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Old 06-09-2012, 05:49 PM
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Vizio TV and sound quality

Anyone here with a Vizio flat screen tv?

I bought one about a year and a half ago (44"). The picture quality is excellent, but the sound is awful.

Basically, I listen to most things with the volume on 2 or 3, yet a lot of movies require me to crank up the volume to hear dialogue, only to nearly crack a window pane when any sort of effects noise or music airs. What this means is that I'm constantly turning the volume way up to hear people speak, only to then turn it way down when any action happens, then way up again, etc...

The other annoying thing is that between level 5 and about 35, the volume really doesn't seem to change much.

I've tried adjusting the settings under menu with no luck. I'm now thinking about getting a sound bar.

Has anyone experienced this? Will a sound bar do the trick, or am I better off getting a new tv?
Old 06-09-2012, 06:00 PM
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Of HDTVs only: I've had 4 vizio TV's - the sound on some has been decent, on others, pretty bad. None as bad as the westinghouse I had, though. The dialog/action thing is a problem on any tv with any speakers, unless they have dynamic compression- my Receiver & large speakers do the same thing, because it is encoded that way in the source DVD.
Of the TVs I had, the ones with better speakers were obvious- if there were large speaker grills/opening on the front they were ok, if they were hidden/no speaker opening visible they were tiny and not very good.

A decent sound bar will be better than any TV speaker I've ever seen, especially if you get one with a separate subwoofer. A receiver & 5 separate speakers & a subwoofer will be even better- but if you do that buy a dedicated receiver (one that has HDMI inputs, so it sits in between your devices and your TV), not one of those not really a receiver DVD + speakers in a box.

Don't buy a new TV unless you are unsatisfied with the picture - the built in speakers on any HDTV are never going to rise above mediocre.
Old 06-09-2012, 06:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacobsta811 View Post
Of HDTVs only: I've had 4 vizio TV's - the sound on some has been decent, on others, pretty bad. None as bad as the westinghouse I had, though. The dialog/action thing is a problem on any tv with any speakers, unless they have dynamic compression- my Receiver & large speakers do the same thing, because it is encoded that way in the source DVD.
Of the TVs I had, the ones with better speakers were obvious- if there were large speaker grills/opening on the front they were ok, if they were hidden/no speaker opening visible they were tiny and not very good.

A decent sound bar will be better than any TV speaker I've ever seen, especially if you get one with a separate subwoofer. A receiver & 5 separate speakers & a subwoofer will be even better- but if you do that buy a dedicated receiver (one that has HDMI inputs, so it sits in between your devices and your TV), not one of those not really a receiver DVD + speakers in a box.

Don't buy a new TV unless you are unsatisfied with the picture - the built in speakers on any HDTV are never going to rise above mediocre.
Thanks.

I'm looking at a Phillips sound bar with separate subwoofer on Amazon. Only $130 and very good reviews.
Old 06-11-2012, 12:43 PM
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Is it just me, or does it seem like running 2.1 is a waste of time? It seems like the dialogue is reduced intentionally in the L/R channels, with the intention being to feed a center channel. If you don't have that center channel speaker, the dialogue is in the background, especially when it's quiet. So you increase volume to compensate, then whammo! some sound effect blows you away.

Am I right?
Old 06-11-2012, 06:52 PM
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Oh, what the hell!

I picked up the Phillips sound bar with subwoofer at Walmart on my way home ($98 and very good reviews).

I have it all connected, yet can't for the life of me get it to work! Gah!

A/C plug is connected and plugged in, subwoofer is connected, red cable connected to TV, white cable connected to TV. Power light is on. TV audio menu is set to Force PCM.

But the damn speakers aren't working!

I hate when this happens.
Old 06-11-2012, 07:39 PM
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I don't know what a sound bar is

I have a Vizio 23' flat screen for a couple of years now and I have the same problems with sound. I generally set it to between 5-10, but it seems like the sound doesn't really change much. The biggest annoyance is level 1, because sometimes I am watching it late at night and 1 is too loud but 0 is nothing. The funny thing is, if I leave it on 0 for like 5 mins, eventually some of the sound will filter out.

Other than that, the only thing that bugs me is the remote, which has problems connecting to the TV. However, I don't know if that's because I haven't changed the batteries in a while or a bad remote. I guess I should go buy some more batteries
Old 06-11-2012, 08:10 PM
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Well it still won't work.

