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+ - Senate Votes to Turn Down Volume on TV Commercials-> 1

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Hugh Pickens
Hugh Pickens writes "Ever since television caught on in the 1950s, the FCC has been getting complaints about blaring commercials but concluded in 1984 there was no fair way to write regulations controlling the "apparent loudness" of commercials. Now AP reports that the Senate has unanimously passed a bill to require television stations and cable companies to keep commercials at the same volume as the programs they interrupt using industry guidelines on how to process, measure and transmit audio in a uniform way. Senator Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., a co-sponsor, says it's time to stop the use of loud commercials to startle viewers into paying attention. "TV viewers should be able to watch their favorite programs without fear of losing their hearing when the show goes to a commercial." The House has already passed similar legislation so before the new measure becomes law, minor differences between the two versions have to be worked out when Congress returns to Washington after the November 2 election."
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Senate Votes to Turn Down Volume on TV Commercials

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  • Audio levels are measured in millivolts mV or decibels dB. If you look up the HDTV standards there are standards for the signal level of broadcast audio. At the time I was working on this a few years ago it was also interesting to note that the signal levels for commercials was indeed set to be much higher than the normal broadcast.

    Another trick that the producers of commercials do is to use speech compression to run the commercial at the maximum allowable gain. This results in a higher average signal level

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