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Monday, January 26, 2009

Heads or Tails

Today's Heads or Tails is proudly brought to you by the word "LOUD!"

We recently switched from Dish TV to Direct TV (both are satellite companies). Since the switch, I have noticed that on most of the channels we watch, the commercials are extra loud in comparison with the programs we are watching, and it drives me nuts! No one can get to the remote fast enough to turn it down during the commercials, and should we have to? I don't think so! Dish TV didn't do this to us! Direct TV does.
Marketers use this purposely to capture the attention of the audience who may not want to pay attention to the commercials.

Says one article, "Ask any TV station this question and you’ll get the same answer, 'the commercials are no louder than any of the other programming we broadcast — they just sound louder.'" BUT... A TV program has a mix of audio levels. There are loud parts and soft parts. Nuance is used to build the dramatic effect.

Most advertisers don’t want nuance. They want to grab your attention. To do that, the audio track is electronically processed to make every part of it as loud as possible within legal limits. “Nothing is allowed to be subtle,” says Brian Dooley, Editor-At-Large for “Everything is loud – the voices, the music and the sound effects.” (Source)

I thought it was illegal to do this, but I was wrong. "The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) does not regulate the volume of programs or commercials. FCC rules limit the amount of power that a station can transmit and the peak level of the program material. Within these limitations, however, broadcasters and program producers have considerable latitude to vary the “loudness” of the program material." I was bummed when I read that at this site.

If you have this problem in your area, feel free to sign the Loud Commercials Petition.

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  1. I once read a book by Dean Koontz (can't remember the title) and the whole town was taken over by subliminal messaging. Everytime those loud commercials come on I am reminded of that book. I am definitely signing the petition. Commercials are annoying, except during the superbowl, then they are fun!

  2. Ugh! Don't you hate that? My oldest son and his wife bought a TV that quiets the commercials. I don't remember the brand, though.

    Remember the commercials for Head ON? Apply directly to your forehead. Even if that one would have been muted, it still would have been annoying.

    Now I have to go visit Lissa and find out the name of that book. :)

  3. I hate that! We always mute the commercials. We have a "soft mute" on our TV that turns them way down but we can still kinda hear them in case there's something we want to turn back up. The worst are those screaming car dealership commercials!!

  4. I've noticed the same thing on UK TV, even though they deny it.

  5. I've also noticed that the later it gets in the evening...even MORE loud!! During the day it's a subtle difference but by 10 blows your mind.

    Thanks for such a wonderful comment you left me today! Always love having you visit with me! Happy Tuesday.

  6. We have Dish and I've noticed that the discrepancy in volume between shows and commercials is more than it was when we had cable, but not as bad as my friends who have Direct. Our worst channel is now the PBS station which is working on its analog to digital conversion. The "commercials" all come from the digital feed, while at least half the shows are from the old feed. The volume difference is startling to say the least. I want the tv that quiets commercials, what a wonderful invention.

  7. It happens up here too! Ugh!

  8. What really bothers me is when Poor Hubby has the remote. He won't turn the commercials down unless I ask...and I'm gettin' sick of asking!! What these fools don't understand is that if a commercial is too irritating, we're changin' the channel & not paying attention to the commercial @ all!! **shaking head** There's not much intelligence left in this world.

  9. Don't you just dislike that method of attention grabbing? Most commercials are so poorly done, I guess the advertisers try to make up in quantity what they lack in quality...

  10. You are not alone. It's an annoying trend! Glad there is a petition for it.

  11. My Papa's favorite button on the remote was the mute, just for this reason!! We'd always have to yell at him to turn it back on though!!
    I so get ya on this!

  12. All that to say commercials are louder than the programs, but we aren't going to admitt it. The mute button is used a lot at this house.

  13. hey! someone told me that the gov't. is now bailing out people that need tv converter boxes?? tell me this isn't true!
    what about giving them money for heat instead of an idiot box!

  14. I have noticed this with comercials too and it is so annoying having to adjust the volume all the time. lol

  15. oh i HATE when commercials are LOUD!! i think this is why i DVR everything and bank up time so i can zip through them before i will watch a show.

  16. I've noticed that some commericals are louder then others too I hate it.


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