posted on Dec, 30 2008 @ 11:37 PM
I'm new to this forum, I've been reading for awhile, this is an issue I wish to chime in on.
I've worked in both radio(Cumulus Media) and TV(Fox Television) and make my living as a live sound technician. Now, I'm not an authority on this
issue but I have much personal experience. This can be caused by various bottlenecks I'd like to share. First off, it is the video that is out of
sync and not the audio.
1. Broadcast or Cable? Broadcast TV received over the air should not experience this problem. On the other hand if you are watching cable/satelite(or
broadcast TV over cable) than this can occur at several places.
Most cable stations have been around along time, they are just now upgrading to high def. Even if you don't receive the channel in high definition,
it is probably being recorded in it. Now, think about using an old computer with a new video card, you double click on a website, the video card can
instantly render it, but it takes a second, why? Cause it is waiting on the CPU/Ram to pass it the information to render...hence, your speed is
"bottlenecked" or limited by the slowest component.
These new high def. broadcasts/recordings not only have to pass through the broadcast station, but to your cable company, all the routers, all the way
to your home. Well...
The new "high def audio" does not have significantly higher bandwidth requirements...the video does. As everything is digital now, somewhere in the
chain some device is having trouble passing all the video at the same speed of audio. This does not occur all the time but rather when the demands on
the system exceed a certain minimum level, thus causing intermittent loss of sync. It could be too many people tuning into a channel, or too much
electrical draw from someone flipping on another device in the same rack. It is basically identical to you waiting on a slow web page to load, and
hitting refresh and it suddenly loads, bottleneck on some part of the interwebs network.
2. From radio I've learned a little about delays. Now adays all broadcasts do have a delay. I don't know about the TV station but the radio station
was 4 seconds, the rack unit that created this delay was adjustable up to 12+ seconds. This was hooked up to a cartoonish red button that was called
an "Oh Sh*t" button (literally labeled as such).
If you pressed it(I did in the case of a couple of profane callers on our live broadcast), the unit would cut out the last 4 seconds, and time stretch
what was currently broadcast up to the present, and quickly refill the buffer. The audience would typically never know. It is truly a freakish piece
of technology, once you know you have heard it you will quickly learn the sound, so when your listening to (insert current shock jock) and it suddenly
goes ahead in conversation on a "live" broadcast, you know what happens.
Yes you are seeing delay, but I doubt it is conspiratorial as much as it is technological. BUT, who knows.
Just felt like sharing and meeting everyone.