Poor Dynamic Range - Even with Full enabled

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Colonel Badger, Jan 19, 2016.

  1. Colonel Badger macrumors 6502

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    Jun 30, 2008
    #1
    Does anybody else find that their movies, particularly from iTunes lack dynamic range. The audio is fine for quiet parts/talking parts but when special effects, explosions etc. happen it's like they're being compressed.

    I've double checked and I have Full Dynamic Range enabled. However its behaving like it isn't.

    This thread here captures it perfectly.

    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/7328436?start=0&tstart=0

    Hoping tvOS 9.2 fixes this.
     
  2. Colonel Badger thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jun 30, 2008
    #2
    So 232 views and not one comment. So I presume by this everybody is happy with the Dynamic Range on their Apple TV 4? I have to say, compared to a regular DVD 5.1 the loud scenes certainly lack punch.

    Anybody ?
     
  3. applied2 macrumors newbie

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    Nov 21, 2013
    #3
    I haven't noticed poor dynamic range so much, as just generally low volume on movies when compared to other content.
     
  4. Colonel Badger thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #4
    Yeah I have definitely heard the low volume too. 2 Channel content (like trailers/previews, Apple Music etc.) are loud. Dolby Digital content seems much lower. I read somewhere that somebody had used a Sound Meter and measured 8dbz lower.
     
  5. tjwilliams25 macrumors 6502

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    Montana
    #5
    From what I've gathered, it's because the surround stream being output is LPCM 7.1, which comparatively isn't as loud as a Dolby stream. Basically, what the Apple TV is doing is giving your receiver/TV the raw, uncompressed, decoded stream that doesn't have the added loudness and other waveforming techniques that Dolby uses to make the compressed stream have more "range". I've noticed that the iTunes movies that I own actually have better dynamic range than they did before, just not as much volume, so I just compensate by turning up my receiver. Of course, your mileage will vary given the vast array of setups and the non-conforming way films are mixed.
     
  6. geesus macrumors regular

    geesus

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    Jul 3, 2015
    #6
    Yes definitely noticed this. I thought it was just the Netflix app - watching the same film on Netflix on my PS4 (so DD+) is a lot louder and more dynamic.

    I guess it's the entire ATV rather than just Netflix then.
     
  7. Colonel Badger thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #7
    Yeah disappointing. From the Apple Discussion linked above it appears Apple is/was aware of it. Hoping they address it in an update. Some users were able to do a side by side with an ATV 3 and said that it didn't have the problem. So there's hope.
     
  8. tjwilliams25 macrumors 6502

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    #8
    That's because the Apple TV 3 just passes through the audio stream. The new Apple TV 4 doesn't, it takes care of all of the decoding itself. From what I've read, the reason for this is to mix all of the sound effects and Siri into the audio stream. So, Apple can fix it, but I have a feeling that the seamless experience that we have right now with Siri will be less smooth, which in turn will probably cause even more unrest. It's a classic have your cake and eat it too dilemma.
     
  9. Colonel Badger thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #9
    Perhaps they can give us a BitStream output along with Auto and Surround Sound with the caveat/warning that Siri won't work.
     
  10. geesus macrumors regular

    geesus

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    Jul 3, 2015
    #10
    Apple Music is also noticeably worse quality than air playing from my Mac to the Apple TV for whatever reason.
     
  11. bluespark macrumors 65816

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    New York
    #11
    I continually notice what OP is talking about and the overall muffled/compressed sound as compared to the ATV3 (or to Blu-Ray, etc.) and it drives me crazy.

    I'm not a tech person, but it does seem the issue is the lack of a true passthrough for audio. It appears to me that the ATV is doing the work rather than sending the audio data directly to my receiver, and I'm 100% sure my receiver would do a better job with it. This really, really needs to be an option (if not the default behavior).

    I don't buy the Siri theory above, as Siri is silent on the ATV. There is no reason I can think of why Apple couldn't send unprocessed audio data, it just doesn't.
     
  12. Colonel Badger thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #12
    If you're unhappy you should send feedback here..

    http://www.apple.com/feedback/appletv.html

    I have.
     
  13. Rigby macrumors 601

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    San Jose, CA
    #13
    Uhm, Siri is silent on the ATV. I guess it's possible that they want to be able to mix in menu sounds, but they could still offer a passthrough option for those that don't care about hearing "swishes" while a movie is playing. Blu-ray players have had such options for a long time. I'd feel better if I knew that the ATV isn't messing with the sound. The audio subsystem seems to be a bit buggy at the moment.
     
  14. tjwilliams25 macrumors 6502

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    Montana
    #14
    You're right, Siri is silent, but when you activate it, the background sound is quieted. I agree that a passthrough option would be better, but as Apple loves to sell an experience I'm unsure if that's going to change. Everyone has been pretty vocal about this, so hopefully that'll be enough.
     
  15. bluespark macrumors 65816

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    #15
    Right now, the "experience" includes substandard sound. Given that other boxes have long had good sound and system beeps, etc., I don't see why the ATV needs to be compromised in this manner. (I'm not arguing against your conclusion, I just don't understand why ATV can't produce quality audio the way competing products can.)
    --- Post Merged, Jan 22, 2016 ---
    I have as well. I hope others bothered by this will heed your suggestion.
     
