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Audio performance

I said the PowerDVD sounds were clean and bright. Clean and Bright is like listening to a Walkman with headphones. It sounds GREAT, it's clear, you hear everything needed. But THEN, you go to your local Stereo shop, you sit in THE BIG ROOM! The one with the Monster woofers that are larger than a truck tire! You sit in the chair, and they pop in a CD, and BOOM! A month later, when you stop shaking, you think, DAMN...I FELT BASS! IT KNOCKED A FILLING OUT!! I WANT THAT!!!

In order for them to shatter your sensibilities in THE BIG ROOM, understand that it took the BASS speakers, AND the right MUSIC. Sound is made of MANY small parts, called frequency bands. There are HIGH frequencies, like a Flute playing or a child's voice. There are Mids, such as Adult speech or Guitar music. They are MOST of the sounds you normally hear. Finally, there are LOWS or BASS tones such as a Tuba or a Volcano eruption. Sounds can be made of only a few frequencies. The rest aren't there, and not heard. Most speakers are designed to play THE MIDS well, and be ADEQUATE on the high & low tones. Some speakers are built JUST for highs or lows to improve those sounds. A WOOFER or SUBWOOFER is designed just to play LOW BASS. Bass that a normal speaker simply cannot play. Likewise, a Woofer cannot play a flute solo. It just doesn't make those sounds. So you need the SOUNDS you play to have BASS to use your BASS speakers. If the speakers aren't made for BASS, or the soundtrack doesn't have BASS, then you hear NO BASS.

Most PC's come with cheesy little speakers that look like bookends beside the monitor. They may sound GREAT, but they CANNOT play LOUD sounds, or very DEEP BASS tones that are below their range. Enter PC SUBWOOFER SPEAKER SYSTEMS! PC's now can have a SUBWOOFER to play the DEEP BASS that average speakers cannot reach! But, most people still have those cheesy little speakers which can't play DEEP BASS tones. If they tried, it would DAMAGE the speakers! SO, DVD software players MUTE the DEEP BASS tones so as not to BREAK those little speakers! However, for users who HAVE good subwoofer speakers, we want those LOW SOUNDS back! They are called LOW FREQUENCY EFFECTS or LFE. Players like Cinemaster and WinDVD offer LFE as a hidden option. (DVD Genie can enable these hidden LFE settings for you!) But Alas, PowerDVD didn't just HIDE the LFE sounds, it appears as if the LFE channel is not even decoded, DA HORROR!

What does this change? It means, when you play an EXPLOSION, or a VOLCANIC ERUPTION, or a ROCKET LAUNCH...that some of the BASS sound ISN'T THERE. If you had cheap speakers it COULDN'T be played and you wouldn't miss it. But if you have a Subwoofer, the low tones you lose are the difference between the sound on the Walkman, and the Bass in THE BIG ROOM! Ceiling plaster cracking, wall vibrating, PISS OFF YOUR NEIGHBORS kind of BASS!! Whoa!

PowerDVD does not have it. Why? I don't know, because in many respects, they are the best player for sound. Cinemaster throws bass at you like THE BIG ROOM, almost TOO much! WinDVD softened it a taste, and gave 4 speaker surround so it balances nicely. PowerDVD gave you support for your PCs every possibility, but no BIG ROOM BASS? Awwwww.

The sound of PowerDVD is GREAT, its clear, it works on everyone's hardware, it doesn't fuzz or squeak. It does it all better than almost any other player. But my Klipsch Promedias are DYING to play those missing LFE tones! Till then, PowerDVD breaks even with the rest. A great job of sound, but it COULD and SHOULD be better! Soon we hope.

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