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Music on TV Programmes.

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Brian H04/11/2021 13:18:12
2312 forum posts
112 photos

Music on TV programmes, by which I don't mean music programmes!

Is anyone else as fed up as I am with the non-stop overpowering music on TV programmes?

I enjoy Portillo on his British rail journeys and also the Repair shop but the music drives me mad.

Surely someone could invent a device that allows the dialogue but removes the background noise?


Speedy Builder504/11/2021 13:23:43
2590 forum posts
207 photos

The list goes on - why is the music louder than the dialogue, why are so many scenes shot in the dark, so much that you have to draw the curtains and switch the lights off... Ugh!

Martin Connelly04/11/2021 13:35:18
2123 forum posts
222 photos

I think some of the issue are that the speakers in flat screen TVs are not great for sound quality and that there are some variations in the sound transmission between mono, stereo and 5.1 surround sound. I know that at the moment with my setup the sound level volume varies when switching from an SD channel to the same broadcast in HD and also between different channels with the same definition.

Martin C

Nigel McBurney 104/11/2021 14:19:57
999 forum posts
3 photos

I agree the background music in so many tv programmes is getting really bad and so annoying that the programme gets turned off sometimes,and who works in an office with just one desk light,or a policeman goes into a strange house and knows exactly where the light switches are, or the police go into a building with tiny torches and never look for a light switch. or the accuracy of documentaries eg a film on the very early days of ww2 depictng bombing and then two mosquitoes flash across the screen. or a recent documentary on war leaders,one view depicted General DeGaul as a junior officer in WW one in a field of straw bales ,oh dear the bales were modern large round ones.Also the use of so called regional accents where us southerners cannot understand what is being said so again its a case of change channel. That said why is any back ground music necessary when an actor or presenter is speaking.Perhaps the only justification for very loud background music would be when the Aussies soaps are on.

Peter G. Shaw04/11/2021 15:21:55
1408 forum posts
44 photos

I find it so bad that I have to resort to subtitles in order to follow the plot. And if subtitles are missing then it becomes very difficult. To be fair, I do have hearing issues, but it's noticeable that for example Rob Bell is usually satisfactory whilst Tim ??? is often drowned out by the background so-called music.

As it happens I do like the Morse/Lewis/Endeavor series which tend to use classical music which I quite like, but in general in this series of programmes, I find the background music is usually unobtrusive.

Soaps? Frankly I couldn't care less! Make it as loud as you want!

Historical programmes don't usually interest me so programme errors don't bother me, but one non-historical programme we do like to watch is the Heartbeat serires, and here I find it quite interesting the number of mistakes in regard to telephones, eg pay tone (the beeps that arrived in the 60's with the grey telephone boxes) being used on the Button A & B boxes. Unfortunately, as a telephone technician of that era, I find this particularly grating.

Peter G. Shaw

Richard S204/11/2021 16:18:01
229 forum posts
134 photos

I also find background, or incidental music (if you can call it that) very annoying. to the extent that I don't bother watching the programmes. To me, it is the production sound set up they use that produces inferior audio quality. A modern trend it seems, UKTV, Channels 4 & 5 documentary commissions are a classic example of inferior production.

I resort to using quality headphones, rather than built in TV speakers, but that is due to my problem with accute Tinnitus .

I have no problem at all watching//listening to older films and programmes on channels like Talking Pictures, even with old technology sound tracks.

KWIL04/11/2021 16:23:29
3549 forum posts
70 photos

If they think the background music enhances the "drama" of the moment or improves my view of the background scenery then they are very wrong and like others I sometime just switch off, either the TV of my ears!

Must be a young thing and I am too old for their new style of presentation?

SillyOldDuffer04/11/2021 16:50:16
8469 forum posts
1885 photos
Posted by Speedy Builder5 on 04/11/2021 13:23:43:

... why are so many scenes shot in the dark, so much that you have to draw the curtains and switch the lights off... Ugh!

You might consider a new TV. Older and cheaper sets often have screens with limited contrast range. My cheapo upstairs set struggles to display dark scenes, whilst the main downstairs telly has no trouble rendering them.

Mother has an early version of my TV: not bad but I notice things in dark scenes tend to disappear into the murk.

Another possibility is the default settings are unsuitable. Possibly set to maximise bright scenes, which makes tellys look good in a shop, but isn't right at home.


Ady104/11/2021 17:17:52
5065 forum posts
734 photos

There's not much I can watch on TV now, there's so much noise, it's like an infants school

I'm not exactly sophisticated either

We seem to be going slowly in the direction of TV in the usa

I've noticed the main channels have suddenly started putting oldie stuff on a lot more in the afternoons, probably because they were losing ground to talking pictures

Spurry04/11/2021 17:54:37
220 forum posts
72 photos

Don't, whatever you do, mention the volume of the adverts compared to the volume of the actual programmes.

