Jump to content

 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
Sign in to follow this  
Hoganman1

TV and Movie Sound Issue

Recommended Posts

I have some hearing loss; which many my age (70) experience. However, when I watch old movies and TV shows I can hear all of the dialog perfectly.  Conversely, when I watch new movies and shows I have a hard time understanding what the actors are saying. This is especially true on some the premium channels and streaming platforms (Netflix, Prime, HBO, Showtime etc.). When the programs are from the UK or Australia the problem is magnified.  I've considered getting a hearing aid, but many of my friends who have them say they don't really help much with this issue.  I've also noticed that on many of the newer programs the background music drowns out the dialog. Is it just me or do others on this site have similar issues?

PS Please move this if it's not appropriate for this discussion thread.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some movies I find hard to understand.  But I find no pattern.  Old movies can just have bad sound due to the prints being second or third generation reprints.  For newer movies, changes in style of pronunciation can lead to difficulty in understanding dialog.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In addition to what slayonf addresses:

Due to the reduced audio resolution of the film soundtrack on older movies,  there is a tighter audio dynamic range (less difference between louds and softs).  This works out to our benefit with the older films as we can listen and hear everything without it getting too loud.  Accordingly the audio engineers back at that time needed to be diligent and carefully balance everything so it all fit comfortably within that envelope.  Think of the Abbey Road Studio engineers during the Beatles era and before.

For newer movie soundtracks, the digital audio technology has allowed for bigger differences in dynamic range - just like a CD player.  That and it has been common practice since about the early 1990s for movie audio producers to exploit these capabilities with loud explosions and special effects noises.  That often leaves the spoken dialog much softer, when played back at a reasonable level, unless one brings the volume up to first-run theater levels, which would be intolerable for many in their homes.

One solution here might be to have a TV or audio receiver with features that "compress" or "normalize" the audio levels as the movie plays back.  This may be a non-standard audio feature which is built-in on some newer TV or audio equipment, or maybe as an add-on inline or external audio device. 

In some other cases it may also work out to one's benefit to have insufficient or cheap built in TV speakers which are just incapable of reproducing the loud peaks... 😁

P.S. I have good hearing, and I hate that about newer movie soundtracks too.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you're right, MovieCollectorOH. I know I was able to get better balance on the TV at my vacation home.  Hopefully, I can do that on my primary TV. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As I patch my TV audio through my home sound system ("stereo" for some who don't get it)  I found I can't escape that problem entirely.  But it's not really the age of TV shows or movies.  But different channels cause the issue.  Like, if I switch from (for example) SUNDANCE channel to FOX SPORTS Detroit, the sports channel comes in noticeably louder.  And the public access channel is ear splitting!   Fro the most part, the channel-to-channel differences in volume aren't that radical, but I get where for some it might be a bother.

Sepiatone

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you use a cable box, there may be audio options for compression/normalization under the audio options there as well.  When I had FiOS, there were those options available.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

© 2020 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...