Congress passes law ordering FCC to lower volume on TV commercials

Congress passes law ordering FCC to lower volume on TV commercials

Summary: They can't agree on a budget, or what to do about taxes, or much of anything else, but members of Congress have managed to get one piece of legislation through both houses that will make a difference to their constituents when it comes to watching TV.

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They can't agree on a budget, or what to do about taxes, or much of anything else, but members of Congress have managed to get one piece of legislation through both houses that will make a difference to their constituents when it comes to watching TV.

You've probably noticed that when your favorite programs go to commercial breaks that certain ads -- including, it seems, a large portion of local car dealership spots -- blast out at a considerably higher volume than the show you were watching 30 seconds prior. That's because the Federal Communication Commission has never had the power to regulate the volume of ads on the airwaves. Enter the CALM Act, which stands for Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation. The Senate passed the bill last week, and it will be reconciled with a similar piece of legislation the House passed in order to land on the President's desk.

Under the law, the FCC will have to make stations adhere to "internationally accepted standards of television advertisement volumes." That will be music to the ears of people who watch TV the old-fashioned way -- without a DVR to fast-forward through ads or an HDTV that can automatically calibrate the volume based on source material. More and more people are finding ways to circumvent commercials altogether, however, so the problem is becoming less of a nuisance with each passing day.

Leave it to Congress to legislate away an issue that's been known for ages but that technology was nearly rendering irrelevant anyway.

[Via Wired.com]

Topics: Government US, Banking, Government, Hardware, Mobility

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53 comments
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  • Figures

    Our economy is circling the drain, the Bush tax cuts for everyone are about to expire, we are still fighting in two wars, unemployment remains at near record levels, companies are dropping insurance for their employees due to Obamacare, and the people are on the verge of revolt, so Congress passes a bill to require lower volumes on TV commercials?

    No wonder Congress has an approval rating in the singe digits.
    itpro_z
    • Silly

      @itpro_z

      The economy is recovering and has shown the first gains in employment since the beginning of the Bush Administration. As of Sept. 30, 2010, the national GDP saw a 1.7% increase...which means we are no longer in a recession. We won't see real job growth till we reach 3% increase.

      No tax cuts are expiring for me. And those that it is expiring for have already found their "tax cuts" while laying me off and increasing the price of everything. How do I compensate? I have no sympathy for the rich who should be helping spend our way out of this economy and who are very much to blame in the first place.

      What companies are dropping health insurance for their employees? McDonalds? I worked in food/retail management for almost 20 years. They don't give benefits anyway. Especially to part timers...which is all they will let you hire. So, remember that. Retail/Food Service doesn't usually offer health insurance or ANY benefits for part time workers. Then they tell you that you have to hire part time workers only....and you do because that comes directly out of the store managers budget costs (pretty much everything does if they can get away with it). There are some exceptions like Walmart and IKEA. But even then, the part time workers don't get the same benefits the full time workers get. And remember, they are being told they have to be part time.

      Who is on the verge of revolt? The Teabaggers? Please! I can get more people to turn out for a rally to save blue puppies.

      Obama was elected to do every single thing he has done. He campaigned on it. The revolt is really from those that think he hasn't gone far enough. Those are the people that will matter in this election. And I'm sure they won't suddenly vote against someone who lives up to almost every single promise he's made in only two years.

      Also, combat operations in Iraq have ended. We are pretty much fighting only one war. Unless, you count Obama & Petreaus' sly actions in Pakistan.
      Jared Neale
      • Still a bonehead move

        Letting taxes go up in a down economy
        spending twice what you make
        what a bunch of morons
        zmud
      • RE:Still a bonehead move

        @zmud: "Still a bonehead move
        Letting taxes go up in a down economy
        spending twice what you make
        what a bunch of morons"
        .
        Not if the increase only hits those whose discretionaly spending is not greatly affected. We are talking about incomes in excess of $250,000. 'Oh dear, we aren't going to be able to afford the Mediterannean cruise this year. We will have to go to the Carribean instead. Again!'
        raelalt
      • RE: Congress passes law ordering FCC to lower volume on TV commercials

        @Jared Neale.. you're learned, that's for sure. So how can you be so full of bulls**t?
        Crusader325
    • RE: Congress passes law ordering FCC to lower volume on TV commercials

      @itpro_z
      Quit whining, progress is progress and this has been an issue longer than economic woes. Not sure about the single-digit approval ratings, care to enlighten us with a link to that data?
      ryanstrassburg
    • RE: Congress passes law ordering FCC to lower volume on TV commercials

      @itpro_z

      Please explain why passing a small piece of legislation is not the job of the government?

