Congress wants to lower TV Comercial Volume (1 Viewer)

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kvnfl

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 19, 2008
531
0
SWFL
Sound & Vision Magazine - Reality Bytes: Turn Down the Funk

FTA: House representative Anna Eshoo (D–CA) and co-sponsor Zoe Lofgren (D–CA) have introduced House bill H.R. 6209. Called the CALM (Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation) Act, it directs the FCC to establish new regulations to ensure that commercials aren’t subjectively louder than other programming. According to the bill, it would “require the Federal Communications Commission to prescribe a standard to preclude commercials from being broadcast at louder volumes than the program material they accompany.” Furthermore, the new regulations would “prohibit advertisements accompanying video programming from . . . being excessively noisy or strident.”

They screwed up the financial system pretty thoroughly. They are still screwing up health care. I am afraid of how loud commercials will become if this legislation passes.
 
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Sammy033

SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 27, 2006
1,188
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Good idea but it would never work. There are too many variables involved to figure out a reasonable commercial volume based on the program. It's sort of like Ed Meese (I think) and obscene material. He couldnt define it but knew it when he saw it.
 

AdamGott

SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 16, 2005
429
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Idaho Falls, ID
It sounds like a good idea though...

500 BILLION DOLLAR ECONOMIC BAILOUT

or

'let's make a bill that limits commercial volume'


Which one has the greater chance of success?
 

ChayesFSS

Active SatelliteGuys Member
Aug 1, 2008
23
0
most channels used to keep main programs at lower transmission volumes so that people would turn their tv's up than max out the volume of commercials making them all that much louder. Years ago there was someone claiming that they had a chip that could mute commercials automatically, anybody remember that?
 

topcat0399

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 28, 2007
562
0
most channels used to keep main programs at lower transmission volumes so that people would turn their tv's up than max out the volume of commercials making them all that much louder. Years ago there was someone claiming that they had a chip that could mute commercials automatically, anybody remember that?


i think this has been address before by the FCC but it seems its not really about VOLUME its more about COMPRESSION.

TV shows and movies are recorded with a wide dynamic range (from soft to loud with the loud being near the authorized peak) while commercials are intentionally compressed to put every sound in that commercial near the authorized peak volume all the time. Its twisting the system to achieve an end. bending the rules.

people often ask "why does this cd sound "better" on the radio than on my cd player? its not that it sounds better, its "punchier" because FM is sooooo compressed.
FM radio actually unintentionally lies to you and changes the dymanics of music.

there are boxes on the market that claim to cut the volume down for you on a commercial but.......they have annoying properties of thier own.
 

8bitbytes

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 8, 2003
3,239
0
NoVA
It's not even compression.

The Federal Communications Commission does not specifically regulate the volume of TV programs or TV commercials. However, broadcasters are required to have equipment that limits the peak power they can use to send out their audio and video signals. That means the loudest TV commercial will never be any louder than the loudest part of any TV program.

A TV program has a mix of audio levels. There are loud parts and soft parts. Nuance is used to build the dramatic effect.

Most advertisers don’t want nuance. They want to grab your attention. To do that, the audio track is electronically processed to make every part of it as loud as possible within legal limits. “Nothing is allowed to be subtle,” says Brian Dooley, Editor-At-Large for CNET.com. “Everything is loud – the voices, the music and the sound effects.”

Spencer Critchley, writing in Digital Audio last month, explained it this way: “The peak levels of commercials are no higher than the peak levels of program content. But the average level is way, way higher, and that’s the level your ears care about. If someone sets off a camera flash every now and then it’s one thing; if they aim a steady spot light into your eyes it’s another, even if the peak brightness is no higher.”

There’s also what Brian Dooley of CNET.com calls “perceived loudness.” If you’re watching a drama with soft music and quiet dialogue and the station slams into a commercial for the July 4th Blow Out Sale, it’s going to be jarring. If you happen to go from the program into a commercial for a sleeping pill, one with a subtle soundtrack, it probably won’t bother you.
 

topcat0399

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 28, 2007
562
0
It's not even compression.

The Federal Communications Commission does not specifically regulate the volume of TV programs or TV commercials. However, broadcasters are required to have equipment that limits the peak power they can use to send out their audio and video signals. That means the loudest TV commercial will never be any louder than the loudest part of any TV program.

A TV program has a mix of audio levels. There are loud parts and soft parts. Nuance is used to build the dramatic effect.

Most advertisers don’t want nuance. They want to grab your attention. To do that, the audio track is electronically processed to make every part of it as loud as possible within legal limits. “Nothing is allowed to be subtle,” says Brian Dooley, Editor-At-Large for CNET.com. “Everything is loud – the voices, the music and the sound effects.”

