Strange Noise during some Television Broadcasts

So, I was watching the Giants game last night (go Big Blue by the way) and I noticed a strange noise throughout the game. It almost sounded like a faint cell phone ringtone from the late 90's coming from my TV. It would happend every couple of seconds I noticed. I then remembered that during the Emmy's, I heard the exact same thing. A weird chime/ringtone that went off every couple of seconds. I thought it was my TV, but I changed the channel on both programs and there was no weird sound. It seems to occur only during live events. Anyone else hear this sound? Better yet, can anyone explain what it is?

Not gonna lie, it's kind of annoying.

Fixer
Sep '11

Aliens will often interfer with live events to tap into the brains of the humans that are watching said events.

Firefly Firefly
Sep '11

That was Archie and Olivia crying their eyes out. All three sons finished now. ;-)

Calico696 Calico696
Sep '11

So I take it your answers are a "no"

Fixer
Sep '11

It may be possible your experiencing RF interference from a local transmission station. Are there any CB/HAM radio antenna on any nearby houses? Are you near any cell phone/repeater towers?

Omni Potent
Sep '11

And to answer your question, no. I haven't heard anything but I am watching on an old crappy TV most of the time.

Omni Potent
Sep '11

It happened during the Emmy's on my tv. I don't watch much football so I didn't hear that and it did sound like a cell phone... Might be comcast...

Mom of Two Mom of Two
Sep '11

might be the TV sation.......

Bug2
Sep '11

I didn't watch the football game, but I did watch the Emmy's and the sound drove me nuts. I'm happy to see someone else heard it and it wasn't just me :)

red76nj red76nj
Sep '11

I heard it too during the giants game and the emmys...drove me nuts!


What TV service do you have? Cable, satelite, open air antennae? That may help to narrow things down a bit. I watched it via ESPN on cable and didn't hear anything.

emaxxman emaxxman
Sep '11

Comcast Cable

Fixer
Sep '11

It was widely reported after the Emmys, it was heard all over the country. So it is not a local CB operator or anything in your house.

Reggie Voter Reggie Voter
Sep '11

Its the V chip in your tv sending pics of you watching the tv

Caged Animal Caged Animal
Sep '11

Told you - Aliens.

Firefly Firefly
Sep '11

The noise was mentioned on this website.

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/entertainment/2011/09/sheen-baldwin-and-cell-phone-interference-behind-the-scenes-at-the-emmys/


I heard the exact same thing with the Emmys. It was like every couple seconds.

Bill S Bill S
Sep '11

We have DirectTV and heard the same noise during the Emmy's!

just curious just curious
Sep '11

I also heard the noise during the Emmys but figured it was just the TV. The cable guy from Cablevision replaced our cable box on Saturday and now the volume is all messed up. We have to turn it up REAL high, which causes a white noise sound behind the sound from the TV shows. So I attributed it to that. But I guess not.

LaLaLaurie LaLaLaurie
Sep '11

It was directly from the broadcast itself. They said it wasn't audible inside the auditorium, so nothing was done. I thought I was going nuts a few times turning the tv down that night.

INeedMoreCowBell INeedMoreCowBell
Sep '11

I heard it while watching the Giants also. Drove me nuts.

Christine Christine
Sep '11

Happening right now during Glee. I am not amused...

red76nj red76nj
Sep '11

I live in New York City and was drawn to this blog after doing a Google search for the source of this strange noise! I heard it during the Emmys, during last night's Giants game and now on My9 during the Yankees game.

Very frustrating. Maybe someone can get it trending on Twitter.

Kate
Sep '11

I am going to call Comcast tomorrow and ask them about it. My DD is hearing it on Glee also.

Christine Christine
Sep '11

Okay, I thought maybe this thread belonged in the "Mental Health" thread, but I swear to God, on the Yankee game on Channel 9 right now, I hear the same noise in the background, every few seconds.

I switched over to the Mets game on SNY, trying to see if it is only present for live events, I dont hear it on that channel.

Wondering if it has something to do with hi def reception. I dont have a high def television, maybe something has changed with the way the signal is sent to non hi def TV's on some channels?

NO- I have not been drinking or nor am I on any prescription medication!

I wouldnt have believed it if I hadnt heard it myself!

The Rhyme Animal The Rhyme Animal
Sep '11

I heard on the Emmys. And now it's in the yanks game. Something about live broadcasts.

RichGas
Sep '11

I thought I was going nuts I hear it constantly. Not only live tv all tv I really am beginning to think its an alien homing signal. Chicago.

Artimus Artimus
Sep '11

I do not hear it tonight on the YES network during the Yankees game. Maybe it is only on certain channels.

The Rhyme Animal The Rhyme Animal
Sep '11

Not heard on the Mets broadcast because they havn't shown signs of life for several seasons. Noise is only on live shows

eapos eapos
Sep '11

I heard it again during Fringe on Friday. It seems to be during certain Fox shows. Can anyone get to the bottom of this? It seems odd that no one has come forward to explain and also that their are only a few Google mentions of this!

Fred Duke Fred Duke
Sep '11

I'm hearing the exact same thing. Have Comcast and live in Jersey City.


I'm watching the Bears game and I hear it as well... I'm guessing it has to do w/ the way the signal is being broadcast.... it's really annoying I can't seem to ignore it

ChiBearsGuy ChiBearsGuy
Sep '11

Seems to be on every fox sports broadcast.. driving me nuts.. Verizon Rios here..

booger
Sep '11

I first heard it on the Texas vs BYU football game last weekend and now heard it today on the Vikings vs Lions game. ESPN and FOX... but didn't hear it on CBS. I heard it DirecTV and Cox Communications here in Oklahoma... Really, REALLY annoying

Blaine
Sep '11

OK, first the Emmys on Fox, now we heard it on ABC during Pan am. Maybe we're being brainwashed?

Penny Penny
Sep '11

I heard it again tonight on Tera Nova (Fox). There has got to be an explanation!

FredDuke FredDuke
Sep '11

It's now on my9 yanks game. Westchester, ny. Cablevision

RichGas
Sep '11

Note that my9 is a fox channel. So it seems to be isolated to Fox- and ABC-owned networks.

tony24 tony24
Sep '11

I also heard it during the Emmy broadcast - I thought it was one of my kids' toys, so I kept muting the TV, expecting to still hear the sound, but when I didn't, I figured it had to be the station or TV itself. Since the Emmys, I've heard it numerous times during different shows. I was just watching the MLB playoffs on TBS, and the noise was also present.

Big Matt Big Matt
Oct '11

i suspect the noise is from one of the companies that track tv viewing (like nielsen)


I hear that noise only on Fox broadcasts - football and Tera Nova the other day. I watch an over the air HD broadcast. From reading other posts, sounds like this is a Fox issue, not the method of delivery.

davetune
Oct '11

I have been hearing this noise for the past few days, i'm glad others are hearing it as well. it is driving me nuts. i specifically heard it during the FOX nfl broadcasts and i am now hearing it on espn monday night football. it is awful

jaredm
Oct '11

I too first heard it on the emmys and then on both episodes of Terra Nova. If it continues, I don't think I can continue to watch it...SO freakin annoying! I am in California and use Dish Network.


I've hard the same noise on a various sports broadcasts on Comcast in DC and FiOS in VA. It's damn annoying.


We're hearing it during the NYY games on TNT. We have RCN cable - hi-def. Glad we're not nuts afterall!

jujubeet jujubeet
Oct '11

I heard it during Emmys and I'm hearing it during the Yankees game on TBS. I have Service Electric Cable. Also heard it Sunday during the Redskins game on Fox I was watching on cable in Maryland.


Doing it now on TNT Brewers vs Dbacks. Super annoying. We have direct tv.

Brad
Oct '11

WoW!!! I thought I was hearing things that my brain was playing a warped game on me...lol

Glad I came across thread really....

CARNi CARNi
Oct '11

It appears to be digital audio compression artifacts.

Highly compressing a more random sound, like audience applause or crowd noise, is more difficult than other sounds, so the metallic tones seems to be the result of it.

It's the networks who are over compressing their signals and causing it.

Samoverton Samoverton
Oct '11

metallic cliicks and clacks from overcompression are one thing, and the networks/cable opreators have gone way too far with the squishing the signals and expanding them later on your tv , they degrade noticably ioth the video and the audio. needs to stop. (esp at these rates we're all paying)

but this sounds like someone is dialing a phone number, teltel telephone tones coming over the airwaves in the background of the audio .

why?

BrotherDog BrotherDog
Oct '11

Compression Artifacts

When aggressive data comprssion is applied to image, audio or video, some data may be discarded if its deemed too complex to store at the current data-rate, or if the algorithm decides that the information is of little importance. Compression artifacts occur because of the latent errors in the process or basically the extreme result of overzealous lossy data compression.

Digital Sound Compression

Compression artifacts in compressed audio typically show up as ringing, pre-echo, drop-outs, warbling, metallic ringing, an underwater feeling, hissing, or "graininess". A good way to observe compression artifacts in audio is to listen to the applause in a relatively highly compressed (eg 96 kbit/sec) MP3. In general, music has repeating structures and more predicable variations in volume, whereas applause is essentially random, therefore hard to compress. This highly compressed track of applause will illustrate the "metallic ringing" and other compression artifacts very well.

Samoverton Samoverton
Oct '11

It doesn't bother me as much now, since I started covering my head in aluminum foil and tilting my head 40 degrees to the left. It's worse if I drop the coat hanger lower than my shoulder, though.

INeedMoreCowBell INeedMoreCowBell
Oct '11

I first noticed it during the MLB All Star Game in July. We have RCN. It has become worse and I have noticed it not only on my HD box but also my standard box. One fix is I turn my surrond sound system on and it goes away. Very annoying. Like one poster said with what we pay for cable they need to fix this quick!

KevinPSB KevinPSB
Oct '11

My TV is having the same issues as well. I noticed it after switching to DirecTV about a month ago. The "digital noise" only seems to occur while watching Fox, ESPN, and TBS. It's incredibly annoying. After doing some research online, I pretty sure it is a Broadcast issue. I read Comcast forums which discussed the same issues as well. I left a message with the local Fox affiliate to see if they have any answers. I will post here if I get a response.

ADubb31 ADubb31
Oct '11

I am having the same thing happen to me... I searched some keywords to see if it was just me and i found this page. Its like a slight ringtone "ding ding ding dong" but i have been noticing it the most while im watching movies on AMC. So its not just live events.. but i also noticed it during a monday night football game. Its very strange, and i often wonder if it is a broadcast error, but you think these tech savvy channels would be able to fix things like that. WHAT IS THIS NOISE COMING FROM MY TV?!

Tyler C Tyler C
Oct '11

OMG I thought I was insane, thank god I found you people. I live in Minnesota and have comcast and have been hearing it during football games, and right now during the Packers game on NBC. I can't stand it.

Mortan Enuff Mortan Enuff
Oct '11

I am hearing it right now on FOX broadcast of MLB playoffs DET vs. TEX game 2. It's so annoying. It's not rf interference as it is a perfect cycle every couple of seconds. I'm a sound engineer and not sure what to make of it...

Slemaker
Oct '11

hearing it right now during the MLB Playoffs on FOX. Comcast digital cable in SF.


I thought I was going crazy too! I'm glad I'm not the only one. I've been hearing it on my TV in NYC, especially during the Emmys and sports, but also at other times. It seems especially bad on FOX for some reason. I thought maybe it was just my TV, but I was just visiting Atlanta, and heard it on another TV there. I'm watching Monday Night Football right now, and can hear it there also!

MarkM MarkM
Oct '11

I really wish more people were talking about this. I keep hearing it all over the place. Conan, SNL, Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, even Supernatural. I hear it every time the audience applauses/laughs. It's driving me crazy.


All this over simple signal noise? Did anyone even notice where exactly they're posting? It's not exactly a world wide forum here unless you count our little Around The World Game. ;-)


I hear it during the playoff games on fox and it's driving me insane. Anyone know what's going on?

Mikeekim Mikeekim
Oct '11

I have Fox on now and I don't hear it.

Calico696 Calico696
Oct '11

It's not compression artifacts. I'm an RF and digital systems engineer and know what compression artifacts sound like, and these are not equivalent.

It's a cyclic, tone-repeating sequence. Sounds like an old 1970's/80's hand held LED game going off every few seconds. A compression artifact has a similar timbre, but is not cyclic/rythmic.

This is a signal that Fox is modulating in the carrier, intentionally. Trust me when I say that nothing in the public TV / broadcast arena gets through unless its put there intentionally.

You can hear it on playback DVR recordings of Terra Nova (Fox)

Redgum Redgum
Oct '11

I'm not going crazy. I heard this first during a playoff game, and not its on DWTS. It dies down during quiet moments but as soon as the crowd cheers and whoops it up...the damn sound is back.

The only way I can describe it is as a series of tones in quick succession, which repeat every 4-5 seconds. Like Redgum said, its sounds like an 80's handheld LED game.

HardyGardy HardyGardy
Oct '11

It's going on right now during the world series game #2. I think it has to do with security or damaging the recording on the DVR. It ensures that the copy is not clear so when studios sell thier product it will not have it. If a person were to sell thier copy people would know it came from a home broadcast and not from the official rights owner.

DavO
Oct '11

I've noticed it for a few weeks. It's maddening. I've only noticed it on Fox Sports programs. I have DirecTV. Only watching in HD. Sharp Aquos. I have NOT noticed it on TBS, ESPN, ABC, CBS or anywhere else. Only Fox Sports. Noticed it in Yankees/Rangers playoff games, then Cardinals/Rangers World Series games, and now, today, Falcons/Lions NFL game.


Note: I meant Tigers/Rangers playoff games, there were no Yankees/Rangers games.


Also, this sound is not heard during commercial breaks...


Definitely not just a local thing. I started hearing it in Philly and thought I was going nuts since no one I was with ever heard it. It appears to only be on FOX as I have not noticed it on any other stations and I never notice it on Redzone. Also, TedS, I agree with you I don't think I have ever heard it during commercials. Anyone have a rel explanation for this?

Vmac2 Vmac2
Oct '11

I think that FOX has added the annoying sound to make Joe Buck seem relatively less annoying.

