CALM Act regulating TV commercial volume takes effect today


Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

So I had the TV on to KVOA News at 5:00 p.m. on the Cox Communications cable system, and the volume for a live remote from Kristi Tedesko jumped up a good 50% in volume from the news broadcast. Then when NBC Nightly News came on, the musical flourish at the beginning of the newscast did the same thing.

These are broadcast shows, not TV commercials, but really? What's up with the volume.

The news that these shows did not report tonight is that the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation (CALM) Act, which limits the volume of TV commercials, goes into effect today. I guess someone didn"t get the memo. CALM law regulating TV commercial volume takes effect –

Prompted by an outcry from irritated consumers, Congress more than a year ago passed the law, sponsored by Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-Menlo Park). It will be enforced by the Federal Communications Commission

Viewers can report super-loud commercials to the FCC on the agency's website or by calling 1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-225-5322).

It would seem like an easy
enough fix for broadcasters, but solving the volume problem required
advances in technology — and equipment upgrades for TV stations and
cable and satellite TV operators that are responsible for modulating the

Normal listening levels are about 70 decibels for a television show, but
levels can vary. Sound metering equipment long used by broadcasters was
not sensitive enough to discern fluctuations in volume.

* * *

"The people who were creating the commercials learned how to exploit the
meters and fly below the radar," Lund said. The result: blaring ads.

* * *

Most broadcasters have been been preparing for the new law, so the
frequency of excessively loud ads has diminished during the past year.

Apparently not Cox Communications in Tucson.

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AZ BlueMeanie
The Blue Meanie is an Arizona citizen who wishes, for professional reasons, to remain anonymous when blogging about politics. Armed with a deep knowledge of the law, politics and public policy, as well as pen filled with all the colors stolen from Pepperland, the Blue Meanie’s mission is to pursue and prosecute the hypocrites, liars, and fools of politics and the media – which, in practical terms, is nearly all of them. Don’t even try to unmask him or he’ll seal you in a music-proof bubble and rendition you to Pepperland for a good face-stomping. Read blog posts by the infamous and prolific AZ Blue Meanie here.