TV commercials may end the loudness war? - diyAudio
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Old 30th September 2010, 09:40 PM   #1
boris81 is offline boris81  United States
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Default TV commercials may end the loudness war?

aside from solving the obvious annoyance this initiative has the potential to end the loudness war by passing uniform regulations on recording and processing of audio


Senate votes to turn down volume on TV commercials

Legislation to turn down the volume on those loud TV commercials that send couch potatoes diving for their remote controls looks like it'll soon become law.

The Senate unanimously passed a bill late Wednesday to require television stations and cable companies to keep commercials at the same volume as the programs they interrupt.

The House has passed similar legislation. Before it can become law, minor differences between the two versions have to be worked out when Congress returns to Washington after the Nov. 2 election.

Ever since television caught on in the 1950s, the Federal Communication Commission has been getting complaints about blaring commercials. But the FCC concluded in 1984 there was no fair way to write regulations controlling the "apparent loudness" of commercials. So it hasn't been regulating them.

Correcting sound levels is more complicated than using the remote control. The television shows and ads come from a variety of sources, from local businesses to syndicators.

Managing the transition between programs and ads without spoiling the artistic intent of the producers poses technical challenges and may require TV broadcasters to purchase new equipment. To address the issue, an industry organization recently produced guidelines on how to process, measure and transmit audio in a uniform way.

The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., requires the FCC to adopt those recommendations as regulations within a year and begin enforcing them a year later. Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., is the driving force behind the bill in the House.

Its title is the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act, or CALM.

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., a co-sponsor, said it's time to stop the use of loud commercials to startle viewers into paying attention. "TV viewers should be able to watch their favorite programs without fear of losing their hearing when the show goes to a commercial," he said.
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Old 30th September 2010, 10:44 PM   #2
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Hi Boris81. I changed the heading to "loudness"

OK?
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Old 30th September 2010, 10:56 PM   #3
SY is offline SY  United States
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Originally Posted by boris81 View Post
Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., a co-sponsor, said it's time to stop the use of loud commercials to startle viewers into paying attention. "TV viewers should be able to watch their favorite programs without fear of losing their hearing when the show goes to a commercial," he said.
Hey, Chuck, how about just turning the idiot box off for a change?
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Old 30th September 2010, 11:32 PM   #4
jlsem is offline jlsem  United States
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They do it on the classical music station here.

John
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Old 1st October 2010, 01:09 AM   #5
stoc005 is offline stoc005  United States
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It may turn out to be a small (hollow) victory. I think some commercials are highly audio compressed and even if the volume isn't touched, they will sound louder. The stations/advertisers will be happy since they have done nothing "wrong" in their eyes. Unless there are real acoustic measurements with a SLM, how can you prove they have exceeded the limit? What is the limit? It gets dicey to prove it, IMHO.
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Old 1st October 2010, 02:00 AM   #6
tomchr is offline tomchr  United States
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I'm with SY. I just turn the damn thing off and read a book. Or surf DIY Audio... Aside from hockey, there's hardly anything on the idiot box that's worth watching anymore.

~Tom
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Old 1st October 2010, 04:14 AM   #7
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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Where is diyAudio TV? Isn't it about time?
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Old 1st October 2010, 05:17 AM   #8
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We have similar laws here and they just compress the commercials to within an inch of their life so that it's basically maximum allowable loudness for the whole thing... Still sends you running for the remote to turn it down.
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Old 1st October 2010, 08:20 AM   #9
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Where is diyAudio TV? Isn't it about time?
We'll set up cameras and microphones in everyone's listening rooms, soldering areas, workshop etc, so we know what everyone's up to without having to check on here...
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Old 1st October 2010, 10:03 PM   #10
boris81 is offline boris81  United States
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Originally Posted by Cal Weldon View Post
Hi Boris81. I changed the heading to "loudness"
Thanks, Cal!

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Originally Posted by SY View Post
Hey, Chuck, how about just turning the idiot box off for a change?
I stopped watching TV 5 years in part because I hate how commercials interrupt the programming every 15min. But TV is still the prevailing form of entertainment for most people. If a uniform standard for recording audio is developed it will be driven by the vast majority of TV consumers and not a small group of audiophiles.

After such audio recording standard is required on TV transmission and a bigger audience made aware of it, music artists can start recording albums in that format and use it as a selling point.
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