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jm25
Occasional Poster

Re: Mad Men season 7 - audio pitched up, playback speed problem?

I just thought maybe I should do a little research on how 24fps content is usually dealt with in a 25fps environment. It looks like I jumped a bit too quickly to my conclusion, sorry!

 

This link implies that 24fps content is indeed usually sped up to fit the 25fps environment - but it implies that the pitch of the sound is corrected, which does not appear to be happening on NOWTV.

So some people in UK TV got together and decided they would just have to do the obvious – speed the film up 4%. So a 100 minute film would take 96 minutes to air. And that’s how the solved the problem. They also speed up the sound but correct any changes in pitch.

 

https://letsfixitinpost.wordpress.com/2012/08/23/if-you-film-in-24fps-how-do-you-show-it-in-25fps-or...

 

So my question is - why not correct the audio pitch?

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NOW TV Team Mary-E
NOW TV Team

Re: Mad Men season 7 - audio pitched up, playback speed problem?

@jm25 I can only assume (as I don't work upstream loading the content on to the platform) that the decision was taken not to correct the audio pitch as the difference was so little? A few of us have reviewed the episodes side by side with Netflix and even listening specifically for the difference we couldnt hear it. 

 

I will pass your message along, if I get a more satisfactory response or justification I'll let you know! 

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Feel free to tag me in content related queries!
GaryL
Regular 2

Re: Mad Men season 7 - audio pitched up, playback speed problem?

this topic had me intrigued so I decided to listen for myself, unfortunately I can’t hear the difference.  It sounds identical on netflix and Now TV to my old ears, sorry.

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cotn255
First Poster

Re: Mad Men season 7 - audio pitched up, playback speed problem?

I think I'm going insane. I joined for a free trial to continue where I left off from Netflix and found that the pitch was OBVIOUSLY slightly higher. Anyone who's watched the show should be able to tell. Hate to whine but it's just frustrating.

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hicksy
First Poster

Re: Mad Men season 7 - audio pitched up, playback speed problem?

Same problem here. It's NOT a 24fps vs 25fps issue.

 

If it were, the running time would be 24/25 of the 48 minutes listed on IMDB, which would be 46 minutes. As it is, it's 39 minutes, so it's playing far, far, too quickly.

 

@Mary-E can someone fix this? It's definitely a problem your end, and it's not 24/25fps issue as you previously stated.

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NOW TV Team Ian-H
NOW TV Team

Re: Mad Men season 7 - audio pitched up, playback speed problem?

Hi, 

 

We've checked again and unfortunately we can't hear a difference on our side. The content checkers have verified and told us there's nothing to be fixed on the episodes that needs fixing.  Just to clarify is the issue relating to a specific device or episode? None of the episodes we can see have a runtime of 39 minutes

 

cassmn
First Poster

Re: Mad Men season 7 - audio pitched up, playback speed problem?

Sorry to revive a dead topic but I just wanted to say, I notice this when watching Elementary as well and it drives me NUTS. The characters sound like chipmunks to me and Netflix doesn't have the new season yet which is why I'm on NowTV. Quite a frustrating issue.

I would say I wouldn't necessarily have known that something is wrong if I had always watched it on NowTV, but where it becomes immediately obvious to me is when I try to hum along to the theme tune.

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ChrisWoods
Occasional Poster

Re: Mad Men season 7 - audio pitched up, playback speed problem?

It will either be the way the episodes were provided to Sky, or the way that Sky have ingested the US-format raw files for UK playout. Basically, the episodes have been provided or ingested as the wrong frame rate, without any standards conversion.

What you're hearing is known as "PAL speedup". It happened a lot on old films, not so much these days as post-production houses (if they're good) will do the standards conversion on behalf of the 25 fps market.

Whereas the UK and many other countries use 25 fps as their TV standard, the US works at 29.97fps. US films for TV are rendered out at 23.976 and then 'telecined' to add duplicate frames at particular points every second as 'filler' to produce 29.976 fps for TV.

Likewise, many drama series are produced at 23.976/24 fps as they're shot on film or UHD.

 

A badly done standards conversion by the US studio will simply speed up the frame rate, then speed up the audio track accordingly to match the duration. This causes the pitch increase you're hearing. Alternately, if Sky (or whoever is doing the ingest of files for their on-demand platform) is converting the files incorrectly, they will be mistakenly importing the videos as 25 fps when in fact they're 23.976 fps.

This has happened for years and can often be heard on DVD releases for the UK market. Sadly lots of shows on Sky, including season 1 of Westworld, have this problem. Sometimes the US studios do pitch correction when converting 23.976 to 25 fps but they do it very badly, making the audio very grainy/metallic and incredibly annoying.

 

There's nothing wrong with your TV, your NOW TV box or any part of your system - it's purely because the episode has been produced incorrectly for the UK market. Complain to Sky enough, they may seek a corrected version from the US studio. Probably not though. Try also complaining to the US studio that it's being broadcast incorrectly in the UK. Good luck.

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ChrisWoods
Occasional Poster

Re: Mad Men season 7 - audio pitched up, playback speed problem?

Hi @Ian-H, the episodes people are complaining about have either not been standards converted correctly (if Sky just ingests the files direct from the distributors), or they have been incorrectly standards converted by Sky if you handle this part of the process. The pitched up audio is a telltale sign. The files will have good integrity but won't technically be correct when compared to the originals.

If you are simply ingesting what you've been delivered, you need to feed this back to the US/UK distributor as a technical fault with the episodes as delivered.

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