Bill Dawes04/11/2021 18:13:02
533 forum posts

Agree with all of the above, my constant bugbear is indistinct speech, so much mumbling and poor diction. My hearing is not perfect, who's is at 79, I have excellent Bernafon aids but still struggle. I know for certain that is not just me, any 'old' programme will not have such problems. That is not because everybody spoke like royalty either, listen to any old film or tv programme, I love the Carry On films (revel in the non pc) and whatever the accent never miss a word. Modern electronics should make sound quality far superior to the old mikes used in tv and film studios but in the main it is not or is it today's actors, don't they have speech training these days.

Saw someone on the beeb a while ago responding to such complaints, say they go to great trouble to ensure sound quality, don't they actually listen to it afterwards.Listening to something with my 30 year old son a couple of years ago I asked him if he heard what someone had said and the answer was no, I rest my case.

Bill D.

Harry Wilkes04/11/2021 18:57:04
1322 forum posts
65 photos

Have to say it doesn't bother me too much but my wife sits with the remote turning the sound up and down


duncan webster04/11/2021 19:09:28
3919 forum posts
61 photos
Posted by Nigel McBurney 1 on 04/11/2021 14:19:57:

.....Also the use of so called regional accents where us southerners cannot understand what is being said so again its a .......

What's 'so called' about a regional, accent. We have to put up with southern accents, and believe you me, some are pretty impenetrable.

However I do agree that in old films the actors spoke much more clearly, probably because they were trained for theatre where they didn't have microphones, whereas now a lot of them mumble to give 'atmosphere'.

pgk pgk04/11/2021 19:43:29
2549 forum posts
293 photos

We abandoned TV licences and TV and just stream what we want via Internet. The same sound problems exist but I find that turning the PC's sound card up but the streaming services' player's volume right down gives the best audio compromise.


Nigel Graham 204/11/2021 19:46:22
2009 forum posts
27 photos

I have no TV but I can sympathise due to the ever-increasing use by BBC R4 to add tinkly-squeak "music" or supposedly-relevant sound-effects to speech programmes.

Usually the background aural clutter is quieter than the oral text, but still neeeless, intrusive and distracting. I have though heard instances where it made the speech hard to follow, especially if in a strong British or foreign accent.

This complaint has been aired quite often on Feedback but anyone deigning to be " available for comment " or even just "sending a statement", is usually some media-studies type who cannot understand why we don't want it, and just fobs us off with pseudo-intellectual excuses.


(Tee-hee... just had a wonderful thought of one of said media studies types being a regular on here... and hiding his or her guilty blushes by being " unavailable for comment" .)


Regarding British accents, I think to be fair the BBC Drama Department has largely moved on from its days of stereotyping by vaguely-regional accent to tell you if the character was the seaman or farmer (Ooh arrgh), military-officer (splendid chaps, wot), army other-ranks or copper (Lunnon, guv), or the factory worker (By 'eck lad), etc.

larry phelan 105/11/2021 09:30:27
1169 forum posts
15 photos

Like many others, I became so fed up with that background "music" [racket ], that I no longer watch TV.

Last time I watched was almost 12 months ago. Do I miss it ?, not really, same tripe all the time, and there are so many other and better things to do..

Am I alone ???

roy entwistle05/11/2021 09:44:07
1504 forum posts

I've never had a TV but I find that Radio 4 in particular is getting more {so called} music on it


Samsaranda05/11/2021 10:03:37
1396 forum posts
5 photos

I have very damaged hearing and wear strong hearing aids, the “background” music makes listening to tv programmes a nightmare, because of my hearing impairment subtitles are permanently displayed if available. The music seems to vary in volume so much, usually at its peak drowning out the speech and I end up trying to lipread the person or reading the subtitles, there is no reason for the background music and having complained to the BBC about the problem never received a satisfactory answer. We have a sophisticated sound bar to enhance the tv sound and that makes no difference, I also have WiFi enabled hearing aids which connect with a WiFi transmitter attached to the tv, again nothing overcomes the music drowning out the speech. My theory is that a large proportion of the population have damaged their hearing listening to very loud music, pop concerts etc, that they are oblivious to the problem and the music probably acts as tinnitus masker. Dave W

Circlip05/11/2021 10:34:36
1499 forum posts

TV sound was always compromised in the past with the use of the ubiquitous 7 x 4 elliptical on table models and 5" dia in consuls. Picture quality being far more important than sound reproduction.. Since the introduction of Nicam and sound bars, there is no excuse for garbage renditions of noise. Sadly everyone and their dogs in broadcasting seem to have to put their own arty farty interpretations of what we, the great unwashed should appreciate.

Pre S/B concerts etc. lacked a bass content and was rather squarky but now with the improvement we seem to have gone full circle and coupled with the Youf outlook of LOUD IS GOOD for musick, we are expected to accept mumbling "conversations" as the norm.

No matter what the quality or expense of our sound reproduction systems, garbage in = garbage out.

Regards Ian.

Edited By Circlip on 05/11/2021 10:43:14

ChrisLH05/11/2021 11:09:07
29 forum posts
1 photos

Agree with all of the above but would like to add :-

The annoying habit of cameramen who continually cut to the presenter's face instead of giving us time to see what's happening with a craftsman's hands or to study a map, etc.

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