HDTV Sound Levels

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by Mark_B, Feb 8, 2006.

  1. Mark_B

    Mark_B Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 1999
    Messages:
    304
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    110
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    Real Name:
    Mark
    After reading the Super Bowl thread I thought I would ask how folks handle the HDTV sound levels. I'm a HDTV noob and just don't understand the difference in volume that occurs, especially between the broadcast show and commercials. You'll be watching a show and you adjust the volume to a comfortable level and then BAM, a commercial blows you out of your seat. This sometimes happens even during a show. A good example is King of Queens. The show starts and everything is fine. They cut to the opening theme and it blows you away. It continues thruout the show everytime they play the scene transition music. I have similiar problems with Yes Dear. The difference between the show and commercials is the worst. I have taken to just muting during commercials, but it is a pain. I thought there was some rule against this. I have no problem with analog, just the digital broadcast. All my HDTV is OTA.

    One other question, why aren't the reality shows shown in HD. Survivor and Amazing Race would be awesome in HD and 5.1 sound.
     
  2. mylan

    mylan Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    Messages:
    1,689
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    110
    I have the same problem with every show I watch in HD. Its the same old thing since commercials began airing, make them loud and you'll notice. Now we just get it loud AND in 5.1.
    I thought Survivor was supposed to be in HD this season too but it is still in SD on my HDTV. I would imagine getting HD cameras and equipment into remote locations would be the problem, heck ABC was worried about inclimate weather and the distance cables would be ran during the supebowl.
     
  3. Charlie Campisi

    Charlie Campisi Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2004
    Messages:
    1,624
    Likes Received:
    44
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    My workaround is to watch everything on tivo and skip the commercials. No help I know.

    Re reality shows in HD, CBS can't even manage to do more than 3 nfl games a week in HD. I don't expect they'd get their act together for a remote island location. Too many cameras.
     
  4. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2004
    Messages:
    29,440
    Likes Received:
    6,022
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    The basement of the FBI building
    I always make sure to have my remote's mute button ready when a show goes to commercial. [​IMG]
     
  5. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1999
    Messages:
    38,763
    Likes Received:
    488
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    What's worse is when you channel surf the ATSC/HDTV channels, and the variation in audio levels go from quiet to bombastic with no rhyme or reason for the wide disparity in audio broadcasting levels.
     
  6. Diallo B

    Diallo B Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2002
    Messages:
    1,076
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    our problem as htf'ers is that we do not compress the sound in our systems. so we get the signal how it was actually processed instead of compressing it into a certain spectrum.

    i prefer not to compress my sound so that i can hear a whisper as a whisper and an explosion as an explosion.

    but that comes with a cost, as the sound techs that provide our service are either forced to pump up signals for no good reason or are just jacking up the signal....

    like others have said, i skip commercials with my dvr or mute them if i am watching live.
     
  7. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 1999
    Messages:
    3,301
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    No, that's not it. Dolby Digital has Dialog Normalization. If it is set correctly, this should not be a problem. (Come to think of it, I'm not sure the decoder I use honors it....) For whatever reason, my CBS -- dialog, everything -- is much louder than ABC, for example.
     
  8. Diallo B

    Diallo B Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2002
    Messages:
    1,076
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    ken,

    i think we are talking about two different things.

    what is dialog normalization?
     
  9. Mark_B

    Mark_B Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 1999
    Messages:
    304
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    110
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    Real Name:
    Mark
    From what I have read elswhere, dialog normalization is a bit set in the dolby stream that is supposed to set voice levels all at the same level. It tells your decoder here is the level of normal voice and everything else is scaled from there. Someone correct me if I'm wrong. This would solve the commercial problem, but not the volume differences in an actual show. If the director or whatever wants the music or sound effects blasting, I guess it will have to be. I have a hard time expalining stuff like this to the wife. She thinks it's the new TV.
     
  10. Tino

    Tino Executive Producer
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 1999
    Messages:
    10,325
    Likes Received:
    3,251
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Metro NYC
    Real Name:
    Valentino

    Survivor has been broadcast in 5.1
     
  11. Hayes Preston

    Hayes Preston Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 1999
    Messages:
    183
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I don't want to hijack this thread, but since it was already brought up; both Jeff Probst and Mark Burnett have gone on record that they will not do suvivor in HD, the cameras are to large and heavy. However, it doesn't look too bad in SD, and the sound is good.
     
  12. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 1999
    Messages:
    6,873
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Me too.

    HDTV commercials are much worse than even normal TV commercials as far as volume is concerned. You have to mute them.

    The funny thing is anybody remember what the original purpose behind Dolby's "Dialog Normalization" was, and why it was included in the DD spec?[​IMG]
     
  13. Mike Williams

    Mike Williams Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2003
    Messages:
    1,020
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Since the show is taped on DV cameras, couldn't Survivor or The Amazing Race simply bump up to HD DV cameras? They're still lightweight and while they're not as good as full blown, high end, studio high definition cameras, they're not using high end Beta SP cameras anyway, they're using DV. I think they could use HD DV cameras and still be mobile but still give a widescreen picture with more resolution than what we're getting now.
     

Share This Page