Sammie Sammie
Oct '11

I'm listening to it right now. Driving me nuts!

MattS
Oct '11

I am hearing it as well

Jim Nolan Jim Nolan
Oct '11

Curious about this noise.

Daniel Nolan Daniel Nolan
Oct '11

i first started noticing this exact same strange rythmic tone liek an old cell phone or one them old school handheld video games wit teh LCD screens, while i was watchin AMC's "breaking bad" a coupel months back. i tried doin several google serches of different wording and never foudn anythin til now.
but i didnt just notice it once either. itw as almost liek it was just on the show Breaking Bad ( but then i dont watch much TV). since breaking bad season ended i started watchin other AMC series and almost every oen them that are on in the evenings or night time got this annoyin noise in the back ground. ive since then became curious more of this and started channel surfing and just listenin to TV while on the puter and its on alot more tahn jst AMC's shows and fox or "LIVE" events. almost like its at random. I think its big brother playing wit auditory mind manipulation in some form or another. at least somethin to that effect. someone call "ALEX jONES " AND ASK HIM.

mind control
Nov '11

Has anyone noticed the aggravating, almost physical effect this sound has? It is more than just annoying at prolonged exposure. Maybe just my imagination but after watching two football games in a row I've got a weird headache.

annoyed
Nov '11

Annoyed- I get a headache after some games too usually only when my teams lose! LOL

I have also noticed a strange hum/hiss sound as well. Very odd.


So interesting that I have never heard this noise and I watch live sports all the time.

Calico696 Calico696
Nov '11

I too have Direct TV and have indeed heard a phone ringing in the background when my husband is watching football. I know because I am famous for calling in to the living room that his cell phone is ringing and to pick it up. He then assures me it is on the TV.

apple apple
Nov '11

I'm so glad others hear this! I must say these high pitched tones are driving me crazy. Ive noticed if the tv pic pans to like the sky or some image where the pixels get bright it makes that sound.

Thoth Thoth
Nov '11

Hearing it now on ABC. I heard it on the sitcoms before DWTS, so it isn't limited to a live show. I'll try and record it and isolate the tone.

JohnF
Nov '11

Any chance it could be related to the Emergency Broadcast test they are doing on 11/9 ?

JohnF
Nov '11

"Any chance it could be related to the Emergency Broadcast test they are doing on 11/9 ?"

That would be my guess beta testing for "Big Brother" FEMA to come right into your living room & i wonder what the Fed's have planned next?

"The United States Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will be conducting the first-ever national test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) on Wednesday November 9 at 2:00 p.m. EST.

The EAS is a national alert and warning system established to enable the President of the United States to address the American public during emergencies. The National Weather Service, governors, and state and local officials also utilize parts of the system to issue more localized emergency alerts."

http://stoughton.patch.com/articles/first-national-test-of-the-emergency-alert-system-nov-9


ABC (via ESPN) coverage of WVU/Cincinnati college game... This noise was constant. I don't know who to complain to. I would hope they notice it and are doing something about it.

John73878387 John73878387
Nov '11

Glad I found you people. I thought it was just me. I've been hearing this computer sounding, rhythmic tone, primarily on live sports events for a couple of months. For a while, it seemed only on the Fox channel during the NFL games. Now, on ABC, during the FSU-Miami game, I'm hearing this fairly loudly. I'm recording this, but what in the world is this? I'm not watching HD, but this is occuring on FIOS, and I'm in Northern Va.


I think Fox is augmenting the sound for live sporting events, trying to create more crowd noise then there really is...maybe even a soundtrack. It just doesn't sound true anymore and quite annoying to listen to. Other networks may be doing the same.

Jim2334 Jim2334
Nov '11

I'm in Chicago w/ Directv. Been hearing it for months on a number of channels and feeds. I first heard it during a Bears game and again on Fringe. Those were both on Fox, and now my girlfriend says shes heard it on dancing with the stars past couple of weeks. Ridiculously annoying.

Doris Doris
Nov '11

Can't be as annoying as those stupid logos or preview information about shows that pop up on the screen during the most critical time of your favorite tv show. Now they are animated and cover 20% of the screen, so distracting. I hate the networks.

Bruin Bruin
Nov '11

I hear this exact same thing. It doesn't matter if it's a live event like sports, or a pre-recorded show like Wheel of Fortune. I hear it at my house and others. The only common thread is Comcast (I think). What is this? Did I miss the answer in this thread somewhere?

Greg370Z Greg370Z
Nov '11

Just lucky, I guess, but I've never heard it.


OMG. People who hear the noise that I hear. Thank you!

Seriously, I have Comcast. I started to hear the noise during Yankee games, then late night shows (how dare they mess with Craig!). Now I hear it on PBS stations!

Honestly, I'm starting to think it's an anti-piracy tactic.

I don't care why it's there. I just want it want it to stop.

GaryEA GaryEA
Nov '11

Thank goodness I found this thread! Like you guys, I thought I was crazy! My fiance couldn't hear it, and neither could anyone else I tried to point it out to. I also started hearing it during the Emmy's and now I hear it basically anywhere (and by anywhere, I mean any channel, any city). I live in DC, but I travel for work, and I still hear it in the hotel rooms I stay at across the country. On broadcast stations, cable stations, premium channels, live tv, pre-recorded shows, etc. I've been googling it for a while now and I never found much on it.

I can't believe there aren't more online threads on this. Perhaps not that many people can hear it? I have to believe if everyone could, people would be talking about it all over the place. That, or it would be fixed by now.


It is all over espn's college gameday right now.

tornadosoul7 tornadosoul7
Nov '11

I first heard it on NASCAR broadcasts on ESPN in October....being annoyed by it now durign the Homestead race.

Jarvis Jarvis
Nov '11

cbel - We've got reasonable reception around here. It's nothing but everyday static - it's just now that it's all digital signals people don't recognize what it is any more.


I consistently hear this noise on AMC during "The Walking Dead" and "Hell on Wheels". I even hear it when I watch these episodes on OnDemand. I don't know what to make of it. Anyone else experiencing this phenomenon?

mannyMN
Nov '11

I hear it all the time too. I drive me nuts!!!!!!!!! Hear it on Hell on Wheels, CSI, Two and a half Men and many many others. What the hell is it?

Miche Miche
Nov '11

Wow. Htown life has another cross country famous thread!

htownchik htownchik
Nov '11

At first I thought it was just on AMC and breaking bad, but then I noticed it during Conan O'brien and then the World Series. Its very faint and sounds like some kind of digital dialing that gets higher pitched and only lasts less than a second. Im glad im not the only one thats getting driven mad hearing this noise.

Ericc Ericc
Nov '11

OK, so I have reviewed many forums on this topic. There is no doubt that the almost subliminal repeating tone sequence is real. Most people noticed it on FOX, but some notice it on other channels as well [which I haven't as of yet]: ESPN, AMC and others. This is certainly not coming from isolated from cable/satellite carriers, nor does it appear to be an artifact from compression.

We need to find out what the heck it is! I think that we can all agree that it is annoying as hell. There might be some audio experts in academia, and possibly in the private sector, who would be willing to get to the bottom of this. My question: does anybody have DVD recording capabilities, and if so, does it show up in the recording? I know for sure the tone sequence is preserved on DVR recordings. Also, does anybody have contacts that are expert in this sort of analysis?

I am willing to hunt down people who can analyze the broadcast signal, if you can get me a recording that contains the annoying tone.

Erich Erich
Dec '11

happens at :02 and :07 in this clip, very faint

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xh9E8QPowSQ

Joexelle Joexelle
Dec '11

Played the clip, didn't hear anything.

Calico696 Calico696
Dec '11

That sound is as clear as a garbage truck driving through a nitro glycerine plant. Sorry, I love the classics.

Fixer
Dec '11

Fixer - Awesome, love Christmas Vacation.

Calico696 Calico696
Dec '11

I must be tone deaf along with Miss Calico. I could not hear a thing, and the speakers I am using with this PC are top notch(well were at some point lol).

CARNi CARNi
Dec '11

Listened again and all I hear is the sound effect from the program.

Calico696 Calico696
Dec '11

"didn't hear anything"

Uh oh, Calico and Carni had better check their basements for pods - they've been taken over.


Did you hear something GC?

Calico696 Calico696
Dec '11

Im definitely tone deaf, you can tell by my taste in music LOL

CARNi CARNi
Dec '11

Calico - Yes. The sound of paranoid people who can't tell the difference between everyday digital noise and the men in the white coats coming to get them...

Carni - Probably about the same as mine. ;-)


I hear it on the clip. I heard it at the Emmys. I hear it every week on Walking Dead and Hell on Wheels (AMC). I'm watching A Christmas Carol on AMC right now and hearing it! It drives me up the wall!! I have Time Warner Cable in NY. Why won't any broadcast stations fess up??

XTNYC XTNYC
Dec '11

Just added my own example on YouTube. The noise occurs twice after George C Scott says, "just a dream"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCV-kudNo98&feature=youtube_gdata_player

XTNYC XTNYC
Dec '11

Ok XTNYC - That time I heard it. I have not heard it at all while watching TV, nor in that Fringe clip above.

Calico696 Calico696
Dec '11

It's really noticeable on the AMC channel. They play it during ANY movie they have on (right now I can hear it during King Arthur) and every series they have. At first I thought it was a noise response to keep you alert and anxious. Well, if it make you anxious you're probably more likely to be tied to the movie and keep watching, eh?

I'm sure is a very planned thing they don't want you to know about.

We have Comcast btw, in Colorado and the AMC seems to abuse the "noise" the most.

Thank you, I thought I was going crazy until my boyfriend said "yeah, it's an AMC thing but they play it during really odd times, not just scary or intense moments.".

They, the cable people, will never acknowledge it, so quit trying. Maybe someone should do an expose on it.


Omg my husband thinks I am nuts! I hear on cbs, have metrocast cable. During sports, Mike and molly and various other times but only CBS HD. Glad to see I am not alone.

crystyn crystyn
Dec '11

I have also been hearing this sound during NFL games. I think its a planned sound, which only some can hear. Must be broadcast on purpose, definitely not right. Its some subliminal sound that they are using to mess with us.


THANK GOD IM NOT CRAZY!! I didnt want to say anything to my family cuz I started to think maybe I was hearing "voices" aka weird sounds in my head!! LOL Im so happy it isnt just me. It started with teh Tigers Vs. Rangers WS and I hear it non stop now different cable providers, TV's, Locations.... Its driving me crazy. I just heard it again and decided to do a search and found this. I knew I was on to something when the google auto populate finished my typing of "annoying sound during (world series) I didnt have to put world series so there must be a lot of people researching this. It sounds like the old 1970's hand held football game but in different sequences...

Here is a link to the similar sound... Go to the 1:58 mark and it happens at 2:01. Not exactly the same pattern but the pitch is very similar.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfeKOk93NDY

So HAPPY im not crazy LMAO :-)

Rodney Rodney
Dec '11

Rodney: Went to the link; didn't hear the noise. But I'm glad to know that you know you're not going crazy.


its the GOP telling us in code to vote for them next time. Thats why you hear it on Fox tv.


Hi!!!
I seriously that I was going INSANE!!!
I started hearing this noise on AMC while watching Jurassic Park 1 and thought i was watching JP 3 because it has the cellphone in it. False. It happens on both of my televisons one is Panasonic and one is a Samsung. I have Time warner cable and I've heard it on AMC and most local channels.

It's about 5 or 6 tones right? very atonal in melody?

I hear it most prominently when whatever is on the television gets loud. For example an intense action scene or old movies were the sound is terrible so you know they have to increase the overall volume of the movie.

You're not crazy. I promise.

LogannS LogannS
Dec '11

Oh and I hear it on my family's Television and they have Direct TV.

LogannS LogannS
Dec '11

COMCAST SUCKS!@!! Was watching Giants game and it went dead Just as they were beating the Cowboys. DISH here I come I havet COMCAST So unreliable ! Fios please come to my area!!


Yes, Joexelle, that is the exact same sound I have been hearing during applause during shows. I first noticed it during a broadcast of the Kennedy Center Honors program, every time there was audience applause. I just thought it was a glitch from that particular show, but now I'm hearing it during more programs as well. It's like a sequence of 5 or 6 electronic notes. What is it? How can we get rid of it?

BrianG BrianG
Jan '12

BrianG - "What is it?" = typical digital noise. "How can we get rid of it?" - better reception.

EGH - Sorry, BrianG is on Fios and he's got it too. Oops.


Actually researching a bit more, and another site has a possible explanation. Could be Nielsen watermarks, which are supposed to be unperceivable to the human ear but can be picked up by microphones. See http://media-sync.tv/howitworks . It seems to make sense, since when applause (which resembles white noise) happens, the tones seem to get louder. Any microphone attempting to pick up watermarks would need to receive louder tones to achieve the necessary signal-to-noise ratio.

BrianG BrianG
Jan '12

I here it too only on fox. I'm in Portland, Oregon and I have Comcast. It has been driving me crazy every sunday during football. Cannot focus on the game! Why are they doing nothing about this? Anyone have any further info, updates?


Now that people are noticing the noise more I seem to be hearing them played in a lower volume when the show is "quiet" and louder when there's a lot of commotion.

I really think it's there to get a "flight or flight" response which is what a cell phone ring does.
No aliens, no mad scientists, but definitely simple psychology to keep you alert to keep watching whatever it is you're watching, and stay awake for the commercials. lol.

Noticed it on TNT, AMC, FX... probably more. It's very noticeable when they plague it in an old movie, especially if it's a "quiet" movie!


I thought I was the only one! Hear a chimey, digital sound on just about all stations. TNT; TBS;AMC;FOX;ABC;CBS; - My family members do not hear it but I have really good hearing and can hear and sense things far more acutely. So, what the hell? How, who and why is this occurring? I need some explanations, how 'bout the rest of you?

azjeanie azjeanie
Jan '12

Dear God. Me and my friend are going crazy watching the Golden Globes!!!!!!!

Stacia Stacia
Jan '12

At :10 in this clip it's as clear as day...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0cjCZEjVR8

But seriously, the Fringe clip nailed it. And it's getting worse. I hear it all the time now.

