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House votes to turn down volume of noisy TV ads


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30 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   BubblePuppy

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 04:24 AM

House votes to turn down volume of noisy TV ads
By ANN SANNER (AP) – 10 hours ago

WASHINGTON — The House on Tuesday voted to level off the abrupt spikes in volume felt by television viewers during commercial breaks.
The bill — approved by a voice vote — is aimed at stopping TV ads from playing noticeably louder than programs.
"It's very frustrating," said Rep. Rick Boucher, D-Va. "It's an annoying experience, and something really should be done about it."


http://www.google.co...ofrFGgD9CK28V00

(Note: I know there was a thread already started a while ago on this topic but I couldn't find it. So Mods, move this thread as appropriate.)

Edited by BubblePuppy, 16 December 2009 - 08:37 AM.

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#2 OFFLINE   Go Beavs

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 08:42 AM

I think it's great that the volume will be equalized through commercial breaks but I can't believe it took an act of congress to make it happen.

With all of the stuff happening in the country today, this is what our representatives are working on?? :confused: I had hoped that consumer pressure on the service providers (Directv) would have made this happen.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to it having an effect on my volume, but I can't help but think it will be as useful as the canned spam act.

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#3 OFFLINE   Richard King

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 02:11 PM

Rather hard to say where this belongs, but this is probably the most appropriate area.

I had been very seriously considering dropping Dish because of the EXTREME volume differences between regular programming and network ads and Dish inserted ads. The Dish inserted ads would BLAST through and, I swear, could wake the dead. It seems MUCH improved in the last couple of weeks (knocking on head). I'm glad I don't have to go through the hassel of dumping them for either cable or Directv.
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#4 OFFLINE   SayWhat?

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 02:48 PM

Along the same vein, I don't like the differences in volume between channels. I can understand it on OTA since all channels are coming from different sources, but with cable or satellite, all channels are being delivered by a common source no matter where they originate. Without knowing the mechanics of how such companies operate technically, it would seem reasonable for the volume on all channels to be able to be equalized.
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#5 OFFLINE   kmax

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 09:13 AM

Some channels have seemed worse for me lately. I used to notice from time to time, but lately they seem to just blare to the point of being uncomfortable.

#6 OFFLINE   olguy

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 11:09 AM

Since I never watch live and use the quick skip to get through commercials the only time I get a burst of loud from a commercial is when the quick skip lands in one and that is only momentary. The greater problem for me, as mentioned above, is the volume difference between pcm and DD channels. What I do now is prior to changing channels or stoping playback of a recording is roll the volume back on my Onkyo and start over on the new channel/recording. A pain and I shouldn't have to do it but it gets me through an evening of TV :P
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#7 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 11:56 AM

Over the years I've used some sound leveling systems on music because of volume differences between recordings. It screws up the sound. I hope someone doesn't decide that this will be the way to comply with this law.

And this is going to be enforced by who? Are we going to pay a tax on TV's for this kind of trivial stuff or are we just going to borrow against our grandkids income to hire a guy to sit around and listen to TV and an attorney and staff to prepare complaints?:nono:

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#8 OFFLINE   hilmar2k

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 12:01 PM

Honestly my biggest issue is the volume level differences between HD and SD channels (with SD being much louder). I don't watch much (if any) SD anymore, but my kids do. When channel surfing in the kids channels (290's) it can be quite a shock when you go from a volume adjusted HD channel to an SD channel.

#9 OFFLINE   Herdfan

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 02:17 PM

I think it's great that the volume will be equalized through commercial breaks but I can't believe it took an act of congress to make it happen.

With all of the stuff happening in the country today, this is what our representatives are working on?? :confused: I had hoped that consumer pressure on the service providers (Directv) would have made this happen.


I also would have thought the idea that congress was going to look at this issue would have been enough to get the providers to act voluntarily. The could have cut it down some, made some people happy and congress might have stayed out of it.

But congress lives for little crap like this. It is petty and insignificant, but if someone who hated the loud ads thinks their representative helped kill them, then they are pleased and the rep stays in office.

#10 OFFLINE   n3ntj

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 04:16 PM

I think it's great that the volume will be equalized through commercial breaks but I can't believe it took an act of congress to make it happen.

With all of the stuff happening in the country today, this is what our representatives are working on?? :confused:


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#11 OFFLINE   Richard King

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 08:40 PM

Rather hard to say where this belongs, but this is probably the most appropriate area.