  16. tjwilliams25 macrumors 6502

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    #16
    I completely agree, it definitely should be fixed, as it's an nuisance to have to crank up the volume to enjoy content at reasonable levels. I'm just hoping that the outcry from early adopters is enough to make them rethink the audio structure. I don't think we'll have full bitstream support, but I'm sure there can be a compromise.
     
  17. sailermon macrumors member

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    Northern California
    #17
    "An Experience" isn't an excuse, period. It is standard procedure with any audio streaming device to provide an audio "pass through" option so that users can utilize A/V receivers to process the audio bit stream as they see fit for their particular speaker setup and to their particular preferences. Not offering this choice at the outset was a serious oversight and until Apple fixes this with adding an audio pass through option in the setup menu, they have an inferior product.

    Most prudent system setups involve sending audio from all devices through an A/V receiver via HDMI for processing and not having this option is simply not being able to utilize the A/V receiver to produce the highest sound quality sound we should expect and deserve. I have provided feedback as I recommend all of you do. If Apple doesn't fix this in the next OS update, they will continue to have difficulty with customer satisfaction regarding the ATV4.
     
  18. Colonel Badger thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #18
    Interestingly I today installed Infuse Pro to play some MKV files I have from DVD. I don't have sound meter proof, but to my ears the audio from the Dolby Digital played from direct DVD rips using MakeMKV using the Infuse Pro app and Dolby Digital Passthrough sounded IDENTICAL to the DVD itself. The sound certainly sounded more powerful and compelling than the iTunes movies i've played.

    I know that Infuse DOES NOT use the built in iTunes Video player, instead opting to write their own, presumably why they're able to do both DTS and Dolby Digital Passthrough. Because of this I don't believe tvOS is "compressing" the output so i'm guessing it's a perfect bitstream output. If i'm right it proves that both the hardware and OS are perfectly capable of giving us what we want.
     
  19. kagharaht macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 7, 2007
    #19
    Problem also is with 5.1 audio playing on 7.1 system the other 2 rear channels will be silent. Even if you have PLX II, DD EX, capable receiver. Most receivers will treat it as multichannel and cannot process it for full 7.1 output.
     
  20. TallGuyGT macrumors regular

    TallGuyGT

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    Aug 8, 2011
    #20
    I can boost the input volume on my TV so that iTunes movies sound better/louder. But with input volume up, the sound level on the iTunes Extras screen which launches movies is deafening. Different apps seem to have different volume levels, so constantly adjusting volume is a hassle.

    I have a 2015 Sony with Android TV. The UI is nowhere close to Apple. But I find myself using it because the audio sounds better and volume is consistent across apps. It also has 4K app support, and Amazon and Vudu apps are available now.
     
  21. jayinla macrumors regular

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    Sep 17, 2010
    #21
    I purchased the ATV 4 last month to replace an ATV 3. The selling point for me was the ability to use the Plex App which is not available on the 3. I noticed at that time that the audio using the same settings and equipment as the 3 was "lacking" on such apps as Netflix and HBOGO. After reading this thread, I hooked back up the ATV 3 into another HDMI port and ran the same Netflix movie side by side to compare. Obviously, video was identical. Audio however was noticeably different. The ATV 3 was much more dynamic and utilized the subwoofer and bass much more impressively. I do not regret purchasing the ATV 4 as there are a number of wonderful improvements including the app store and airplay stability but the audio needs to be fixed and soon. When upgrading a streaming system, you would hope for improvements (audio, 4k, remote, stability, etc...), not a regression. Please fix soon Apple.
     
  22. kagharaht macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    Make sure you go here and send feedback.

    http://www.apple.com/feedback/appletv.html
     
  23. Snoopy4 macrumors 6502a

    Snoopy4

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    Dec 29, 2014
    #23
    We watch most programming at -30 but have to go to -20 to achieve the same output with ATV. It was the same with ATV3. Not surprised. Not like audio quality was ever a priority. Apple doesn't quite get the audiophile environment they've stumbled into. They built a device for average joe, but the audiophile loves the idea of not having to stockpile media. Unfortunately, they haven't figured out that they need to embrace the audiophile which will drive not only sales, but product quality as well.

    So where's our 7.1 audio content Apple? Get with it.
     
  24. bluespark macrumors 65816

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    #24
    Certainly true, and Apple needs to understand that the audiophile market drives lots of sales. But given how easily the bean counters might write off what they perceive as a niche, it's very important here for us to make the point that this is not an audiophile-only problem. As others have pointed out, The ATV4 doesn't sound nearly as good as the ATV3. The ATV4 doesn't sound as good as our Blu-Ray and DVD players. The ATV doesn't sound as good as competing boxes from Roku, etc. I'm guessing that most people with a decent, properly-configured multichannel system could hear the difference. Even my wife, who hates discussions of these details, mentioned that her movies sound muffled with the new ATV. Lack of a passthrough isn't a problem that would affect everyone, but it's very much a mainstream problem.
     
  25. profets macrumors 68040

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    Mar 18, 2009
    #25
    Hmm, I feel like most of the time when I'm watching content I see the DD5.1 or bitstream icon lit up on my receiver. Now I'm second guessing myself, going to check later when I'm home. Most of my content is being played through Plex. Maybe Plex can bitstream?
     

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