hum, hiss, and buzz in TV program sound?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by John Watson, Jan 20, 2003.

  1. John Watson

    John Watson Screenwriter

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    I don't watch a lot of TV, but two programs stand out as awful vis-a-vis sound - Buffy, and Alias. In many scenes there is a pervasive hissing deep space type hum, that seems to build until a character actually speaks, when it is sharply reduced, but as the words end, the background noise resumes...

    It often seems to be worse in scenes in crypts, warehouses, etc, so I tend to think it is a deliberate effect. If so, its awfully irritating. It almost seems as tho some engineer recording the sound sees dialogue approaching, and reduces the level on the buzz input control?

    Anyone else experience the same irritation with this? Can anyone explain it to me?

    BTW, is it anything like the "compression" technique used to give punch to crummy pop music in car stereos?
     
  2. Dave Smith

    Dave Smith Stunt Coordinator

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    I believe this is caused by excessive audio compression that is used on some channels. I'm not sure if the stations use it, or the cable/satellite company, but I suspect the former. I used to notice it all the time on channels like Sci-Fi when I had cable, but I never seem to notice it on DirecTV.
     
  3. John Watson

    John Watson Screenwriter

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    Program, station, or transmission (in my case, cable). Last night it was the latest Buffy, and it (the hiss) was totally non-existent on the commercials, which we know are often bumpfed louder than the programs.

    I once tried complaining to a cable company about the different volume levels between TV stations, and it was futile.

    I think we'll just have to quit watching broadczst TV [​IMG]
     
  4. Daryl Furkalo

    Daryl Furkalo Second Unit

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    John,

    I know what you mean about the horrible quality of the Buffy episode last night. There was terrible horizontal banding and alot of hiss on ASN on Expressvu satellite. It has to with the quality of the feed that they received prior to broadcasting it. Last night was the first bad Buffy of the season (audio-video wise). The next show on ASN was Angel, and it was perfect. I have watched Buffy on ASN for the last 2 years at the current time slot and most of the time the audio-video quality is very good, and it is a day early!
     

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