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DVD Playback Problems Using Ubuntu 10.10

By Zen
May 17, 2011
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  1. I hope I'm posting this in the right place, might belong in the "Alternative O.S." section, I don't know.

    Tonight I decided to sit back and enjoy a movie, the movie selected was Stealth, starring Jessica Biel. I decided to use VLC Media Player for Linux as my player of choice. The video aspect of this movie was flawless, crisp, clean ect. ect. ect. The problem I was having was with the audio play back.

    Now by the list I have the capability to listen to movies in true 5.1 surround sound, but that didn't quite work out tonight. I have a fairly new set of Acoustic Authority 5.1 speakers, total output 200 Watts. I have an on-board sound adapter off my motherboard that supports up to 7.1 surround sound, so 5.1 should be a walk in the park.

    While watching the movie I was noticing that only my (center speaker) was being utilized for all the "human voices" in the film, not all as it should be. Now when the jets were flying on the screen, all speakers were being utilized for all background sounds like the jets, music, bullet flying through the air, rockets flying ect. ect. that wasn't a problem, just "human voices".

    The last time I set up my computers 5.1 surround sound system proper, I was using Windows XP Professional (64bit), it was all to easy with that platform. But here on Ubuntu 10.10 I am having DVD sound playback issues. I have all the required programs and files for proper DVD playback, I have what came with VLC and when I installed Ubuntu I grabbed those "Restricted Extras", I'm perplexed.

    "Human voice" playback problems aren't just limited to VLC but with Parole Player, Dragon Player, the stock Movie Player, which by the way is a piece of crap, keeps pinging me with so many errors upon start up, it's not even funny! Now all the players I use have the "human voice" problem. I'm used to when there is something going on on the screen, say the movie is showing a room, there are 3 people in the room, one person from the far right starts talking, I would expect my (main front right speaker) to pick up the load for that voice. When someone who say is in the middle of the room and starts talking, I would expect for my (center speaker) to pick up the load for that voice, and if someone is on the far left of the room, I would expect my (left front main speaker) to pick up the load for that voice, and if the people on the screen moved around while talking, I would expect both my (rear right speaker ) and my (rear left speaker) to adjust themselves accordingly and give off the effect of traveling verbal sound.

    When it came to (background sound) all speakers did as I described above for human voice. Again only my (center speaker) was being used for voice and it was very annoying!

    If the information helps VLC said I was using the "PulseAudio" play back package. Ubuntu 10.10 is telling me that my hardware checks out fine, for I ran a system check, the report came back fine. My Dell Dimension 5100c was designed back in 2005 as the "total package" for multi-media. I have all the jack connections that link the sound system to the computer hooked up correctly, for I ran a speaker check, through Ubuntu's (sound) option and tested the speakers and system in 5.1, that test was successful. Also before the movie began, in the start menu, I entered the audio setup area and selected 5.1 sound and launched the movie.

    The movie was cool and all, but would have been much cooler if the sound would have been right!

    Any idea's as to what I need to do to get my computer to playback audio during a movie the correct way? Maybe a recommendation of a new (media player)?

    Thank you for your time, please help if you can! :)
  2. Zen

    Zen TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 861   +48

    (Sorry for the back 2 back posts here, this is an update)

    I guess I got my little audio problem pacified for the moment, not to happy about the way I had to go about excluding my surround sounds (center speaker) from the loop. Today I gave both my computer, Ubuntu 10.10 and my sound system one more chance to either rain or shine, the whole system rained, it sucked.

    I had to go into Ubuntu's control panel and go into my sound settings, and through the (hardware) portion of the program and set things up differently. I had to change the system in thinking it was playing with a 5.1 system, I had to (down grade) the system and convince it that it is running on a 4.1 sound system, by doing this I forced Ubuntu in having but no choice but not to operate the (center speaker) and transfer all "human voices" to all the speakers.

    I have always been "super anal" about always having all my equipment, no matter what it is, a car, stereo system, computers anything, I always want my equipment to operate at it's best and at it's potential. I just hate the fact that I had to (down grade) or take a step backwards in regards to my sound system to get the job done!

    If anyone out there knows how I could remedy my original problem of not having my 5.1 behave properly, could you please let me know how to fix this, for I'm all out of answers!


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