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OT - Who's the resident home theater expert?

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by AveragEd, Nov 6, 2011.

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  1. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    OT - Who

    I have a Samsung HDTV and a Samsung 5.1 home theater system with Blue-ray player and wireless rear speakers. Both are almost two years old. The TV is great; the home theater system sucks.

    Since new, the volume has soared during commercials ONLY when the home theater system is on. Then the volume started changing during a program. After several months of that, I took the receiver to Best Buy for repairs. The tech called me to tell me that he could find nothing wrong but that the software was outdated. I told him to update it. Of course, it's out of warranty now.

    Now it's back and I'm really getting steamed. On some channels (CBS the other night, FOX sports and some channel my wife wants to watch right now), all you can hear is the background music of a TV show or the crowd noise at a football game. Actors' and commentators' voices are so faint they cannot be heard unless you stand right in front of a speaker. The subwoofer is so overpowering that I unplugged it. And some of the time, the audio and video are out of synch - spoken words come from the speakers after the mouths have stopped moving. None of this happens with only the TV speakers being used.

    I understand that I can control or adjust most of that through my remote but the "Menu" button does nothing but make the button you use to direct the inputs to the receiver flash.

    I've checked the digital optical cable - good strong red light. I've gone over the connections - all tight. I then started a chat session with a Samsung customer service rep.

    "Patrick" never grasped that the menu button is on the fritz and kept telling me to access "Setup" through the menu button, so I quit that and called India on the phone. I got one of the pit workers who had to put me on hold so he could run to the one guy who knows anything for every answer he needed. Forty minutes of that got good and old, so I told him what I thought of Samsung customer service and hung up.

    So now what? Does anyone know how I get this damned system working right? I thought by buying the same brand of home theater system and TV, I would avoid any capability problems and even went elsewhere to buy the home theater system, as Best Buy did not sell a Samsung system with both a Blue-ray player and wireless rear speakers.

    This is what happens when you think.

    Ed
     
  2. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    PM ZZT. He really, really knows his stuff about problems like yours. He turned my Bravia from junk into a star performer.

    Neil
     
  3. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    Thanks - I'll give that a try.

    Ed
     
  4. Hauxfan

    Hauxfan Well-Known Member

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    Don't know a lot about your system, but I do know, (because I have a son who does know) that if you have surround sound system, you should turn your TV speakers off.

    That is what my son has me do and it works good for me.

    Hope this helps a little.

    Hauxfan!
     
  5. grntitan

    grntitan Well-Known Member

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    Hmmm, i'll have to try the TV speakers off thing. Never have been completely pleased with my Sony system. My living room is a Great Room with 25' ceiling. I would have thought that would make it like a concert hall. I think it actually distracts from the sound quality.
     
  6. Shooting Jack

    Shooting Jack Active Member

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    I have never been pleased with my Sony system either but have always left the tv speakers on. Will give it a try as the speakers and sub woofer sounds great play cd's. Jackie B.
     
  7. grntitan

    grntitan Well-Known Member

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    Jackie,

    Same here. If i put a CD in, i can knock stuff off the wall with it. Sounds awesome and has tremendous bass with the realtively small subwoofer box. Now i will say movies have good thunderous bass but i just don't get that theater surround sound i expected.

    Matt
     
  8. sixten38

    sixten38 Member

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    Have you calibrated the speaker levels for the 5.1 Dolby digital? If your remote menu button is on the fritz can you get to the setup menu from the front of the receiver? Sounds to me like your levels need to be adjusted.
     
  9. kene

    kene TS Member

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    Several companies make good "universal remotes" that can be programmed to replace the remote that came with your system. If your remote is broken you may want to see about getting one of those so you can get into the set-up menu and get the levels set correctly. If they are way out of balance it would be like having 95+% of the sound coming from the left channel in a stereo with just a tiny bit coming from the right speaker -- very disconcerting.
     
  10. kene

    kene TS Member

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    PS -- do not use the internal TV speakers and the 5.1 surround speakers at the same time --- they will "argue" with each other. turn one or the other completely off.
     
