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New user with audio issues...
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~Maxx [Avatar]
Newbie Private Message Joined: May 16, 2020 01:38 Messages: 2 Offline
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Hi folks,

I've had this software for a couple of days now, and am having some issues that I just can't seem to sort out. System specs are as follows (let me know if you need more)...

-PowerDVD v 19.0.2403.62
-Windows 7 32bit SP1
-4GB ram
-Intel i7 CPU
-Realtek High Definition Audio driver v 6.0.1.6077
-Gigabyte X58A-UD3R main board

The Realtek audio interface is obviously integrated, and I'm also running an EMU sound card from a PCI slot. Realtek is selected as default for both input and output. And in case it matters, I bought this purely for listening to DVD and Blu Ray music in 5.1 surround sound. I've done my best to turn off all video related enhancements in the software.

Prior to buying this software I was using VLC for DVD surround sound playback, but needed something that would handle Blu Ray as well. Using VLC I trimmed out each speaker with my SPL meter and the Realtek Audio Manager. Things sounded pretty balanced. After installing PowerDVD I'm noticing a number of issues and quirks. Some of which probably stem from me not understanding how the software is handling the audio at any given time. Most notably, speaker balance is way off compared to the settings I used with VLC. The center speaker is strong, while the fronts were almost inaudible and I was getting nothing from the side speakers (even with the trim values set to +10). Only when I changed PowerDVD audio to "8 Speakers" and set Realtek to 7.1 did I get signal form the side speakers. And like the fronts it was extremely weak compared to the center (still with trim values cranked). There's also a lot of noise going on. Some of it seems to be actual distortion (which has prompted me to keep the main volume down to 1 or 2 while tinkering), but there's also a good bit going on within the noise floor as well. It's as if something early in the signal chain is super hot, but is being tamed down (to almost nothing in all but the center speaker) later on.

A few things I've noticed that aren't making sense to me... When playing a DVD I can adjust any of the settings in the Realtek Manager, but with Blu Ray discs nothing (other than the main volume) has any effect. At times while I'm tinkering with either a DVD or Blu Ray playing, the audio has stopped all together and will not resume regardless of what settings I change. It makes me wonder if that distortion I'm hearing isn't a sign of something getting too hot, and eventually shutting down? If I shut down and give it a break for a bit it always comes back. But that alone bothers me a great deal. Clearly I don't know what's going on, but it seems as if this software is trying to muscle its way around my computer without giving me any way to control it.

A bit about my audio settings (again - let me know if you need more)...

PowerDVD:
-Speaker Environment = System Default (8 Speaker) <-- again... only way I can get 5.1 audio to work?)
-Output Mode = "No Effect"
-Dynamic range compression is set to "full"
-Output sync is set to "0 seconds"
-"Exclusive audio output" is not turned on. What exactly is this setting anyway? It's very vague. Does it only aply if you're using a WASAPI output? Which "device" is it talking about sending audio "exclusively" to? My Realtek manager settings still don't bevave the way I expect them to (if at all) regardless of weather or not this box is ticked.

Realtek Audio Manager:
-Speaker Config = 7.1 with Center, Side, and Rear speakers turned on and Sub turned off (my fronts and subs are managed by an outboard crossover)
-Front speakers are set to full range while surrounds are not.
-Bass management is turned off
-No sound effects or equalizers are turned on or in use
-Room correction has all "distance" compensation set to zero, and all trim settings are set to +10 aside from the center speaker and sub which are at +0.
-Audio format is at 24 Bit Depth, and 48kHz Sample Rate. I am able to adjust this to anything between 44.1 and 192 sample rate at either 16 or 24 bits.

Sorry to have been so long-winded here. Just trying to get as much info in as I can. I think what I could really use is a tech-minded person that can explain to me what's happening with the audio from source (disc) to speaker output. I've used countless pieces of audio software over the years. I'm not saying that I've never had issues - but I've never come accross something as "full-fledged" as PowerDVD that seems to have so little in the way of control options in the settings interface. Either I'm missing some deep settings somewhere, or PowerDVD is just supposed to know how my audio should be managed and my computer settings are not in line with what it expects.

Again... Sorry for the long post. Any thoughts would be very much appreciated.

Regards!
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QC2.0 [Avatar]
Contributor Private Message Joined: Apr 27, 2016 04:02 Messages: 439 Offline
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Blu-ray movie's audio is also DRM protected.
I don't think you can add lots of custom adjustments on the audio part successfully out of the software player.
Don't even try to alternate the video or the audio configuration while the DRM content is exactly playing. It will corrupt the DRM status.

I believe the exclusive mode you see in the powerdvd is WASAPI mode. No need to turn it on in most of situations.

Which speaker set is connected to your PC, 5.1 channel or 7.1 channel?
What is your audio connection type? (ie S/PDIF, AUX, HDMI, etc.)

As you mentioned that no sound is played at the side speakers (nearly mute), I suggest you un-tick the truetheater audio enhancement on the truetheater panel (it is at where you disable the TrueTheater video effects), and then check the audio playback condition in powerdvd.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at May 18. 2020 00:15

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~Maxx [Avatar]
Newbie Private Message Joined: May 16, 2020 01:38 Messages: 2 Offline
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Quote Blu-ray movie's audio is also DRM protected.
I don't think you can add lots of custom adjustments on the audio part successfully out of the software player.
Don't even try to alternate the video or the audio configuration while the DRM content is exactly playing. It will corrupt the DRM status.

I believe the exclusive mode you see in the powerdvd is WASAPI mode. No need to turn it on in most of situations.

Which speaker set is connected to your PC, 5.1 channel or 7.1 channel?
What is your audio connection type? (ie S/PDIF, AUX, HDMI, etc.)

As you mentioned that no sound is played at the side speakers (nearly mute), I suggest you un-tick the truetheater audio enhancement on the truetheater panel (it is at where you disable the TrueTheater video effects), and then check the audio playback condition in powerdvd.

Thanks for your reply QC2.0. I guess I did forget to mention my connections above. Everything is hooked up through the analog outs. Main L/R, Side L/R, and Center/Sub (though I'm not using the Sub connection). Oddly I hadn't thought to try switching the Side outs to the Rear connection. I wonder if PowerDVD has those switched around? Or maybe Realtek does? I did find a newer driver that my main board supports, and that seems to have taken care of the distortion I was hearing. No enhancements of any kind are currently in use for either audio or video. Range compression is set to full, and "DSD output mode" is set to bypass (with "same as source" for number of channels).

I just find it really odd that I can adjust the speakers in Realtek's Audio Manager when playing a DVD, but not when playing a Blu Ray (and that there's such a difference between the center channel on one vs the other even with room correction bypassed in Realtek). I think the DRM aspect is a good point to have made, and something I hadn't considered. But I seriously hope that's not the issue. Trimming your surround speakers is Home Theater 101. And I fail to see how doing it with software should be any different than setting up a physical surround sound receiver. Something doesn't jive here. I just can't put my finger on it.

I will try switching my Side speaker outs to the Rear connection and see what that does. But I'm really stuck on this volume issue. I've ordered a Blu Ray with surround speaker test tones. When it arrives I'll set up my SPL meter again and we'll see how those compare to the ones on my DVD setup disk.
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