Rex Kramer Rex Kramer
Jan '12

I hear this frequently during football games and other events, most noticeable during applause. Repetitive melody every few seconds or so; it sounds like a 90's cell phone ringtone. Heard it during the State of the Union address the other night as well.

Bob Kustofawitshz Bob Kustofawitshz
Jan '12

We're in San Jose, CA. I also began hearing the "ring tone" audio artifacts during the 2011 Emmy broadcast. We have DirecTV, and it occurs across multiple channels, not just Fox. It really does appear to be audio watermarking technology, because it happens in shows played from the DVR as well as shows watched real-time. It is happening right now 2012-01-28 in the latest Fringe episode that we're watching from the DVR "Forced Perspective", and it is very annoying. It is even more aggravating that the audio range is only perceptible to a certain percentage of the population, and I'm sure the developers of the technology know that.

Annoyed TV Viewer Annoyed TV Viewer
Jan '12

Here's more info on the Nielsen audio watermark technology:

http://spie.org/x31800.xml?ArticleID=x31800#B2

Note that other methods exist which allow audience measurements WITHOUT modifying the original audio signal (e.g. the audio fingerprinting mentioned in this article). They really need to ditch this current stuff NOW, or we'll be forced to stream shows from Netflix or other sources, and stop watching all shows that contain this annoying noise.

And how they're using it:

http://www.mrweb.com/drno/news12350.htm

Annoyed TV Viewer Annoyed TV Viewer
Jan '12

I believe it is related to Cinavia, an audio copy protection water mark (not Nielsen related) IMHO. HDMI 1.3 and higher provide for copy protection (DRM) for source programming.

Even more Annoyed Even more Annoyed
Jan '12

Wow I'm so glad someone else thinks a "digital watermark." When I first this noise some time ago my room mates thought I was going crazy (they still do) because I'm an audio engineer. Originally I thought sounded more like the audio was being dithered - the quality of the audio is diminished while using digital noise to fill in the holes. But it was too consistent sounding to be dithering. It's gotta be some kinda watermark and I wish it would stop because it's driving me crazy (not to mention making me sound crazy)!!

Steve I Steve I
Jan '12

If it's a watermark then why is the chiming the same notes everytime on different shows and channels. Those notes would be unique to the show and timestamp if that were the case. It's surprising to see people have been complaining about this since last year and still nothing has been done. Keep coming up with plausible theories so this annoying noise can stop!
Also, from the links that people have posted about watermarking it seems that the watermark is present on every single show so if this noise is due to that I wonder why we only sometimes hear it on a few stations.

Stillskeptical Stillskeptical
Jan '12

Thank you everyone for posting this! My husband thought I was crazy, I was hearing beeping noises on TV and he wasn't.... we are in Florida and have BrightHouse cable... I think I only hear the beeps during live TV shows (or shows taped live, like Letterman) and HD shows. The noise doesn't seem to show up on reruns or news. I wonder if it is some kind of frequency thing that he can't hear the beeps.

Karma Karma
Feb '12

I only hear it on AMC on every show. Not sure what it is but im sure comcast knows of it. Have you guys complained to your cable provider or the networks? Something needs to be done.

fixxxer fixxxer
Feb '12

Please realize that there are two distinct types of the strange noise. One sounds like feedback. The other sounds like intentional, melodic tones. Personally I've never heard the latter, except for the clip below. But I hear the feedback (Fringe) all over the place.

Metallic feedback --
happens at :02 and :07 in this clip, very faint (tv show Fringe) (from Joexelle)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xh9E8QPowSQ

Melodic tones--
The noise occurs twice after George C Scott says, "just a dream" (from XTNYC)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCV-kudNo98&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Rex Kramer Rex Kramer
Feb '12

I stand corrected. I think there is just one type of the strange noise. I guess when it's fainter, like in the Fringe clip, it sounds more like feedback/echo. But it's all over the Grammys right now.

Rex Kramer Rex Kramer
Feb '12

if you take tin foil and make a cap of it and wrap the edges of your tv the strange sounds will stop - but the strange looks will start

Caged Animal Caged Animal
Feb '12

The Fringe clip is completely part of the sound track and intentional. It's neither noise nor feeback and nothing out of the ordinary.

Caged - Will the foil hat get anyone to actually read where they're posting? Now that would be strange. ;-)


GC, if you can't hear the tones in the Fringe clip then it just must be too faint for your ears to pickup. But they are definitely there. Did anybody watch the Grammys last night? It was so bad I can't imagine anybody not hearing it. But for those with sensitive hearing even the Fringe example can get annoying.

Rex Kramer Rex Kramer
Feb '12

Heard it on CBS HD Pebble Beach 2/2012 and during all CBS NFL games done by Jim Nance and company.


NOT MYSTERIOUS - THE CAUSE IS KNOWN:

It appears to be digital audio compression artifacts.

Highly compressing a more random sound, like audience applause or crowd noise, is more difficult than other sounds, so the metallic tones seems to be the result of it.

It's the networks who are over compressing their signals and causing it.

Tim Scott Tim Scott
Feb '12

Makes sense to me, Tim. Of course, you just pasted Samoverton's post. Do you have any particular knowledge which would justify your all-caps assertion? Do you know why the networks would continue with this practice despite the negative effects? Inquiring minds want to know.

Rex Kramer Rex Kramer
Feb '12

The noise occurs when there is relative silence. Sounds like computer game, carnival, cell phone ringtone. There is no applause or noise occurring. That is why it is so noticeable.


subliminal messages, yes they do exist and yes they do work

Bid Deal
Feb '12

"...intentional, melodic tones."

Around here, the older folks can hear it and the younger folks don't. Strange.

abcdefg abcdefg
Feb '12

Watching the Oscars....it's there again, loud and plain to hear.

Fixer
Feb '12

loud and clear on the Oscars is right...sounds like the aliens are coming!

Cedric Craigory
Feb '12

But it seems to be when there is applause don't you think? Or laughter perhaps. When there is lots of background noise.

IHearToneDeafPeople IHearToneDeafPeople
Feb '12

Yes! I first heard it during football games this past season. Now I'm hearing it on the Oscars. I believe it's compression related. It's almost like the digital compression systems are autotuning noise.

Rob dH Rob dH
Feb '12

When I had the Oscars on, it sounded like cars beeping in the background of the speeches. Weird.

Rebecka Rebecka
Feb '12

Just switched from watching the Oscars on Comcast to Digital TV (we subscribe to both), and it's actually worse. Sounds like high-pitched bells ringing. Almost unwatchable because of it.

Rebecka Rebecka
Feb '12

I believe these sounds are put there intentionally as a copyright measure. Because "compression artifact" would not explain why they occur in a rhythmic pattern at repeating intervals. There are a series of 8 or so tones that occur every three seconds during high-volume audio. A compression artifact modifies the original sound -- it doesn't introduce a whole new set of sounds that repeat at regular intervals.


It happened last night during the Oscars only during applause or while someone was speaking, not at "regular intervals".


I can't believe people are still speculating this.. What I heard on the Oscars is definitely compression. You can do this at home if you try to get a 30 min interview or voice-over file down to under say 5MB. It's the same exact kind of noise.. NO it is not a repeating pattern. It may sound like it is because the same compression settings act the same way with sound.

What really surprises me is that broadcasters actually let this go. It's inexcusable. And unprofessional.

JayWilliston JayWilliston
Feb '12

They do occur at regular intervals -- during periods of sustained high-level audio. I've done a lot of audio editing, and have observed these sounds since the start of the NFL season. I've observed them during NHL games on a different network. And during the Oscars last night. And during Jimmy Kimmel Live! last night (the one night when it's legitimately live.) There are a series of tones that are very subtle, in the background, when the audio level is high. During quiet passages, they do not occur. This is NOT a normal "compression artifact". The tones definitely contain information.

On my late local newscast, they just had a story about "audio problems for one hour during the Oscars, blamed on microphone feedback." That's not what I heard.


"It appears to be digital audio compression artifacts."

I never remember hearing anything like that my whole life, why is it starting now? You would figure with todays technology they wouldn't have that problem. IT IS HAARP (google it) . people are starting to really wake up and see whats going with the world you should too.

smart
Feb '12

To reiterate, it is NOT audio compression artifacts. During the Emmy broadcast, and earlier Fringe episodes, the same exact set of tones (about 7 or 8 specific tones in the exact same sequence) were repeated exactly every 5 seconds between phases (believe me, I counted).

Lately, whoever whipped up this DMA/Copy Protection/Water marking scheme got a little smarter (I'm sure after they got feedback that the tones were driving viewers bonkers). Now, when you watch Fringe or Jimmy Kimmel Live, the tones occur only during loud portions of the program, like loud effects or audience applause.

It is exactly the same set of repeated tones. This is NOT how digital compression artifacts work. That would sound like random noises, (ie completely different sequence of tones each time).

Audio watermarking is the only consistent, and the hardest to defeat DRM (digital rights management) method to date. Cinavia is the foremost example of this. Any PS3 owner knows about Cinavia and how it works. The only difference is Cinavia is virtually inaudible, whereas whatever "crap" the TV broadcasters are using is clearly audible (for those who aren't hearing impaired), and incredibly annoying.

EvenMoreAnnoyedAgain EvenMoreAnnoyedAgain
Feb '12

I just looked this up because I thought I was going crazy. I've heard it on different programs (usually sports) for the past year and a half or so.

Viggy Viggy
Mar '12

My daughter and I hear this annoying sound. We have comcast and it seems to happen on ABC and Fox networks. Thought it was the TV but other stations r fine. How aggravating! But wait we have high def!! LoL

rainasmom rainasmom
Mar '12

Ditto, I've heard this on certain stations recently and its very noticeable and irritating. It was especially prevalent for the 2012 Oscars. Its hard to believe any audio engineer would allows this on a national broadcast.


As stated before. This occurs even in somewhat quiet settings. Like just golf analyst just talking at the table. It is very very annoying.


It's making that noise every week during Nascar. It's driving me nuts!

Mark G W Mark G W
Mar '12

ok... We've established that this is a common problem... WHAT IS THE SOLUTION????!

Dan Mac Dan Mac
Mar '12

Lossy audio compression typically works with a psychoacoustic model—a model of human hearing perception. Lossy audio formats typically involve the use of a time/frequency domain transform, such as a modified discrete cosine transform. With the psychoacoustic model, masking effects such as frequency masking and temporal masking are exploited, so that sounds that should be imperceptible are not recorded. For example, in general, human beings are unable to perceive a quiet tone played simultaneously with a similar but louder tone. A lossy compression technique might identify this quiet tone and attempt to remove it. Also, quantization noise can be "hidden" where they would be masked by more prominent sounds. With low compression, a conservative psy-model is used with small block sizes.

When the psychoacoustic model is inaccurate, when the transform block size is restrained, or when aggressive compression is used, this may result in compression artifacts. Compression artifacts in compressed audio typically show up as ringing, pre-echo, "birdie artifacts", drop-outs, rattling, warbling, metallic ringing, an underwater feeling, hissing, or "graininess".

A good way to observe compression artifacts in audio is to listen to the applause in a relatively highly compressed audio file (e.g. 96 kbit/sec MP3). In general, musical tones have repeating waveforms and more predictable variations in volume, whereas applause is essentially random, therefore hard to compress. A highly compressed track of applause will illustrate the "metallic ringing" and other compression artifacts very well.

Want it fixed?
Get the media involved.

Tim Scott Tim Scott
Mar '12

I hear the noise too. Ridiculous when a commercial comes on I feel relieved. Huh...advertisers don't mind this I bet. Ultra irritating.

K Groen K Groen
Mar '12

Sign the petition to stop this nonsense.

http://www.change.org/petitions/all-television-providers-comcast-directtv-verizon-att-stop-the-beeping#

Daren Schneider Daren Schneider
Mar '12

Wheel of Fortune. Past 6 months. Drives me kraZy because there's so much applause on that show.
Guaranteed to hear it every episode.
Sounds exactly like the very first sound played in Drake's "Forever". A digital kazoo... seriously?

DanaMmmmm DanaMmmmm
Mar '12

Golf Channel - European PGA Tour this morning. Beep melody every 3 seconds no matter the background noise. 8-9 notes per sequence.


I use my HD TIVO to watch digital broadcasts over the air(no service provider) and I hear the same background sound. The noise is like a digitized wind chime, very annoying. It's most noticeable during live broadcasts(i.e. sports and awards shows).
I believe, like some others, it's a sound compression artifact. Since the sound anomaly is relatively new I think the industry should go back to what they were doing before this distracting noise surfaced. Unfortunately I think those of us who are sensitive to this noise are in the minority because I have friends who claim they can't hear it when I play it back for them. Well good to know I'm not the only one hearing it.

Gregor Gregor
Apr '12

Heard it just now while watching In Performance at the White House on PBS. Live in South Florida. It's a sequence of about 8 tones repeated at regular intervals, softer when the program volume itself is soft (but not absent), and louder when there is more noise, but definitely present. Especially annoying during music programs because it clashes with the musical tones. Only ever heard it on PBS, though.


We hear it all the time while watching NASCAR, drives us crazy!!! How do you make it stop? Seems to be mostly in fox. It is torture, same sounds over and over and over......

Kat69
May '12

I first heard this noise during American idol finale .. seriously thought I was nuts or aliens were trying to contact earth lol. Watching nascar cocacola 500 and hearing it again. Decided to do a search to see if I was alone in this.. so glad I'm not. Its annoying as all getout ..can't even enjoy the race! (Grants, NM directv)

LArch LArch
May '12

I hear the noise consistently while I am watching AMC. I have asked a ton of people if they hear it and they just look at me like I'm insane. Perhaps it is a tone that only some people are sensitive to?


To all who hear this sound, are you using a surround sound system or the TV speakers?

