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Now if we can just get Congress to ban annoying commercials...
Obama is expected to sign bill into law

One of the things that many people hate the most about commercials on TV is that the volume of those commercials is often much higher than the volume of the show being watched. That means that TV watchers end up having to have the remote in hands to adjust the volume constantly and depending on the show and the number of commercials that constant adjustment can quickly get annoying.

Congress has passed a new act that is headed to Obama's desk called the CALM Act that will force commercial makers to regulate the volume of their commercials so that the commercials are no louder than the accompanying programming. President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law. CALM stands for Commercial Advertising Loudness Mitigation. The act has been in the works for a while and was approved by the House and Senate this week clearing the way for Obama to sign it into law.

The
Wall Street Journal quotes Rep. Anna Eshoo, the sponsor of the House bill, saying, "Consumers have been asking for a solution to this problem for decades, and today they finally have it. [The bill] gives consumers peace of mind, because it puts them in control of the sound in their homes."

The FCC has received complaints about the volume of ads for years and has historically told users to simply mute the volume. Eshoo said, "Consumers will no longer have to experience being blasted at. It’s a simple fix to a huge nuisance."

The sponsor of the Senate bill was Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse. Whitehouse stated, "While this is far from the biggest issue we face, it will mean one less daily annoyance in our lives."



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whew!
By Homerboy on 12/3/2010 9:16:48 AM , Rating: 5
Glad to see our gov't is tackling the hard, pressing topics and issues of our times!

I know I will sleep sounder now knowing this issue is resolved once and for all!




RE: whew!
By Homerboy on 12/3/2010 9:18:22 AM , Rating: 4
Side Note: Has anyone noticed how loud the CREDITS for shows are now? When you watch shows like Community and Modern Family, when the opening credits roll (after the little brief intro skit/scene to the show) they are WAY louder than the show itself. I really haven't noticed this until the past couple of years.


RE: whew!
By FITCamaro on 12/3/2010 12:04:51 PM , Rating: 2
Actually no I haven't. Credits don't play any louder than the show for me.


RE: whew!
By AssBall on 12/3/2010 12:57:21 PM , Rating: 2
On many shows esp online streaming on shi_ty speakers, it is pretty common.


RE: whew!
By fic2 on 12/3/2010 12:54:39 PM , Rating: 2
Hadn't really noticed that, but I have seen several shows/movies where the "background" music is so loud I can't hear the dialog. But that just kind of mimics real life since any bar/club I go to has the volume so loud you can't talk to people.


RE: whew!
By MGSsancho on 12/3/2010 5:43:04 PM , Rating: 2
if you have surround, on almost all 5.1 setups, the center channel always has the dialogue so i keep that channel much louder just to hear the damn dialogue, also closed captions help a lot too. might be a guys being born deaf


RE: whew!
By YashBudini on 12/4/2010 12:44:07 PM , Rating: 3
Just wait until you watch "Inception." You may need to turn on closed caption instead.


RE: whew!
By kyleb2112 on 12/3/2010 5:02:55 PM , Rating: 3
Yeah, Community's like a ticking bomb. I always try to anticipate the blast of that stupid theme song and dive for the mute button before it can get me.


RE: whew!
By YashBudini on 12/4/2010 12:42:06 PM , Rating: 2
Commercials typically run national, smaller area, local, and then commercials for the station (new shows, etc).

Hitting mute until you see a show commercial is pretty safe. The loud ones should be done by then, with the exception of Time Warner.


RE: whew!
By theapparition on 12/3/2010 9:43:21 AM , Rating: 5
Don't know why Congress has to get involved with this either.

This should be as simple as cable and network operators utilizing volume leveling. Maybe I'm oversimplifying, but wouldn't a regulation from the FCC be sufficient? Does Congress really have to be involved with this?


RE: whew!
By MrBlastman on 12/3/2010 10:21:34 AM , Rating: 3
I have always thought the FCC is useless. Now we all know just how pathetic they are.

