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Thread: Finally, an end to those loud commercials!

  1. #1
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    Default Finally, an end to those loud commercials!

    I never thought I would live to see the day, but finally it seems Congress has passed legislation to end those annoying MUCH LOUDER THAN THE PROGRAM commercials.

    Now if only we can do a few other things:

    1) Limit the frequency of commercial breaks to perhaps four per hour.
    2) Ban advertising on children's programs.
    3) Ban prescription drug commercials ( lawmakers are already trying to do this ).

    2 is already done in the EU, and 3 is done everywhere except the US and New Zealand.
    Last edited by jtr1962; 09-30-2010 at 04:16 PM.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* Connor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Finally, an end to those loud commercials!

    My personal solution to your problem is: I don't watch TV anymore, except for a select few news/sports shows. On the rare occasions I do happen to watch TV, I usually find that I'm not missing anything.

    The WWW is so much more fun to collect your information/media from. I use a good adblocker list with my web browser (Opera 10.62), and my contact with advertisements is near zero.
    'I ought never to act except in such a way that I can also will that my maxim should become a universal law.'

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    Default Re: Finally, an end to those loud commercials!

    Quote Originally Posted by jtr1962 View Post
    1) Limit the frequency of commercial breaks to perhaps four per hour.
    2) Ban advertising on children's programs.
    3) Ban prescription drug commercials

    2 is already done in the EU, and 3 is done everywhere except the US and New Zealand.
    In the UK.
    1 Got it
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Finally, an end to those loud commercials!

    I never really watch TV anymore either but when I do I usually take my netbook down with me so I can surf the internet during commercial breaks.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Finally, an end to those loud commercials!

    I have no problem with loud commercials. I rarely watch tv "live" I record it and skip the commercials completely. If they are going to put 20 minutes worth of commercials an hour that have no interest or entertainment value to me I am not going to waste time watching them. advertisers need to learn to be more entertaining than annoying. I still remember the old commercials with Jim Varney... they were fun to watch.
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    Default Re: Finally, an end to those loud commercials!

    Quote Originally Posted by jtr1962 View Post
    I never thought I would live to see the day, but finally it seems Congress has passed legislation to end those annoying MUCH LOUDER THAN THE PROGRAM commercials.
    I predict the day when TV is going to be just a propaganda and commercial box with no programming at all, like the telescreen in Orwell's 1984.

    I dumped cable years ago. Been doing Netflix and it's the best thing that ever happened.

    I am totally against the "g" intruding on anything but this was needed.

    Rich

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    Default Re: Finally, an end to those loud commercials!

    Quote Originally Posted by Connor View Post
    My personal solution to your problem is: I don't watch TV anymore, except for a select few news/sports shows. On the rare occasions I do happen to watch TV, I usually find that I'm not missing anything.

    The WWW is so much more fun to collect your information/media from. I use a good adblocker list with my web browser (Opera 10.62), and my contact with advertisements is near zero.
    I more or less agree, although some programs I watch aren't readily available any other way except commercial TV. Incidentally, I'm talking here about cable commercial TV, not network commercial TV. I gave up on network TV about 3 decades ago. The only thing I watch on network nowadays is the Olympics.

    I think this new legislation is a boon to those older folks not well-versed in the online world. I've already gone online for all my news and most of my entertainment.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Finally, an end to those loud commercials!

    That's good to hear. And I'll really be happy when the drug commercials end. The network news is nothing but a string of them, aimed obviously at aging farts like me. Notice I didn't call myself old. Don't watch too much TV, mostly PBS, news, and I try not to miss Jeopardy. Pretty good at that, if I say so myself.

    Geoff

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    Default Re: Finally, an end to those loud commercials!

    That is great news, however I do not see when it is supposed to take effect? Lawyers are probably scrambling to find any loophole possible to keep these "blast you in your face and listen to my advertisement" commercials ongoing as long as possible...
    The evening news is where they start by saying "Good Evening" and then proceed to tell you why it isn't...

