Super Bowl commercials have a special cultural status and are watched with great interest across America. But generally commercials are not exactly the main draw for a tv audience.

Have you ever gotten up during a commercial to grab a snack, when the obnoxious voice of the announcer followed you into the kitchen?  Or have you lunged for the remote and scrambled to find the mute button when it was time for commercials?  At Optimum Productions, with our work in Atlanta video production, we probably think about sound quality even more than the average person, so we were excited to come across a tiny bit of good news.

As you tune in to your favorite shows this week, see if you notice a difference.  Effective December 13, 2012, the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) requires commercials to be the same average volume as the shows they accompany.   The FCC established these rules to comply with the directive of Congress contained in the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act, known as the CALM Act.

Apparently, U.S. Representatives are people too — the original bill was written by Representative Anna Eshoo after she experienced a scenario that is common in households across America.  After a loud commercial interrupted a family dinner, she asked her brother-in-law to turn down the volume.  He replied, “Well, you’re the congresswoman. Why don’t you do something about it?”  She later remarked that the bill was one of the easiest to pass through Congress in her 18 years in the House.

Like Representative Eshoo, you can play a role.  The FCC will rely on consumer complaints to gauge compliance, so if you suspect that a tv station or commercial does not comply with the new regulations, go to www.fcc.gov/complaints.  Click on the Complaint Type button “Broadcast, Cable, and Satellite Issues,” and then click on the Category button “Loud Commercials.”  But let’s hope that compliance won’t be a problem, and we can truly look forward to more peaceful times (at least volume-wise). Happy watching!

Optimum Productions – your trusted production partner.