Call Bose and get the latest software for your system. This will solve the problem.
I had the exact same problem with my Lifestyle 48 system connected to a Dish Networks satellite box (Vip622). The sound would continually switch between 'Dolby Digital 2.0', 'Dolby Digital' and 'Dolby Digital 5.1'.
I called Bose Tech Support and they had me reset all of the components. This helped for a short time but it was still happening. They told me that the problem was with the Satellite box, since the Bose system just output what it was receiving and didn't do anything else. We also determined that my system software was quite old. They said that the software wouldn't make any difference, but I got them to send it out anyway.
Well, when the new software update arrived, I installed it on my Bose system and have not had any audio switching problems. So the Bose system software update seemed to fix the problem.
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On a Bose 38, the volume will self adjust at start, and then you will be able to change volume using either radio remote, or buttons on main unit (the one with DVD).
If the unit is not responding , then there is a fault.
A fault where the Bose 38 is working (eg. you can swap from DVD to AUX on bose), but you cannot control volume (you do not see the values on main unit display) is rather unusual.
Ensure that you have correctly connected TV, receiver, or any other external device to the bose in Input, not in output from Bose. If you have an HDTV, use the optical input on Bose, that is the only digital audio in on a Bose 38.
Check if the problem depends on connections, if it does not, let me know.
The best way to do this is to take your OPTICAL AUDIO OUT from your TV - (if it's a newer TV) - plug it in to the OPTICAL AUDIO IN on your BOSE system, then use the 'TV' source on your Lifestyle 38 to get the sound from. I have sound for X-Box, DVD player, Blue-Ray Player and Wii being pushed through the TV back to the BOSE and it sounds great. I don't have to change the source on the BOSE very much either - except when I listen to stored music!
Sounds like an install problem. All of your inputs (audio and video) should run through the BOSE and then only the video out needs to run to the TV. In this way the BOSE is the sound source for everything
this is possible, however not a very good idea. Bose speakers are designed a little different than other brand speakers, the Equalizer built into the bose system will probably not sound amazing when you hook up your other speakers. Are you looking for more bass? cleaner highs?
if you want more bass, you could try doubling up your subs, if you want cleaner highs you could buy Bose Jewel Cube Speakers (purchased from a Bose Built-Invisible Dealer
I have the same system. I have a Lifestyle and a Sony TV with a Samsung Blueray player. I also have an X-box 360, plus my pc with all my CDs (I-tunes) plays through my bose. Do this:
1. Use the optical cable for the blueray player to the Bose (AUX).
2. Use a digital audio cable from the cable box (either black or orange output) to the Bose CBL-SAT digital input. (it's a single audio cable)
3. For my PC, I'm using a digital cable from the pc to the Bose. I'm using the TV output because it's empty.
4. For my x-box (which I'm not too happy about) I'm using regular red-white audio cables from Bose TV input directly to the TV audio out. (You can play all of the above through this channel, but don't).
I figured the most important high quality sound should come from the blueray player and from watching regular cable tv. For picture, you should be using all HDMI connections.