Many of the new TVs include something called SRS ( http://bit.ly/N8ScqI) which creates a fake feeling of surround sound from the pair of small speakers that are built into the TV. Some external sound systems do the same. The problem is, digital broadcasting requires compression. The compression they use is called lossy compression ( http://bit.ly/K5gLAs), which is what is used in MP3s as well. When you use lossy compression, the sound/video has information removed that SHOULDN'T be noticible by us, however, this is not always the case. I have personally heard this noise before and when I turned off the SRS feature of my TV, it went away. It would seem the SRS technology which is designed to make the sound better actually accentuates the noise to a point that we hear it.

Now, not all lossy compression techniques are equal. For instance, when you watch a filmed TV show (CSI, Grimm, and so on) they do all the compression using very high quality systems that often take longer to encode than the show is. This means that they can do a higher quality compression using multiple runs to make sure these artifacts that cause these noises don't exist. When you watch a live TV event, they need to do the compression in real time which means they aren't able to tune out any oddities that result. They could turn up the bit rate ( http://bit.ly/N8SfCV) but then they would have to decrease the bit rate for the video portion which would create the same 'noise' but with the picture. Anyone who has watched live TV on HD probalby has seen what is referred to as tiling in the picture at one point or another. If they dedicate more bandwidth for audio, the picture would suffer. Since all the providers/networks are always trying to one up the next with the best picture quality, they often ignore the audio. Ever notice how no one ever boasts best audio quality?

Anyway, whilst some will hear this and others will not, I'm afraid that with the ever increasing number of channels available and the pipelines coming to our houses aren't getting any bigger, this is going to become a larger part of our lives.

Now, did any of this help?

MikeGuida MikeGuida
Jun '12

i am hearing it right now on tnt book of eli

jack
Jun '12

Watching amc mission impossible. Same set of notes sequenced ever 3-4 seconds. I assume it is a brainwashing method.

EndersGameXeno EndersGameXeno
Jun '12

DRIVES ME NUTS DURING NASCAR RACES!!!!!!!!!!

Bobbo Bobbo
Jun '12

And as a reply to MikeGuida.....


I have an oldschool ghetto TV and no surround sound.

Bobbo Bobbo
Jun '12

A tone is playing right now during the NASCAR race. I'm pretty sure it has nothing to do with compression. If it was compression it would be random sounds not a repeating tone that happens over and over every couple seconds.

Its probably an audio watermark that rating companies use to track who is watching. There are a few different companies that track ratings so I don't know if its a certain companies tracking system or if they all use the same one.

I recently was contacted by one of these companies to wear a personal meter to track what I was watching. The documentation they sent says that the meters listen for a special sound that humans can't hear during broadcasts.

I suspect that most of the time you can't hear the noise as they say but sometimes the networks aren't mixing the audio correctly and the noise it louder than it should be.

The meters would have to be very sensitive to pick up audio that humans normally can't hear. They can probably pick up very slight differences in the tones. To the human ear the tone might sound the same every time but there are probably slight differences the meters pickup.

Randy
Jun '12

every damn yankee game on channel 9 its so annoying why doesnt anybody do anything about it

bryan t bryan t
Jun '12

I notice this on A.B.C. only.. I also noticed it acompany's a symbol that looks like this: AD))
It only appears when tone is played suggesting there is something we should be doing. I'm unsure wheather this is a game or if there is an app for it, but it appears to be some sort of an alert!!!

Rossi Rossi
Jul '12

I am hearing this every 4-5 seconds during the Olympics...it doesn't matter if I have the surround sound on , use the TV speakers, watch in HD or watch the regular channel. It drives me nuts and I wind up having to watch without the sound on or change the channel.


Thank you! Thank You!

haha!

I have heard it before (maybe the Emmys) but I'm definitely hearing it during the Olympics. My wife tells me I'm crazy, but I'm hearing this weird "transformer" type sound in the background. It's driving me nuts, but at least I know I'm not the only one.

R Jones R Jones
Aug '12

I've heard this noise a couple years now and like everyone else, my family thought i was crazy. Ive been looking for an answer for awhile now with no success. It has nothing to do with compression, because it doesn't play during commercials. It has nothing to do with applause because I'm watching the godfather on AMC. I'm surprised no one has a concrete answer.. This thread is a few years old now...

Anony Anony
Aug '12

http://forums.comcast.com/t5/XfinityTV-and-Equipment/Audio-problem-weird-digital-computer-type-sound-in-background/td-p/1066455

I have brighthouse in FL. This Comcast thread discusses it, the rep gives you a troubleshooting unplugging method. Then asks for account info to see if they can fix it. Does that make sense? If it can be fixed by troubleshooting what's the BS that they'll log into your account and fix it. Weird to me, especially since the problems on going for years now.

Anony Anony
Aug '12

I hear it all the time on pretty much everything. I first noticed it on AMC while watching The Walking Dead, it's every couple of seconds and it's like "Dee-doo-doo-dee-da-doo."(lol I know, typing noises doesn't really work)

The series of tones only lasts like 2.5 seconds, it's very faint, and happens every couple of seconds(3 seconds roughly.) I thought maybe it was just Vimeo TVs but it does it on my Samsung too and is doing it at the house that I'm dogsitting at right now on a Sony during wheel of fortune, both of us have Brighthouse cable. It's definitely NOT cellphone interference, I'm not an idiot.

I don't hear it during the commercials. I wish they would quit it, it's really annoying when I notice it 'cause then I can't not hear it for the rest of the night :/

I don't even care why the noise is there anymore, I just want it to STOP.

I_have_earsAndaBrain I_have_earsAndaBrain
Aug '12

Hearing it on clearly on the Olympics during the applause. Been hearing it for awhile. I have a 42 plasma that is about 5 years old. Has anyone experienced this with a newer TV?

JonMN
Aug '12

I have researched this for DAYS! lol Im now fully convinced this is what we are hearing...
http://www.mrweb.com/drno/news12350.htm

RayFL
Aug '12

So far this thread has shown that it's not only live TV but pre-recorded programs that have the sound. People are also hearing it during movies airing on television despite the sound being absent in the original. Some people can hear it, others can't. According to the sound experts that have posted, this is not a result of digital compression//sonic artifacts or watermarking because it's a repeating digital rhythm and it's heard on various channels during different broadcasts. Despite these theories continually being debunked people still post those explanations. People have reported hearing it on the following channels:
FOX, AMC, NBC, TNT, TBS, Golf Channel, ESPN, FX, PBS, CBS, NBC and "Channel 9". The source isn't a particular cable provider, television manufacturer or sound system. The sound is being heard on TV all over the country. It's present regardless of the method of viewing; cable, sat, air, or DVR recording.

The sound people reported hearing on the Emmy's has been reported on and the explanation was cell phone interference- I didn't watch the Emmy's so I'm assuming the sound was different from the one discussed in this thread. If anyone has a clip please share. Cell phone interference is distinct and wouldn't occur on series television show.

So I have a few questions:
Has anyone heard this sound on television outside of the States?
Is the television flat screen or console? Have you heard the sound on both?
What are your audio settings?
Are you listening through a sound system?
When did you first notice it?
Are you hearing the sounds more frequently now?
Are you now able to pick up the sound even if it's extremely faint?
How many people in your household can hear it and what are their ages/sex? (hearing changes with age but this sound seems to be audible people of various ages, but only a minority of people can hear it)

Maybe if we compile information we can figure out the problem. Or perhaps point us in the right direction.

I started hearing the sounds maybe a year ago. I initially heard it during Breaking Bad. I notice it more frequently, on more channels and during different broadcasts. Starting two weeks ago I've began hearing it in commercials. I can now recognize it when it's extremely faint. I'm using a console TV (heard it on another console TV before receiving the one I'm currently using). Sound is currently set to stereo from the television speakers (I will change the settings next time I hear it to see if it makes a difference). I'm 30, female. I had my brother, 29, listen to the youtube clips from Fringe and AMC- he can hear the AMC sample but not the Fringe sample. I can hear both, maybe because I've been sensitized to it. I have DirectTV.

During this post I've had Breaking Bad playing in another tab via NetFlix instant watch, the sound isn't there.

**apologies for the double post. I had a mid-editing glitch and didn't find it until it was too late to edit**

beepbeepbeep beepbeepbeep
Aug '12

This is insane! I have been telling my friends and family to "listen, there it is!" doo-doo-doo-doo-(quick)dee-doo-dee" for years! nobody can hear it but today I am watching the ATP Winston-Salem tennis final on CBS and it's doing it like crazy. I texted my brother to tell him I'm hearing it again, and I told him I will DVR the match, because this match it has been SO AUDIBLE that if nobody else can hear it, something must be going on. I'm wondering if it will appear on the DVR? Has anyone heard it on a show, then recorded it to go back and hear that it's not there? I'm interested in finding that out later. It's funny because the other night during the white sox game(were from chicago, and have heard this noise on multiple comcast boxes, at multiple houses, not just this one), he made a joke and said, "you hearing that noise again?" I hadn't mentioned it in awhile. Today, I figured I'd google it, as in the past I have and nothing has ever come up in the search. I am so glad I found this forum!! I usually only hear it during silence, so when others are talking about hearing it during applause and stuff, I might hear it, but I usually don't pick it up until it's the quick and quiet moments of a game, or match. I've never heard it on regular tv, as in sitcoms, or new tv shows, but that's because I don't watch too much tv that isn't live sporting events. I first noticed it during the national championship of college football 2-3 years ago, and it was driving me nuts! I just kept saying listen, listen, listen. People thought I was crazy!! I definitely remember it during any NFL games on CBS last year, as that's when I was telling most of my friends to listen. As of right now, I'm not 100% sure I've heard it on any other networks. The White Sox are on tonight at 7, but its on a local tv channel. I've watched 100+ sox games this year from beginning to end, and have not heard it on CSN(comcast sports net).

Matty Ice Matty Ice
Aug '12

I heard it during the nascar race, very annoying


I can't hear anything when I listen to the nascar race. Isn't that what it's for?

tony f.
Aug '12

I can hear it as well....... funny there is nothing about it

Right Right
Sep '12

My tvs are over 15 yo. Comcast cable. I have never heard this noise.


I never heard it either, maja. Lucky us!


We recently switched to Atlantic Broadband (live in S.C.) and I've noticed the very faint sound of a bell. Since my mother is disabled, I think it's her ringing her bell, and it's quite annoying, as it always "alerts" me, to any possible need or distress that may require my attention. My granddaughter thought it was a doorbell. I had thought it was something which was supposed to be "subliminal", since we've learned, over time, that lots of subliminal stuff is used, that is undetected by the normal way an eye sees (in this case, an ear years?) ... thought perhaps it was something to bring the focus back onto whatever television program was being watched... in any case, it's annoying, invasive, and just plain sucks!

April April
Sep '12

I took the liberty to do some research and dig into Nielsen's productline and subsequently their patents which brought me this one in particular (Multi-band spectral audio encoding):
http://www.google.com/patents?id=DTUWAAAAEBAJ&printsec=abstract&zoom=4#v=onepage&q&f=false

Coming from a computer-science and audio background my guess is that these noises some people are hearing are definitely due to the Nielsen watermark.

I have no clue how much of this made it into their respective products but I assume it's the fact that different local TV stations are compressing signals differently (and , thus making the codec hearable when deploying heavier compression (= a decrease in dynamics and generell increase in volume also affects these supposedly masked audiosignals by making them louder as well).
By audio-compression I'm not refering to the compression of data but of volume (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamic_range_compression ).

Also there are different ways of compression that can be used. If a TV station were to use multi-band-compression, the overall signal would be split up into different frequency-bands which each of their own would be compressed thus resulting in an even louder sound (and probably defeating the auditory masking attempts, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auditory_masking ).

But then again, I could be completely wrong as well :)

Matthew Adams Matthew Adams
Sep '12

Thanks Matthew Adams! I am also an audio guy and had a feeling that it was something like the Nielsen watermark. At first, I was thinking about carrier signals(I know that isn't relevant in digital broadcasting). Rather than the signal being a carrier it would be more an identifier.
Thanks for doing the research. I have been hearing it for a few years. My girlfriend really thought that I was crazy, even though she knows that I can hear things others cannot. Luckily, and with your wonderfully easy to understand compression explanation, she now hears it and I am back in the realm of the sane. I think I will don a tin foil hat before she gets home today just to keep her wondering.

Peace

Patrick

Patrick Damron Patrick Damron
Sep '12

Sept of 2012 and I am still hearing this during NBC football broadcasts (Notre Dame & Sunday Night NFL coverage). Driving me nuts!! I figured it was something intentionally embedded into the broadcast but man is it annoying!

Brad
Sep '12

I have heard it and wondered what its source might be. To switch topics to what one person injected in this discussion (run of the mill alien humor), but directed to all. I am someone who always touches base with scientific and skeptical principles, and know that explanations, many of which are hoaxes, abound in the area of ufo's. However, my own close encounter in 1980 and subsequent research over decades has convinced me that something anomalous is going on. I think its significant and sad that a large majority says they believe in ufo's when polled, but in a work place setting the "shrinking violet effect" creates a small minority.

John Doubleday John Doubleday
Oct '12

I've heard it on television commercials lately. I suppose that I should start a list but I searched this out after hearing it again on the sling mesh lawyer commercial. Chantix allergy medication also includes a similar sound. The faint but clear sound of a standard cell phone ringing is clearly audible five seconds from the end of the commercial. It is always at the same place in the commercial. I suspect that if someone would record these commercials and play them back at a very slow speed, there is a message recorded there.

Janet Lopez Janet Lopez
Oct '12

My wife and I both can hear the ring tone sounds but neither can hear the 'fringe' sound. The 'ring-tone' sounds are very similar to the 'sat-phone' ringing in Jurassic Park. Almost identical sounding over our TV except at a lower sound volume. Like most here, we thought we were hearing things. I have some subliminal teaching disks and have noticed that there is a slight resemblance. In my oldest one it sounds like a radio at low volume in the background. The newer ones have short little repetitive sounds kind of like the sounds we are hearing. I am not saying that this is subliminal but the possibility isn't out of the question. Subliminals are used for advertising all the time and have been used for less respectable reasons: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instances_of_subliminal_messages . It could possibly be some other sort of copy right protection as well. It is present on all stations and at random times. We use Dish Network. It is on all our TVs. My wife and I have become very sensitive to hearing it. I would prefer to believe that it is nothing to worry about but I have a fondness for technology (as well as a degree) and I understand that there are new technologies coming on line every day. I hope this is one that will not/ can not be used for anything bad. As it is, it is very annoying and I will be glad to see it removed.

