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New audio dampening effect on Xfinity TV?

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Regular Contributor

New audio dampening effect on Xfinity TV?

I may be mistaken, but was an audio normalization or dynamic range compression effect added to Xfinity TV recently? Lately, whenever a really loud noise plays during a movie (like an explosion or scream), the overall volume level decreases momentarily. Its very jarring and is ruining every movie I watch lately. I double checked my own audio settings and can confirm that dynamic range compression is disabled on my system.

 

If this is happening please make it stop. Its badly implemented, and should be fixed or removed.

 

Why do I get the feeling that this is Comcast's lazy fix to content with bad audio, like commercials that play WAY louder than the program being watched?

 

Edit: I just watched an action sequence in The Hobbit at HBO GO and the audio was fine. Watched the same sequence at Xfinity TV and it was like someone was fiddling with the volume knob throughout the scene. 

Regular Contributor

Re: New audio dampening effect on Xfinity TV?

Hard to believe no one else has noticed this. I can't tell if its on all channels or only some (not all the shows I watch have explosions and loud music), but its really noticable on HBO. Watching an action movie like the Hobbit is ridiculous. During the goblin cave escape the audio is so dampened I can barely hear the dialog. Same with Treme; during scenes with live music dialog is comepletely drowned out.

 

Suppose I'll just watch on HBO GO until you guys sort your problems out.

Official Employee

Re: New audio dampening effect on Xfinity TV?

Hi Creechuur,

 

Thank you for posting on our forums and bringing this concern to our attention. We apply audio normalization using the ITU-R BS.1770-1 : CALM Act algorithm during our transcode process.

 

I've spent the morning looking into 'The Hobbit' from a number of different perspectives and agree its a bit unsettling. My team will look into this issue further and run some tests to see what can be done, if anything, to help this.

 


Creechuur wrote:

Why do I get the feeling that this is Comcast's lazy fix to content with bad audio, like commercials that play WAY louder than the program being watched?


 

Ad's are not always within Comcast control and many times provided by third party systems. While we provide our specifications to all third parties its often hard to enforce due to Comcast not actually serving the ad.


Thanks,
Tony
Regular Contributor

Re: New audio dampening effect on Xfinity TV?

Holy Truckasaurus, I got an answer! For over two years I've been posting to these forums and I finally got an answer!

 

I think the best fix is to disable the effect. Most sound cards and media players already have a normalization option, who knows what its doing if they are using it on top of your dampening.

 

I understand you don't control ads or content from 3rd parties, but I do feel that it is Comcast's responsibility to check that content for quality before making it available publicly.

Official Employee

Re: New audio dampening effect on Xfinity TV?


Creechuur wrote:

Holy Truckasaurus, I got an answer! For over two years I've been posting to these forums and I finally got an answer!

 

I think the best fix is to disable the effect. Most sound cards and media players already have a normalization option, who knows what its doing if they are using it on top of your dampening.

 


 Hi Creechuur - Early next week I have my team deploying a fix to our production environment to resolve this issue on a going forward basis. Titles will be re-transcoded over time with a select bunch (including Hobbit) will be transcoded after the update is applied.

Thanks,
Tony
Regular Contributor

Re: New audio dampening effect on Xfinity TV?

Your communication is much appreciated, thanks. =)

New Poster

Re: New audio dampening effect on Xfinity TV?

I just watched HBO and s05e01 of Game of Thrones on xfinity TV via browser and sound normalization drives me crazy is there a way to disable it ? totally destroys experience... a lot on noise on quiet scenes, noticeble variation during dialogs - disaster!