AV question - 5.1 downmixing to 2.0

Hi all,

For a long time now we’ve had an issue watching a movie whereby we have to keep messing with the volume during the film. the volume needs to be cranked right up when people are speaking as you can hardly hear them and when the action resumes we have to turn it right down again otherwise the music, etc is ridiculously loud.

My living room AV setup is nothing fancy. A PC and a PS4 both connected to the TV where we can either play media files directly from the PC or through the PS4 via the Plex server that runs on the PC. No sound bar or any other audio kit. Just 2.0 through the built in TV speakers.

I’ve done a bit of looking round and I think the issue is that some of my DVD backup files have been encoded with 5.1 channels.

As you can probably tell from my AV setup i’m not exactly an audiophile and am weighing up the pros-and-cons of either getting an entry level sound bar or re-encoding any affected source files.

  • will a sound bar fix this issue? Do they usually support 5.1?
  • is re-encoding with ffmpeg a good idea (any example commands to use on a Linux box would be welcome) or are there any better (or easier) re-encoding options?
  • anyone else had this? What did you do?

Any help would be appreciated.

You might look into the sound settings on your TV and see if it sending only a stereo signal to your TV speakers. Some TVs try to decode the surround signal and it can sound messy.

You need to enable normalised output in whatever device or software you’re playing via. The Plex web player has a config option to “audio boost” when downmixing, YMMV dependent on what you’re using for playback.

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