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Old 12-13-2011, 02:30 PM   #1
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FCC passes act to turn down volume on commercials

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/ente...mmercials.html

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Responding to years of complaints that the volume on commericals is louder than that of regular programming, the FCC on Tuesday passed the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act (CALM). The act requires commercials and entertainment and news programming to be kept at the same volume. The rules also require that the volume for promotional spots be equal to the shows around it.

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Old 12-13-2011, 02:42 PM   #2
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Old 12-13-2011, 02:45 PM   #3
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This is awesome. Some people have claimed it is just because commercials are more condensed and have more points of maximum volume so they just seem louder, but I have never believed that. There are cases where commercials are significantly louder.

This only impacts me when I am trying to go to sleep with the tv on and am too lazy to hit skip with my eyes closed.
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Old 12-13-2011, 02:53 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by marksman View Post
This is awesome. Some people have claimed it is just because commercials are more condensed and have more points of maximum volume so they just seem louder, but I have never believed that. There are cases where commercials are significantly louder.

This only impacts me when I am trying to go to sleep with the tv on and am too lazy to hit skip with my eyes closed.
I have to love the acronym, CALM.

There are definitely some commercials that are REALLY loud. I notice this during sporting events on those "provider only" commercials...you know the ones that are broadcast by your provider only, if you have Comcast you will see one commercial, if you have DirecTV you will see another. These commercials are literally BLASTED. They are so loud that I have to turn the volume down, and put it back up with the game comes back on.

The FCC finally does something consumer friendly
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Old 12-13-2011, 02:56 PM   #5
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OMG this makes my DAY!!!!

I have complained about this for years!
I was even told it was old people's ears mis-hearing.
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Old 12-13-2011, 03:15 PM   #6
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Let the complaints begin about the show content volume being lower.
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Old 12-13-2011, 04:11 PM   #7
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For me, on DirecTV, this has been especially noticibile lately on ESPN during Monday Night Football. I have to reguarly manage the volume going in and out of commercials.

This is full of win!
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Old 12-13-2011, 04:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimSpence View Post
Let the complaints begin about the show content volume being lower.
Agreed. I've been using captions for quite a while now to be able to tell what low-talkers are saying, now I'll probably need them for everything. I'm all for the blasted commercials being lower (though I FF through most of it anyway), but I hope it doesn't screw up the actual program I'm watching - we'll see.

The whole 'law of unintended consequences' that seems to bite just about everything the gubbment does nowadays.
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Old 12-13-2011, 05:32 PM   #9
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I'm hoping that this will cause the volume of commercials to simply go down instead of the dynamic range of the shows being destroyed even more to match the commercials.
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Old 12-13-2011, 05:39 PM   #10
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Oh no.
Without that blaring super holdem, raisem / lowerum, no showem bra infomercial to wake me after I fall asleep watching Craig Ferugson how will know when to wake up and turn the tv off.
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Old 12-13-2011, 07:21 PM   #11
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One time i ran a decibel monitor on my smartphone because i keep thinking something was wrong ... i keep increasing and decreasing volume while watching movies - had to decrease during commercials and increase when they ended. So the smartphone showed that dB doubled during commercials - insane.

This is awesome news.
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Old 12-13-2011, 07:29 PM   #12
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Did anyone read the article?

It doesn't take effect for a year.
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Old 12-13-2011, 07:34 PM   #13
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Great news! I would have gone further and written the rule to state that commercials are required to be 20% lower volume than the program being watched. Not that I watch many commercials (TiVo to the rescue).
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Old 12-13-2011, 07:57 PM   #14
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Is this just now going into effect? I remember reading about this proposal years ago and thought it had already gone into effect.
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Old 12-14-2011, 08:15 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElJay View Post
I'm hoping that this will cause the volume of commercials to simply go down instead of the dynamic range of the shows being destroyed even more to match the commercials.
Well if the shows get louder to match the commercials...I can just turn the volume down
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Old 12-14-2011, 09:59 AM   #16
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FCC to ban loud TV commercials today

Hooray!

FCC to ban loud TV commercials todayl

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The Federal Communications Commission will pass regulations today to limit the volume levels of TV commercials and penalize broadcasters that bombard consumers with loud ads between televised shows and programs.

The regulatory guidelines that the FCC is expected to establish would be enforced by the the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation, or CALM, Act, which was passed by Congress last year and gave the FCC until Thursday (December 15, 2011) to develop rules on broadcast-commercial volume levels and penalties for violating those regulations.

Under CALM, televised ads' volume levels cannot exceed the loudest portion of the TV show in which they are placed. And that loudest allowable volume cannot be sustained for the entire commercial.