It takes an act of freakin' Congress to get them to do their jobs!

What a glorious waste of legislation. Wake up FCC! You don't get sit around and make everyone's lives miserable without actually having to do something we might like.


RE: whew!
By YashBudini on 12/4/10, Rating: 0
RE: whew!
By YashBudini on 12/6/2010 5:41:33 PM , Rating: 2
Awww, did I hurt the feelings of the right wing cult? Or did I bring reality to your usual delusion liberal media rantings?

Boohoo.


RE: whew!
By FITCamaro on 12/3/10, Rating: 0
RE: whew!
By tastyratz on 12/3/2010 1:13:18 PM , Rating: 2
aww thats cute, you think that will do anything?
Yes lets all stop watching tv! that will show them!

Hasn't this come up before? I thought this was regulated previously? Being an act of congress seems a bit extreme but clearly the fcc hasn't had the balls to enforce this till now.

What about going 1 step further and regulating averaged overall perceived listening volume of programming across channels to an acceptable standard number. It can be just as irritating to have to crank the volume or cut as well just switching between channels.


RE: whew!
By ShaolinSoccer on 12/5/2010 9:14:39 AM , Rating: 1
All TV's should come with auto volume leveling.


RE: whew!
By Homerboy on 12/3/2010 9:52:19 AM , Rating: 2
wow I got rated down to 0? People are really serious about their TV volume being regulated.


RE: whew!
By amanojaku on 12/3/2010 11:44:52 AM , Rating: 3
If the government doesn't regulate my TV's volume then I have to use the remote myself. And that idea is just too much for me to grasp, let alone act on. B-B-Buttons!!!


RE: whew!
By ClownPuncher on 12/3/2010 11:51:54 AM , Rating: 4
Our government has failed, I hope this is just an early April Fools joke. Wow, we need Federal involvement to turn our commercials down...

At least they have dropped all pretense and are treating us like the idiots they think we are.


RE: whew!
By mikeyD95125 on 12/3/10, Rating: 0
RE: whew!
By Schrag4 on 12/3/2010 10:19:38 AM , Rating: 2
Look at the bright side. You know pretty much everything the govt does these days is about destroying your freedoms. Good news here is that you just lost a freedom you didn't care about - the freedom to broadcast annoyingly loud commercials. They could have decided to go ahead with those cavity searches at airports, bus and train stations, stadiums, schools, hospitals, etc etc etc. Would you prefer they vote on that?


RE: whew!
By dgingeri on 12/3/2010 10:55:11 AM , Rating: 5
I'm extremely happy about this. I've been writing letter to various networks asking them nicely to cut it out for over a decade, but it has just gotten worse. Lately, Comedy Central has been horrible. I have to turn the volume up to 18-20 to hear Futurama, and then down to 5 for the commercials to even get them to the same level. They haven't done it when asked nicely, so we'll just have to force them to do it.


RE: whew!
By The Raven on 12/3/2010 11:09:32 AM , Rating: 3
What kind of a fan are you?! Buy the show on DVD or use a fing-longer to adjust the volume!
D.O.O.P won't always be there to protect you from invaders from Omicron Persei 8, and nor should the Earthican gov't be charged with keeping Slurm commercials at a tolerable volume!


RE: whew!
By morphologia on 12/3/10, Rating: -1
RE: whew!
By YashBudini on 12/6/10, Rating: 0
RE: whew!
By brundall on 12/3/2010 6:16:28 PM , Rating: 2
I propose a new law where the programs are as loud as the commercials.........


RE: whew!
By The0ne on 12/6/2010 1:35:31 PM , Rating: 2
Yes! I hate that lady from that insurance commercial. So much makeup it scares me!

It's good we can do this. This is way more important than the gay-in-the-military issue that McCain is fighting tooth and hairless on. Go McCain! *roll eyes*


This would be.....
By Breathless on 12/3/2010 9:15:45 AM , Rating: 5
Obama's first respectable act as president of the United States.




