In a message dated 7/5/2006 11:30:10 PM Eastern Daylight Time, 
[log in to unmask] writes:

Potato, potahto..the fact remains that the main audio tracks on DVDs are at 
half the volume used for supplementary tracks, and those are at levels 
similar to
commercial CDs, all of which I play in the same machine. Avoiding saturation 
nice, but avoiding having to get up and turn up the volume would be nicer. 
curious why this is done. 

It is the old "the commercials are always louder" problem. Not really. Its 
just that if the program material has a reasonable dynamic range and is recorded 
without clipping, it is naturally going to have a lower average level than a 
promo crammed with the most active content of the subject, compressed as well 
to get your attention since there is no need to preserve the artistic intent 
in the promo.

Media with a wide dynamic range make the problem worse. Now you can have 
dialog and gunshots both at realistic relative levels. The producer of the program 
material has to decide how much of that the audience can stand. I can't stand 
much. A recent trip to a local movie house made me really wish I had brought 
my earplugs.

There's nothing new in this though. I've been watching some W.W.II war films 
with the narration down in the 16 mm film track noise while the artillery 
nearly knocks the speaker off the wall. 1950s TV commercials on same reel come 
through like the artillery.

Mike Csontos