Channel 4's High Pitch tone

Dave Taylor

Established Member
Oct 7, 2001
Reaction score
High Wycombe, Bucks
Is it just me or has anybody else notice a high pitch tone during some of Channel 4 program’s. About 3kHz

It has been in the background of a couple of films and in Ally Mcbeal last week.

I thought it might have been my equipment but I don’t get it on other channels and during Ally the tone disappeared during all the ad breaks and then returns during the program.
Do you notice it on US shows?
It might be some noise on the audio thats being pitch shifted into audible range or something by the 4% speed up.

I have this too and is distracting. It baffles the hell as to why it's doing it. And as the above haven't got it, could it possibly be a regional area-specific thing? It's one of those annoying sods that you can tilt your head to avoid your ears picking it up - osteopath...
Typical that C4 can sort the ads out but not their prog's:rolleyes:
May some of us can't hear it because we can't hear a 3khz signal .... your hearing gets worse as you get older you know :(
I first noticed this about six weeks ago watching Six Feet Under on Channel 4 using Sky+. After you've heard it for the first time it becomes really difficult to ignore.

Well, at least I know now that it isn't my AV kit that's faulty :eek:

Time to look for Channel 4's email address...
I am amazed and impressed.

I phone Channel 4 yesterday to mention this noise, unfortunately I could not get through to an engineer so I had to leave my message with the lady on the enquiry desk.

I have just received a phone call from Channel 4 stating that they can also hear the tone and are currently investigating where the noise is entering the system.

I got the impression that they may not have been aware of the problem until my call.

I was impressed that they phoned me as I did not request a call but just left my number in case they needed any further information etc.
Right, I'm off to see my GP about a hearing test :D

I still can't hear it - maybe it doesn't affect my region....
Cool !

Let us know if they get back to you with an explanation / solution / excuse / whatever.

I tried the email feedback on the Channel 4 web site but it said they may take six weeks to reply...
Yes, it's particularly noticeable when it stops, at the advert breaks and when the program finishes.
I 've only heard it through Sky or Skyplus+ .......hardly watch normal aerial or DTT.
I just received a reply to the email I sent to Channel 4 a month ago.

Subj: RE: channel4.comment - All Six Feet Under/Ally McBeal - RESPONSE REQUIRED
Date: Thu, 3 Oct 2002 08:56:48 British Summer Time
From: Viewer Enquiries <[email protected]>
To: **********

I can assure you that there have been no such problems with transmission at Channel 4, I would suggest that you contact Sky as they deliver your pictures and sound.


***** *****
Information Officer

-----Original Message-----
From: **********
Sent: 05 September 2002 09:57
To: [email protected]
Subject: channel4.comment - All Six Feet Under/Ally McBeal - RESPONSE

Ronnie Brown has sent this you this email:
All Six Feet Under/Ally McBeal

I've really enjoyed watching Six Feet Under on Channel 4 but I've noticed a high pitched tone or noise that is present in the background throughout the show (although not during the advert breaks).

I thought it may have been some problem with my AV setup but then I noticed other people were having the same problem with Ally McBeal

I'm watching it on Sky+ with the sound sent optically to a Meridian 568 processor.

It would be excellent if this problem could be solved.

Thanks for your help.

Ronnie Brown
Poor resonse to your e-mail but typical.

I phone BBC to complain about Parky not being in W/S, the answer I was given is "that they do not have enough equipment to boradcast everything in W/S" yeah right I can think of the real reason its not in W/S

Back to the C4 tone I did not notice it in last weeks Ally.

Maybe they have found the problem.

Anyone from Channel 4 care to comment ?
I really can't hear it on DTTV so I suspect Ch4 are probably right and it is a problem with Sky's encoding of the stream.
Squirrel God, Please read all of the thread,

You will see that it is on DTT and C4 told me that they can hear it too. But I could not hear it last wekk on DTT.
Thank god it's not my av equipment, I noticed it about a month ago, thought it was my pace box. Didn't twig it was only CH4.
Maybe they wanna speed SFU up because it runs for 58 mins on HBO and by the time C4 has tagged it with X amount of ads it takes up 80 mins of the schedule.
Just to add another little thing..... the sound level of the channel as a whole seems to be louder than the other 4..... anyone else notice that one? or is it my tv?
Originally posted by Dave Taylor
Squirrel God, Please read all of the thread,

You will see that it is on DTT and C4 told me that they can hear it too. But I could not hear it last wekk on DTT.
I have been keeping up with the whole thread regularly, but I really can't hear anything on DTTV.
Via DSAT, I think Channel 4 is much over-compressed on DSAT. Anything involving dark screen action turns to pixellated pulp. Yesterday's, "Alias" looked awful.

In contrast five seem to have much higher bandwidth allocation and consequently superior picture quality.
It was a very very low level signal; you would only hear it if you had the volume cranked up.

Like I said I did not pick up on it last week so perhaps they found the source of the noise.

As you read through the thread you will see that they had reduced the noise a few weeks ago.

I first noticed it on DTT about the same time I got a new AV amp so my first thoughts was that it was the amp, but what gave it away was that the tone disappeared during the Ad breaks

I will have another listen when I next watch something decent on C4 and report back.
It has come and gone and returned and gone so...
Hum, Six Feet Under is on tonight so we'll see as this is usually a victim.:mad:
I've been away from home a lot over the last month, now I'm catching up on things recorded.
Today watched all four episodes from past four weeks of White Teeth off C4 Skyplus+...
1st episode.....very noticeable tone.
2nd episode .....about the same.
3rd episode......tone there but much reduced
Final episode......seems to have gone.....


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