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The TOTEM Poll: Totally Off Topic, Everything Media
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Old May 17th, 2003, 05:08 PM   #1
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Audio What!!!

Gotta tell ya this story.

I was tuned into my local PBS station to watch a doc on Arizona and Wildlife.

The sound was "crap". This was a "pro" production.

I didn't tune to listen to music over narration. I just had lots of problems hearing what the guy was saying. That damn music was so loud.

A good doc doesn't need much background audio (noise).

Their audio was a "pro" out of CA. When I to see this again, I will record it and/or at least tell ya all the name of the company that did the audio and of course the name of the show.

It suucked. What is PBS coming tooooo?
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Old May 17th, 2003, 05:49 PM   #2
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Maybe they looked past the poor audio over the good content/story? But I have to agree, PBS has gone downhill over the last few years----probably due to less funding.
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Old May 17th, 2003, 06:06 PM   #3
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I really know little about how PBS's production model and guidelines operate. As an occasional viewer it seems to me that the big shows, such as those produced by WGBH, have retained their high standards for production and editorial values. But other locally selected programming (WTTW, Chicago) seems like an odd smattering of content and quality. I haven't seen anything on PBS here that I'd really call amteurish (like the rubbish that appears on our local cable access channels).

I do know that PBS and its affiliates are struggling to survive. They seem to rattle their cups with greater frequency, and collect less with each such annoying campaign, than ever before. I think that WTTW's (Chicago) incessant begging and their geriatrically-targeted program selections during these fund raisers (how many "Peter, Paul and Mary Reunions" can anyone stand?) have really thinned their audience. Chicago's PBS management, however, seems entrenched and deaf to criticism.
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Old May 17th, 2003, 06:08 PM   #4
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Content

Frank,

Exactly! The content was great. But wow! What a disaster.

Ya, PBS is going down. Since the News Hour was bought out, it seems that the whole system has failed the viewers.

Also, yes, Bush has reduced the funding for PBS.

A good rag to read is Governement Video. They tell the story of Bush's fuding for the industry (not just PBS).

Oh Well....
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Old May 17th, 2003, 06:38 PM   #5
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I just signed on to do the scenery for a concert to be broadcast by PBS that's being produced by the local affiliate, WHYY. We did a site visit at the theatre a week ago and they picked locations for 7 HD cameras. Also discussed the audio (using some jargon I'd never heard ;-) but evidently it's a state of the art 24-bit system. But then again, this is a concert which they will later hope to release as a DVD and CD. I've got to tell you, if this station is "struggling" you would never know it to see their new facilities and equipment! Of course, things are a little rough in the arts generally speaking, considering the state of the economy.

Different kind of fun project for me... am anxious to see all the high tech gear they'll be using. Actually, I should be working on my design right now instead of hanging out here! ;-)
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Old May 17th, 2003, 10:42 PM   #6
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Boyd,
Yes, I think WHYY is one of the other successful PBS affiliates, as I've seen several of their productions...very high-grade stuff. I think you're in for a gee-wizzer!
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Old May 17th, 2003, 11:15 PM   #7
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I used to work in broadcast, and the station I worked at would sometimes get the audio screwed up pretty good during the broadcast part. Many programs are also copied by the station before broadcasting (tape could be in wrong format, length etc.). An error could have occurred in either part and caused poor quality audio to be broadcast for just that particular program.
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