RE: This would be.....
By The Raven on 12/3/2010 9:53:35 AM , Rating: 2
I respectfully disagree.

I think it was taking that elbow to the mouth during his recent basketball game.


RE: This would be.....
By AssBall on 12/3/2010 9:58:22 AM , Rating: 2
Wasn't there some kind of movement like 12+ years ago to do something similar with commercials' high volume? Maybe it was a different kind of deal, but the results sure didn't fruitate.


RE: This would be.....
By The Raven on 12/3/2010 10:07:34 AM , Rating: 2
A a society, we weren't as aloof as we are now. This kind of crap got shot down pretty quick.

Frankly I think the lawmakers just said "screw it" and agreed to this because they have better things to worry about. I mean could you see anyone filibustering this nonsense?


RE: This would be.....
By AssBall on 12/3/2010 10:32:10 AM , Rating: 2
I suppose you're right. :(


RE: This would be.....
By theapparition on 12/3/2010 10:38:36 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
Frankly I think the lawmakers just said "screw it" and agreed to this because they have better things to worry about. I mean could you see anyone filibustering this nonsense?

Or more likely, this legislation had earmarks for 2 mil for Wisconsin dairy famers, 100 mil for inner city developement, 35 mil for study of mating ritual of Californian fruit flys, and 220 mil for promotion of "green" energy.

That's the only way it would have gotten through so easily.


RE: This would be.....
By The Raven on 12/3/2010 11:18:55 AM , Rating: 2
Wow that is right on the money I bet.

Funny how Obama thinks outlawing earmarks is less of a noble cause than this. He is actually pro-earmark. He completely changed his stance in the first year in office. What a d-bag. At least with Dubya it was ignorance/stupidity that explained his actions. Obama seems like his is mentally capable to handle these matters and yet consciously chooses againt better judgement.

Well unfortunately for him, I will be voting against him in the next election, and unfortunately for me and other level headed free thinkers who vote libertarian, the majority will vote for Obama or Palin lol.

We are doomed.


RE: This would be.....
By AssBall on 12/3/2010 12:54:02 PM , Rating: 2
I thought I was the only one who voted for Bob Barr.


RE: This would be.....
By JakLee on 12/3/2010 4:16:29 PM , Rating: 2
I will continue to vote for Chuck Norris as a write in candidate until someone better comes along.


RE: This would be.....
By ZaethDekar on 12/6/2010 2:57:58 AM , Rating: 2
At least there were three votes for Mr. Norris that I know of.


RE: This would be.....
By The Raven on 12/6/2010 11:32:06 AM , Rating: 2
Chuck Norris doesn't ask for your votes: he takes them.

Chuck is a die-hard republican (which means Christian conservative these days) from what I understand. I would still vote for him as an honest person though as he seems like quite the boy scout from all the interviews and stories I have heard.

And, no, Chuck is not forcing me to say that ;-)


RE: This would be.....
By foolsgambit11 on 12/3/2010 4:17:46 PM , Rating: 3
The full text (identical in the House and Senate versions) is only a page long, and simply compels the FCC to mandate the usage of the ATSC A/85 recommendation (or its successor) for controlling loudness on digital television (A/85 a 70-page document on technical standards for achieving normalized digital audio). The term digital television includes OTA, cable, and satellite broadcasters. The FCC has a year to write its regulation, then TV stations could apply for waivers of up to two years if they would face financial hardship from obtaining the necessary equipment. So in 3 years, all stations should have adopted this policy.

No funding of any sort (including to the TV companies who will be paying the expense of complying with this law) is authorized in this bill. But nice cynicism.


RE: This would be.....
By FITCamaro on 12/3/2010 12:07:36 PM , Rating: 2
Yes I was extremely pleased to see someone deliver a shot that I would love to give myself. Even if it was accidental.

Goes for most of Congress as well.


