Audio compression of a broadcast TV signal causing problems?
August 5, 2014 11:55 AM Subscribe
Two of the broadcast channels in my area (think lower mid-market) have some serious audio issues described after the jump. Is it amateurish compression?
posted by kuanes to Media & Arts (8 answers total)
The local NBC channel goes weird mostly during sports broadcasts, where the play-by-play and color commentary (but not the ambient crowd noise, etc.) fades in and out. This isn't a complete fade-out, but more like someone turning the volume from 3 to 7 every 1.5 seconds. This was especially evident in the Stanley Cup playoffs, where Doc Emerick sounded like he was waving his mike back and forth in front of him.
The local CBS channel seems to turn up the gain on certain audio tracks. I've especially noticed this during any hour-long cop procedural (Criminal Minds). The background music and sound effects are at a fairly normal volume, but the dialogue is dialed back about 50%. So I turn it up to hear the dialogue, but then the gunshots/moody strings pad/whatever is nearly deafening.
Now, I do not notice these problems with the station's own audio broadcast (i.e., local news, etc.)
What little I know about audio compression leads me to believe that each station has squashed the audio mix somehow with a compressor, leading to these problems. Obviously, these are small-time markets and perhaps they can't afford to hire the best audio engineers. Is this a case of amateurish compression?