Friday, November 14, 2008

VideoLAN Client Dynamic Range Compression

A little note on something related to my earlier post.

By default VLC's Dolby decoder follows Dynamic Range Compression (sometimes called DRC) encoded into AC3 files. While this is great for TV's built in speakers and the tinny PC speakers that came with your Packard Bell, that isn't optimal for THX certified home theater systems.

Thankfully it's easy to fix the issue. The following instructions are with respect to VLC 0.9.6.

1. Start up VLC.
2. Click Tools, then Preferences.
3. At the bottom of the Preferences screen, click All.
4. In the left list, click Input/Codecs, Audio codecs, then A/52.
5. Uncheck A/52 dynamic range compression.
6. While you're there, click DCA (stands for DTS Coherent Acoustics, the DTS codec used in DVDs, not to be confused with the Theatrical DTS codec) in the left list, and uncheck DTS dynamic range compression.
7. Click Save.

Now you can enjoy your HDTV/DVDs with a dynamic range you didn't think was possible!


Prophet Zarquon said...

I turn this off all the time when listening to music, but when watching most movies I need *MORE* Dynamic Range Compression, not less! The dialog is almost silent and the effects and music are piercingly loud. Other sources don't help. For movies like The Matrix, I imagine you'd literally have to reencode all your discs just to hear what they're saying!

How can I *adjust* the dynamic range in VLC?

The Bright Side said...

This took me years to figure out! I wish I had found your post in, like, 2013 ;-) I actually switched to a different player just for my Dolby-encoded 5.1 music albums (like Dream Theater's "Systematic Chaos"), because they sounded so horrible in VLC. Obviously, after disabling the compression in the codes options, they sound exactly like they should.