RE: This would be.....
By MeesterNid on 12/3/10, Rating: -1
RE: This would be.....
By Ristogod on 12/3/10, Rating: -1
RE: This would be.....
By leexgx on 12/4/10, Rating: 0
By Golgatha on 12/3/2010 9:51:39 AM , Rating: 4
Use a DVR and don't watch the commercials. Heck, even if I feel I need to watch something live, I just record around 10 minutes of footage, rewind to the beginning, and skip all the commercials.




By Golgatha on 12/3/2010 9:52:52 AM , Rating: 2
My one exception is sporting events. Pretty much have to watch those live, because we will get the inevitable phone call at the end of the game.


By The Raven on 12/3/2010 10:04:01 AM , Rating: 2
Very true, but then again if we all just muted the commercials the advertisers would hear us and remedy their actions. But we have no personal will anymore. Just a bunch of sheep.

Hell I bet the reason that they make them so loud is because they got wind of the fact that people would walk away from the TV during commercials to do dishes or what not.

I mean it is hard to hear what they are saying over a flushing toilet.


By JediJeb on 12/3/2010 2:35:21 PM , Rating: 3
Sadly though, if congress didn't do this and advertisers learned we were muting the TV when commercials come on, they would have lobbied to get a law passed adding a device to the TV that would not allow muting during commercials but instead turn you volume full up.

It's a wonder the RIAA or MPAA doesn't take this to court to get it declared unconstitutional because it infringes on the rights of the advertisers to loud speech and it also will cause loss of revenue to the networks because now people in the next state can't hear the commercials. You know once they take out all the pirates and downloaders the next thing they will go after are the commercial skippers and muters because we are interfering with their rights to make tons of profits from commercials.

Oh this is only going to end badly :P


By The Raven on 12/6/2010 11:41:33 AM , Rating: 2
Well the answer is for people who don't like it to turn off the TV signal completely and buy or rent what you want on DVD or internet streaming (BTW like I do, despite the fac that I don't mind the CM volume at this point). We can run AND hide from their attempts to subsidize their programming. But only if we choose to. This should be a self correcting problem but these law makers think that some standup's routine re: "What's the deal with commercials?" should affect the laws of the land.

There is nothing sad about this in my house as we exercise our free will. And it is not like people are dying from this excess volume in other households because they choose not to exercise their will. ITS FREAKING TV THAT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT!!! This is completely and utterly BS.


speaking of annoying commercials
By AssBall on 12/3/2010 10:01:22 AM , Rating: 5
Maybe we can get DT to ban annoying mouseovers, slow loading advertisements, and invasive banner/margin ads.

HAHAHAHAHAHA....I kidding of course...




RE: speaking of annoying commercials
By danobrega on 12/3/2010 1:32:07 PM , Rating: 2
FireFox + AdBlock Plus + NoScript


RE: speaking of annoying commercials
By Yames on 12/3/2010 4:22:12 PM , Rating: 2
I use noscript, what mouse overs?


By AssBall on 12/4/2010 6:42:12 PM , Rating: 4
Apparently noscript also blocks your sense of sarcam, iron, and humor as well.


I like Flo!
By quiksilvr on 12/3/2010 9:11:33 AM , Rating: 4
Stephanie Courtney is hilarious! Yeah, some of the commercials are miss but most of them are pretty funny and random.

UNICORNS AND GLITTER!




RE: I like Flo!
By CZroe on 12/3/2010 11:18:51 AM , Rating: 2
I was coming in to say the same thing. :)

"Now if we can just get Congress to ban annoying commercials... "

D:


RE: I like Flo!
By BadAcid on 12/3/2010 11:43:30 AM , Rating: 2
I have a Flo fetish.
Her commercials with the awkward pauses and interrupted punchlines, so many parallels make it the perfect metaphor for my dates.


