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View Full Version : *Regulating VOLUME on TV commercials*



Batgirl
February 26th, 2008, 02:01 PM
This is an annoyance for most of us, especially the Oxy Clean and KaBoom guy who screams at the top of his lungs and similar spokespeople. They just seem to get louder and louder.

Anyway, I'm spending some time with my Mom who is hard of hearing, so with her volume already turned up the difference is really noticeable when the commercials come on. She's looking for the remote to mute the TV every few minutes. I told her I'd look around and see if there was a product that might help regulate the sound so that there wasn't such a variance.

I found this: http://www.firststreetonline.com/product.jsp?id=55851

Does anyone have any experience with this or a similar product?

Thanks. :)

oleblue
February 26th, 2008, 02:18 PM
Never tried a device like that, just always had a Magnavox TV with "Smart Sound" built in which does the same kind of thing. Those TV's worked OK. There was times during a movie that it would chop off the high volume parts, so I would turn it (Smart sound) off during movies.

denverd0n
February 26th, 2008, 02:18 PM
I don't know of a solution, BUT...

A couple of years ago I was watching some program where they were talking about this. There was a guy there from some advertising agency that was trying to rationalize it. He said--and I am not kidding!--that "the commercials aren't actually louder, they just sound that way."

I have to say that among the many moronic statements I have heard in my lifetime, this one ranks VERY near to the top!

Batgirl
February 26th, 2008, 02:21 PM
I don't know of a solution, BUT...

A couple of years ago I was watching some program where they were talking about this. There was a guy there from some advertising agency that was trying to rationalize it. He said--and I am not kidding!--that "the commercials aren't actually louder, they just sound that way."

I have to say that among the many moronic statements I have heard in my lifetime, this one ranks VERY near to the top! :D

I had someone try to sell that on another website...insisting it was just a 'perception' that commercials were louder. :rolleyes:

CherryokeeXJ
February 26th, 2008, 02:37 PM
It's hilarious this subject came up. I always whine because when the commericials come on I get blown across the house. Hubby's hearing isn't too great so we turn it up during the actual shows. The kid's channels are even worse.

DaJudge
February 26th, 2008, 03:19 PM
It's hilarious this subject came up. I always whine because when the commericials come on I get blown across the house. Hubby's hearing isn't too great so we turn it up during the actual shows. The kid's channels are even worse.
We solved that problem in our house by leaving the volume at a comfortable level for SWMBO and turning on the closed captioning for me.

As I understand it the statement about commercials being the same volume but 'sounding' louder is true. The FCC won't let them boost the volume so they clean up the sound-to-noise ratio which has the same effect.

Edit: I think that should be signal-to-noise ratio but y'all know I'm not a genius when it comes to tech stuff.

Colin
February 26th, 2008, 03:28 PM
I love my TV. Has a volume regulator built in.

My dad's likes sci fi channel, they are bad about the volume difference.

rch
February 26th, 2008, 03:33 PM
Head on, apply directly to the forehead, Head On, apply directly to the forehead, Head On, apply directly to the forehead.

Tom N
February 26th, 2008, 03:39 PM
I've always thought TNT and TBS were the worst for this. That Bastage Ted Turner! :P bb

Loki
February 26th, 2008, 03:44 PM
Thats why I Tivo everything I want to see, and fast forward thru the commercials...:D

grimmjeeper
February 26th, 2008, 04:12 PM
We solved that problem in our house by leaving the volume at a comfortable level for SWMBO and turning on the closed captioning for me.

As I understand it the statement about commercials being the same volume but 'sounding' louder is true. The FCC won't let them boost the volume so they clean up the sound-to-noise ratio which has the same effect.

I've also noticed that when watching over-the-air HD broadcasts, the commercials run full volume through the surround speakers, main speakers and center speaker. The TV show splits up the sound for the most part. While they don't turn up the volume, running a voice through 5 speakers instead of 1 makes it sound a lot louder.

Taz
February 26th, 2008, 04:14 PM
We solved that problem in our house by leaving the volume at a comfortable level for SWMBO and turning on the closed captioning for me.

As I understand it the statement about commercials being the same volume but 'sounding' louder is true. The FCC won't let them boost the volume so they clean up the sound-to-noise ratio which has the same effect.

I tell you what when I am watching a movie I like to crank the surround sound. Then when a commercial pops up my windows and doors shake. I would say they have found a very effective way around this and like mentioned some channels are worse than others........Maybe they are turned down? I don't know but even when I am in a motel room this is very noticable and I am sure when a commercial comes on it pisses people off in the rooms next to me. Say what you want, regulations or not, it does happen.

Slacker
February 26th, 2008, 04:38 PM
It's all in your perception....they are not really louder, they just seem like it.

The sounds in the ads are compressed and are played near the maximum allowed levels........whereas normal shows have soft sounds, medium sounds, and loud sounds (and the loud sounds still do not exceed the maximum allowed levels). The following is from some geekazoid sound guy:

Sound levels in TV broadcasting have traditionally been measured using Peak Programme Meters (PPMs), which indicate the peak sound levels (the loudest part or parts) of ads? soundtracks. Currently, the BCAP TV Advertising Standards Code states that: ?ads must not be excessively noisy or strident. Studio transmission power must not be increased from normal levels during advertising.?

To comply with the rule, broadcasters are told that the peak sound level at the studio output should not exceed a level of 6 on the PPM or, as a lot of advertisers today use sound compression techniques, a maximum level of 4 on the PPM is imposed on ads with a highly compressed soundtrack. Compressing an ad?s soundtrack is akin to levelling out the ?peaks and troughs? of the sound waves so that the peak levels of the compressed version would be the same as those of the ?natural? version but the ?troughs? are raised.

The overall effect will be that the ad is subjectively louder. Also an ad break may occur during a quiet moment in a programme, therefore increasing the perceived loudness of the ads that follow.

Taz
February 26th, 2008, 04:54 PM
That would mean if you take the average level of sound from your movie, and the average level of sound from the commercial, they are louder............. even if they are only at 4PPM. Mostly because it is consistant where as in your movie or other broadcasts are not. I bet if you took a db meter and measured the average levels you would find comercials run at a much higher average db level than other broadcasts by far. That would make them louder..............

denverd0n
February 26th, 2008, 05:22 PM
That would make them louder...
Not to mention the fact that words like "loud," and "louder" are subjective and hence inherently a matter of perception--meaning that if you PERCEIVE something as being louder then it IS louder!

Yucca-Man
February 26th, 2008, 05:39 PM
I've always thought TNT and TBS were the worst for this. That Bastage Ted Turner! :P bbIsn't it TNT that covers the bottom 1/3 of the screen with moving graphics? I seem to recall a friggin' NASCAR Pit Crew dancing around in front of the show many times last year...

I often have the captioning on anyway, and have noticed either they pump the volume or clean up the signal-to-noise ratio during most commercials.

Good to 'see' ya, hon! :D

Batgirl
February 27th, 2008, 01:30 AM
Hmmm. Okay, if the commercials are NOT technically 'louder', then why do TV's have built-in sound regulators, and why is there a product like the one I linked to at the beginning of the article? :confused:




Good to 'see' ya, hon! :D

Good to 'see' you too! Muaaaaaah! (Waving) 8 and a wake up! :bounce2:

Rhino95
February 27th, 2008, 03:00 AM
Switching b/t Leno and Lettermen drives me bat sh!t!

Leno's all quite

Lettermen isn't!