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Video Monitors and Televisions

No sound or low volume on some channels or programs

Your television may be set to receive SAP audio instead of normal audio. Most newer sets have a feature that allows you to select three different types of audio signals, Mono, Stereo or SAP. To confuse the issue even more, Mono is sometimes referred to as Normal, but on other models Stereo is referred to as Normal. Stereo may also be referred to as MTS. SAP stands for Separate Audio Program, and is the one selection you don't want selected if you are having problems. For more details about SAP, read on. Otherwise, consult the manual on your television to determine how to change the audio selection on your set from SAP back to one of the normal settings.

SAP problems
Since the introduction of stereo audio in broadcast television a few irritating problems have cropped up. An additional "little known" feature was added at that time called Separate Audio Program, or SAP. SAP gives broadcasters the ability to send out the audio signal in more than one language which can then be selected on the viewers television. Unfortunately, since the use of this feature isn't wide-spread, most viewers don't know how to use it or even know their T.V. is capable of doing this.

To make matters worse, there is really no standard on what is done with the SAP channel if it isn't needed for another language. Sometimes it's left empty, other times it has the same audio track as the normal channel, but in the worst cases their is a very low volume recording of the normal channel on it. This becomes a real problem when someone accidentally switches their T.V. sound to SAP, instead of the normal mode which is very easy to do on some models. Now, if you did this by accident and suddenly everything you watched was in Spanish, you would realize what had happened immediately. But since the channel is only rarely used for another language, it is more likely that one of the other things mentioned will occur. Most frequently you won't notice a thing because the most common practice is to duplicate the normal audio track on the SAP track. So, it is very likely that the viewer may not have a sound problem until days later when they happen to hit a program that has left the SAP channel blank, or at low volume.

How do you solve the problem? Switch the audio back to the normal stereo, or mono channel on your television. We can't tell you how to do this since every make and model uses a different method. In general, look for a button marked SAP or audio on your remote control. If it's not there, you will probably have to find it in the on-screen menus of your set. Of course the best way is to find your owners manual and follow the directions there.

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