  10. #10

    Default Re: Finally, an end to those loud commercials!

    Haven't watched TV in years. Didn't know the commercials were louder.

    I don't miss it.
    Got Biodiesel?

  11. #11

    Default Re: Finally, an end to those loud commercials!

    This has driven me nuts for years. Sci-Fi channel was one of the worst and most notorious offenders for a long time, and I recall the CEO of programming defending the practice.

    The excuse is goes something like this: 'prime time shows are recorded in multi-channel, and with full dynamic range. Commercials aren't typically recorded in such a fashion and subject to much more dynamic compression, so they have to be played louder.'

    What this lame logic means is because there might be a car crash or gun fight on your favorite crime show that the monologue for a commercial has to be 20db higher. Uh-huh. The fact is, some networks do this, and other's dont, so that right there blows a hole in this. What's more ironic is because this annoys people so much the networks that don't crank up the ShamWow guy to ear splitting levels are finding that viewers are less likely to change stations out of annoyance than those that do.

    Like somebody said above, maybe if commercials weren't so annoying and were more creative we wouldn't be switching channels.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Finally, an end to those loud commercials!

    I just read books. It's also effective at preventing my brain from liquefying and falling out through my ears. They can legislate against loud commercials, but they can't legislate against stupid content.

    Also, dynamic-range compression is reversible. New stereos do this automagically. The SyFy CEO's argument is butt-cookies.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Finally, an end to those loud commercials!

    Quote Originally Posted by blasterman View Post
    The excuse is goes something like this: 'prime time shows are recorded in multi-channel, and with full dynamic range. Commercials aren't typically recorded in such a fashion and subject to much more dynamic compression, so they have to be played louder.'
    It's not that they have to be played louder. It's that they sound louder when they're set so the peak audio level is set to be the same as the peak level for the program itself. This is what trips everybody up.

    Commercial audio is compressed to sound louder, and it works. It's the same reason why top-40 radio is compressed, to sound "louder" than the competition. Do a google search on radio loudness wars and you'll see what I mean.

    For example - have you ever purchased a recording after hearing it on the radio, and when you get it home, it sounds quite a bit different than it did on the air? That's because the dynamic range was squeezed out by the compressor/limiter at the end of the station's audio chain. When the audio is compressed, the quiet portions of the sound are brought up to the same level as the loudest portions of the passage. This makes the audio sound much louder without actually increasing the peak level. It also increases the normally quiet breathing sounds of an announcer to the point that it sounds like they're gasping. And excessive compression actually causes listener fatigue.

    It's an interesting psychoacoustric gimmick. It's also used by radio stations to bring the quietest portions of the audio above the rumble of road noise in your car.

    The exception to this broadcasting rule is most NPR and classical music stations. They generally don't participate in "loudness wars" and they're more interested in preserving the dynamic range and expressiveness of the music.

    If I hear that the FCC is willing and ready to address the issue of compression, I will feel better that something is actually going to change for the better. However if they only address the issue of peak audio level and "dialnorm" settings, we'll still have commercials that sound louder than the programs.

    /soapbox mode off

  14. #14

    Default Re: Finally, an end to those loud commercials!

    Quote Originally Posted by fyrstormer View Post
    I just read books. It's also effective at preventing my brain from liquefying and falling out through my ears.
    Wait until Kindle has thirty-second ads between chapters.
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    Default Re: Finally, an end to those loud commercials!

    Quote Originally Posted by Flashlight Aficionado View Post
    Wait until Kindle has thirty-second ads between chapters.
    No doubt. I bought my wife one of those for Mother's Day. I can just hear her now when she goes up to read for a half hour before bed having to deal with those.
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  16. #16

    Default Re: Finally, an end to those loud commercials!

    what irked me was when you paid for cable to get cable only channels you got stuck watching commercials just as much from those channels as the ones over the air and had to pay extra for channels without commercials. I call it double charging.
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  17. #17

    Default Re: Finally, an end to those loud commercials!