RE: I like Flo!
By kattanna on 12/3/2010 11:54:31 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I have a Flo fetish


LOL yeah she is oddly cute in a way


RE: I like Flo!
By Breathless on 12/3/2010 5:25:08 PM , Rating: 2
(shudders)


Nobody seems to be listening
By The Raven on 12/3/10, Rating: 0
RE: Nobody seems to be listening
By The Raven on 12/3/2010 9:59:21 AM , Rating: 2
Not to put to fine a point on it, but I stopped watching TV regularly because of commercials in general. I get shows on DVD or instant streaming from Netflix because it is cheap and a much better experience. And if you don't have/want Netflix, there are many other alternatives out there. Number one being mute the commercials or don't watch at all. No one here is trapped in a hell of loud commercials


RE: Nobody seems to be listening
By MindParadox on 12/3/2010 11:39:47 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
That is patently rediculous


umm, when did you diculous? and why did you feel the need to do it again?

THE WORD IS RIDICULOUS!!!!!!!!! as are you :)


RE: Nobody seems to be listening
By The Raven on 12/6/2010 11:45:49 AM , Rating: 2
The thought that people are perfect and that typos are the stuff of legend is ridiculous. ;-)

Sorry, but laws like this drive me into a rage and an innocent word might get harmed in the process.


RE: Nobody seems to be listening
By YashBudini on 12/6/2010 5:58:07 PM , Rating: 1
He probably went to one of the 6 colleges Palin went to.


What to do?
By delphinus100 on 12/4/2010 7:28:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
That means that TV watchers end up having to have the remote in hands to adjust the volume constantly and depending on the show and the number of commercials that constant adjustment can quickly get annoying.


Aww. How the hell did civilization ever survive before remote controls?

Oh, wait. That's right, you made the kids get up and do it...




RE: What to do?
By Zaranthos on 12/4/2010 9:59:22 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Oh, wait. That's right, you made the kids get up and do it...


So that's how we weren't so fat as kids. I do remember, jump up, go change the channel, jump up, go adjust the volume. :)


RE: What to do?
By delphinus100 on 12/5/2010 6:32:44 PM , Rating: 2
Yep. Same here...


This is a good law
By bigboxes on 12/3/2010 10:54:50 AM , Rating: 5
It shouldn't have to be this way, but when you can't get the broadcasters to play at an even volume then you got no choice. Don't give me that crap that I should have the remote implanted into my hand and just simply mute the volume every time a commercial comes on. In fact, the problem has gotten worse in recent years. If you really want your commercials to be a lot louder than the audio level of your broadcaster's programming the solution is obvious. Turn up the volume manually. There's your freedom right there.




Mute
By masamasa on 12/3/2010 11:04:49 AM , Rating: 2
Best thing ever invented on a remote. Made specifically for commercials!




RE: Mute
By kattanna on 12/3/2010 11:53:55 AM , Rating: 2
i would have to say fast forward. but we never watch "live" TV, everything has been recorded on the DVR


Well
By FITCamaro on 12/3/2010 12:09:25 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Now if we can just get Congress to ban annoying commercials...


Well since you don't mind frivolous laws, I vote a ban on journalists who can't use proper grammar and/or spelling. All the journalists here would be screwed.




Stupid networks
By Zaranthos on 12/3/2010 9:40:50 AM , Rating: 2
I've been dealing with this the correct way for years. They crank the volume, I turn it off. Hear that SyFy channel? Advertising I don't see doesn't help them. Do we really need the government to do everything for us?




Curious
By SpinCircle on 12/3/2010 9:53:26 AM , Rating: 2
I thought at one time that commercials were actually no louder than the loudest part of the show you are watching... they just stay at that volume the whole time. So, if you are watching, say an action filled show, the commercial wouldn't be any louder than the explosions/fights/guns/whatever. If they just do that, wouldn't they be within the new guidelines and still be annoyingly loud?




This guy is a Senator?!
By The Raven on 12/3/2010 10:12:20 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The sponsor of the Senate bill was Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse. Whitehouse stated, "While this is far from the biggest issue we face, it will mean one less daily annoyance in our lives."

It sounds like this guy should've been the organizer of a Facebook group instead of a Senator.

