Why Are TV Commercials STILL So Loud?
TV commercials are still louder than TV shows, which was an issue taken on by California Representative Anna Eshoo when a family dinner was interrupted by a loud commercial back in 2009. She worked to have the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act (CALM Act) passed, which was signed into law in 2010.
Here's what the FCC says about the CALM Act on its site:
Q: What does the CALM Act require the FCC to do?
A: Specifically, the CALM Act directs the Commission to establish rules that require TV stations, cable operators, satellite TV providers or other multichannel video program distributors (MVPDs) to apply the Advanced Television Systems Committee's (ATSC) A/85 Recommended Practice ("ATSC A/85 RP") to commercial advertisements they transmit to viewers.
In the seven years since the passing of this bill, distributors have been required to follow the 'recommended practice' in regulating the volume of commercials. I clicked on a link that should have taken me to a description of this 'recommended practice,' but the link's dead.
From what I can find online, TV stations are required to use 'CALM boxes' that regulate the audio for all programming so that all audio has the same levels. Some stations admit that these boxes 'won't please everyone.' I'm one of those people, and you might be, too.
So what can we do about loud commercials? Well, if you enjoy paperwork and don't feel you do enough at work, you can always file a complaint with the FCC:
In order for the FCC to evaluate the complaint, we need the following information:
State if you watched the commercial on pay TV (such as on cable or satellite) or if you watched it on a broadcast television station using an antenna;
The name of the advertiser or product promoted in the commercial;
The date you saw the commercial;
The time you saw the commercial;
The name of the TV program during which you saw the commercial;
State which TV station (by call sign and/or channel number and the station’s community) or pay TV provider (with its system location) transmitted the commercial; and
If you watched the commercial on pay TV, the channel number on which you saw it and the cable programmer or network, such as CNN or HBO.
If I decided to do this, I'd have to cite EVERY show on EVERY channel I watch, because that's how widespread it is. I'd also have a part - time job that doesn't pay anything.
Maybe I have super - hearing or something, though. Have you noticed that commercials are still really loud? Let us know on Facebook!