Turn it down! FCC approves new rules to quiet noisy TV commercials

Summary:When you're not fast forwarding through commercials during shows recorded on your DVR, you may have noticed that some pesky ads try to blast into your brain by being 10 decibels louder than the show you're watching. Thanks to the FCC, you'll no longer have to scramble for your remote to quickly turn the volume down.

When you're not fast forwarding through commercials during shows recorded on your DVR, you may have noticed that some pesky ads try to blast into your brain by being 10 decibels louder than the show you're watching. Thanks to the FCC, you'll no longer have to scramble for your remote to quickly turn the volume down.

In what can only be called a Christmas miracle, the commission was actually unanimous (for once) in its support of new rules that will make cable operators and TV stations ensure that commercials are not louder than the show you're watching. The new rules follow Congressional action last year that gave the FCC authority to create the regulations. If you get your service from a smaller cable operator, a loud commercial could slip through, however, because it will be required to make fewer spot checks than the big boys.

The only bad news (except maybe for desperate advertisers) is that the new rules won't go into effect until next December. So we'll have to endure another 12 months of ear-shattering ads, but next year TV viewers will be getting a sweet holiday gift.

[Via The Wall Street Journal]

Topics: Mobility, Government, Government : US, Hardware

About

Sean Portnoy started his tech writing career at ZDNet nearly a decade ago. He then spent several years as an editor at Computer Shopper magazine, most recently serving as online executive editor. He received a B.A. from Brown University and an M.A. from the University of Southern California.

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