DVDs and Surrond sound

I recently got a DVD (my third!) that has a big synchronization problem between audio and video. The audio plays at least a second before the actors move their lips. The audio says it is Digital Surround Sound … 5.1 if that means anything. I have some choices with regards to audio, but none seem to fix the problem. Am I dealing with a defective disc, or are my settings futzed up?

Need more data.

  1. What is the title of the DVD? (Might be able to find other people with the same problem with the disk).
  2. What type of receiver are you running? What are its surround processing capabilities?
  3. What type of connect from the DVD player to the receiver are running? (optical or coaxial digital?)

I’ve got a Sony player that’s a few yearss old and that problem is known on the model I have. In this case the video and audio will slowly get out of sync. Stopping the disk completely and restarting seems to resync it. The issue doesn’t happen with all disks.

5.1 means that the sound track, with the proper decoder, will play through 6 speakers. The centre speaker is usually for dialog, then there is the 2 front and 2 rear speakers - that is the 5. The .1 indicates that there is a seperate bass track. The vast majority of surround systems and pretty much all of the DVD’s are in the 5.1 format (either Dolby Digital or DTS). There are receivers on the market that go up to 7.1, but I don’t know of any DVD’s that are in the 7.1 format.

Play another movie with 5.1. If no prob, bad disc.

I’ve some very bad luck with poor quality on rental DVD’s from Bl__ckBu__er (don’t want to defame anyone, see…), and not one problem with a purchased DVD. Are they printing DVD’s different from rental to purchase? VHS tapes meant to go to rental outlets sometimes had horrid copyprotect on them, messing with the quality. Could the same thing be happening?

I remember reading several articles when DVDs first came out regarding their viability as rentals. It came down to basically with VHS unless you leave the tape in the sun or your kid jams peanut butter into the tape you don’t really touch the recording medium. With DVDs, the medium itself (that shiny surface) is subject to grubby fingers, scratches and god knows what else people can do to them. I’ve had rentals freeze or skip back to the beginning, and in all cases this was caused by greasy fingerprints on the disc. Wipe them down and you’ll be fine.
As to the OP, it sounds like a hardware problem. If it happens with only one DVD, then it is a one-off pressing problem.

I’m actually not using any receiver other than what’s in the television. I don’t have multiple speakers or anything. The only reason I’m using the 5.1 surround is that it seems to be the only option.

You have to be able to change that somehow.

You would normally have a Dolby 2.0 as the default, but I know a few recent ones are starting to not include that (foolishly) as a track.

This is somewhat unrelated, but I had a problem with a disk that I assumed was due to a bad disk (because my player had never malfunctioned before), but it was actually my player. The laser was out of alignment (or something) and it skipped horribly on the disk. Yet, that’s the only disk it’s ever skipped on (I did eventually get it fixed, and it now works with that disk as well).

Try testing the disk on another player before you assume that a malfunction on only one disk means a bad disk.

The 5.1 track is a digital track that only comes into play if it is fed into a DD (Dolby Digital) capable reciever through a digital (either coaxial or fiber optic) line. If your dvd player is hooked directly to the tv, it isn’t relevant. Every dvd is required to include a pcm track which will be plain vanilla stereo or mono depending upon the dvd.

Exactly how is your dvd player connected to your tv? Is it stereo or mono? If it uses the standard RCA composite connectors (yellow for video, red for right audio, white for left audio), all you’re getting fed into the tv in the first place is the stereo or mono track.

You need to isolate the source of the problem.

  1. Clean the dvd if it’s smudged. If this fixes the problem, it was the dirt.

  2. Try another dvd. If it plays ok, the problem was the dvd. If not, you have a hardware problem.

  3. If you have a hardware problem, you need to determine if it’s in the dvd player or tv. If you have a vcr that can be hooked up to the tv through the same inputs used by the dvd, hook it up and check the sound. If the problem persists, you have a problem with your tv’s inputs.

  4. If you try the vcr through the same connectors and the problem doesn’t show up, but does with every dvd you use, you have a bad dvd player. Get it fixed or get a new one.