I had been very seriously considering dropping Dish because of the EXTREME volume differences between regular programming and network ads and Dish inserted ads. The Dish inserted ads would BLAST through and, I swear, could wake the dead. It seems MUCH improved in the last couple of weeks (knocking on head). I'm glad I don't have to go through the hassel of dumping them for either cable or Directv.

I should have knocked on my head a bit harder as the problem is back, although not as bad as a couple of weeks ago. :(
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#12 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 09:33 PM

I'm ashamed to say that the first time I read this subject header, I was trying to figure out what Dr House was doing voting, and how it fit into the current plotlines on that show ;)

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#13 OFFLINE   lwilli201

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 11:27 AM

I also would have thought the idea that congress was going to look at this issue would have been enough to get the providers to act voluntarily. The could have cut it down some, made some people happy and congress might have stayed out of it.

But congress lives for little crap like this. It is petty and insignificant, but if someone who hated the loud ads thinks their representative helped kill them, then they are pleased and the rep stays in office.


This is a problem that the FCC could have addressed. If they would have threatened to recommend to congress to pass legislation to solve this problem, there could have been a voluntary resolution. The FCC probably has a mountain of complaints about loud commercials, but they did not act on them.
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#14 OFFLINE   hdtvfan0001

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 11:29 AM

I find it a bit humorous that the need to do this has to be legislated....nothing political at all....just that the advertising industry itself apparently lacks the common sense to establish standards and then follow them on their own. :rolleyes:
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#15 OFFLINE   Richierich

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 11:50 AM

And this is going to be enforced by who? Are we going to pay a tax on TV's for this kind of trivial stuff or are we just going to borrow against our grandkids income to hire a guy to sit around and listen to TV and an attorney and staff to prepare complaints?:nono:


I'm sure once it is passed they will get the message and act accordingly. If not then even stronger legislation will get passed. I wouldn't think they would be so stupid as to ignore the wishes of Congress but who knows.
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#16 OFFLINE   paulman182

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 11:59 AM

One problem I see with the way it is written is that a quiet commercial will be required for shows with little dialog, and a louder one will be acceptable for, say, "Deadliest Catch."

Who is going to average the volume levels of the programs before they air and tell the ad agency how loud the spot can be?

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#17 OFFLINE   olguy

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 12:38 PM

This is a problem that the FCC could have addressed. If they would have threatened to recommend to congress to pass legislation to solve this problem, there could have been a voluntary resolution. The FCC probably has a mountain of complaints about loud commercials, but they did not act on them.

And here is a FCC representative taking complaints about loud commercials:

Posted Image


From the FCC web page regarding Program Background Noise and Loud Commercials comes this:

Whether or not something is “too loud” is a judgment that varies with each listener. The decision is influenced by many factors like content and style, the speaker’s voice and tone, background sounds, and music.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) does not currently regulate the volume of programs or commercials. Broadcasters and program producers, however, have considerable latitude to vary the “loudness” of the program material.

And that is why congress got into it.
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#18 OFFLINE   bicker1

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 12:39 PM

Paul's hit on a major issue; it is so mindless to pass a law saying (effectively), "Don't be annoying to me," but without a very clear standard for what objective measurement can be used to distinguish compliance from non-compliance, it's just hot air -- setting expectations within viewers with no reasonable basis for expecting things to change. I'm not saying that this law is that inadequate -- I haven't looked at it that closely yet -- but that's just the sort of thing Congress typically does in situations like this.

#19 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 02:12 PM

It would be hard to enforce such a law that only says "commercial volume has to be the same or lower than the program" unless there was also a regulation on program volume... As others suggest, a program could be lower and then by default make a submitted commercial in violation of the law.

I'll agree to the annoyance factor of significant volume changes... but I think they are going to have to look at some other way to discourage the practice.

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#20 OFFLINE   lwilli201

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 04:44 PM

Whether or not something is “too loud” is a judgment that varies with each listener. The decision is influenced by many factors like content and style, the speaker’s voice and tone, background sounds, and music.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) does not currently regulate the volume of programs or commercials. Broadcasters and program producers, however, have considerable latitude to vary the “loudness” of the program material.


And that is why congress got into it.


Sounds like one big cop out to me. That statement is pure hogwash. But that is just my opinion. :lol:
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