Low Audio in Netflix

Not sure if this was previously mentioned, but here goes…

I purchased a WDTV Live Plus over the summer, finally set it up and installed all updates. While setting up and running Netflix, I noticed I had to crank the volume up quite a bit. I tried both inputs, same problem. I was wondering if this was happening to others, or if my device is messed up? Everything else works great, in fact I forgot about cranking the volume and had to quickly lower the volume in Youtube.

Thanks in advance!

Are you downmixing to stereo?

How does the NetFlix AC3 5.1 audio compare to other AC3 5.1 audio streams?

The sound level is the same, when I use the HDMI and the included cables.

As for downmixing to stereo, I’m not sure. I just plugged the cables in and that’s it. Is there something I have to adjust? Sorry, just thought it was odd that the Netflix was the only thing that was giving me fits.

It depends what you’re sending it to, over HDMI.

If you’re sending 5.1 over HDMI to a receiver that can decode 5.1, then you’ve usually balanced the system when you first set it up, and it should be sounding like any other AC-3 signal, as far as I know.

If you’re sending 2.0 stereo over HDMI to your TV (since most TV’s won’t decode AC-3 at their HDMI inputs), then this simply sounds like the same issue everyone perpetually has with the audio when AC-3 5.1 is downmixed to stereo – the sound effects and background music are too loud, and the center dialogue channel is too quiet.

This doesn’t appear to be limited to the WDTV itself.

When I play an AC-3 5.1 DVD in any of my stand-alone DVD players, the stereo audio out is the same – I usually watch TV with the volume at “10” or “12” and usually need to watch DVDs at “18” or “20” to hear what’s being said (and find effects like gunshots to be excessively loud – I took to watching DVDs with the captions on, because if it was quiet enough so that the effects didn’t disturb my sleeping family, I couldn’t hear the dialogue).

But, as far as I can determine, I note no real difference between the AC-3 track on the DVD itself, played through a stand-alone DVD player, the AC-3 track in an .iso file, played with my WDTV and the AC-3 track in a .mkv file played by my WDTV… the WDTV doesn’t seem to be doing anything “wrong” or different… it just seems like this is how consumer-level devices downmix Dolby Digital 5.1 to stereo.  Whenever possible, I include the 2.0 track from the disc when I make my rips so I can avoid this very “problem”.