PartyPooper
Oct '12

Just to add to the conversation here. I've been hearing these "tubular bell" sounds that sound like the same 5-6 repeating notes for a few years now. First in Chicago with Comcast, then RCN and then in San Antonio with Time Warner and U-Verse. So this isn't a specific cable company thing or just a TV. I've heard it on different TVs. In addition to this, I've heard it on DirectTV at sports bars when they do sound. In almost all these cases with sporting events, it is present in open-air stadia. Rarely will I hear in indoor facilities. If I do, it's typically still in large domed football stadia. Soccer (American, European), football, baseball, etc.

As far as in other types of shows, I will hear it on occasion. It seems to me that it's crowd noise related. As the crowd noise increases, or more specifically, as the mix of the crowd noise increases, so does the sound. And when they cut to in-broadcast commercials (i.e. promo spots read by an announcer for a network show) during the broadcast (i.e. remove ambient sound and only hear the announcers) the sound goes away.

It's not on all broadcasts. It seems like a bit random, but some games are worse than others. I'm watching the Patriots/Rams (Wembley Stadium) game. It's annoying enough for me to finally do a search.

I've heard this noise for at least 6-7 years so it's not a new thing. Until seeing this forum and a Comcast one today, I thought I may have been the only one who heard it. I've asked a few people if they hear it and they never do.

My guess is it is some kind of Compressor/Limiter thing and/or EQing in conjunction with data compression creating these tones. Probably something that the broadcasters don't hear on site and possibly don't even hear at the network. No matter. It's effing annoying when it happens.

Mark V. Fusco Mark V. Fusco
Oct '12

It's the surround sound encoding signal. Enable the surround sound on your tv or stereo and it will go away.

You're welcome
Oct '12

I hear this on anything on ABC that is live anymore. Nascar,awards shows,etc.
How can they not hear it and stop it?


There are definitely tones coming from the TV. My wife and I both hear them. We get these tones randomly on different channels, Sundance TNT etc. It repeats over and over and over and just stops. Sometimes I find myself getting sort of aggravated as they go on and on. We have DISH network and get these tones randomly on recorded movies and live shows. It is not just one channel or live events. I believe it is the satallite companies that are doing this. Why? Perhaps its in some sort of sequence that is designed to manipulate the minds of Americans watching? MK Ultra utilizes repetitive audio and video to accomplish several things in the minds of those being programmed so I do not take these things lightly. I notice the intensity of the sounds goes from very light, almost incomprehensible to very loud at times..... trippy stuff. Conspiracy Theories anyone? Audio Chemtrails ???? ;)

D and D are We D and D are We
Nov '12

I have heard it watching ABC and Fox programs and sports on Wide Open West Cable in Cleveland, Ohio. This has been going on for just a couple of months at the most now. I will enable surround sound tonight (as recommended in the post above), I will post the results of my weekend viewing next week

John D John D
Nov '12

OMG... ME TOO!!! I have been hearing that noise for a little over year now.. I thought I was going crazy... I've heard it on every channel that I watch; I just attributed it to kind of like ringing in my ears and even was prepared to go the doctor to check it out... I asked my friends if they could hear it and one other friend did... I't annoying, and I can't help but think its subliminal programming of some kind. I'm just glad I found this thread because now I know others are experiencing it as well...

Mike- TX Mike- TX
Nov '12

NEW UPDATE INFO!!:

I went to my ENT Dr. this week and asked him of this same question everyone is talking about. I told him what we have been hearing and he tested my hearing level. It turns out that my hearing level is well beyond the level of a normal human should have. So this makes perfect sense that other people cannot hear this noise. YOU ARE NOT CRAZY!!!
From what I remember they will only test you at the normal level which I believe only goes down to 16dB. He gave me a 2nd test (goes below 16dB) and I was able to hear as far down as -20dB. He said he's never heard of this noise problem he hear and seemed very interested in it. I hope he gets back to me with new info soon!
I also read that this noise that we hear could be an audio watermark use to translate the stream code to tablet, and wireless devices that can stream live TV content, such as sports games, movies, tv shows ect. and that humans should be able to pick up this noise. I will have to check on this fact, but I remember the Dr. saying something along the lines of the avg human hearing cart that they agree on anything at or below 16dB is considered the avg ability of the human hearing.

FYI

I first noticed this noise during the 2011 academy awards. Now more and more networks are using it. Lets put an end to it!!!

flyers215 flyers215
Nov '12

and that humans should NOT be able to pick up this noise*******

flyers215 flyers215
Nov '12

anything above 16dB is considered the avg ability of the human hearing. Anything AT or BELOW 16dB is considered to be "super hearing"********

sorry for all these corrections, I'm sick today and really wanted to get this out there to you guys quick.

Any questions feel free to ask me, my ENT Dr. said he would love to hear back from me soon. I may send him this entire thread

flyers215 flyers215
Nov '12

I hear the noises too. For about a year I have experienced it on many live programs and especially on AMC. It is extremely annoying and I anticipate the day it stops. I have Wave digital cable and live outside of Sacramento. I'm thinking about contacting Wave but i don't think it will help. Hopefully someone with higher qualifications will help resolve this strange occurrence.

--CL


I'm in Eastern Washington and AMC is horrible with this. Whatever is on will have this. I don't hear it on other channels. I thought at first that some sound engineer was dubbing in cicadas or something, but nope. One more reason to change the channel.

And I thought TVW had bad sound!

tiredofbeeping tiredofbeeping
Nov '12

On Sundays I tend to watch NFL Redzone (on Time Warner in NYC). If you aren't familiar with the channel, they cut back and forth between different NFL games pretty much every other play.

Some games make the noise; most don't. It's driving me nuts. No one else I know seems to notice. Jacksonvill-Houston is doing it right now...

Randy Randy
Nov '12

Randy read my last three posts. Just scroll up a bit from your's and you will see them. I hope that can help. (Flyers215) I Know what your hearing, it sucks!

Flyers215(2) Flyers215(2)
Nov '12

I have been hearing this sound now since i can remember begininng to watch tv again about a couple of years ago.
These are the symptoms i experience whilst hearing said sound... Headaches, nausea, anxiety, distraction and a alzhiemers like forgetfulness, a feeling of grrrr kinda like aggressive energy and also the not caring to turn off the tv.
I first noticed it on AMC and then on other channels now i can hear it in commercials and sports games.
My husband cannot hear the sound and i hear it so much he has been compassionate enough to change the channel when it begins to give me a headache.
I'm glad i'm not alone in this and worried it might be something subliminal.
Thanks for this thread it's helped a lot.
(as i'm writing this it's happening on tv and i'm having trouble typing my words.)
I am wanting to take the tv out of our house.

brainmushy sound brainmushy sound
Nov '12

plus we have no cable box and we live on a boat

brainmushy sound brainmushy sound
Nov '12

I have made a quest out of finding out what I hear which is a gong throughout a televised football game. It seems to be on all channels. It isn't at the quarter hour, but seems to be on purpose. Any ideas?

vince vince
Dec '12

I have enabled, disabled SRS, Dolby...EVERYTHING.

Is there nothing at all we can do to make this annoying noise go away? It is on every HD channel I have. During every live sporting event or during music on regular shows (sitcoms, movies)

FLUXCK FLUXCK
Dec '12

I have been hearing the sounds since the beginning of football season this Fall (2012). I hear a melodic sequence of tones which repeats every 5 seconds, and I also hear metallic tones randomly. The sound an old cellphone makes when dialing a number is a good description of the melodic sequence, as is the digital sound made by an old hand-held electronic football game from the 80s. Needless to say I like football, and have only noticed this sound during CBS and ABC college/pro telecasts, as well as during Jimmy Kimmel on ABC. Cox is the cable provider here in Scottsdale, Arizona. Identifying the melodic sound as a watermark is an interesting suggestion; I also think we're hearing the effects of discarding frequency components from the audio signal. This must be the drawback of Cox Cable stuffing so much useless crap programming and OnDemand "features" into their cable lines.

cactus93 cactus93
Dec '12

the sound is on many channels and corresponds with moments of intensity in drama and sport, not just annoying, scary.

jack
Dec '12

Darren brown the hypnotist/magician uses a VERY similar tone to program a person to kill under hypnosis , using the tone as an 'audio trigger'.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oC9J6O6soHA

they play the tone/ hypnotise the lad at at 21 mins

kryllon kryllon
Dec '12

We live in NW NJ ,, has anybody contacted Comcast Cable and complained about this ???

BlueFishEd BlueFishEd
Dec '12

I hear this on ABC for every live event. It's happening right now using Cox Cable in Phoenix, AZ. I'm watching the Knicks vs. Lakers game and every 3 seconds or so, it makes that little mechanical melody and then repeats all broadcast.

I've noticed it in the past on every live event on ABC. Awards shows, sports, etc. Anything on ABC when it is live comes with that noise. It happens on all TVs at my mother's house, the two TV's at my father's house two cities away, and at my apartment on my TVs as well. I know it can't be the TVs since it's happening on 8 different TVs.

Also, it's only during the event. During the commercials, it goes away, but the second it comes back to whatever event is on, it comes back. I can kind of ignore it, but it's still annoying as hell regardless.

Andrew Peck Andrew Peck
Dec '12

I too have noticed it especially during Football broadcasts. I have no answer but did notice that the "gong" has the same quality in timbre and pitch as the Gong at the beginning of ACDC's "Hell's Bells". (low note A) Someone may have already made that comparison but when I hear the "tubular bells" as one writer noted, I keep expecting to hear "I'm a rolling thunder, a pouring rain, I'm coming on like a hurricane."

.

Music teacher Music teacher
Dec '12

My wife watches lots of live sports where the 5 second “be,be,be, beep” is endemic, all the time! I thought it might be a bug in the satellite that carried the programming but from others on this thread I see that it is popping up more and more especially in live feeds. Although I do hear low volume and higher frequencies up to and above 20,000 cps, this is definitely well down into the normal hearing range, so it should be heard by most and I would think even that it should quite noticeable not to mention very irritating! The one lady that mentioned it was making her sick and others starting to mention psychic/mental aberations from it may be on to something. They may be on the more sensitive end, like mine canaries if you will to this escalating problem.
I suppose there can be a short list of reasons for it, most of which would fall under conspiracy theory like:
1) Satellite problems that CBS and all the rest aren’t mentioning since it would be expensive to fix and/or for whatever reason they don’t want to acknowledge any responsibility for it. 2) Earlier in this thread, one fellow rightly mentioned that it is not possible that the sound engineers have not picked up on this, it’s what they are paid for. Since they are not commenting, obviously they have been told to shut up. Now what government agency is in control of monitoring such “interference” of the airwaves (yes you know), if they aren’t on this like ugly on a possum, it goes fairly deep. 3) Back about when when Sputnik was recently up, I remember reading (recently) about one such repetitive signal (more a regular beeping) from orbit which lasted for some time, which wasn’t Sputnik but an unknown source which of course the government was loathe to comment on since they weren’t able to put up satellites yet nor anybody else except the Russians then. The best possibility on that one was Extra-terrestrial. Yes, the government has an absolute blackout on commenting on this type information which often trickles down to the media and ether because said media thinks it will make them look foolish by reason of the rampant disinformation coming from our massive government[?] at some level or because “the government”, who can give them fits, wants it so. 4) It goes without saying no one wants to think too hard about the possibility that this is a mind manipulation thing either from within or without but the fact that “official channels” on all sides are silent on this thing that has been going on now for some time is no little disturbing. (5) You fill in the blank _____________
Will this blog page suddenly get disappeared? Stay tuned!

wondering wondering
Dec '12

I have been hearing " the sound " also, we have dish on an older tv. I am glad that other people are hearing it too. Would like to know what it is? I know some people spend alot of money on their sound systems and then have to hear this.

Alan Mc Alan Mc
Jan '13

OK... I found my way here, for a similar but different reason. I have DirecTV with HD. During NFL playoff games (and only playoffs), when the home team is on Defense, there is a noticable "tap tap tap tap bang bang bang" before every play, like fans have been given noisemakers. It happened on all four games over the weekend, on various network feeds.

I'm not nuts, I confirmed this with another viewer. Anyone else notice this? I wanted to kill my TV... but I'm not nuts... ;)

I know they use different systems and even sound profiles for playoff games vs. regular season, but I can deal with muted announcers and more stadium noise, but not tap... tap... tap... tap... tap.... ARGH!!!

cjhsa cjhsa
Jan '13

It seems like a lot of hissing noise also. sounds like a car going by. I keep asking my girlfriend if it is her ph.

Old Tom Old Tom
Jan '13

been hearing the 'ding ding dong' ringtone off and on all afternoon, since the five o'clock local news on ABC (East Texas). Have switched to HGTV, USA, and CBS - the sound follows to every station! Suddenlink cable service...it's after ten pm now. Still going strong!

JoLyn JoLyn
Jan '13

I have found the perfect example of the melodic sequence of tones that is driving us nuts. Go to YouTube (link below) and listen to The Clash's "Rock the Casbah" in the time range of 1:50 to 2:10. You will hear "the sound an old cellphone makes when dialing a number" and "the digital sound made by an old hand-held electronic football game from the 80s".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIbYRfe7m0k

The networks and/or cable companies are brainwashing us with music from The Clash. Please make it stop somebody, please.

cactus93 cactus93
Jan '13

It's like the sound in Clash's Casbah... weird '80's - nine-11 tones or so-some quick. ...I Really noticed it during Jurassic Park 3 as a cell phone ring plays a part in that movie- I heard this sound throughout- and haven't stopped noticing it since. Post Sc- FINALLY! NOT ONLY DO OTHERS HEAR IT- SOMEONE ELSE HAS COMPARED IT TO CASBAH...