Spencer Critchley, writing in Digital Audio last month, explained it this way: “The peak levels of commercials are no higher than the peak levels of program content. But the average level is way, way higher, and that’s the level your ears care about. If someone sets off a camera flash every now and then it’s one thing; if they aim a steady spot light into your eyes it’s another, even if the peak brightness is no higher.”

There’s also what Brian Dooley of CNET.com calls “perceived loudness.” If you’re watching a drama with soft music and quiet dialogue and the station slams into a commercial for the July 4th Blow Out Sale, it’s going to be jarring. If you happen to go from the program into a commercial for a sleeping pill, one with a subtle soundtrack, it probably won’t bother you.


well, we are talking about the same thing i think. in the audio business we achieve this effect using compressors and/or limiters.
 

socalpanman

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Feb 12, 2005
501
2
San Rafael CA
Sound & Vision Magazine - Reality Bytes: Turn Down the Funk


They screwed up the financial system pretty thoroughly. They are still screwing up health care. I am afraid of how loud commercials will become if this legislation passes.

You have clarity! As many wrongfully assume commercials will come down you see the obvious. The base volume of the shows will jump all over the place or some other annoying interpretation that will just make matters worse.

You'd think by now after VCRs, DVRs etc people would have learned how to live around this non-problem. Nope we need yet another law to make the world better. :rolleyes:
 

M Sparks

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 15, 2005
1,946
1
well, we are talking about the same thing i think. in the audio business we achieve this effect using compressors and/or limiters.

Yes and no. Occasionally I use some kind of digital compression after the fact. But that's usually to CUT levels that are going too high, perhaps if a voice-over has too much punch.

It's more an issue of mixing, and the source material. Most voice overs are read at a constant level. That's not how people talk in real life, (or "acting" natural in dramatic material.) Also, the production music used for local/regional commercials doesn't have much dynamic range.

There's just not much room for subtlety in a 30 second ad.

EDIT- Good luck enforcing regulation of something subjective.
 

JohnH

Godfather of the Uplink Reports
Oct 5, 2003
3,013
1
Kansas City, Missouri
It was more than 30 years ago, a company then called CBS Labs built a Loudness Controller for commercial broadcast use. In those days the FCC had enough clout to cause stations to worry about commercial loudness. Along came deregulation and that seems to have gone by the wayside.

Multichannel providers now seem to be so busy getting the new in place, that they do not have the time or inclination to worry about audio loudness differences.
 

Dr. Cool

SatelliteGuys Family
May 15, 2008
37
0
Unintended consequences

As it typically happens with government regulations, the unintended consequences will probably be worse than the problem that it's trying to address. For example, instead of getting better sounding commercials we'll end up with dreadfully overcompressed movie tracks so everything sounds "equalized."
Oh well, that's just what I needed: people in Washington telling me how audio should be delivered to my home theater. :mad:
 

mpeltz

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 11, 2005
207
6
Atlanta
I have no objection to the spirit of this legislation. I'm sure there will be technical challenges, but I can't stand those Billy Mays (OxiClean, Orange Glo, etc.) commercials. They are obnoxiously loud!!!
 

kvnfl

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 19, 2008
531
0
SWFL
As it typically happens with government regulations, the unintended consequences will probably be worse than the problem that it's trying to address. For example, instead of getting better sounding commercials we'll end up with dreadfully overcompressed movie tracks so everything sounds "equalized."
Oh well, that's just what I needed: people in Washington telling me how audio should be delivered to my home theater. :mad:
Talk Show Host Jim Quinn outlined "Quinn's Law"

1. Liberalism always generates the exact opposite of its stated intent.
9. To liberals, intentions are more significant than the outcomes they achieve.
10. Liberals never think what they are doing is wrong, they only think they haven’t done enough of it yet or it is underfunded.

Substitute "politician" for "liberal" and it holds up. There are very few non-liberal lawmakers these days.
 

wolfjc

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 23, 2006
677
0
Cincinnati
Sound & Vision Magazine - Reality Bytes: Turn Down the Funk

FTA: House representative Anna Eshoo (D–CA) and co-sponsor Zoe Lofgren (D–CA) have introduced House bill H.R. 6209. Called the CALM (Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation) Act, it directs the FCC to establish new regulations to ensure that commercials aren’t subjectively louder than other programming. According to the bill, it would “require the Federal Communications Commission to prescribe a standard to preclude commercials from being broadcast at louder volumes than the program material they accompany.” Furthermore, the new regulations would “prohibit advertisements accompanying video programming from . . . being excessively noisy or strident.”