I think I ought to target practice with this POS Vizio and get something better.
Old 06-11-2012, 08:22 PM
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I have a Visio and very happy with the pict quality. Sound is a bit lacking but passable. I do have bluetooth speakers with a AUX input that I use with this HDTV sometimes which improves the sound a lot, comparable to a sound bar, though I dislike having to use a separate remote, so I don't always use it. I find it easier to understand dialoge at lower volume with the assistance of this extra unit.

The funny thing about the Visio HDTV sound is when I first got it normal listening was IIRC 30-80, after a year or so it is now 20-30 (without using the aux speakers)
Old 06-11-2012, 08:37 PM
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Fuck this.

I'm going to take this damn tv out to the dumpster, punch a hole in it, then throw the damn thing out.
Old 06-11-2012, 08:56 PM
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I have a Vizio and the sound is OK but just OK. It doesn't seem to have any adjustments for sound quality/tone. Not as good as the Zenith CRT TV that it replaced. Sometimes I play it through a Bose Wave and that sounds good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Raven View Post
Is it just me, or does it seem like running 2.1 is a waste of time? It seems like the dialogue is reduced intentionally in the L/R channels, with the intention being to feed a center channel. If you don't have that center channel speaker, the dialogue is in the background, especially when it's quiet.
2.1 is two speakers plus a subwoofer. What center channel is this?
Old 06-11-2012, 09:18 PM
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I have a Visio 32" and the TV audio is just okay--there are a few different setting available, so messing around with them might help. My solution for better sound was to hook up my THX-certified Klipsch 2.1 ProMedia speakers--a vast improvement, I must say.
Old 06-12-2012, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparky! View Post
Fuck this.

I'm going to take this damn tv out to the dumpster, punch a hole in it, then throw the damn thing out.
I hate offering such unhelpful advice but really the odds are 99 to 1 that you're missing some obscure setting with only a 1% chance that there's anything wrong with your TV or the sound bar. I call it unhelpful advice because unfortunately without the instruction manual or the equipment to look at I have no specific idea how to fix it.

Read the manuals and look through the settings for something to change. Maybe it's set to digital only or 5.1 only or it has some Vizio feature turned on that is keeping it from working. I'd bet money that it's easily fixed with some curiosity and patience.
Old 06-12-2012, 05:44 PM
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I have a Sony Bravia 46" tv and I would describe the sound as being reasonably good, but I still have the problem with the volume difference between dialogue and music/explosions. I cannot watch a movie without having the remote in my hand.
Old 06-12-2012, 06:58 PM
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In menu, audio outs are set to be on, TV speaker set to off ?
Double checked that RCA (white/red) are actually in the audio out and not in one of the inputs on the back of the TV ?
Checked the Sound bar to be sure that it is set to use RCA/analog audio in and not digital/optical ?
Checked that volume on both TV and soundbar are not set to zero ? (some TVs the audio out level varies based on volume setting -so crank that up some)

Last edited by jacobsta811; 06-12-2012 at 07:00 PM.
Old 06-12-2012, 08:00 PM
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There's only three? manufactures that make the actual LCD panels, so the quality of the picture isn't going to vary a lot from one TV to another.

Budget manufacturers though might use 50 cent speakers instead of $1.00 speakers with noticable effect on sound quality.

Try not to use the built in speakers in any TV. You don't have to have a 5.1 system with tube amps like I do, any old thrift store reciever and speakers will sound better than the built-in audio.
Old 06-12-2012, 10:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacobsta811 View Post
In menu, audio outs are set to be on, TV speaker set to off ?
Double checked that RCA (white/red) are actually in the audio out and not in one of the inputs on the back of the TV ?
Checked the Sound bar to be sure that it is set to use RCA/analog audio in and not digital/optical ?
Checked that volume on both TV and soundbar are not set to zero ? (some TVs the audio out level varies based on volume setting -so crank that up some)
Thanks.

I checked all that.
Old 06-12-2012, 10:32 PM
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Are you plugging this into a digital output, digital optical output, or analog output and is this compatible with the sound bar.

My Phillips 46" only had an optical output. My little 27" Samsung had an earphone output so I used a computer speaker set with subwoofer. Not compatible in the least with the Phillips 46". Fortunately the Phillips speakers were pretty good for voice and general sound. For me to add an aftermarket system it would have to accept an optical input.

As for the volume changes, it sounds like your TV is trying to throw surround sound signals at you. They can often jump out at you depending on the encoding. I don't know why a sound engineer would do this but I've experienced this before with other systems. The sound is literally dumped into the mix without blending. Imagine Emeril working the controls (BAM). You can lessen this by turning off any "loudness" setting which is designed to make low volume settings "pop".