Jaryd Jaryd
Jan '13

I have only noticed it during live sporting events and am hearing now during the Super Bowl. No one else in my family hears it. Glad I am not losing my mind.

dsc360
Feb '13

I here this noise to and im using a 42'' Insinga hd tv with ota dtv broadcasts and i notice this sound to

Evert Guzman Evert Guzman
Feb '13

I'm now noticing the sound during commercials. I first noticed it was being used during advertisements aimed towards kids (toys) and now I'm hearing it during programming and everyday product commercials.
I've noticed a pattern. Every time I hear it during movies or television shows it's during times of excitement (applause, plot twists), and in scenes of tension/foreboding/anticipation/fear. The sound doesn't seem to appear during moments of prolonged silence.
The rest of my family hears it but I seem to be particularly sensitive to it and can't tune it out when it's occurring repeatedly (though under the circumstances I'm not sure I would want to).

beepbeepbeep beepbeepbeep
Mar '13

Now I just started hearing it during Game of Thrones on HBO. And this is shortly after I saw a report of how it is the most pirated cable show on television. It's really a shame, as I expect high sound quality from HBO, and now I'll probably end up unsubscribing altogether.

Brian G. Brian G.
Apr '13

I hear this noise all the time, and it doesn't seem to be any particular network. The older comments suggest it started with live events on fox, but the more recent comments indicate it's happening on various networks......strange

beepnation
Apr '13

Yes, beepnation, I think this must be done at a network level, and also for some syndicated programs, like Wheel of Fortune. Seemed to start on Fox, and TCM, then CBS, where I first noticed it during a broadcast of the Kennedy Center Honors program. It seems to be louder on some networks (TCM, CBS) than others, so the level of audio watermarking seems adjustable.

By the way, I created a brand new Facebook group for anyone to join who is interested in discussing this issue in more detail. It is called "Audio Watermarking on Television", and is available at http://www.facebook.com/groups/324313444357504/ . Please join.

Brian G. Brian G.
Apr '13

So glad to find this page

James
Apr '13

Thank you so much to Rex Kramer who gave me a link to the melodic tones I have been hearing recently on my tv. At first I thought there was something wrong with my tv then I started hearing it on another of our TVs. Obviously I then thought there was something going on with my ear and considered making a dr appointment. I am very happy to find out that I am not going insane but would very much like to know what is causing this strange sound. It is a relatively new phenomenon, last few weeks, to me here in California.

Helen Cool Helen Cool
Apr '13

To Brian G. I am watching Game of Thrones right now, and the loudness of these tones is is what prompted me to do an internet search. I am so relieved to find out that it is not just me hearing these tones but now I am quite angry to realize that this might be intentionally done. I do not appreciate having thought that there might be something wrong with my hearing or my mind for the last few weeks. I had really become very worried.

Helen Cool Helen Cool
Apr '13

Yes, I'm hearing it too. The noise is driving me crazy, very disturbing while trying to watch a show. I asked my kids if they could hear it too and they could as well. We thought it was because the TV is old and would normally need one of those boxes to get the local channels, but nope. We changed it all out and got the local channels crystal clear, without the subliminal noises. That noise is giving me one more reason to switch to dish, netflix or something else.

hazel
May '13

I am watching the CBS evening news right now (5-18-2013) at 6:30pm and I here it. It sounds like one of those late 70s handheld football games with a odd set of tones.

Mark Raines Mark Raines
May '13

I had Dish Network and heard it all the time on many channels. I have ATT u verse now and still hear it. Switching carriers wont help, it must be embedded in the programming


Heard the same telephone noise while watching wwe raw for a second rewinded it to make sure an i heard it again. It was just before they introduced their latest movie, u hear a phone ringing like a old house phone it weird could be some sort of subliminal message to stick the name of their new movie in to your heads people hearing it at other live events as well by the looks of the messages ^^^^^^

Bob123
May '13

AUDIO WATERMARKING - Why? What is the purpose? Somebody, anyone please make it stop. It's been driving me insane and I'm angry that I questioned my hearing then my sanity when someone it doing this deliberately. I don't understand it's purpose and very, very angry that I questioned my own mind for months before findingout that this was an intentional act. I even went to my doctor because of this and came off sounding crazy to him. I really, really detest the person or people responsible for this and hope and pray they are severely punished. It is disgusting for anyone to deliberately make others question their own sanity.

Helen Cool Helen Cool
Jul '13

Yep, I tried to read through all the comments and probably succeeded in catching about 50% of them (the foil and alien references made me chuckle). I, like many of you, first heard (or noticed) this sound during televised applause (sports, awards, etc) but I recently heard this sound on a re-run of Family Guy. It seems to be spreading.

The worst part is, you can't really explain the sound to others, except to say it's an early 90s ring tone, or try to mimic it for them, which can cause u to sound like a stuttering android. I am happy to have found a site with so many other perceptive people. I have no info to offer, honestly, I wish I did. From the look of this page, it may be an intelligence based sound (I.e. only we smart folk can hear it).

i hear... something i hear... something
Aug '13

Btw, just realized this is on Hackettstown's forum page, but no where else really. You go Hackettstown!

i hear... something i hear... something
Aug '13

Oh my god, this is happening to me right now. I'm watching the Breaking Bad marathon leading up to the season 5b premier and this noise has been annoying me for around 2 hours now. I asked everybody else in the room with me and of course they couldn't hear it. After looking this up, I remember hearing it before during Phillies games and I thought it was just noises in the broadcast booth. I'm about to rip my ears off...

LarryM LarryM
Aug '13

We started getting a really high pitched sound today on all broadcasts. It's like a really high pitched squeaky wheel. It's only happening on the set with the DVR. I don't think it's the TV (at least I hope it isn't) because watching a movie off of the Blu Ray doesn't exhibit any weird sounds.

I have DirecTV. Anyone else hearing this sound?

emaxxman emaxxman
Aug '13

BEST EXPLANATION ive found, is that its the Neilson rating sytem doing whats called "watermarking" what your watching.

e2matt e2matt
Oct '13

I hear it on many live broadcasts, on TBS MLB playoffs right now. I have FIOS. Definitely something on their end.


Fixer,

You are not imagining the sounds they are there and I have complained to TWC on multiple occasions about it. Stupid customer service people just look at me with a dumb blank look on their faces. These tones started several years ago. It first started out on a few channels on some programming. Now, it occurs on many channels and much more programming. TWC refuses to say anything about what they are doing behind the scenes as they know it will cause customers to become aware, get upset and choose other options.

I hope to be able to clearly identify the sound and document it. I intend to document these annoying tones as a part of the smorgasbord of other complaints on their poor quality service. They have a monopoly on the wired service in many areas and they are abusing it and know they can get away with it. The people making comments here about aliens must be the TWC customer service folks.


I thought I was going crazy too. I just started hearing dial tones watching any sports events with crowd noise. I don't hear it with any other programs except sports. TBS MLB recent broadcasts like others have said. I will also bring this up with Time Warner for what it's worth.

Dennis L Dennis L
Oct '13

Guys and Gals,
I switched my audio/SAP to "secondary language" from "primary language"on the cable box and it eliminated or significantly minimized the irritating background "phone tones"
Try it!

Dennis L Dennis L
Oct '13

We were hearing it only during NFL games. It sounded like a church bell ringing many times during the game, in the background, for no obvious reason. I can't recall hearing prior to this NFL season. Is this some kind of subliminal crap or what?

Fred Moore Fred Moore
Oct '13

Sunday night....October 20. I heard the "bells" throughout the 3rd quarter of the Colt - Bronco game.... then they went away. I suspect it is some type of monitoring what if I am watch a particular channel. Is this legal?

Steve Robinson Steve Robinson
Oct '13

Watching Dare Devil on TNT on Sunday Oct 27th 2:00AM to 3:00AM. Sounds were occurring all during the previous two programs of the Hobbit prior to Dare Devil. This is in the Dayton Ohio TWC market.


It's on the World Series game now.. Really annoying


Yes, thank you for posting this! I see that this page is a year or so old, but I just found it. I've been hearing this noise for many years now, but never tried researching it. I do hear it mostly during a "live" televised sporting event. For me mainly during MLB, NFL & NASCAR, but have heard it during other sports & on various networks, on various kinds of TV's & in various places. Therefore it shouldn't have anything to do with a certain kind of TV, cable box, network, or cable/satellite company. As I write this (October 31st @ 12:30am) the 2013 World Series on FOX just ended & it was very prevalent during all the games. I remember when I was younger (mid 90's or so) playing a baseball video game (don't remember which one) on either a Nintendo or Sega Genesis console & always hearing that noise when the crowd cheered. It seems to me to be more prevalent & louder when the crowd at whatever event is going on starts to cheer. I have been pointing this noise out to my family & friends for many years, but no one else can hear it but me. I don't understand why only a few people can hear it when it is at times very loud & annoying. I would love for someone to have a real explanation for this or at least provide a link to a site with a definitive answer. Until then "Happy Hearing!"

Hearer Of Sounds Hearer Of Sounds
Oct '13

hi its good to see people pay attention or are capable os listening to these strange noises in my case it was Saturday afternoon was left alone in the living and i was starring at the tv watch a collage football game my friend left on i was about to change it then the image goes to the coach i guess nothing really happening in the background
i heard this weird muffled hum coming from the tv and then i turn back paid attention to i and like the secs slowed down i was able to hear like if somebody was trying to say something but muffled and it came from the tv but sounded sound did sound like it was apart from what was being displayed.

i have barely a 1month in the states came back from a long trip down in Central America it was really odd to listen to something like that.at first i felt fear it was awkward and its curious the fact that you guys mention sounds all being on live broadcasts. and even thou you have reported strange sounds they still can say what it is.

i dont think its the crowd causing that effect.

and the fact that its an old thread and people reporting this does anybody know what this is and why does it sound wierd? at first as all hear report i thought i was going crazy but i know i am a sane person my friend told me that he has heard of other people being able to listen to this strange noises from the live broadcasts so he wasnt stranged out but that he says not everybody listen to them like not alot of people notice them any updates would be nice this happened to me saturday afternoon on a cox cable box

steven00 steven00
Nov '13

Yes, me too! For the past two or three seasons, I have been hearing a couple of giant BONG . . . BONG noises at random intervals only during NFL games. If it were a real thing it would be a bell about 40 feet high being hit with a giant soft mallet. Sometimes it sounds like the horn of an extremely large cruise ship. My husband can't hear it. I have also asked Pats season ticket holders if it something generated at the stadium, but they just look at me like . . . well, you know.


Has anyone filed a complaint with the FCC? I think I will.

cactus93 cactus93
Jan '14

First off, our posts are describing different sounds. I know they are different sounds since the last few posts are about a horn or church bell sound...but I know the issue is actually with a weird phone ringtone or retro video game tone every few seconds...I just heard it on someone's tv for the first time watching nfl playoffs on fox. We put on the surround sound and it went away. The service is directv and I have verizon fios at my house (I don't hear it at my house). Amazing that networks/cable companies cant fix it. Keep the forum going everyone it's annoying but also interesting.

sportsmc3 sportsmc3
Jan '14

I am one of the unlucky ones who, for years now, has been able to hear these tonal annoyances... To me the compression explanation seems most reasonable - terrible that only certain people can pick up these sounds and others simply have no idea they exist!

I can't speak to those referring to bell ringing/donging sounds but anyone who has ever heard a "ring modulator effect" (included on some popular guitar effect pedal boards) will understand the noise most described on this page.

Luckily I'm not a huge baseball fan because, to me, those are the broadcasts where it is most prevalent. I do often hear it on football, hockey, talkshow, gameshow and even golf broadcasts too.

I suppose I've finally come to accept that this sonic pest is here to stay but it'd sure be great if SOMEBODY MADE IT STOP!!!!!!!!!!

Antlergotcha Antlergotcha
Jan '14

I have not heard these beeps/chimes in about a half year.


Oh Yes. I hear it constantly for the past 2 weeks. It started for me in march
Of 2014. About seven notes. a soft pretty chime But what is it ?
Its really annoying so much so that I checked my phone to be sure i hadnt put a new
Tone on anything , such as a notification. It wasnt that. I watch verizion
Vios tv. Would love to know why and what it is. Thanks for posting this By the way my dog
Barks each time we hear it. he is very sensitive to new sounds .

Marilyn J G Marilyn J G
Apr '14

I have Cox and the noise started today. I noticed when I was watching TLC and it showed that annoying Payless commercial where the lady is like "Razzle dazzle sparkle!" and the girls says "My mom does this every time we get new shoes." When the girl said every that's when the noise appeared, this was on my mom's TV so I thought it was just acting up because it's kind of old. Later they were showing a preview for that "Long Island Medium" show at the very beginning the dialing noise was there. I watched TV later and the noise wasn't there. But, right now I'm in the living room with my mom and they were showing some commercial and the noise appeared again! I thought I was going crazy!


I've been hearing on tlc for the last couple of days

Meg's Meg's
Apr '14

I did a search to see if anyone was hearing the same thing and found this. I notice it during commercials. Everything will pause for just a second like the broadcast freezes up, and there will be what sounds like a bunch of numbers dialing really fast.

Lana
Apr '14

I only hear it on TLC. No other channel on Dish Network. Gets aggravating after awhile.

Victoria Victoria
Apr '14

I have been hearing a dial tone on TLC since last week. Very annoying. Does anyone know for sure what it is?

Deborah Deborah
Apr '14

THEY LIVE WE SLEEP


So glad I found this. I have Time Warner cable in Los Angeles. We have been hearing what sounds like the first few tones of a dial-up modem/phone dialing sound on various films and movies. Is someone dialing into our TV? We have a sony bravia. We never watch lvie events and sometimes when we hear it, it is when we have DVR'd a show - it's showing up in the recording.

WHAT IS THIS NOISE???

It's happening on every cable provider, on vairous channels. Is the government aware that this is happening? I would think that if the cable providers are doing something to us, the representatives of this country would like to know? Maybe that's wishful thinking on my part.

Jordan Jordan
Apr '14

I noticed them numerous times on TLC as well, especially going from one commercial to another (My wife commandeers the TV and watches the duggars and the little couple). It sounds like a few rapid beeps. I think this may be different from the origin of this post talking about certain sounds only some people hear. I don't think there's anything special about my hearing and I'm sure everyone watching TLC could hear them.

