Commercials Too Loud Regulation?

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by Johnny Angell, Jan 15, 2013.

  1. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    A few weeks back it was reported that the FCC implemented a regulation requiring that commercials not be louder then the programming surrounding them. I've got a couple of questions: 1) Does this only apply to OTA broadcasts or are cable and SAT channels included? 2) Has anyone noticed a difference?
     
  2. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    The FCC has no control over cable so my guess is that cable channels will be completely uneffected by this.
     
  3. Jeff Brooks

    Jeff Brooks Second Unit
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    I have noticed that the commercials on Fox and FX on my DirecTV are still much louder than the programming.
     
  4. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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    Norv, Sorry I can't be of too much help, as the moment a commercial comes on, I mute our television. The exception to this is when we're watching the Super Bowl each year. I'm planning on watching DVR'd episodes of Elementary and Hawaii Five-O tonight. I'll listen to see if I notice a difference in the volume of the programs and their respective commercials.
     
  5. Joe_H

    Joe_H Screenwriter

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    If I'm not mistaken, the rule is that the average volume of the commercial can't surpass the average volume of the programming that it's advertising during. Since it's just an average, that doesn't prevent advertisers from being really loud for a few seconds at the beginning and then quieting down for 27 seconds, for example.
     
  6. Stan

    Stan Producer
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    I may be wrong, but I believe commercials can be as loud as the loudest noise in the show. For example, you could have a very quiet, subtle show that happens to have a very loud gun-shot in it. The volume of that gun-shot then becomes the volume advertisers are allowed. So let's say the show is hovering around a volume of 1-3 but has a gunshot at level 10. That leaves advertisers free to broadcast their ad at level 10. This may be old info, so please feel free to correct me. I'm just happy for DVRs, since I know longer watch ads, doesn't affect me at all.
     
  7. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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    "I may be wrong, but I believe commercials can be as loud as the loudest noise in the show." Stan, That was actually my understanding at least up to the new regulations, which I know nothing about.
     
  8. Malcolm Bmoor

    Malcolm Bmoor Stunt Coordinator

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    There are rules but they're meaningless both in the cinema and on tv. The use of compression delivers APPARENT loudness without necessarily peaking louder on the meter. I'm a sound engineer and have to use compression because everybody else does. The hidious music used in cinema commercials, imitating what young people find appealing, adds to the generally intolerable din - if you're of the current music hating generation. But the engineering keeps the torture within spec.
     
  9. Joe_H

    Joe_H Screenwriter

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    What Stan says was correct until December 2012, at which point it changed to what I described. http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/loud-commercials
     
  10. Stan

    Stan Producer
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    Thank you for the info Joe, didn't know it had changed, but certainly a better situation for consumers. The advertisers did it to themselves.
     

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