LG SL8YG - Dynamic Range Compression, please help!

Sep 18, 2020
42
I have the SL8YG - does anyone else find in Dolby Atmos mode there seems to be dynamic range compression permanently active? I don't experience this in any other setting (DTS-Master HD, DTS:X, Dolby True HD, Dolby Digital etc.) and the sound is terrific, however in Atmos there's very clearly DRC occurring, where the quiets are made louder and the louds are noticeably suppressed and quieter. It's infuriating and makes no sense to me. I've checked in the app and the setting is technically turned off.

Incidentally I used to have the SL10YG which had the same issue. I refuse to believe this is a deliberate choice by LG, especially as no reviewer seems to have ever commented on it.

If anyone else has experienced this or may have advice I'd appreciate it!
 

Savage Clown

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I have the SL8YG - does anyone else find in Dolby Atmos mode there seems to be dynamic range compression permanently active? I don't experience this in any other setting (DTS-Master HD, DTS:X, Dolby True HD, Dolby Digital etc.) and the sound is terrific, however in Atmos there's very clearly DRC occurring, where the quiets are made louder and the louds are noticeably suppressed and quieter. It's infuriating and makes no sense to me. I've checked in the app and the setting is technically turned off.

Incidentally I used to have the SL10YG which had the same issue. I refuse to believe this is a deliberate choice by LG, especially as no reviewer seems to have ever commented on it.

If anyone else has experienced this or may have advice I'd appreciate it!
What's your source that your trying to play? UHD Disc or Netflix, Disney, HBO? Also which HDTV are you using? Is your Disc Player connected to your HDTV or the Soundbar? Also Does your HDTV have ARC or eARC? Also does your HDTV support Dolby Atmos? And finally do the HDMI cables your using support 48Gbps high speed & eARC? I've done a lot of research on this and found that streaming services that support Atmos like Netflix and others use a compressed Dolby Atmos called Dolby Atmos/Dolby Digital+ and UHD discs use Dolby Atmos/TrueHD which is uncompressed.

Here's an example of the differences between ARC and eARC.
DLhSzp3ad5vzgn9TNWCYGJ-1200-80.jpg


If your cables or HDTV don't support eARC and that's the port your soundbar is connected to your only going to get compressed Dolby Atmos.
How long are your HDMI cable runs, if there more than 30ft your going to need to use Fibre Optic HDMI cables which can run pretty expensive.
 
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Savage Clown

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Just found this on that soundbar. Source
Alternatively, you could connect the TV's HDMI ARC input (if it has one) to the HDMI ARC output on the soundbar. This configuration will send bitstream audio—possibly including Atmos encoded in Dolby Digital Plus, but not Dolby TrueHD—from the selected HDMI input on the TV (or audio from the TV's tuner or streaming apps) to the soundbar. Not all TVs support Atmos via ARC, however, especially since conventional ARC has a maximum bitrate of only 1Mbps. The next-generation eARC (enhanced Audio Return Channel) has a max bitrate of 37Mbps, so it can easily convey Atmos even in lossless Dolby TrueHD. But TVs with eARC are rare at this point. Also, using ARC to send audio to the soundbar occupies one HDMI input on the TV that could otherwise be used for another source device.
Looks like your only going to get compressed Dolby Atmos with that soundbar.

I also found this on the LG SL10YG. Source
While using ARC for audio allows you to juggle more than two video sources, it also means you’ll have to forgo lossless video formats like Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio, which require more bandwidth than the ARC standard supports. The newer eARC (“enhanced” ARC) does have the bandwidth for lossless audio, but the LG SL10RG doesn’t support eARC, and indeed, we’re only now starting to see some soundbars that do.
Of course I'm automatically assuming here that your sources are plugged into your HDTV. The SL8YG has one HDMI input which you should plug your UHD player to and then send the HDMI ARC on your soundbar to your HDTV, this way the SL8YG will play your Dolby Atmos/TrueHD through your soundbar and just send the video to your HDTV. Considering you only have one HDMI input on that soundbar and you want more devices that have Dolby Atmos/TrueHD uncompressed audio you'll need an HDMI switch that can handle the uncompressed audio as well. I've researched those too and not too many switches support it. Here's one I know for sure does. LINK

Otherwise you should go with the newer model, the LG SN8YG. It has eARC capabilities.
 