    Quote Originally Posted by jtr1962 View Post
    3) Ban prescription drug commercials
    They used to be banned in US. It was illegal for prescription drugs to be marketed directly to consumers.
    That changed with a wave of deregulation in 1997. We've been enjoying the benefits only since then.
    Last edited by ElectronGuru; 10-01-2010 at 12:51 AM.
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    *Flashaholic* LuxLuthor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Finally, an end to those loud commercials!

    I could never imagine watching TV without Tivo/DVR & skip ahead buttons on remote. I never start watching a show until there is at least 15-20 mins of buffer so I can time shift through commercials, or the entire show is recorded, and you just zap through them at your leisure.

    You people actually are watching TV without a DVR/Tivo function, and subjecting yourselves to commercial abuse on purpose?

    The worst to me are the political ads.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Finally, an end to those loud commercials!

    +1 Lux. I manage my TV viewing the exact same way. I rarely watch live TV. If something is coming on that I've planned to watch, and even if I'm not doing anything important at the time, I'll either wait for it to buffer some on the DVR, or in most cases, I'll already have it set to record... so I can be doing something else during that time period (like surfing CPF ). Depending, it can free-up many hours in just a weeks time. Multiply that times 52 and.. I don't let TV programing times control me, I control it.
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    Default Re: Finally, an end to those loud commercials!

    Quote Originally Posted by Lite_me View Post
    I don't let TV programing times control me, I control it.
    TV screen still owned your life...you have to sit passively in a couch in front of the screen...like a good dog tied to his kennel.

    Switch to the radio, you can do millions things while listening to the radio. Hopefully in france we have a good group of channels, one of them have no commercials at all, with excellent programms.
    Last edited by Tally-ho; 10-01-2010 at 03:07 AM.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Finally, an end to those loud commercials!

    I stopped watching TV years ago. The few shows worth watching are available on the internet, at my choosing of 'air time', commercial free.

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    Default Re: Finally, an end to those loud commercials!

    My Sony TV has a volume fuction you can activate so it does't get louder during commercials. Downside is that it also doesn't get louder during the films 'Action' scenes. I quite like it and it's easy to turn off if you are watching a DVD. It's called "Volume equaliser" or "normalisation" or something.

  23. #23
    *Flashaholic* carrot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Finally, an end to those loud commercials!

    I consume a lot of TV, although most of it is on streaming services such as Hulu and Netflix... so advertisements on over-the-air TV are actually a fun change of pace for me.

    I like commercials, so one way or another it is not a concern of mine. Not all commercials are good, but the ones that are hilarious, or otherwise awesome make it worthwhile. It also helps that I have CPF open when the TV is on.
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  24. #24

    Default Re: Finally, an end to those loud commercials!

    +1 on Tivo - I can barely watch live TV. I guess I miss some entertaining commercials... it's worth it to me.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Finally, an end to those loud commercials!

    Also, dynamic-range compression is reversible.
    Not true - you can't restore what's not that there. I've seen some high-fi gear use algorithms to try and restore highly compressed pop recordings, but it has limits. The market though is unfortunately people listening to music through iPods and car steroes and not Magnepans :-( Audio buffs are flaming mad over this, although I've found that most of the music worth listening to is available in CD format in a non dynamically compressed state.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Finally, an end to those loud commercials!

    I have a HUGE problem with loud commercials. I've gotten by this with a DVR by forwarding past the commercials but for everyone else, it WOULD be nice if they would stop doing it.

  27. #27

    Default Re: Finally, an end to those loud commercials!

    My television already regulates the volume of commercials.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Finally, an end to those loud commercials!

    Quote Originally Posted by Deadhorse View Post
    My television already regulates the volume of commercials.
    Some set-top boxes can do this also. The ones that can have an audio dynamic range adjustment that can be set for narrow--medium--wide. Setting it to 'narrow' reduces the overall range of all program material to bring it closer in line with the already heavily limited dynamic range of the commercials, making the volume more consistent.
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