Terrestrial TV vocals distorted on rear surrounds

  • 28 March 2024
  • 3 replies



I've seen similar problems here but nothing exact, so hoping someone can help please.

I have a Beam connected to my Samsung TV via HDMI ARC and two rear Sonos 1 as surrounds.

Everything is fine except on terrestrial TV programs and their apps - so live TV for example on BBC, ITV and on iPlayer and ITV app - where the vocals come out distorted on the rear speakers. The speech is fine on the Beam but on the rears any background music is ok but vocals are crackly.

The weird thing is on other apps like Netflix, the vocals just come out of Beam as expected and not on rears.


I’m assuming it’s an encoding issue on terrestrial but it’s driving me mad! Any thoughts please? There’s not much I can do on TV sound settings except switch between PCM and Dolby Digital - both make no difference though.




Best answer by Airgetlam 28 March 2024, 22:47

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3 replies

Technically, there shouldn’t be any ‘vocals’ on surround speakers. Your comment makes me wonder what sort of signal your Beam is receiving at the time you’re perceiving this. In general, when there is a 5.1 signal being sent to your Beam, only the center channel should be receiving the ‘vocal’ track. The surrounds are supposed to be receiving the, well, surround signal, which is supposed to be supporting and sometimes ambient noise, certainly never the center channel. 


Many thanks Bruce and agree with your thoughts completely.

Definitely shouldn’t be happening but looks like I’ll have to put up with it!

When I lived in Austin, TX, the local station carried the Cowboys preseason games using a Dolby Digital signal. Unfortunately, the feed itself was only in stereo, so my surrounds and center channel were wildly off. It was, well, horrible…although that may also be attributable to the fact I’m not a Cowboys fan ;)