But what else can you expect from a part of our country where a deranged Adam West serves as a mayor?




Compression
By Aikouka on 12/3/2010 11:23:42 AM , Rating: 2
I thought I recalled hearing that the loudness of things was typically caused by compression? So I guess this bill would limit the use of it.

I tried to find something to corroborate this and I found...

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamic_range_compres...
quote:
As was alluded to above, the use of compressors to boost perceived volume is a favorite trick of broadcasters who want their station to sound "louder" at the same volume than comparable stations on the dial. The effect is to make the more heavily compressed station "jump out" at the listener at a given volume setting.

But loudness jumps are not limited to inter-channel differences; they also exist between programme material within the same channel. Loudness differences are a frequent source of audience complaints, especially TV Commercials and Promos which are known to be 'too loud'. One complicating factor is that many broadcasters use (quasi-)peak meters and peak-levelling. Unfortunately the peak level reading does not correlate very well with the perceived loudness. It basically should only be used to prevent overmodulation.




RE: Compression
By dlmartin53 on 12/3/10, Rating: 0
Why are you complaining?
By CowKing on 12/3/2010 12:42:00 PM , Rating: 2
Congress does all the time with these "minor" regulations. I don't see how this encroaches on anyone's personal lives besides the fact that you might like loud commercials, and in that case I'll take a wild stab and say you're the minority.

BTW, if anyone wants to know THIS is socialism. "Government affecting the means of production". I think we can all agree that it's pretty strange to fight this. If the free market decided this then we wouldn't be having this problem.




Those poor, poor Advertisers.
By priusone on 12/3/2010 12:59:42 PM , Rating: 2
First there's talk about being able to opt out of having your activities tracked online, and now Advertisers are going to be band from blasting commercials into your skull.




Isn't this what the FCC is for?
By jhie on 12/3/2010 1:17:13 PM , Rating: 2
Without regulation, the providers have zero incentive to not do this very annoying practice. Seems like FCC should do it as a matter of course.




what are commercials?
By johnsonx on 12/3/2010 1:29:25 PM , Rating: 2
What are commercials? Oh, are those the things that my HTPC skips past automatically? You mean if I ever saw a commercial it would be loud? I'm doubly glad I never see or hear them then.




Some providers are worse than others
By HrilL on 12/3/2010 1:49:17 PM , Rating: 2
At my parents they have Direct TV and those commercials are always way louder than the shows by a large margin. As for at my place with Cox it doesn't seem to be nearly as bad. I'm still happy to see this law get passed but I'm sure its also full of pork that we really don't need so that is a s shame.




I'm waiting...
By morphologia on 12/3/2010 2:49:22 PM , Rating: 2
So, when will this actually take effect in a noticeable way? I've been waiting for this bill to make itself useful for most of this year.




small Gov minded
By ssjwes1980 on 12/3/2010 10:13:44 PM , Rating: 2
I dont really like big gov but this has been going on for a pretty long time I feel conflicted on one hand I think its not any of there business but on the other I think about time something happened




And Another Thing
By GTVic on 12/4/2010 3:35:43 AM , Rating: 2
I think they should also regulate the way a lot of programs and advertisers use fast moving and quick changing images.

They'll show a rapid succession of 1/2 second clips of fast moving images that on a wide screen TV are really starting to make me dizzy.

Everything from commercials to sports show intros to prime time TV does this and I think it is getting excessive.




Try this
By YashBudini on 12/4/2010 12:36:05 PM , Rating: 2
Call Time Warner and say that ads are suddenly too loud and they are breaking the law.

When they respond they have no control then tell them it's their ads which break the law, which they do.

Don't hold your breath waiting for them to be ethical.

Ah life as a corporation, such freedom!




Thank goodness
By rburnham on 12/3/2010 6:07:58 PM , Rating: 1
I have noticed that when SD and HD is mixed together, like an SD commercial following an HD program, the SD always has much louder audio.

Oh, and I want to bang that chubby Progressive chick. Yeah.




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