Loud TV Commercial Volume Has A New Enemy

What?  I can't hear you during the commercial?

Back in mid '08  I vented about how loud TV ads are.  I had conducted a little research and discovered the fluffy excuse that networks give the consumers: They aren't louder, they only sound louder.

You have got to be &%$#ing kidding me?  They call it "signal compression" which amplifies certain aspects of a signal. And if you didn't feel insulted enough, there is always this one:  Ads seem loud because they come on during the quietest moments.

Wow, they must think I'm some kind of simpleton who believes everything they read on the internet or believe in all those commercials I get pounded with.

Back on track:

An ad can't be any louder than the loudest part of the television program it's being played in.

To a tiny extent, I understand their lame excuse about compression.  I used to have to play with my bass and treble on my stereo so I could play it louder, but not have the "mini concerts" in my apartment bother my neighbors.

Networks on the other hand tamper with the settings so all the neighbors can hear them, not just you, but despite continual waves of complaints, the FCC does not regulate television volume.  I find that rather odd considering the commercial volume has been a common issue for, like, ever!

Is Anyone On Your Side?

It doesn't feel like it.  Well, you can count me in.  Of late, I'm also feeling like ads are playing longer during the hour than they used to, but I haven't sat down and timed them yet.

I know readers of Screen Rant, people I know have sworn off paying for TV and instead, pay for the DVD's that have no commercials just because of the intrusions and annoyances that commercials represent.  I'm almost on that band wagon also.  Dang... they're everywhere, including in-screen.

Ads are a part of life.  That's what pays the network bills.  But they can be done more tastefully;  Product placement, even quieter ads would probably have us stop muting the TV or walking away during ads.

If we have to have ads, I like how they're very short in the On-Demand TV show offerings on Hulu or wherever.  In fact, I really enjoy the fact that on some shows, Hulu gives you an option to watch one big ad and then have no more ads, or have little ones through-out.  I don't mind it when they're done that way.

Since The FCC Hasn’t Stepped In...

Since the FCC has kept a hands-off kind of attitude, for whatever reason, others have stepped up: Rep. Anna Eshoo and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse are working to smother the TV ad volume issue.

They've submitted the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act. (CALM).  With 62 co-sponsors from Eshoo, the bill passed the House Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet.  (Sheesh, could they have given that a longer name?)

Now we wait to see when the Senate will take the time to review the bill. Oddly, there's opposition to the premise. What The flipnut!?

One of my reference articles from a blog called The Hill questions if it's the right use of time by Congress or the FCC to deal with such an issue, what with them presently working on a broadband plan and net neutrality regulations - this would distract from that.

And then it's also questioned whether or not consumers want additional government interference with their TV sets.  What in blazes have we been complaining about all these years?  That question just blows me out of the water.

I'm betting if we ran a poll here on Screen Rant, we'd have a landslide win on wanting intervention to turn the ads down.

My source ends by saying that after the digital transition and all the issues, "many of them are probably so thrilled to get a digital signal at all, they don't mind the commercials. Loud or not. "

Crickets... lots and lots of crickets.

In Conclusion

If you aren't involved in watching television as much as some, I understand where folks are coming from.  They're focused on the economy, the war and various other social issues.

But there are those that television is their hobby, their time to wind down.  And we want to do that without being traumatized by mega loud ads that give us ringing ears for a week.

Dare I ask...  but does everyone agree, that commercials are too loud?

Sources:  The Hill, Daily Finance

Jeff Dunham: Beside Himself Netflix
Netflix's Jeff Dunham: Beside Himself Trailer Includes Sassy Puppets Humor

More in TV News