Solve audio problems by turning off Dolby Digital

If you have a DIRECTV HD receiver, it gives you theater-quality sound using Dolby Digital technology. But if you’re hooked to an inexpensive TV, you’re not hearing that high quality anyway. TV speakers aren’t tuned to give you all the booming, surrounding action, and that’s why people put in high-end sound systems.

What if you just want to watch TV? Bedrooms and guest rooms don’t need fancy home theater experiences, and in cases like that you may find your TV making strange hisses, squeals or pops that you’ve never heard before. Less expensive TVs don’t do a very good job of decoding that Dolby Digital soundtrack, and it’s not doing you any good anyway, so why not turn it off? Every DIRECTV broadcast also includes mono or stereo sound, good-old-fashioned sound that’s pretty much guaranteed to work with any good-old-fashioned TV. If you have your TV connected to your receivers via RCA cables, you’re already using the built-in stereo sound, but if you are connected via HDMI you’re probably using Dolby Digital. Turning Dolby Digital off may solve some of your audio problems, so it’s worth a try.

On your DIRECTV remote, press the {MENU} button then arrow down to Settings&Help and press {SELECT}.

Then, with Settings highlighted, press {SELECT} again.

Arrow down to Audio and press {SELECT}. Then arrow down to Dolby Digital and press {SELECT} again.

If Dolby Digital is set to “On” press {SELECT} to drop down the menu, then arrow down to “Off” and press {SELECT} one more time. Pressing {EXIT} will take you back to live TV.

Chances are you won’t hear any difference in the sound but those annoying pops and squeaks could be gone forever.