Should Television Ad Volume Be Equalized?

You Need To Sit Down For This One

Broadcasters are saying that they have a plan in place to address this issue and are hinting that now that TV has gone digital, it's a plan that could go into affect in the next couple of months.  Someone asked me today if this "technology" wasn't already in-place and why haven't they already used it?

Good question, considering that advertiser use of the mid-tones of sound probably could be regulated, but the networks don't want to, apparently.  I mean, hey!  That's akin to slapping the hand that feeds you.

What I see as the downside of the digital age is that advertisers are now going to have a broader range of sounds to use instead of just volume.  To me, that means that they'll be able use more tech-speak to make excuses for why the ads are louder, yet again.

Survey Says?

Eshoo's bill, H.R. 1084, after being floated for approximately a year, finally had its moment in the light.  And it seems that broadcasters fingers are much deeper in pockets than this naive writer suspected.

David Donovan, president of the Association for Maximum Service Television, produced an argument saying that there will be a "recommended practice" in place by September that makes suggestions on what levels sound should be at during shows and ads.

Congress lapped it up like a cat at a milk bowl and decided that they will let broadcasters police their own for now and if the problem was not resolved, that they will reintroduce the bill next year.

Sigh...  Give me a break!  That means the bill will be reintroduced and then float around for another year until they stall it yet again.

In The End, Advertisers Win

Broadcasters got a stay in the bill and we continue to suffer.

Sure, volume is a perceived thing.  That's why on some cable stations I have to crank my volume 50% higher to hear the shows and yet the commercials are still at their usual mode of LOUD.  Because I perceive it.  Some say that's a ploy disseminated by the stations heavily in the pockets of the advertisers.  It does seem odd, but I can't tell you for a fact that's what is behind it... though if I look, it sometimes does seem that the network slamming me with this mix of volume has even more ads than most networks and probably pays a chunk of money through the nose to guarantee first TV rights to movies.  Hmm...

So, while advertisers drop almost $300 billion a year into commercials, the consumers are left with ringing ears.  The more patient and possibly wiser consumer would rather rent or buy DVD's of shows than deal with this noise crap.

Than again, my suspicious mindset wonders if that alone might not be the agenda all along?

As far as I can tell, there are no good answers on the horizon for us.  We'll will just have to keep thumping our volume or mute buttons to save ourselves from the distraction that is the noise of advertising.  If you've come up with a working solution, please, let the readers here at Screen Rant know about it.  We could use some auditory assistance.

Sources:  MSNBC, Dolby Investor News, Yahoo News, On Line Athens, XO Wave, TVB

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