      Also explain why passing a small bill somehow prevents them from fixing the other problems?

      This is like the people who get pulled over for speeding and berate the police officer for not catching bigger criminals. It's just plain stupid - all of the jobs of government need to be done!!!

      About time the tax cuts expire for the multi millionaires, and the mates of Bush who make billions from your misery!!!

      And get more Obamacare - believe me it is much nicer living in a country where people don't die due to lack of money!!!

      Here nobody has to pick a job by the health care package - because nobody needs one.
      richardw66
      • RE: Congress passes law ordering FCC to lower volume on TV commercials

        @richardw66 it is the job of the government you are correct, and no its not keeping them from passing other bills, each party is doing a good enough job of back stabbing the other party to keep from doing anything meaningful, they passed a law that for all intents and purposes is a non issue, or with the right technology becomes a non issue, its like passing a law saying a horse carriage can only go 10mph on a city street today... sure you see the occasional horse in the city, but not very darn many....
        nickdangerthirdi@...
      • Not even close to correct.

        @richardw66

        Read your history!
        The job of the Federal government is to protect the rights and liberties of individuals if infringed by the other governments and businesses it was granted authority over, not to provide health care, etc and care for individuals cradle to grave.

        This legislation qualifies for that, so you are correct on that one small point.
        The_Curmudgeon
    • Yes, of course,

      @itpro_z ...if they do this, they can't do anything else. We should never address any problems until everything alse is perfect, should we?
      Papa_Bill
  • Should have just made the law apply to all advertising in the us and

    ignored the FCC. We need to keep the FCC moronic futzing around away from the internet, but it'd be nice if this applied to net advertising as well.
    Johnny Vegas
    • RE: Congress passes law ordering FCC to lower volume on TV commercials

      @Johnny Vegas.. could we just start with the freakin' TV comercials? sheesh.
      Crusader325
  • RE: Congress passes law ordering FCC to lower volume on TV commercials

    So I'm 63. I've put up with loud commercials for 50 years. And NOW that I am crazy from that s++t and almost dead, they do something about it!
    Next on the list: A minimum amount of time per half hour of regular programming.
    Grandpa1947
    • Right on, Grandpa1947

      @Grandpa1947 ...Grandpa 1945 agrees wholeheartedly. But apparently the early-deafness generation could care less.
      Look how they are trying to defer conversation other admittedly weighty matters.
      Papa_Bill
    • RE: Congress passes law ordering FCC to lower volume on TV commercials

      @Grandpa1947.. Ha! I'm 61 and agree. But the loud commercials still piss me off... gotta start somehwhere...
      Crusader325
  • millerjame

    You know what You guys should stop complaining because, one the health care we have now isnt as good as it was supposed to be. also the law has just been signed so give it some time. so if u want to say u have the right to choose tell that to ur congress men or state official. If you do not have insurance and need one You can find full medical coverage at the lowest price by calling 877-882-4740 or check http://bit.ly/bkys0B If you have health insurance and do not care about cost just be happy it and trust me you are not going to loose anything!
    millerjame04
    • Way off topic

      @millerjame04 NFC
      Papa_Bill
      • RE: Congress passes law ordering FCC to lower volume on TV commercials

        @becabill .. thank you...
        Crusader325
    • RE: Congress passes law ordering FCC to lower volume on TV commercials

      @millerjame04..your SPAM can kiss my ass
      Crusader325
  • RE: Congress passes law ordering FCC to lower volume on TV commercials

    I'm amazed that so many people don't know the difference between loose and LOSE!
    jack-z