Last edited:
Sep 18, 2020
42
Thank you for all that info and research for me! I'll answer your questions first:
What's your source that your trying to play? UHD Disc or Netflix, Disney, HBO? Also which HDTV are you using? Is your Disc Player connected to your HDTV or the Soundbar? Also Does your HDTV have ARC or eARC? Also does your HDTV support Dolby Atmos? And finally do the HDMI cables your using support 48Gbps high speed & eARC?
The Dynamic Range Compression I'm experiencing occurs on everything - UHD Disc, Streaming, Sky etc.
TV is LG C9PLA, which does have eARC capability but the soundbar doesn't.
My UHD Disc player has 2 HDMI outputs, one video and one audio which is going direct into the soundbar.
The TV itself does support Dolby Atmos (and claims to be able to play it through the in-built speakers).
Yes I use the Ultra High Speed HDMI cables.

The thing is, it's not a case of the difference between lossy / lossless audio, because frankly unless you're an audiophile we're talking about pretty subtle differences there. The issue I'm referring to with dynamic range compression is glaringly obvious to anyone - eg. you'll have a quiet spoken dialogue moment be considerably louder than an explosion seconds later, which suddenly sounds squashed like there's a limiter.

Another clear indicator something fishy is going on is the fact that with every film using DTS-HD Master HD / DTS:X / Dolby TrueHD / Dolby Digital, the volume always needs to be set at 20 minimum (and higher depending on mix). When in Dolby Atmos mode, the volume is always about 15, which is considerably lower yet produces the same overall level volume.
Taking this example even further, using my disc player I can set it so it chooses to play Dolby Digital instead of True HD / Atmos. The same film will require Dolby Digital set on volume 20, and then Atmos on volume 15.
To me none of this makes sense considering Atmos is built on Dolby TrueHD tracks. I don't know if it's a case of these LG soundbars simply translate the Atmos metadata with a weird dynamic range compression built into it.

I considered maybe Dolby Atmos metadata is too much for a soundbar to play naturally, so a limiter is required so it can cope. But the DTS equivalent (DTS:X) has no such issues, despite working the exact same way, and sounds fantastic with not a hint of dynamic range compression in sight!

To be honest I don't expect to find a solution for this, I'm much more curious if anyone else who has one of these soundbars has noticed this issue. I can't be the only one!
 
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Savage Clown

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Thank you for all that info and research for me! I'll answer your questions first:

The Dynamic Range Compression I'm experiencing occurs on everything - UHD Disc, Streaming, Sky etc.
TV is LG C9PLA, which does have eARC capability but the soundbar doesn't.
My UHD Disc player has 2 HDMI outputs, one video and one audio which is going direct into the soundbar.
The TV itself does support Dolby Atmos (and claims to be able to play it through the in-built speakers).
Yes I use the Ultra High Speed HDMI cables.

The thing is, it's not a case of the difference between lossy / lossless audio, because frankly unless you're an audiophile we're talking about pretty subtle differences there. The issue I'm referring to with dynamic range compression is glaringly obvious to anyone - eg. you'll have a quiet spoken dialogue moment be considerably louder than an explosion seconds later, which suddenly sounds squashed like there's a limiter.

Another clear indicator something fishy is going on is the fact that with every film using DTS-HD Master HD / DTS:X / Dolby TrueHD / Dolby Digital, the volume always needs to be set at 20 minimum (and higher depending on mix). When in Dolby Atmos mode, the volume is always about 15, which is considerably lower yet produces the same overall level volume.
Taking this example even further, using my disc player I can set it so it chooses to play Dolby Digital instead of True HD / Atmos. The same film will require Dolby Digital set on volume 20, and then Atmos on volume 15.
To me none of this makes sense considering Atmos is built on Dolby TrueHD tracks. I don't know if it's a case of these LG soundbars simply translate the Atmos metadata with a weird dynamic range compression built into it.

I considered maybe Dolby Atmos metadata is too much for a soundbar to play naturally, so a limiter is required so it can cope. But the DTS equivalent (DTS:X) has no such issues, despite working the exact same way, and sounds fantastic with not a hint of dynamic range compression in sight!

To be honest I don't expect to find a solution for this, I'm much more curious if anyone else who has one of these soundbars has noticed this issue. I can't be the only one!
It does sound like a soundbar limitation, I would try reaching out to LG about that. I almost considered getting that model soundbar too, Ive now decided on the Sonos Arc instead.
 
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