BTW, I routinely change the sound settings on my little Samsung. I use "voice" for general use and switch over to custom setting which gives me a digital equalizer to adjust. I set it in a smiley face so the lower and upper frequencies are up and the midrange is slightly lower. The little computer speakers really crank out the sound.

Last edited by Magiver; 06-12-2012 at 10:36 PM.
Old 06-12-2012, 11:00 PM
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Not to insult you but are you running your cable box through the sound bar then the TV or are you trying to drive the sound bar off the TV? Just looking at various Vizio TV and Phillips sound bars they should be compatible with the digital output of the TV or using the sound bar as an intermediate which means you would only connect the cable box to HDMI input on the soundbar and then connect the sound bar HDMI output to the HDMI input of the TV.

Last edited by Magiver; 06-12-2012 at 11:01 PM.
Old 06-13-2012, 08:53 AM
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Most of the cheaper sound bars have only RCA inputs and Optical, and must be driven by the TV (so cable box->hdmi->Tv->RCA/Optical->Soundbar).
If it isn't working with all those steps, you have to figure out whether the issue is the soundbar or the TV (most likely the sound bar). The way I would do that personally would be to use a miniplug->RCA adapter to test both ends - you can plug a pair of headphones into the analog audio out on the TV using the adapter and see if you are getting sound out of the TV audio out. And then you can plug an Ipod, or something into the soundbar and see if you get sound out of the sound bar like that.
Old 06-13-2012, 09:40 AM
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I don't have cable. The sound bar was plugged directly into the tv via the red & white cable.

The sound bar also has coax and an optical plug.
Old 06-13-2012, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparky! View Post
I don't have cable. The sound bar was plugged directly into the tv via the red & white cable.

The sound bar also has coax and an optical plug.
Does your TV have an optical audio output? I'd use that before I'd resort to using Red/White.
Old 06-13-2012, 11:48 AM
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OK, looking at a typical Phillips sound bar model HSB2313A (PAGE 7) there is an optical and coax digital in along with AV1 and AV2 audio input.

On the Vizio TV model SV420M there is digital out and analog out. To use this you have to go into the TV's menu and turn off the speakers.

So there are 4 things that can go wrong with your setup (barring mechanical failure):
you don't have the analog cable plugged into the TV audio out.
You don't have the analog cable plugged into the soundbar audio Input.
You don't have the speakers turned off through the software of the TV.
You don't have the correct input selected in the soundbar.

In order to see what you've selected in the soundbar you may have to have the video of the soundbar connected to the TV so you can scroll through and choose the right input because there are 6 inputs on the soundbar:
digital optical
digital cable
HDMI 1
HDMI 2
AV 1
AV 2

Last edited by Magiver; 06-13-2012 at 11:49 AM.
Old 06-13-2012, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magiver View Post
OK, looking at a typical Phillips sound bar model HSB2313A (PAGE 7) there is an optical and coax digital in along with AV1 and AV2 audio input.

On the Vizio TV model SV420M there is digital out and analog out. To use this you have to go into the TV's menu and turn off the speakers.

So there are 4 things that can go wrong with your setup (barring mechanical failure):
you don't have the analog cable plugged into the TV audio out.
You don't have the analog cable plugged into the soundbar audio Input.
You don't have the speakers turned off through the software of the TV.
You don't have the correct input selected in the soundbar.

In order to see what you've selected in the soundbar you may have to have the video of the soundbar connected to the TV so you can scroll through and choose the right input because there are 6 inputs on the soundbar:
digital optical
digital cable
HDMI 1
HDMI 2
AV 1
AV 2
I think I'll just pick up an optical cable and try that.
Old 06-13-2012, 12:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparky! View Post
I think I'll just pick up an optical cable and try that.
before you do that go back over the connections AND the settings on both units. You don't know the number of times I've plugged stuff into the wrong connection. Hell, I've watched experts install stuff wrong in every profession you can name up to and including airplanes where you're friggin life depends on it.

You have to have it plugged in right, the speakers turned off AND the correct source selected in the soundbar.

If you have it correctly plugged into AV1 input then you have to have AV1 selected.

It's real easy to have something plugged in wrong or selected wrong between the 2 units. I pulled my hair out trying to get a simple blue ray to work and it was properly connected. I HAD to go online and update the software. It wasn't an option. What made this frustrating is that it played the first blue ray I tried and then refused to play the SAME MOVIE again. I was screaming at it.

What you're connecting is much more complicated. Do you have the video connected between the 2 units so you can see the selections made when using the soundbar remote?

Last edited by Magiver; 06-13-2012 at 12:23 PM.
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