Has anyone just called Comcast and asked them? I apologize for not reading through the whole thread. Pretty sure there's some mundane explanation..

lala
Apr '14

Ok I opened a ticket with Comcast and it is escalated - the first tech just did a cable box reset which did nothing :), waiting for a call back and will post back what I hear. It's happens here on a regular basis on TLC, but only during commercial breaks.

lala
Apr '14

Don't mind me bringing up old subjects, but whenever I watch football or "The Simpsons" on FOX and they show a commercial for Good Day New York, there's a beeping sound, like mentioned, from a 90's cell phone, at the beginning and end of the commercial. My wife thinks it's the transition live from nationwide tv to local tv, but I have a feeling it's supposed to go deep down with the classic attention-getter of a phone ringing so you watch the commercial. I have Comcast Cable.

Lngvly22 Lngvly22
Apr '14

I have AT&T Uverse, and don't hear it ever, consciously, anyways. Sometimes I recall over the past few years asking others in the room, "Uh, is the phone ringing?" and they say no. It sounds like an old 90's cell phone, or one of those old Tiger handheld games from the 90's.

I looked at that video of it on AMC... I might just be overreacting, but the sound evoked a feeling of fear in me, and made me feel very unsettled (Is that the right word? Shaken up, in other words.)

I've not heard it before, and I'm not hearing it now.

Here's some experiments for those of you who CAN hear it:
-Watch old TV shows, like Rhoda, Mary Tyler Moore, et cetera- are you hearing it?
-Watch children's shows like Spongebob and Sesame Street- are you hearing it?
-Watch DVDs and VHS tapes- are you hearing it?
-Write down what words or phrases you're hearing the noise around. I'm no conspiracy theorist, but this is no watermark, IMHO. It's sort of reminding me of Pavlov's dog, when I learned it in psychology class... The food, and the bell... He'd ring the bell then feed the dog. Then the dog knew the bell meant foodtime. Even months later, when he'd ring the bell, the dog would salivate (drool and lick its chops in hunger). Are they trying to do that to us about certain things? We're hearing it during applause the most, right? So maybe it's to make us applaud someone we don't really want to applaud. Just a thought.

Rick Roll
Apr '14

Every so often we receive a series of tones in rapid succession over the audio of our TV. It sounds very much like a telephone dialing about 7 tones or so in a matter of less than a half a second. It doesn't happen frequently and it catches me by surprise to take the time to study it to greater depth. I do have a life. LOL


This sound is annoying me.

I think this sound is added by the TV station to time sync all substation. We are not supposed to hear it. But may be do to compression or mistakes at cable TV providers we hear it.


Okay so about two weeks ago, I was watching a show and then all of a sudden the voices got really muffled and the "noise" that everyone on here is hearing came thru clear as day and way louder than it comes in, in the background. Then about 30 seconds later the audio was readjusted and it went back to normal. Finally I was able to show everyone watching with me what noise I have been hearing over the past 3 plus years! After reading all the posts on here it is not a localized thing, it is on every show on tv and on every tv provider. What I don't understand is why are the people on this little website the only ones talking about it, I mean I just googled it and this site is the only one talking about it. Are we just being stupid and all the tv providers know it does that and it's just going to do it forever, and it's not a big deal or what??

B man B man
May '14

Wife was complaining about the noise on FiOS. I went into Menu-Settings-Audio & Video -Audio -Audio Format and set it to Mono and the sound stopped during the US Open on NBC. YMMV


Everyone,

Keep in mind these extraneous background sounds are even coming through on my old analog VCR Receiver from TWC's Standard Analog service. So, it is not unique to just digital subscribers. My equipment has not changed for over 15 years of receiving this server. But, what TWC and the others are delivering has changed. Despite the CALM Act being in effect, TWC and Comcast are still broadcasting commercials much louder than the programming. Complaints to the FCC do no good as that is a sign they are corrupted along with rest of our government. It will be up to you consumers to get your State Attorney General's involve to combat the unlawful and suspicious activities of these rogue corps.

Local community cable group suggested that we, consumers, record these programs and signals with computer hardware to receive NTSC/ATSC/QAM signals and use some of the built-in utilities to help isolate these noises and loud commercials. The Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-950Q USB device was suggested to be used for this. The analyzed signal will be proof enough to hold the providers accountable with class action lawsuits. Don't bother with the FCC, they are completely useless. Maybe I can get some of these sounds graphically rendered to prove none of you are crazy.

Zac


I've been hearing the exact same thing and I'm watching Jurassic Park 1 on AMC right now...super annoying

Taylor Taylor
Jul '14

After reading the 3 years of comments here, it is common sense for these noises to be caused by whatever the technology is at this point. I contacted ALL the email contacts in the Nielson link in one of the above comments and am waiting to see what their reply is. If it happens on technology spanning tube tv, flat tv, analog, digital, fiber optic, cable and satellite then it is how the signal is sent, but remember not too many years ago they were completely moving from analog broadcasting to digital so those of you with analog hardware have to use digital converters right? That's how I understand it. It has to be answered by the developers of the latest technology and they know it's happening, but who can we ask? That's the $64K question.

jdh1969
Jul '14

This happened while I was in the hospital with a broken leg, I had eaten dinner, so I was then relaxing and watching TV, this happened several times during the night, there seemed to be this strange interference coming over the tv, it was almost like a phone was causing interference on the tv and it was very very strange, of course everyone thought I was crazy, but If I said it happened you can bet your last dollar that it did happen. I do NOT SEE or HEAR things nor do I halucinate.
The closest thing that I could relate this to would be either a radio frequency interference or possibly a cell phone interference with the television signal. It made the strangest noise you ever heard, if anyone can relate my story to your own, I would appreciate it if you could tell me what happened to you, in sharing these experiences we might be able to find out what this (interference) was. thank you AJS

Alan J Stutz Alan J Stutz
Aug '14

Some of us have better hearing than others. Sometimes it's a gift. I can hear when electronics are on versus when they are off, even if they have no moving parts other than a power switch. I can also hear that "anti-teenager" noise that some places broadcast to keep loitering at bay, and I'm in my mid-thirties.

Add this watermark sound to the list of annoyances that turn our gift into a curse.

Bobby Bobby
Aug '14

"it's not compression artifacts. I'm an RF and digital systems engineer and know what compression artifacts sound like, and these are not equivalent.

It's a cyclic, tone-repeating sequence. Sounds like an old 1970's/80's hand held LED game going off every few seconds. A compression artifact has a similar timbre, but is not cyclic/rythmic.

This is a signal that Fox is modulating in the carrier, intentionally. Trust me when I say that nothing in the public TV / broadcast arena gets through unless its put there intentionally.

You can hear it on playback DVR recordings of Terra Nova (Fox)"

i just found this thread. i've been hearing this for years. it's only within the live fox broadcasts. i've heard from satellite and cable broadcasts. i plan on emailing fox. wish me luck!!!

if that doesn't work, there's always aluminum foil!!!

buford buford
Sep '14

I found this thread by searching for the phrase "horns playing in background of live broadcast sports" I have been hearing it for quite some time and I know those around me would think I'm crazy except of the fact that they know I have unbelievable hearing. I've actually been tested and told that I can hear sounds just above the average human hearing. I hear it during live MLB and NFL games, drives me crazy. I have Comcast Cable, but have not called them. Figured it is was something in the signal that "most" people cannot hear. I took an old TV to be repaired because the loud tone coming from it gave me a headache, repairman said I was crazy, until he tested me. He told me that TV manufacturers usually modulate the tones coming from the TV above human hearing. I remember he charged me $100 to get rid of the noise. So what do I/we do now?

Bisbee Bisbee
Oct '14

We hear an irritating background noise on CBS programs. It happens between voice pauses. When two people are talking and there is a second or two pause it sounds like a busy street noise. Is getting really tiresome WTF? We have direcTV but is only noticing on some CBS programmimg.

Gilbert ercanbrack Gilbert ercanbrack
Oct '14

Heard a strange, repetitive noise during Giants/Cardinals NLCS fifth game telecast. It was difficult to pick out of the crowd noise, but it was definitely there, because even my girlfriend could hear it, and she usually can't hear things like that, even after I point them out to her. It was kind of a raspy ee-aw, ee-aw, ee-aw, over and over. I thought it was something coming from the PA at the ballpark, because it disappeared when a Cards pinch hitter was being announced, and then immediately returned, and it wasn't that the PA drowned it out, because the PA was hardly audible over the crowd noise.
I think I've heard this noise before, but I can't remember where.
Anybody else hear this? does this sound like the kind of noise others have described here?

Tom W Tom W
Oct '14

I get it during nhl games on csn I have fios cable

Jeff brick Jeff brick
Oct '14

Now Fox NFL has added a siren to the already irritating background horn.

Bob Stephens
Oct '14

Heard the noise a bit during the Notre Dame/ Florida State game Saturday night on ABC, Comcast cable, while the crowd was loud.

Tom W Tom W
Oct '14

Listen to it right now on fox during.the World Series.. Thought I was going nuts but once I pointed it out my girlfriend can hear it too.. Super annoying.. Someone needs to find the answer to this!

Rack Kris's
Oct '14

I can hear it when the crowd cheers during the 2014 world series games. It is so annoying. What is it? It is a pretty unexplainable noise too.

Gabriel Luna Gabriel Luna
Oct '14

I'm hearing the same ee-aw-ee-aw-ee-aw oscillation noise during World Series on Fox. NOT just a cable/satellite issue as I have broadcast reception. Must be a network problem. Very annoying.

Tom R. Tom R.
Oct '14

I agree. I just searched to see if someone else noticed it. It kind of builds tension. It may be on purpose.

Jackson Jackson
Oct '14

I haven't heard this sound before but during this year's (2014) World Series I've noticed that at various times the audio track containing crowd noise goes completely silent for a short period, and these short periods are often clustered together, like 2 or 3 of them in a row. It sounds to me like Fox broadcasts (at least) two independent audio tracks at the same time, because even if this relatively loud crowd background track cuts out completely, anyone talking from the booth (e.g., Joe Buck) can still be heard just fine even when the speaking "crosses the boundary" between the off-to-on or on-to-off of the crowd noise track. It's very unusual--enough to catch your attention if you're not paying full attention to the game. Much earlier in this thread, someone posted a description of audio/video compression which might explain the weird tone sounds--the explanation talks of "complex" sounds that are too difficult to compress and suggests what the technology in use might do in such a situation. I'm wondering if since that point some broadcasts--either intentionally or through improvements in technology have the ability, at least sometimes, to broadcast silence instead of funky tones when compression capabilities are exceeded. I'm intrigued but not impressed by government big-brotherish theories, and I'm only slightly more open to anti-piracy or Nielsen-gathering explanations. Compression weaknesses seems like the least sinister, least controversial, and therefore the most likely explanation. It would be nice though if someone a little more official and credible than us would come forward with a definitive answer.

Professor Ripster Professor Ripster
Oct '14

I have had to turn the channel from ESPN several times. I have excellent hearing and am quite sensitive to that annoying sound. To me it is a high pitched siren sound but my husband can hear it as well. If I turn the channel, the sound disappears. I have heard it a few times on other channels but can't remember which ones. Sometimes if I have suffered through a whole game (I love college football) I have an echo kind of effect that lasts a.little while similar to when I used to work at a resort and could hear that phone ring for at least 30 minutes after work. No aliens or black helicopters, just would like it fixed. At least I know it is not comcast.

carol reilly carol reilly
Nov '14

so its on all netsworks but ive noticed funding is a major contributing factor.
watch a 1950's movie on dvd , then watch it on demand youl notice they overlay the sound.
ive noticed this "mind controll sound" i figured it was a human behind it maybe promoting sales, im a curious guy so when i heard the sound i employed an experiment, id change the channel to scifi another network using said sound.
after changed it took less then 2sec for it to appear.
i changed back again to channel fx, 1sec then sound then changed to tnt same outcome.
but not the underfunded channels.
so now i try a fake out tactic it worked. no noise but i had to turn off tv on underfunded then back on then scifi. after i discovered this i could use human used words and auditory sound in unison to imply a makeshift morse code that the person whos behind this creepy sound.
heres where it gets interesting. i paused my efforts and noticed it eould instead of seaming like at random times make the sound, that i got a quick sound morse code back, scifi actor said hello at the same time sound commensed. again after other words. im not crazy try it out yourself. tv talks nuff said. just gotta b able to discern it making sound with not only words but when an actor smiles or turns head and looks directly into filming lense. i dont want to watch tv ever again.
sincerly. ghostisoffline

ghostisoffline ghostisoffline
Nov '14

ps its never the same sound, if you watch a rerun like i tryed they or it or the media plays at diffrent scenes or words.

ghostisoffline ghostisoffline
Nov '14

I have noticed this noise during Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune's applause. It is clear and obvious.

Dave D
Jan '15

Watching the Oregon Ohio game right now and found this thread. Driving me nuts, sounds almost like an automated anti-piracy buzz, only sounding the rythmic buzz when the crowd is loud. I think sometimes is messes up and plays immediately after a loud noise and you can hear it very easily in the quiet seconds following.

DJWholeMilk DJWholeMilk
Jan '15

I have heard in on many shows...its like a beep, beep, beep, dweep, dweep, beep, beep...kind of like someone dialing a phone. I have asked others here in Philly and they have heard the same thing. I dont have HD...maybe that is an issue? Do you guys that hear it have HD?

Tonydan Tonydan
Jan '15

optimum/cablevision here - never had the problem

5catmom 5catmom
Jan '15

I too have heard the 7 tone metallic sound played every four seconds on a lot of cbs live shows. Sports and awards shows mostly. This has happened for a few years now and is really irritating as most here have described. I have heard it on high def flat panel TV and ordinary cathode tube TV. Also thru surround speakers and the speakers that come with the T.V. I was watching the playoffs and had to search for an explanation and found this site which explained a few different reasons for this noise. Has anyone tried contacting one of the networks?

Greg D.

Greg Houck Greg Houck
Jan '15

I hear it on the Jimmy Kimmel Live show. ABC and Comcast cable. Flat screen 42 inch Toshiba TV with stereo only.

