Playback Issues - Audio/Video & Power

Help with audio & video playback issues, TV display type recognition & compatibility, HDCP messages, troubleshooting playback errors, advertisements, and resolving power issues.
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GP2Engine
Level 8

Uneven volume. Anyone else annoyed by it?

You are watching a program on an ad-supported stream. It goes into commercial break. That commercial comes on and suddenly the volume is super loud. You scramble for the remote to lower the volume. Commercial ends, you get back to your program, and now the volume is super low and you can't hear anything. So you go to your remote again to increase the volume. Commercial break comes on again. Rinse and repeat for however long your program lasts.

Is anyone else annoyed by this? I don't believe it's an issue on the user end. It seems to be the way the sound was encoded from the source itself. ie. AMEX commercial is super loud while a Verizon commercial right after it is normal volume. And certain apps like FOX Sports for some reason has super low volume on all its streams which makes me turn up the volume, so whenever it goes into commercial break, the volume is suddenly too loud because I couldn't hear the show. 

It's as if there is no universally accepted standard as to how to set the volume so it is consistent regardless of whatever you watch. 

I have not tinkered with my speaker settings either in case anyone is wondering. I don't have any "effects" turned on like dialog clarity or automatic volume adjustment. 

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29 Replies
dfgsrzwer
Level 8

Re: Uneven volume. Anyone else annoyed by it?

This isn't new. Advertisers have been doing it for decades on broadcast TV. I don't watch ANYTHING with ads except in public places where I have no control; so no, it does not annoy me.
Charter Spectrum 60; d-link dual band router
Roku 4210, 3710; Xbox One, 360; Samsung BD player
Samsung tablet; Windows Vista laptop; LG phone
Toshiba DVD-R; Sony AVR; Panasonic AR
1080p and 720p TVs
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GP2Engine
Level 8

Re: Uneven volume. Anyone else annoyed by it?

"dfgsrzwer" wrote:
This isn't new. Advertisers have been doing it for decades on broadcast TV. I don't watch ANYTHING with ads except in public places where I have no control; so no, it does not annoy me.

If you don't watch "ANYTHING(!)" with ads, then how do you know it's the same on broadcast TV? 
I watch things with ads on both broadcast TV and Roku streaming apps and I don't notice the same volume issues on broadcast TV. 
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DubTaylor
Level 10

Re: Uneven volume. Anyone else annoyed by it?

That's because of some rule put in place by some governing body (FCC maybe) restricting the volume levels of advertising - when it was discovered blaring audio made more people crazy and prone to excessive violence on their fellow man (OK... I made that part up).

Anyway... Fly-by-night Roku Channel Developers out to make a fast buck on the ignorance of billions (you, among many others) jam-pack their Public Domain material with advertising without a worry in the world about some silly ruling by some governing body and also using a level indicator or limiter would waste precious time better spent mass-producing Roku Channels with the same Public Domain stuff their last channel contained (read: The Movie Club). As a result you have to ride the volume control.

 You can do like many of the rest of us do - uninstall 'Ad Supported' channels and do not ever install one again.

That pretty much removes the annoyance of blaring audio during advertising - and reduces excessive violence potential (without the need of expensive medication) in the home and in public areas near the home, like schools and grocery stores.
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dfgsrzwer
Level 8

Re: Uneven volume. Anyone else annoyed by it?

"GP2Engine" wrote:
"dfgsrzwer" wrote:
This isn't new. Advertisers have been doing it for decades on broadcast TV. I don't watch ANYTHING with ads except in public places where I have no control; so no, it does not annoy me.

If you don't watch "ANYTHING(!)" with ads, then how do you know it's the same on broadcast TV?

Anymore. Besides, I qualified it by saying "except in public areas".
I watch things with ads on both broadcast TV and Roku streaming apps and I don't notice the same volume issues on broadcast TV. 

You don't notice it because some follow the "rule" cited above, and most just give it lip service.
Charter Spectrum 60; d-link dual band router
Roku 4210, 3710; Xbox One, 360; Samsung BD player
Samsung tablet; Windows Vista laptop; LG phone
Toshiba DVD-R; Sony AVR; Panasonic AR
1080p and 720p TVs
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jeffrok
Level 12

Re: Uneven volume. Anyone else annoyed by it?

To the OP,

See if your TV supports some sort of "smart volume" setting, where it normalizes volume a little. As others have said, there are regulations for cable and antenna TV against super loud commercials, but streaming boxes don't follow that rule (yet).
Yeah, I got some Rokus.
https://youtu.be/d1CSEeqWl10
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mikebdoss
Level 10

Re: Uneven volume. Anyone else annoyed by it?

More information regarding the CALM Act: https://www.fcc.gov/media/policy/loud-commercials

In short, it only applies to commercials in broadcast television and pay television (cable/sat). It doesn't apply to streaming. 

It's also not that hard to get around it for TV providers, if they want - you can highlight certain parts of the sound so something sounds much louder without actually being louder. 
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Heyitsrick
Level 11

Re: Uneven volume. Anyone else annoyed by it?

Text deleted due to being a duplicate post.
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Heyitsrick
Level 11

Re: Uneven volume. Anyone else annoyed by it?

"Heyitsrick" wrote:
"mikebdoss" wrote:
More information regarding the CALM Act: https://www.fcc.gov/media/policy/loud-commercials

In short, it only applies to commercials in broadcast television and pay television (cable/sat). It doesn't apply to streaming. 

It's also not that hard to get around it for TV providers, if they want - you can highlight certain parts of the sound so something sounds much louder without actually being louder. 


If the ads are being dynamically injected vs. hard-encoded in a file, that won't work. Dynamic ad insertion is really the most effective way to serve ads, as it can use geography and other metadata to give you an ad that someone thinks might result in a purchase of some sort. In that case, there's very little the channel provider can do, except to complain to the ad insertion partner. And that would take action by end-users complaining to the channel provider, itself, vs. here.
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twbranch
Level 8

Re: Uneven volume. Anyone else annoyed by it?

I never had a problem with that until I bought a Roku TV. The streaming stick which is about 4 yo doesn't seem to have that problem. It is weird to me. Same channel two different "ROKU"s.