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That annoying sound that the TV makes

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Eli M., Jul 5, 2005.

  1. Eli M.

    Eli M. Life's like a movie, write your own ending

    Jul 24, 2004
    New York, NY
    All my life I've been able to hear a high frequency hum coming from TV sets. It was the way I could always tell whether my father had the TV on in the bedroom and I could hear it all the way on the other side of the house. Now I've been noticing that I can hear it coming from my grandpa's TV - downstairs, across the hall, and with the door closed. I hear it even when I can't hear the program he's watching.

    I always thought everyone could hear this sound, but I recently mentioned it to my mom and she said she can't hear it, and my grandpa can't hear it either (they both have good hearing). Am I the only one? Try putting on your TV set and muting the sound - you may hear a very high frequency hum coming from the TV. It's not loud and it's rarely annoying - it's just present and persistent.

    I've always been sensitive to high frequencies - when someone sets a digital timer and it starts beeping, I have to hold my ears until it stops, even if it's not that loud or that high. I've naturally chosen the musical instruments that play chords and/or basslines - high violin or flute parts bother me. And in my Electronic Music class last semester, we heard some things where I had to wear earplugs but the high frequencies didn't bother anyone else.

    So back to my original question, am I the only one who can hear that sound coming from the TV?
  2. I swear I'm the only one in my family that can hear it too. My mom always tells my dad to turn the TV off in their bedroom before the cable box to make sure he gets the TV off...well he never does and says he got the TV off, but I can hear right away if he did or not because of that hum. It has become helpful with the fact that in both their room and the dining room (where we have the digital cable boxes) I can tell if I need to waste time hitting "TV" "Power" twice (for if it was already on) or once for if it is off. Oh the joy of saving a second of my life.

    But hearing this easily might be the reason that I'm the only one in my band that has to wear earplugs if our guitarist is showing us a riff and its only him playing w/ his amp on the loudness that we practice with or half of it. I have to ask him to turn it way down so I can take them out.
  3. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    I can hear it most times, too. It's good to know that I haven't killed my hearing that much yet.
  4. Corbis

    Corbis Guest

    Feb 19, 2003
    Wamego KS
    Yes I can hear it too!

    I use to think I was imagining it.
  5. Basshole

    Basshole Banned

    Jan 28, 2005
    That sound you speak of is 15 KHz. I can hear it.

    In terms of upper range hearing much beyond that, I have a bit of a hole at about 18 K where things maybe aren't as easy to hear, and then I can "perceive" high frequencies very well once again at about 20 KHz (mostly as discomfort/pain).
  6. Timbo


    Jun 14, 2004
    I hear that all the time too.. ANNOYING.
  7. AuG


    May 22, 2005
    Fort Collins, CO
    Try having your computer right next to the tv, like I have mine, and tell me what you hear. :D The computer hum is persistent, but the tv is not.

    Now you've got me straining to hear that noise from the tv....

    Oog :)
  8. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    Too many Metallica/Motley Crue/Guns 'n Roses concerts for me, I don't hear it. I even went out to my TV room and listened real hard for it before I posted this reply.

  9. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Depends on the TV for me.
  10. Sonorous


    Oct 1, 2003
    Denton, TX
    I hear it.

    Unlike the others though, high pitch noises don't hurt my ears any.
  11. I always hear it. My friend used to come over and play video games (on the aux channel, which is black but the tv is still on) and he would never turn off the tv. I would hear the annoying hum and shut it off for him every time. I can also hear my dad watching tv across the house just by the hum.
  12. simpy1


    Mar 31, 2005
    New Zealand
    Some TVs or CRT monitors are worse than others. And generally people lose the really high pitched range of their hearing as they get older, so lots of older people don't hear it.

    In our chem labs we have ultrasonic baths...if anyone has ever heard one of those then it is five times worse than a TV - it actually makes my eyes water, it just hurts!
  13. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    I hear it, too.
    I also hear some more high-pitched freqs that noone else hears.
    Annoying as hell. Good thing bass is soothing :cool:

    Playing around with freqs, I found out I can hear up to 20kHz.
  14. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    I can hear it - I remember hearing it as a little kid, and thinking I was some kind of boy genius because I could tell if the TV was on while being in a different part of the house. :D
  15. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    Vertical hold occillator...right around...15.7k

    Good ears. It is annoying.
  16. DrSmaggs


    Oct 15, 2003
    Endorsing Artist:
    yeah I can hear it too... thankfully... flat panel monitors don't make that noise!
  17. keb


    Mar 30, 2004
    Haha, I think I felt the same way when I was a kid.

    I still hear it, and it drives me nuts. Well, just when the volume's down or the DVD player is on pause or stop or something. My wife has a bad habit of stopping the DVD player but not turning off the TV, and I can hear the TV whining away from the other room. Our upstairs TV is worse (maybe because it's older.)
  18. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Yeah LCD monitors don't make that noise, but 4 fans in the pc housing make another kind of noise, that is not pleasant, either ;)
  19. Maverick Blues

    Maverick Blues Being a Thumper is all about ATTITUDE!

    Apr 28, 2005
    Richmond, VA
    Not to be pedantic (well, maybe), but the vertical rate's more like 59.94Hz. That's why if the filter caps in old line-frequency supplies start going bad, you get this bend that crawls up the screen; it's the beat between the vertical frequency and the 60Hz line.

    What you're thinking of is the horizontal sweep, which is at about 15,734Hz (if I recall correctly 15,750 for black and white). So, anybody who can hear out to 16KHz or so can pick it up. And yeah, definitely annoying.

    (The above applies only to plain vanilla NTSC. Once you get into PAL, digital, hi-def, computer monitors... all bets are off.)

    I used to be able to clearly hear that whine when I was younger. As I got older it was less a distinct tone and more of just a "presence" -- I was aware of it and could tell a TV was on, but I couldn't distinguish the actual note itself.

    These days (pushing 50) I have mild high-frequency tinnitus so my internal oscillators kill any chance I might have of hearing the TV's. :meh:

    As I get older I seem to be developing increased sensitivity in the upper midrange (or maybe I'm losing both top and bottom ends and the ear/brain's cranking up overall gain to compensate). This Spring, while out walking past a swampy area in the evening, the darned tree frogs and crickets were so loud it was almost painful. I doubt they've turned their volume up over the years so it must be me.

    And the guys wonder why I jam ER20's in my ears every time we get together to play! :rolleyes: (In fact I've been pretty careful with my ears all along so the whole tinnitus thing is kind of surprising. And yeah, I have an audiologist visit scheduled...)

    Anyway... annoying it may be, but if you can hear it, smile... your ears are still working pretty good out to about 16KHz. Take care of 'em and keep it that way! :)

  20. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    It's the aliens trying to communicate with you, and they're getting unhappy that you're not responding.

    (Go get a flat panel!)

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