Why are they even thinking about doing this?
This is NOT the concern of the feds.
I think I can control the volume of my TV myself.
Has any one ever heard of the mute button?
 

kvnfl

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 19, 2008
531
0
SWFL
Sound & Vision Magazine - Reality Bytes: Turn Down the Funk

FTA: House representative Anna Eshoo (D–CA) and co-sponsor Zoe Lofgren (D–CA) have introduced House bill H.R. 6209. Called the CALM (Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation) Act, it directs the FCC to establish new regulations to ensure that commercials aren’t subjectively louder than other programming. According to the bill, it would “require the Federal Communications Commission to prescribe a standard to preclude commercials from being broadcast at louder volumes than the program material they accompany.” Furthermore, the new regulations would “prohibit advertisements accompanying video programming from . . . being excessively noisy or strident.”

Why are they even thinking about doing this?
This is NOT the concern of the feds.
I think I can control the volume of my TV myself.
Has any one ever heard of the mute button?
Remember, these are the folks that brought you the V-chip that added $175 to the cost of a new television. That was 12 years ago and they are still running gubmint sponsored ads with instructions on how to use the V-chip. I read somewhere that 4 out of 5 parents did not know what a V-chip was or that their TV had one.
The FCC is the group that fined Howard Stern off the air because people listened to his show so that they could be offended and write letters to the FCC. It reminded me of the "Dogboy" skit on MTV's "Liquid Television." The skit involved a holy roller hanging out a wind watching Dogboy while his wife watched a televangelist and wrung her hands. The holy roller would repeat, "that is disgusting, nobody should be allowed to watch somebody do that in public. Hand me the phone honey, I am too busy watching the neighbor...oh that is just sick and sinful..."
 

BobMurdoch

Playing XBoxOne SeriesX/Supporter
Supporting Founder
Sep 12, 2003
5,770
190
Brielle, NJ
If it really bothers you turn on the compression feature on your AV Receivers (Midnight Theater, or some other name that riases the lows and lowers the highs in volume)....

If you just use a TV, keep the remote at the ready....

For whateer reason the problem seems to be much worse this fall..... Ad makers are dialing up the commerical volumes..... Way to go morons, you just make me hit the commercial skip button that much faster to get past the noise....

One new thing that I REALLY like... FOX telling Fringe viewers how long the commercial break will last.. 60 seconds, 90 seconds,... makes skipping the ads a dream (although I'm sure that wasn't the reason..... FOX just wants to make sure that this show which requires you to follow every detail doesn't lose you if you leave 3 minutes for a bathroom break, I guess.... or to brag how short their breaks are...... Deal or No Deal is the worst... it seems like they have 6 minutes of ads on some breaks)
 

Yes616

SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 8, 2006
1,165
1
Poinciana Place, FL
On the other hand...

I have an A/V Receiver that has a setting called "7ch enhancer".

At this setting the commercials are pretty much the same volume as the shows but if I change channels I find some channels are much louder than others.

The setting on the receiver sounds the best and thats why I put up with this but I am always careful to turn down the sound even before changing channels. Just in case.
 
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Dr. Cool

SatelliteGuys Family
May 15, 2008
37
0
For whateer reason the problem seems to be much worse this fall..... Ad makers are dialing up the commerical volumes..... Way to go morons, you just make me hit the commercial skip button that much faster to get past the noise....

That's right, more frequently than expected I do not skip commercials, I may watch them because they are fun or the subject interests me. When they're too loud however I just skip them right away.
 

kstuart

SatelliteGuys Master
Nov 5, 2006
5,206
0
Northern California
While I agree with all the comments about federal legislation usually having unintended consequences, and a poor track record of fixing problems...

... Nevertheless, it is true that this problem has been getting worse lately. My mother-in-law recently called for a service call on her television, because she thought it was a technical problem with the TV !

And, it is also true that totally unregulated competition results in things like the credit crunch:

Are those other lenders only offering you a no-money-down mortgage? Well, we'll do that and give you a check for 10% too !

In the real world, it's difficult to advocate short and medium term profit and market-share losses, simply because you think that in the very long-term, your competitors will be out of business.

Sometimes, the very lack of competitive spirit that makes government agencies so inept, is also the same thing that allows it to be the only entity that can protect the long-term interests of the public as a whole.

Getting back to the topic, a law could simply impose penalties for "consistent disregard of the responsibility to provide roughly equal perceived volume for programming and advertisements."
 
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