal settings like condominiums.
Then there's apparently a way to detect a change to commercials, and back again... another feature of an external device would be to flat out mute the commercials to zero volume, and back up for return to programming. No legal way to stop a device for simple sound control, if it's not built in to televisions, etc... but if it's not built-in, then perhaps commercial detection is not as easy, who knows. Then marketers could work more on the visual ad, and try not to be obnoxious with that either... probably fat chance.

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by rdunn / September 26, 2010 11:41 PM PDT

Yes I do make use of subtitles/closed captions when available... some newer TV's make even that difficult to use.

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'auto volume leveling'
by ghp425 / December 27, 2011 12:56 PM PST
In reply to: oh well indeed


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by mercedes215 / July 24, 2012 11:28 PM PDT



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Phillips TV Audio Auto Levelling
by Pebble100 / August 30, 2012 7:26 AM PDT

I have an "older 32" Phillips TV that I am using in a similar way- off air with a digital converter box. On it you have to set the audio control to Personal as well as go to the menu {where you personally control & equalize treble & bass}and there set Auto Level to on, as well. If you use any of the other audio options such as Music or Voice, etc., the sound does not level out for commercials. They may have taken a similar approach in syntax with your TV. You might look this up in your manual or an online manual.
I'm here on CNET researching this because I've become so addicted to audio level, my 46" Magnavox HDTV died a couple of months ago & commercial scream bugs me so much that I may need to buy another leveled HDTV to maintain my sanity. I hope this helps

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