Annoyingly Loud TV Commercials Are Steps Away from Being Outlawed

Good news! The US Senate has passed the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act (aka CALM). The bill now goes back to the House, who previously gave it the green light, for final approval and then to the president’s desk for signing. I for one am looking forward to this. The new law would put the FCC in charge of cracking down on offenders who don’t equalize the volume of their TV commercial advertisements instead of relying on broadcasters to settle customer complaints, as was previously the case.

New related content: Gizmodo – Why it will take more than a law to save our ears.

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Filed in: Industry Buzz

4 Reactions to “Annoyingly Loud TV Commercials Are Steps Away from Being Outlawed”

  1. andrewmclaughlin says:

    I love how the government acts on things when it starts to annoy some random senator. Either way, it's total BS and highly annoying. Thank god.

    • I'm with you there….

      Now, if a TV manufacture could produce a television set that can sense the volume level in the *room* and adjust accordingly (like, say, when kids start yelling), I'd be in heaven ;)

  2. Simon_Mackay says:

    It seems to me that this issue is targeted mainly at the TV commercial “spot”. It doesn't seem to be targeted at shows like reality TV which have an audio mix that is very similar to TV commercials. This is where the music, the sound effects and the speech are very close in level and a lot of audio compression, AGC and limiting are used to make this very loud sound mix. The music that is dubbed is typically very frenetic and shrill and this can put a lot of people off this kind of TV show. It is also worth noting that through the heavy use of product placement and contra deals, the reality TV shows and similar TV content are very much becoming like TV commercials.

    With regards,

    Simon Mackay


    • I haven't really thought about the audio/music within the shows themselves, but you're right. There have been times when the music seems like its blaring and then settles back down to normal levels. As for product placement… I rather like what I've been seeing. I think Bravo TV does a good job of it. They've definitely inked a deal with RIM for BlackBerry placement — and possibly Microsoft as well. As long as the products being used don't distract from the content I'm OK with it. Would be nice to see at the end of the show who “sponsored” the show similar to how Fox's HOUSE handles it.