  11. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    My TV's speakers shut themselves off when another audio device is connected but I also have them shut off manually (except when frustration sets in and we shut the home theater system off).

    I'll look into a universal remote. I've never been much of a "universal" guy - in the car repair business, "universal" usually means "fits everything half-assed and nothing right."

    Ed
     
  12. BROWNST100

    BROWNST100 Member

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    Ed...if you want to borrow a remote...stop on the way home and you can borrow on of ours. I just checked and the menu button works.

    Under sound on the menu screen...turn auto volume on and the TV speaker off.

    Vern
     
  13. 870

    870 Well-Known Member

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    Ed, can't fix your issue, but I had a similar thing happen. On certain channels I could only hear the background sounds, music or other sounds, but not the people talking. My cable company took care of it in a short call. I had to change something in the set-up, but of course I can't remember it now.
     
  14. blade819

    blade819 Well-Known Member

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    it's not your system. it's the tv stations who delberatley turn the volume up on commercials. there was a bill before congress last year that would have made this practice illegal but somewher the bill died probably because of lobbyist. it's annoying as hell and i'm not sure you can do anything about it but complain to the fcc.

    blade819
     
  15. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Vern, but I don't get down that way very often any more.

    Blade, I've heard about that but it's funny that this TV doesn't do that when the surround sound is off and our bedroom HDTV doesn't do it.

    I do believe that a universal remote might be my answer and will give that a try when I get time to buy one. But it sure won't come from Best Buy!

    Ed
     
  16. mixer

    mixer Well-Known Member

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    Blade819,

    It's not the stations who make the commercials louder it's the post production process where the advertiser wants his commercial to sound louder than others.

    Eric
     
  17. kfbagt

    kfbagt Member

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    you need to have auto level correction turned on in the sound menu on your tv, that will fix the loud commercials, as for hearing background noises and not the rest of the dialogue.... that's a different story.

    depending on your setup you should have 6 speakers total, a center speaker, two fronts and two rears with a sub. The center channel in 5.1 mode is supposed to carry all dialogue, so if you can't hear the talking portion of the audio then your center channel is not working. make sure the speaker is plugged in and working properly. it's possible that the center level has been turned way down so you can't hear it, but that's where you will have to access the system menus with the remote. if you have different audio modes then try those and see what happens and by that i mean theatre, concert, stadium, etc for the surround modes. if your system is an all in one with a blu-ray players and surround I doubt you have many high end options but I will mention this just in case you do, there are different surround sound codecs (which is to say programming languages for audio) that programs and movies are recorded in, if your system is not sophisticated enough to play all of them then you may not be able to hear all surround sound properly, usually a receiver falls back to simulated stereo mode when a particular codec can't be read so you just hear all channels lumped together out of the front left and right speakers at once, but if your stereo can't handle that then you may only hear part of the audio stream. so the problem may be that you just can't decode some of the newer surround sound that exists. You may be able to at least hear those programs if you can access the menu and try the different modes that i mentioned or just turn the surround sound off and have it in stereo mode.

    if you are interested in upgrading ever in the future you generally get a for more superior product if you but seperate components rather than an all-in-one set-up.

    I hope some of that helps you. But first things first check all of your speaker hookups and make sure everything is plugged in and working properly with respect to speakers before you do anything else. Then try the different modes. you didn't mention it but does everything work properly when you are watching a blu-ray movie from the internal drive?

    good luck, Paul
     
  18. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    Paul, you're the second person to recommend buying the system piece-meal. That's what I'll do next time. And there apparently WILL be a next time...

    I did stop by Vern's home and borrowed his Samsung remote but nothing was changed - the "BD Receiver" light still flashes when the "Menu" button is depressed and nothing appears on the TV screen. This is new, as that didn't happen before the "repair" so I guess it's back to Best Buy with it.

    Ed
     
  19. Claydotter

    Claydotter Active Member

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    Just out of curiosity , what is the exact Model# of the Samsung unit?

    Did the system ever work correctly?

    Do you have to have wireless surround speakers?

    Regards, Pete
     
  20. likes-to-shoot

    likes-to-shoot Well-Known Member

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    Do the wireless rear speakers use batteries?
     
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