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Everyone remain CALM

The senate recently approved the CALM act which puts measures into place preventing television commercials from being louder than the programs in which they are contained. For those who still have cable, and are not already fast forwarding through commercials via DVR, this should be music to your ears. These measures will require compliance within a year. What is not immediately clear is how this might impact streaming video, such as Hulu, whose videos often contain advertisements of their own. Suffices to say, however, that advertisers will simply find new ways of vying for your attention, now that you cannot be sonically blown away by ads for PC quick fixes and technical institutes. (I’m looking squarely at you, G4).

Those looking to dive right into the leagaleze can follow this link:

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?c111:1:./temp/~c1114hYzrN::

Scott

Hi, I’m one of the founders of Nerd Appropriate and the Rated NA podcast. I like good and bad sci-fi films and tv, pho, and the retrofuture. I am primarily an Xbox gamer, but also do some PC and Wii U gaming as well. By day, I am a research scientist, mostly in topics related to human-computer interaction and user experience. Before all this, fellow NA co-founder Matt and I played music together in various bands. I also used to make "comedy" videos for my high school morning news program before there was a place to post them online. Favorite Star Wars character? Admiral Ackbar. Best Bond era? Timothy Dalton (Craig a close second). Game of all time? Maybe System Shock 2. Thanks for being a part of this labor of nerdy love with us.
  • If G4 commercials are loud, and no Direct TV customers are around to hear it, does it still make a sound?

  • Pilx

    We get complaints about this all the time…the thing is at least from what I’ve seen…commercials aren’t necessarily louder than the programming. Commercial audio is super compressed making it seem louder while its really just at the peak all the time. So it technically falls in to compliance.

    I’m not sure what this bill is supposed to limit…the amount of compression on the audio or the actual volume. I guess it could be an average volume through out the commercial compared to the programming, that could work…I predict new ways for advertisers to piss you off (what’s new?)

  • The means by which this act will be enforced do not seem too clear either. I had no idea this was something to get angry about on a regulation level, considering that one could fast forward on a DVR or use the volume normalization features of a receiver to address these things. Its all cat and mouse.

  • Ash


    Scott:

    What is not immediately clear is how this might impact streaming video, such as Hulu, whose videos often contain advertisements of their own.

    Ive noticed the volume issue on streaming video as well. I tend to: ignore/FF/or open another window whenever a commercial appears.

    And BTW Pilx’s post confirms he is totally NA.

  • Micah G

    This is magical. I only have two life modes: grandpa and teenager. When in grandpa mode I need whisper quite TV so I can nap in “Elena’s snuggie”… in teenager mode I watch TV so loud that the slightest unexpected volume increase violently sheers my delicate organ of corti into meat bits. So this is a wonderful piece of legislation.