High-Frequency TV Noise

Our TV has seperate remote controls for the TV and for the cable; if you turn the cable off, the TV will go black and devoid of relevant noise, but it will still be technically on. And emitting the most awful, irritating, grating high-frequency screech. That nobody in my house other than me can discern. So, while I stress the importance of turning the TV off, they have no real reason to remember to, because they don’t hear the squeal of Satan every time they forget.

Is anyone else aware of and sensitive to this noise? Am I crazy?

You’re not crazy. I have the same problem, even when the cable TV is on, I hear a very high frequency noise at the upper range of my hearing. I can tell if the TV is on from another room in the house, even if it’s on mute. Hell, I used to be able to discern if the TV and a console game was on, or if it was just the TV, even if both were muted. I can deal with it most times, but sometimes it will really set my teeth on edge.

Hubby can’t hear it. Nor can he hear dog whistles, which I have no problem hearing (hate, hate, hate them).

It’d be interesting to find out if a medi-doper can explain why I can hear the dog whistles, when I’ve got permanent tinnitis and diminished hearing in one ear from an accident with a christmas cracker a few years back…

There are several things in TVs that can cause the high frequency “whine”, but probably the most common is the horizontal flyback transformer, which runs at a frequency (for USA TVs) of just under 16,000 Hz.

Because of the high frequency, children can usually hear it more easily than adults, and women more easily than men.

I used to be able to hear it easily. Some televisions are worse than others, but I almost always could hear it if I was very close to the set, or had the back off, or that set was particularly loud.

However, one thing I’ve noticed in the last decade or so is that my high frequency hearing has dropped off. I don’t think I can hear over 14,000 Hz or so anymore. Maybe less.

So take heart. As you get older, it will probably go away.

I used to be able to tell from outside of a house if there was a tv on inside from the high-pitched whine. I think my upper frequency has fallen off enough that I don’t notice this anymore. Isn’t aging grand?

I can hear that sound also. Thankfully, the power button on DirecTV turns off the TV, and not just the satellite box, so I never usually have to deal with it.

I could also always sense a TV as a youngster by the high frequency. I still can tell when a TV is turned on somewhere. My experience has never really been auditory, it is more of a physical sensation… a certain “high brightness” in my head.
I always imagined it as being analogous to “spidey sense”, or at least I’ve always imagined that’s what Spiderman might experience.

I can hear this too, depending on the TV. Usually older ones do it. It drives me up the wall. And I have tinnitus, too, just not at 16 KHz.

I hear it as well.

Along with a plethora of other things which normal folk don’t seem to be able to hear.

This seems much easier to bear, however, than the plauge which my son lives with - he can SMELL everything. Ew.

He says everybody’s breath stinks. No wonder he’s such a picky eater. Poor boy.

Me too. Back in the day when I was very young the Atari 2600 was new, and the local K-Mart had the 50 game demonstration model in the store. The first day it was out my father and I went there for something and I heard something that I had never heard before. I noticed it grew in intensity as I got closer to it and I tracked it all the way to the source, whereupon I commenced to playing the demo version of the games for the next hour.

That was the first time I noticed it, or rather remember noticing it. Now when I walk into an electronics store it drives me nuts if I let it.

Plenty of people can hear it. Back in the nineties, there were brands of computer monitors known for this problem.

You may be crazy in some way unrelated to this.

If you want to prove to other people that you really are hearing the noise, I recommend a test. Agree on a number of trials. Go to a room where you cannot hear the click of the television being turned on and off but can still hear the whine. Have somebody anounce ‘number one, number two, etc’ and either turn the television off or on. They should be careful to be sure whether it really is off. They record whether the set was on or off for each trial. You record (based on whether or not you can hear the whine) whether or not the set was on for each trial. This should convince them that you are really are hearing the television whine and not just being a jerk about a minor detail.

I have this, too. It really isn’t a blessing all the time - other people smell too strongly for me all the time - perfume, cologne, smoking, feet, eugh. I’m not a picky eater, though - my enhanced sense of smell enhances my sense of taste, too - I love food.

Too bad my eyes aren’t as sharp as my sense of smell.

Apparently, I also love hyphens.

I noticed that…I have the same fascination with ellipses…

Yes, I occasionally…dabble in ellipses also.

This is one of the reasons why I have a soft spot for, or at the minimum, sympathy and a shared experience with the true tin foil hat contingency. I actually argued for the logic of the tin foil hat solution and its donners in a GD thread, long ago. I have no idea if there is an effective physical shield for this kind of HF thing… would metallic shielding simply amplify this phenomenon?
There really is a lot of this electronic background pollution all along the EM spectrum that at least some people are sensitive to. Minimally, It can be disorienting or annoying and in the extreme, as Airman Doors said, “It can drive you nuts…”

I think we should add this tin foil hat smiley to our list, it cracks me up!

Yes!! Exactly what I feel when a TV is on!

I’ve gotten up in the middle of the night before to hunt down and shut off whichever TV has been left on mute. The buzz bypasses my ears entirely and just exists in my head! It’s insanely annoying.

I call it resonant skull-fuckery.

Wow, I feel *so *much better knowing I’m not the only one who hears that whine. My family thinks I’m nuts! Well, I am, but y’know… :smiley:

I don’t think there’s any special EM sensitivity going on here (or if there is, it’s something that is well beyond my understanding of electromagnetics and biology). Engineers call the range of frequencies of 20 Hz to 20 kHz the “audio range” because they are nice even numbers, but most people don’t hear quite this entire range. In fact, most people don’t hear much over 15 kHz, which is why most people can’t hear the TV whine. However, it’s been documented that many people can hear above 15 kHz, and in fact some people hear above 20 kHz, and in rare cases might even be able to hear up to about 25 kHz.

As RJKUgly said, the frequency range that you can hear generally gets worse with age. You tend to lose a bit on both the high end and low end as you get older.

There’s a lot of tin foil type stuff among “audiophiles” too. Since there are people who can hear above 20 kHz, there are people who will be able to hear the distortion in a CD’s signal at the high end of frequencies, so it’s not all tin foil. If you are sensitive to TV whine you might hear some funny business with high frequencies on CDs. Cymbols and piccalos are two fairly common instruments that have a lot of frequency components at the high end.

I suppose I am referring to its induction, truly it is EM generated.