cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Sound on TV

Community Veteran
Posts: 7,912
Thanks: 594
Fixes: 8
Registered: 02-08-2007

Sound on TV

Perhaps it's my age but the clarity of many films on TV is poor to the point I miss bits of what is said. The background music can often be as loud as the dialogue.
Funny thing is,  I have no problem hearing the adverts they are all very clear. Even bought an Orbitsound T12 sound bar which helps a bit to overcome the poor quality speakers in the TV.
Rather than keep improving the picture quality of TVs it's about time some attention was given to this issue of sound.......Imagine a TV where you could turn the background down and improve the oral quality.......... absolute bliss !!
11 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 7,149
Thanks: 51
Fixes: 2
Registered: 30-08-2007

Re: Sound on TV

Quite agree, in another recent thread I made a comment about the loud background music in "Wonders of the Solar System" BBC2.
As a lover of conspiracy theories, I wonder if the standard TV sound is "mushed" to encourage us to invest in HD...
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,735
Thanks: 12
Registered: 02-02-2008

Re: Sound on TV

There are 2 factors here, which most likely explain what you experience:
1. Age resulting in deteriorating hearing
2. Technical trickery to enhance the perceived volume of adverts whilst still staying within the technical limits.
Here's a BBC article on the subject: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/7388473.stm
Steve
Pro
Posts: 6,681
Thanks: 247
Registered: 13-07-2009

Re: Sound on TV

Its not your age, I watched HUNG on ch5 the other night and with my tv volume up loud it still was almost impossible to make out what was being said,great film it was aswell and that just spoilt it for me, However the adverts were clear as day.
Midnight_Caller
Rising Star
Posts: 4,143
Thanks: 7
Fixes: 1
Registered: 15-04-2007

Re: Sound on TV

I notest this, it started about 2 or 3 years a go on most channels what have adverts.
Community Veteran
Posts: 7,149
Thanks: 51
Fixes: 2
Registered: 30-08-2007

Re: Sound on TV

Rather than the expensive (and apparently ineffective) Orbitsound, you might try routeing your TV audio through a hi-fi system if you've got one nearby. Mine has an auxiliary channel that works quite well for this. It does mean another remote to play with, but worth a try.
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 10,583
Thanks: 191
Fixes: 9
Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: Sound on TV

I think they are boosting the sound selectively - quiet (background) sounds by a lot and louder (foreground) sounds only moderately so.
End result = lack of dynamic range.
So it's like trying to listen to someone shouting, whilst standing next to a speaker stack at a (loud) rock concert.
See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loudness_war
Quote
The loudness war, also referred to as the loudness race, is a publicized criticism of the recording industry's practice of digitally mastering albums with progressively increasing levels of loudness and reduced dynamic range.

Midnight_Caller
Rising Star
Posts: 4,143
Thanks: 7
Fixes: 1
Registered: 15-04-2007

Re: Sound on TV

Quote from: HPsauce
There are 2 factors here, which most likely explain what you experience:
1. Age resulting in deteriorating hearing
2. Technical trickery to enhance the perceived volume of adverts whilst still staying within the technical limits.
Here's a BBC article on the subject: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/7388473.stm

It is #2, from the BBC article it sais:
Quote
After hundreds of complaints from viewers about this, the broadcasting watchdog has laid down the law.  The Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP), the body responsible for writing the TV Advertising Code, has published a new rule on sound levels.
From 7 July 2008 "advertisements must not be excessively noisy or strident.
"The maximum subjective loudness of advertisements must be consistent and in line with the maximum loudness of programmes and junction material."
This clarifies existing guidelines and encourages broadcasters to use a subjective loudness meter in order to ensure there is less of a perceived imbalance between ad and programme sound levels.

Well thay are still up to the same old triks
Community Veteran
Posts: 16,834
Thanks: 1,124
Fixes: 13
Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: Sound on TV

Yes well, the proof of the pudding is in the wording....
Quote

encourages broadcasters to use a subjective loudness meter in order to ensure there is less of a perceived imbalance between ad and programme sound levels.

and the wording is..........

"perceived imbalance"      NOT  "actual balance"..... so they can still get away with having the adverts L O U D E R than the programmes so long as it is "perceived" that they sound the same loudness..
VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 10,583
Thanks: 191
Fixes: 9
Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: Sound on TV

Quote
"The maximum subjective loudness of advertisements must be consistent and in line with the maximum loudness of programmes and junction material."

Are those instantaneous maxima or average maxima?
If a programme has two seconds which is very loud, does that mean the entire advert break can be of a similar loudness?

Community Veteran
Posts: 1,850
Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: Sound on TV

fads and fashions come and go.  the latest craze of music with everything and over the top of dialogue may have started with black hawk down and ridley scott's obsession with verity.  now i don't bother to look at some documentaries that are excellent except for the intrusive, music.  
as on dvds, what i'd like to see is a menu of options that includes muting the background music.  we know that tracks are all composed separately then stitched together, so why not offer the patron the option to have and not have music?
VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 10,583
Thanks: 191
Fixes: 9
Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: Sound on TV

I put it down to CD's.
You can make something "better" by making it louder than the opposition - even if it's all distorted and you get audible clipping.
It's difficult to do this with vinyl, if you want the needle to stay in the groove!
Those people who've grown up with digital sound now perceive that digital compression and distortion is how music should sound.
I expect the are the ones making the records nowadays...