I also notice that the Jimmy Kimmel show's audio sounds like there may be a "monophonic phase compatibility issue" and the high frequencies are obviously not as good as they used to be and not as good as other late night shows on the other networks.
What I mean by that is that it sounds like what you hear when you mono an audio tape that has its head misadjusted. Then the same noises as is described here comes up just like explained... It does sound somewhat digital and I thought it was a cell phone ringing at first. Have noticed this for weeks now. I am guessing it's an ABC network feed problem. A lot of satellite uplink/downlink techs don't have a lot of audio knowledge and allow questionable practices to happen. I think this problem has something to do with that. May also be some kind of cross-talk within the facility but related to the show since it does appear to happen during times of high levels. Video broadcast has somewhat of a reputation for having bad audio so this is probably something we just have to live with, unfortunately.

boB Gudgel boB Gudgel
Feb '15

Im having the same trouble as well. It's distracting and terrible sounding. I hear it especially during SNL audience applause, and other late night shows when there's clapping. Gives me a headache.

Ron2554 Ron2554
Feb '15

Glad I'm not the only one. Hear it a lot on cbs especially during crowd applause. Drives you crazy one you realize it

Kyle7777 Kyle7777
Feb '15

This is Zac reporting back to everyone on this. I have managed to record programs (all movies) on my Time Warner Cable Standard Analog Service which has these anomalous tones. I have also recorded the sound as it is reproduced from my sound system. The time the tones are very prominent is when the movie comes to a scene where there is a very close set where people are close together with a quiet background and focused on spoken dialogue. This might be the same thing with sport and other events where there are commentators. Jurassic Park on the AMC channel is a very good example of what everyone here on this topic has been complaining about. Tones occur in the same scenes every time the movie is broadcasted. It would be great if I can upload the audio file of the sound. My theory is that it is something embedded in the sound track of the movies and events that is not getting filtered out.

Once I have all the recordings that I need, I will be working with the local Cable Counsel to analyze and identify the signal.


"Standard Analog Service" - No need. That explains it all as other posts have pointed out.


I have heard other peoples conversations while watching tv, sometimes I even hear my own name, it usually happens when there is a lot of back-round noise. I wonder if it is another satelite device that records sounds and then replays them in different homes. Is there a way to complain and report this to the proper authorities?

charity charity
Apr '15

I bet most of these posters hear voices when their TV is off

eapos eapos
Apr '15

I hear it a lot during playbacks of The Doctors A chime tone is a good way to describe it. I have Time Warner Cable. My husband says he can't hear it.( He must be the alien.)

Carmela999 Carmela999
Jul '15

Today is Sunday, July 26, 2015.

This morning, I decided to tune into a new television series (mini-marathon) on the USA network, called, Mr. Robot. I noticed that during the episode that aired from 10am-11am (est), I believe the title was called 'Hello Friend' that a low frequency sound played throughout the entire broadcast. It was so distracting to me, that I had to frequently mute the broadcast to determine whether or not the sound was coming from the broadcast or if it was coming from outside my open window. It was a repetitive, low note (I'm a musician, so on the piano, I would identify the note as probably G#2 or A2 - two octaves below middle C on the keyboard) that came as a double 'beep-beep........ beep-beep.......'. throughout the entire show. It was annoying, so much so that immediately after that particular show ended, I went to my computer to look up information on repetitive low frequency sounds and/or the effects of.... and I found several articles noting that the sounds cause or create a sort of hypnotic state. (Look up the article: "Low frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation of the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex transiently increases cue-induced craving for methamphetamine: A preliminary study". That scares the hell out of me. I found several other articles that state that the sounds can also cause stress, hypertension, etc.... and then I found your blog with the question you posed.

So now, I am thinking that these networks have resorted to using sound stimulation to cause people to become addicted to certain television shows, and broadcasts. When I think about it, I notice the same effect in movies (especially the George Clooney movie, the Ides of March, where that low bass sound played throughout the movie. The exact same bass track was used in the House of Cards series (Netflix), and also used in several Tom Cruise movies. I remember this because I liked the bass line (again, I'm a musician), but I wondered why it seemed to be the ONLY sound they played at EVERY climatic scene. For me it was distracting me because I'm attracted to music. My mind will deconstruct a song and isolate different musical parts.... so the frequency probably wouldn't affect me the way it would someone who isn't involved with music for a living. It also occurs to me that I've heard it in certain tv commercials for pizza, chicken, beverages, etc. I never thought about it until just now.

I'm typing on your blog, but my television is still playing the next episode of the USA network show, 'Mr. Robot' called, "Ones and Zeroes". There IS still a repetitive frequency playing throughout the broadcast, but not the same note as before. It's almost frightening to me that these networks and corporations could be using 'music' for malicious purposes.... So in answer to your question: YES, I hear it too. Watch the first USA broadcast that I mentioned and you'll hear it too. That one wasn't smooth at all, it was annoying... and probably causing that hypnotic, addictive effect that the article mentioned. Scary, right?

Key_Ley Key_Ley
Jul '15

Just saying, nothing of the sort is happening in Canada, at least with the previous cable provider I had for about 25 years and now on Bell Aliant FTTH (fiber optic) nothing of the sort happens here. It seems to be localized to the US...the american channels I have do not do this dial-up like thing. The only issue I ever noticed was when I was still on cable and I had a tv with cable directly plugged into it, no cable box in the basement, and the channels 3-12 were all too grainy to watch and TSN/RDS (sports channel up here) sometimes would scramble into green, yellow pixels for a few seconds during NHL hockey (Montreal Habs) broadcasts.

I'm also a musician with excellent hearing, I was much more bothered when NATO was having all those exercises up north in Labrador and coming to the AFB in my town for refueling, constantly in 2013, they were low flying and doing sonic booms back to Labrador right overhead of the city, which is effing retarded if you ask me. Others just acceped it as a new normal...thankfully the corrupt Labrador Conservative MP was taken out by a snap election due to well...corruption and these massively annoying flight trainings stopped when the Liberal candidate won. I watch very little TV though, but I watch all Montreal Canadiens games and watch the baseball World Series when a team I like (since the Expos are gone, we only get to watch playoffs baseball pretty much) is in (def not Yankees or Red Sox, teams that sucked in the 90's when I cared about baseball when Expos were an A+ team.

I'm surprised at how I can't find much at all about this issue you guys are reporting here, I ended up here because I looked up about something that happened to me when visiting a certain website, and only that particular website, 2 very low-ended CREEPY AS HELL tones would play randomly...that was before I turned my Firefox into an extremely secure browser with the correct add-ons. But obviously I didn't find anything about it and I don't even go to that website anymore.

Fluid Fluid
Oct '15

Fluid, you may also be interested in the "Ring around the moon thread"

eapos eapos
Oct '15

Hello everyone, I am hearing this noise during DWTS and AFV ABC TV broadcasts during cheering and laughing. But, also on my AM radio broadcasts of football games. I noticed it on the Dan Patrick show on AM 570 radio between 6 to 9 am, when he re-broadcast replays of touchdowns on NFL games from Sunday, you could hear it during the crowd cheering, especially the Raiders and Lions game. Both my TV and am radio are received over the air, and is NOT cable.

electek electek
Nov '15

I only hear it during Washington Capitals games on Comcast Sportsnet via Verizon Fios. Annoying as all hell.

Ben T Ben T
Dec '15

Wow. 5 years of this single problem and it is still not fixed!

James H James H
Dec '15

I first heard a strange tonal/cyclic pattern during Cards v. Tigers WS in 2006 on FOX over the airwaves, not on cable. I watched several games of that series on a 1990's box style TV completely sober. It appeared to be coming from the background/audience in attendance. I cannot say that it was digitally created, because those games were broadcast in analog before the 2009 switch to digital airwave broadcasting. I have heard similar patterns during NFL games since, again coming from the background/audience on a newer Sony flat screen TV over the past few seasons. It doesn't seem to be in every game. I have heard that some stadiums/teams enhance the audience sounds in attendance to make them appear to be louder or have more people in attendance, but I don't believe this is the same sounds coming across on the TV. Also, I have noticed that my local Fox radio affiliate is now broadcasting similar sounds during commercials and it is a regular occurrence and more annoying than the sounds coming from the TV. Again, I am completely sober when I hear these sounds. If it is digital compression, which I am not convinced that this is so, then why is nothing being done to limit it or stop it. Surely someone in the industry would have come forward by now. So, is it deliberate? I do not subscribe to contrails, big foot or UFOs, but this phenomenon is real.

Hank Williams Hank Williams
Dec '15

I have noticed this noise during live sporting events, mostly football both college and pro. Yesterday 1/2/16 during the arkansas kansas state game on espn a player was hurt and on the field for a long time. The game was stopped and the crowd was silent, You could here this sound clearly because there was no other sound being broadcast. I have always thought it was some kind of backround noise the network used to drown out any profanity the highly sensitive parabolic microphones might pick up.

chris preston chris preston
Jan '16

You all are in a quiet zone I think since I am watching fox on channel 31 using Directv in Denver area or similar. Every single snap of the ball in the past 25 minutes has the annoying ticking sound. I do realize it is to hype the play- click and create anticipation for every single snap. I myself believe this is just an opportunity for alternate audio sources to compete with the actual broadcast audio of each game covered by Fox sports


live in illinois its all over fox tv green bay game annoing

jim illinois
Jan '16

I hear it on some programs, not others. Tonight it was bad on Madam Secretary but Downton Abbey on next was perfectly OK . . . CBS from ComCast. Why doesn't the resonsible party/system/etc fix it? I've been hearing it for maybe two months off and on.

Howard P Lindberg Howard P Lindberg
Jan '16

I have been hearing it on multiple channels with Cox cable here in Virginia. Not limited to live events. I have heard it on Epix, History, HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, Fox, Discovery... I have noticed it for over a year now!! it will be gone, or I forget about it, then it returns!

Bryan Bryan
Feb '16

These are artifacts from the watermark that is used by Nielsen Ratings and the Personal People Meters that measure what people are watching/listening. Nielsen families used to write their listening habits in a journal. Now they wear a pager-size device that acts as electronic ears and reports on the unique watermarks that it 'hears.' This watermark signal was actually 'reformulated' in late October 2015 which has led to more audible watermarks in TV and Radio.

It's no coincidence that they're most audible during live broadcasts - sport events, especially during awards shows. The sound of applause is interpreted by the watermarking equipment essentially as white noise (static), which is a difficult group of frequencies to hide the watermark in. That's when it kind of bubbles up to the surface.

Folks with poor high frequency hearing may never even hear it. Folks that can hear it are driven to distraction by it. But turning the watermark signal down puts networks in a position to lose ratings (quieter watermarks = reaching fewer PPM devices), so it's all but guaranteed that it will never get quieter.

PBeagle PBeagle
Feb '16

Started noticing this months ago during MLB games on AM radio (KNBR). Nasily echoey"waa waa...waaa waaa................waaa waaa waaaa waaa........waaaa waaaa waaa. after louder cheers or constant louder talking.

Also on re-broadcasts of games on the internet.

It's truly annoying and my solution is TURNING THE VOLUME LOW . The use of the devices that capture this data apparently requires a volume to be relatively loud............yeah no thanks.

George Bailey George Bailey
Apr '16

My boyfriend and I have the baseball game on the radio right now and this incessant background noise is making me so uncomfortable that I actually had to leave the room. He hears it also and, no, we are not drunk, etc... I tried googling it & this is the only site with relevant information. The only other thing that came up was noise from vuvuzellas and it's definitely not that. We're both hearing a constant oscillating"dee doo dee doo dee doo" sound over and over that is endless. We both have slight hearing damage from working in extremely loud nightclubs in the past too. I can't recall ever hearing this noise years ago. Why would the networks allow a sound that would cause people to actually turn off a game to occur? It sounds counterproductive.

Maryanne R Maryanne R
Apr '16

Heard it last night on directv nbc channel during nhl hockey game. Now at work hear it during NBA game on tnt comcast cable.

Virginia Virginia
Apr '16

I believe now after all the responses above that the things that i am hearing from live TV is actual. I didn't know just how to describe it except it happens about every 3 seconds and it almost sounds like an old Atari game from a high to low tone. I live in California and hear it there. I am on the East coast and i hear it here. It has gotten to the point in these NBA playoffs that i cant concentrate on the actual game. If there is any moment of silence i hear it loud and clear. I have heard it on the Golf channel, TBS, ABC, CBS, NBC, and TNT. I have heard it on old TV's and also new TV's. The TV i am watching right now is about 8 years old and i still hear it. There has to be something in the broadcast that makes this sound but it is deterring me from wanting to watch the shows that i enjoy the most. Is there any answer as to how to stop this? If so please let me know.
Thanks

MShadbolt MShadbolt
Apr '16

I can remember hearing this noise at least back as far as 2002 when watching football. My boyfriend and I would jokingly say "there goes Big Ben again." I don't think I've heard it during anything but football (and just a minute ago.) Only several times during the broadcast.

adrienne haines adrienne haines
Nov '16

I've heard these "dial tones" during show on different stations. These tones are loud and overpowering and obnoxious. And I've heard them during commercials.

So far I've heard only two explanations (save for the aliens).

1. this is a compression issue
2. this is a tone that is be piped threw intentionally.

One of the poster gave his credentials as industry worker so I'm incline to believe that his explanation is the most plausible - that is this is not compression, but instead - tones that are being intentionally piped threw.

He never gave a reason why, but several other post suggested that it was a "watermark". There is no evidences given to support this, but the explanation does sound plausible.

But the problem of with the "watermark" explanation is that I've heard these tones during commercials. But certainly this doesn't mean that this couldn't be a "watermark".

Also, it has only been recently that I've notice these tones.... or maybe they have become so much more frequently, that I am noticing them. Also, I'm hearing the tones on non-live broadcast.

booger booger
Nov '16

I've heard it during many NFL Games, not all. Did not watch emmy's. Watching Packer vs Falcons in playoff, and it's on and off. My guess is a cameraman has a cellphone that's always ringing so when he is cued up you hear the noise. Very annoying to me, but my wife cannot hear it. It appears some people cannot pick it out of the background.

matthew rector matthew rector
Jan '17

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