USA Today reports that some broadcasters and television providers have already started implementing the ideals of CALM, in preparation of the final rules that the FCC is expected to generate. But as provided by the law, broadcasters will still have a grace period —up to year from when the final FCC volume level rules are passed—from penalties for loud commercials.

Consumers Union, the advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, supported CALM when it was first introduced by Representative Anna Eshoo (D-CA). Parul P. Desai, policy counsel for Consumers Union, said the following in regard to the FCC's pending action:

“We're glad that consumers are finally going to get some relief from extra-loud TV ads. People have been complaining about the volume of TV commercials for decades. This law is a relatively simple and straightforward measure that has really struck a chord with consumers.”

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Old 12-14-2011, 10:35 AM   #17
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The advertisers had to give a final shout (pun intended). Yesterday, I was watching the news, sort of snoozing. They went to a commercial and it was so loud, I jumped out of my chair. Now I have to fix a head-shaped hole in my ceiling.
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Old 12-14-2011, 10:45 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve614 View Post
Is this just now going into effect? I remember reading about this proposal years ago and thought it had already gone into effect.
This is my recollection as well. I think there was even some claim that all feasible steps had already been taken, that the remaining differences, if any (as some claimed it to be more an impression of loudness than it was actual decibel level), were caused by variations outside the control of any one organization.

It somewhat makes sense to me that when the audio stream comes from different sources that control of volume to maintain some kind of standard would be a technologically difficult thing to do. Actually, I have no idea how it works, of course.
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Old 12-14-2011, 10:54 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by steve614 View Post
Is this just now going into effect? I remember reading about this proposal years ago and thought it had already gone into effect.
The legislation mandating this FCC action was passed last December and signed into law by Obama on 12-15-10. There were delays from the original votes by both houses of Congress to appriove a reconciliaton act. The bill was orginally introduced in 2008.
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Old 12-14-2011, 10:57 AM   #20
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One of the few bipartisan things passed by Congress. Loud commericials? Hmm, I have a Tivo.
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Old 12-14-2011, 11:53 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by allan View Post
The advertisers had to give a final shout (pun intended). Yesterday, I was watching the news, sort of snoozing. They went to a commercial and it was so loud, I jumped out of my chair. Now I have to fix a head-shaped hole in my ceiling.
In the last couple of weeks, the volume differential between the show and the commericals on Pardon The Interruption has been way higher than anything I've ever experienced before.
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Old 12-14-2011, 03:59 PM   #22
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I have Directv and their HR22 DVR and record "King of Queens" on TBS every day at 5 CST.

At the 15 minute mark of each episode,a commercial comes BLARING on and the 30 second skip function is disabled for a minute or so (I have to use fast forward through a minute or so). It seems like the commercial is for something called Lawyer Kings or something and shows a bunch of guys on motorcycles.

Anybody else have this happen?
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Old 12-14-2011, 05:04 PM   #23
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The only time I've seen a 30-second skip* button disabled was on an On Demand show. If they're disabling functionality of teh unit during recorded shows, I'll be pretty pissed.

*The 20-second skip button used to be an actual 30-second jump, but a long time ago, they changed it to a 30-second fast forward button. It annoys the hell out of me and is pretty much pointless now.
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Old 12-14-2011, 07:20 PM   #24
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This HR22 is an actual 30 second skip, not 30 slip, or slide, or whatever they called it.
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Old 12-14-2011, 07:24 PM   #25
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This HR22 is an actual 30 second skip, not 30 slip, or slide, or whatever they called it.
Has it not had its firmware updated in a long time or something? I seem to recall that it was a firmware update that changed the functionality on mine.
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Old 12-14-2011, 08:45 PM   #26
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It hasn't been plugged into a phone line for a few years.
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Old 12-15-2011, 06:40 AM   #27
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With the HR series DVRs, being plugged into a phone line doesn't matter - the firmware updates are downloaded via the satellite. I'm guessing if you checked your system info there would be a recent (Dec 1st?) software update.
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Old 12-15-2011, 06:47 AM   #28
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I have the "can't skip, have to FF" commercials every so often on my HR20 box. But not enough that I have noticed any pattern.
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Old 12-15-2011, 06:57 AM   #29
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The legislation mandating this FCC action was passed last December and signed into law by Obama on 12-15-10. There were delays from the original votes by both houses of Congress to appriove a reconciliaton act. The bill was orginally introduced in 2008.
Even so, the FCC just approved the official rule so it doesn't take effect until December 2012.
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Old 12-15-2011, 07:05 AM   #30
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I have the "can't skip, have to FF" commercials every so often on my HR20 box. But not enough that I have noticed any pattern.
The skip doesnt work for inserted ads ...ones that directv overlays on top of somehing else. Supposedly its bug in the skip function but directv just doesn't care enough to fix it..
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