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Thread: TV Shows and Movies

  1. Default TV Shows and Movies

    I'm new here, so this has probably been discussed before. I can understand the words on old movies and old tv shows pretty much as clear as a bell. With newer movies and tv shows, it's like no one speaks clearly, so I usually used closed caption. I mentioned this to a friend of mine who is a musician and does quite a bit of recording and he said it's because the old movies and tv shows are analog and the new ones are digital. When I bought my hearing aids I asked the person testing my hearing about this and he said it was because new tv shows and movies have the background music and sound effects louder than the people talking. I have no idea who is correct on this. All I know is that I can hear the old ones just fine, but have a lot of trouble with newer shows and movies... I've also noticed that I can understand the words to songs with very little trouble when I play my old LP's, but have difficulty hearing the words with my Ipod...

  2. #2

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    I'd say that your friend doesn't know what he's talking about when he blames the speech clarity on being due to analog vs digital. What your friend may not realize is that when you watch old TV shows and movies, they're actually digital copies of the analog films, not just for the picture but also for the audio as well. So for sure as hell it's not an issue between analog vs digital. It's an issue between mixing style instead. New movies and TV shows tend to put the voice through a lot of processing as part of the mood creation, quite often way too much sound processing unnecessarily if you ask me. Usually less is more, and that's exactly the case here. Older movies and TV shows simply record the voice and play back as is, without adding much of any processing through it. The result is unadulterated clarity on the speech. I know exactly what you mean because I've watch my share of modern TV shows and movies where I could not believe what they did to the voice and not realize how badly they've botched it up.

    Similar situation with music oldies version new music. I guarantee you if you record your LP into mp3 format and play it back on your iPod, you can still get the same clarity on the lyrics, unchanged. There are some people who call themselves audiophiles and prefer to listen to old vinyl albums instead of their digitized mp3 version. I really wonder if they're subjected to a blind test whether they can really tell the difference between the analog playback and the digital playback of the exact same oldie content. I suspect that it's the same case here where old LP music were recorded with much less instruments and soundtracks, so the simplicity of the recording is what enables better clarity on the lyrics. Meanwhile modern music producers have all the means to add in any kind of instruments and/or sound effect very easily at the tip of their fingers, causing the lyrics to become muddy in the process. Again, I think it's the case where less is more here.
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  3. Default

    What you say makes perfect sense. All I know is I can understand the words on old movies and tv shows so much better than modern ones. It's almost like today's actors and actresses haven't learned to speak correctly. My wife says it's not because the old shows and movies are easier to understand......It's because I've watched so many reruns of Gunsmoke and Andy Griffith that I have all the lines memorized.

  4. #4
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    Funny. This was just addressed today in a column in Parade magazine. https://parade.com/552532/marilynvos...at-the-movies/

    Quote Originally Posted by Pepper2013 View Post
    What you say makes perfect sense. All I know is I can understand the words on old movies and tv shows so much better than modern ones. It's almost like today's actors and actresses haven't learned to speak correctly. My wife says it's not because the old shows and movies are easier to understand......It's because I've watched so many reruns of Gunsmoke and Andy Griffith that I have all the lines memorized.
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  5. #5

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    TOTALLY AGREE with you! Case in point: play any old "Hawaii 5-O" and you will get every single word uttered by all actors, no matter if there is some background music or not. But the current version (which I DO love, despite the poor comprehension)? It's like everyone mutters really fast and witty - perhaps THEY know what each other is saying, but I can promise you: without my TV streamer, I'd be dumb as a donkey as to what's going on. On top of which I also find the background music is SO DANG LOUD! Like we need that?!? I've just always chalked it up to these shows catering to a younger set of 20- and 30-somethings who probably DO understand what's being said. I just THANK GOD for my TV streamer. I can understand dialog better than my bat-eared hubs when it comes to the TV. A minor victory! >:-)

    Quote Originally Posted by Pepper2013 View Post
    What you say makes perfect sense. All I know is I can understand the words on old movies and tv shows so much better than modern ones. It's almost like today's actors and actresses haven't learned to speak correctly. My wife says it's not because the old shows and movies are easier to understand......It's because I've watched so many reruns of Gunsmoke and Andy Griffith that I have all the lines memorized.
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  6. #6

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    LOL!! That is SO TRUE! I've noticed that in movie theater movies AND newer movies I watch at AmazonPrime and Netflix. In fact, FOREIGN movies are becoming my favorite cuz then I can READ the subtitles. We don't have cable TV service of any kind anymore, and I can't say I miss it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by MDB View Post
    Funny. This was just addressed today in a column in Parade magazine. https://parade.com/552532/marilynvos...at-the-movies/
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  7. #7

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    It seems to me that whoever does the mixing on some TV shows does a poor job. Many times, the background sound is almost or at the same volume as the dialogue, which makes it difficult to understand. I realize the real world doesn't work that way, but TV and movies are not intended to be the real world... they're entertainment.

    Music shows are the worst. The singer's voices frequently get lost in the music.
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  8. Default

    Another thing... I have a lot of old LP's that I like to listen to. I can understand the words the vast majority of the time. With my CD's or ipod, I have to replay the song several times if I'm trying to learn the lyrics. Most of the time I just look up the lyrics on the internet. Oddly enough, it's not uncommon to look up lyrics and get different versions depending on who transcribed them. When my daughter was 4 or 5 years old she would sing along with songs she liked. She used to like a song by Mary Chapin Carpenter called "Passionate Kisses", but my daughter heard it as "Pashkanate Lizards".

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pepper2013 View Post
    Another thing... I have a lot of old LP's that I like to listen to. I can understand the words the vast majority of the time. With my CD's or ipod, I have to replay the song several times if I'm trying to learn the lyrics. Most of the time I just look up the lyrics on the internet. Oddly enough, it's not uncommon to look up lyrics and get different versions depending on who transcribed them. When my daughter was 4 or 5 years old she would sing along with songs she liked. She used to like a song by Mary Chapin Carpenter called "Passionate Kisses", but my daughter heard it as "Pashkanate Lizards".
    I'm assuming that the materials on your CDs and iPod are not the same materials/contents as your old LP's, right?

    It'd be interesting to search for a song from your old LPs online and download and play it on your iPod (or just play it on your computer) to see if the digital version sounds any different than the LP copy.
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  10. #10
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    You also have to remember that old movies and TV shows where recorded in analog and newer movies are in Dolby digital. The first movie to be in Dolby was Batman Returns in 1992.
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