Congress Tackles Loud Commercials

Health care shmealth care — government is finally working to solve a problem we can all get behind: loud commercials. The House Communications Subcommittee has approved a bill that would require broadcasters and operators (including satellite and cable) to normalize the volume of TV advertisements.

Broadcasting & Cable writes that the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation (CALM) is backed by Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.):

Eshoo said the bill premise was simple: “To make the volume of commercials and programming uniform so that spikes in volume do not affect the consumer’s ability to control sound.” Eshoo said that ad volume spikes had “endangered hearing for decades.” She also said legislative spouses had been urging their husbands or wives to sign on as co-sponsors. “I think they are all tired of getting blasted out of their easy chairs or off their exercise equipment due to these ridiculously loud commercials.”

After the fast-forward button (to zap through the commercials entirely), “mute” is the second most used button on the Albrecht remote. I’m not sure why advertisers think that YELLING at us will make us like their product, but hopefully this bill will pass and the TV will quiet down.

It looks like the bill only addresses oldteevee, which is too bad because we’ve noticed that newteevee sites definitely fiddle with the ad volume as well.