ABC Contacts to complain @ No Center Speaker volume during comercials

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by john marine, Jan 2, 2004.

  1. john marine

    john marine Auditioning

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    Here are some names at ABC (WPVI, Philadephia) to send your complaints if you, like me, are experiencing NO center speaker volume during dolby broadcasts of HD (COMCAST, WPVI, Moto, digital connection to Onyko) ABC broadcasts when it goes to commercial because the Dolby flag does not get automatically reset for the "stero" commercial broadcasts. [email protected]>,[email protected], [email protected].

    You can also go to WPVI.COM and submit a complaint via their WEB site...These guys were incredibley responsive, but don't appear to understand how this impacts the viewer...it is very annoying to lose the sound.....I'll paste their response below if you care to read, but essentially, they feel that it is out of their hands because they get the feed from ABC and it is already encoded "incorrectly"...
    Perhaps if enough people start to complain, and they realize that no one is watching ABC commercials because they can't hear them they will finally do something to correct....The below TEXT is from the response I received from James Gilbert at WPVI, ABC (Philadelphia)

    2.) Why aren't we switching audio mode to stereo during break material (PSAs and/or commercials) when we're broadcasting a program in 5.1 mode? We don't
    find it necessary to dedicate manpower and other resources for the sole purpose of switching modes for a short period of time only to have to switch mode back again to 5.1. In addition, there is no evidence that doing this
    would improve anyone's viewing experience as they would still hear the intended audio through the LF and RF speakers. Further, the Dolby mode is encoded at ABC prior to WPVI decoding it. That is the way ABC is delivering
    it to us. We have no way of knowing which break material is in 5.1 and which is in stereo. Someday this information will be encoded in the data stream and ABC will be able to "encode" the audio mode and initiate a mode switch
    from their end automatically. For now, they do not intend that we switch modes during their breaks. However, "we" switch mode to stereo during WPVI originated material such as local news, local programming, syndicated shows,
    local commercials and PSAs.
     
  2. Bill MacAdoo

    Bill MacAdoo Stunt Coordinator

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    Please tell me we're not really complaining about the audio quality of commercials...
     
  3. john marine

    john marine Auditioning

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    Good point...but it's more that that...it also happens if ABC broadcasts a show that is not in Dolby...they still send the dolby flag with the program and the end result is that the show itself is unwatchable due to the volume abnormality.
     
  4. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    I hear the audio just fine for commercials on my local ABC affiliate's ATSC (HDTV) OTA broadcasts.
     
  5. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
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    i think this is a philly abc issue.

    i have noticeds this too on my ota mits box.
    i think the center channel during regular 5.1 programming is too low as ioften need to raise the vo;ume then lower it when i change the channel.
     
  6. Bill MacAdoo

    Bill MacAdoo Stunt Coordinator

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    Ah...that makes more sense, then. [​IMG]
     
  7. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    Good luck Philly, it took me over a month to get my local NBC affiliate to listen to me and fix the audio compression/signal they were sending out. It sounded all scratchy and garbled for about 5 weeks! [​IMG]
     
  8. Diallo B

    Diallo B Screenwriter

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    this is a problem in metro detroit via comcast as well. everything is sent out in 5.1 regardless of the original source with only the FL and FR speakers sending info if the source is not in 5.1. any complaints have all fallen upon deaf ears.
     
  9. Wayne Bundrick

    Wayne Bundrick Cinematographer

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    There's a possible solution to the problem which wouldn't require any "manpower" to have to flip switches at the start and end of every ABC commercial break. I think it's simple enough to be worth a try.

    For decades, broadcast engineers have been rigging up silence sensors and relay switches to do all sorts of things. For example, in a radio station, a silence sensor can trigger an alarm bell, so when the disk jockey goes outside to smoke a cigarette and doesn't get back into the booth before the song ends, everyone in the building will know about it.

    Mr. Gilbert should consider putting a silence sensor on ABC's center channel, wired to switch their Dolby encoder to stereo mode instead of 5.1 whenever the center channel is silent. Silence sensors have adjustable minimum volume threshold and adjustable delay period before the trigger, to avoid false triggers if there's just a brief audio pause in the program. But I'd guess that when ABC runs a commercial or a show that has only L/R, the center channel is not just quiet but dead silent, maybe even digital zero silent, so the minimum volume threshold can be set very very low, and the delay period can be quick enough to trigger during the first second or two of a commercial break instead of halfway through it.
     
  10. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    Since when has anyone in the TV business gave a damn about technical quality! Just make sure the commercials get run when they're supposed to! [​IMG]
     
  11. Wayne Bundrick

    Wayne Bundrick Cinematographer

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    Hey now, I work in the TV business, and I give a damn about technical quality.
     
  12. WadeB

    WadeB Stunt Coordinator

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    Is this what's going on with the Sugar Bowl here tonight in ATL? My receiver shows it's getting a 5.1 signal, but only putting out L/R sound.
     
  13. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
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    what do the other stations do?
    they don't have this issue.
     
  14. Diallo B

    Diallo B Screenwriter

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    they send out the correct signal. however they do it they get it done. period.
     

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