Very low volume when playing back DVD .ISO files

Hey guys

Just got my WD TV Live and enjoying it, apart from the fact that when playing back DVDs from .ISO files, the volume of the DVD is VERY low.

The volume of all other media (DivX etc) is perfectly fine, and the DVD menu volume is ok, but as soon as any part of the actual DVD is played back (I believe it’s AC3 audio) the volume is super low. I have to crank up my audio receiver just to hear it.

Anyone else experiencing this, and any solutions?


Let me guess… you’re listening to a 5.1 AC3 track in the .iso but only playing it back to Stereo?

That’s the way the 5.1 mixdown works.  You’d be much happier listening to the 2.0 AC3 track if the disc has one (I don’t recall very many of mine that don’t have both 5.1 and 2.0).

And if 5.1 --> Stereo isn’t the problem, then there’s not really anything that can be done.  The WDTV doesn’t alter the levels, it just outputs whatever’s in the media.  If it’s not the downmix issue, then the audio’s just that low.  The only thing else you could do would be to extract the AC3 track, increase the levels in it, and put the track back in.

Actually, a simple test would be to put the original DVD that the .iso was ripped from into your DVD player.  If the sound level isn’t identical to what the WDTV is outputting, then you’ve somehow managed to mangle the audio levels when you ripped the disc.  The ripper should just be ripping the audio tracks as-is, without fiddling with the sound levels.

When playing back through a stereo system (not 5.1) using the same DVD in a DVD player, the sound is as it should be.

Also, when playing back the exact same .ISO file from a PC or Mac, the sound is as it should be - so it’s not the rip.

The sound is only low when playing back .ISOs from the WD.

Do you have the WD set to STEREO or DIGITAL?


Running the vid to my CRT TV and the audio (stereo) to my Yamaha receiver stereo input.

And yes, it only seems to be on DVDs with 5.1 AC3 audio. My DVD player & computer mix the 5.1 levels to the same as your average stereo track tho. The WD must do it differently.

That’s the way the 5.1 mixdown works

    • *Um, no.  It’s not the way 5.1 mixdown works.

This problem arose with one of the firmware updates.   With factory defaults and no firmware updates, the WDTV Live plays 5.1 tracks from DVD rips just fine (single peeled episode files, or movies).  I upgraded my firmware when they implemented DVD Menu functionality (to take the tedium out of plucking episodes out of my TV DVD’s), and that’s when I noticed the severe drop in volume of the 5.1 downmix to stereo.

I’ve made a post about it in the Firmware forum, but everybody says the same things and asks the same questions that generally don’t apply.  I know my way around these processes.  I’ve been working with audio/video for a long time.  Something is definitely wrong with the downmix to stereo from 5.1 tracks on DVD.  I have to crank up my receiver by about 15% to get it to comfortable levels.  But if you do this, with a full DVD .iso, and you return to the menus…it’ll be eye-shatteringly loud (the menus use 2.0 tracks, which play perfectly).

So at some point in the firmware development, they messed something up with DVD 5.1 audio output that is only noticed by folks who downmix to stereo.  And it needs to be fixed.  It’s frustrating.

Jeddia is correct.  I have had EXACTLY the same experience.  When playing back ISO files with 5.1 audio tracks, the volume is VERY low - Every other input (Cable, Wii, BluRay) requires my TV to be around Volume level “20;” when watching ISO movies on the WDLive Plus, I have to virtually double the volume on the TV (or audio equip).  If you forget to return the volume on your TV (or audio equip) to “normal” levels before you get back to an AC2 menu, or switch back to cable, etc, you will get blown away by the volume.  We watched a movie the other night, and forgot to return the TV volume to normal levels - I nearly had a heart attack when my kids turned the TV on the next morning to watch some cable.

Simple deduction shows that the problem is, in fact within the WDLive Plus:

  • The original DVD does NOT have the Volume issue

  • The ISO file Does NOT have the Issue when played on a PC

    - When played on a PC, the ISO file(s) have no volume differences between 5.1 and AC2 audio

  • The SAME ISO, played on the WDLive Plus, DOES have a significant volume difference between 5.1 and AC2

I’ll have to take Jeddia’s word that this wasn’t an issue with the original firmware, but if that is true, that would certainly make this an “open and shut case.”

This is a pretty significant defect, and should be fixed (or reverted to the earlier volume handling) as soon as possible.

Yes, it’s definitely an issue brought on by a WDTV firmware update.

Please fix this in the next firmware revision WD.

Release 1.04.17

I have the same issue as described here. The same DVD when played back via my Sony DVD recorder sounds louder than when  I play the ISO version via the WD Live.

The Sony & WD are using HDMI inputs 1 & 2 of a Panasonic LCD TV.

I experiance the same with all of my ISO files. I forget to turn the TV back down at times which can wake you up. I don’t have to do this in my DVD players with the same movie

Anyone find a solution to this yet?  Having the exact same issue…

There is no “solution” unfortunately.

It needs to be fixed in a firmware update from WD.

I would think that this is a major bug and am surprised and disappointed it hasn’t been fixed already.

Yup I’ll confirm this also, I’m seeing the exact same issue. Low volume on wd live plus, and its driving me and my family crazy. Is there a proper way to submit this as a bug to WD? I’m new here so I’m not sure how to get WD to see this issue we are all facing.

It may not be getting the visibility because it seems very very few people are having the issue.

I don’t have it on any of my four boxes, which are on three different TVs using two different AVRs.

No volume changes ever required…  

To submit it as an official bug, you have to contact WD Tech Support either online or via phone.

May I ask what firmware your live+ is on? This is 100% an issue on my box, as I have played around with multiple movies. I only use handbreak to do my rips, not sure what others are using. Maybe thats causing it.

Well, for one thing, this thread is about DVD ISOs, not Handbrake rips, which would be something totally different, since HB only creates MP4s and MKVs. 

My Live and Live+ are both on 1.04.17.

Firmware 1.04.17_V (latest) here.

Only happens with .ISO files which are multi-channel audio…ie 5.1 surround.

When the WD unit mixes it down to stereo, it outputs it at a far lower volume than stereo .ISO files or any other file type with a stereo audio track.

Also, it occurs with both self-ripped .ISOs using DVDShrink and those obtained elsewhere.

Haven’t found any solution to this.  It’s definitely only with DVD .iso’s.  The 5.1 tracks in .mkv files are fine.  I’ve tried multiple softwares to rip the .iso’s and I get the same result  with all of them - so it’s certainly an issue with the box.

I’ve started ripping all my DVD’s with the 2.0 tracks intact so I can switch to it with the remote until the problem is resolved.  Trouble is, not all DVD’s have an English 2.0 track.   I have several that only have 5.1 english, and all the 2.0 tracks are either a foreign language or a commentary track.  So I can’t always work around it by switching to a 2.0 track.  This is a really strange thing to have happened with firmware upgrades.  I would hope it is getting some attention.

TonyPh12345 wrote:

Well, for one thing, this thread is about DVD ISOs, not Handbrake rips, which would be something totally different, since HB only creates MP4s and MKVs. 


My Live and Live+ are both on 1.04.17.



Yeah I meant to say dvdfab for my ripping to .iso not handbrake. No need to be an **bleep**. Secondly I am well aware that topic would be another thread all togheter.  What I am tryinig to do is see what firmeware and setup’s people have (working or not). This way I can try to duplicate them and see the differences.