Loudness of TV Commercials


Why do some TV commercials seem significantly louder than the program materials to which they are attached?
kusina
To 'grab your attention', perhaps?
It is very annoying though.
i was thinking about trying to DIY a box that normalizes the cable/sat signal. like many others, my amp has no remote and getting up to adjust the sound level every 45 seconds is a pain in the back side. anyone have any ideas how to combat this evil scheme?
Top wake you up after tha lousy program has put you to sleep.
Awakenist, you might trying Tivo. Then you can skip past the evil.
It's not just that they're louder - they are also highly compressed and limited so that the average level is almost the same as the maximum volume level. The sponsors want to be sure you hear all about male erectile disfunction while you head to the fridge for a beer during commercial break.

The NTSC TV system uses signals transmitted during the retrace interval at the end of several scan lines to signal TV stations on signal equalization and among other things, commercial cueing. I always wondered why no one built a TV that could read the cues and mute during commercials, or a video recorder that could use this info to skip commercials.
Ghostrider45,

My guess is that the brodcasters (who depend on revenue from the commecials) have better lobbiest that the consumer groups. I'm sure the broadcast industry would do everything in their power to prevent you from being able to simply skip past the commecials.

Enjoy,

TIC
The rule, as I remember it, is that a commercial can be no louder than the loudest MOMENT of the sponsored broadcast. This means, if you are watching an NBA basketball game and somebody hits a game winning shot, the commercials that come afterward can be played IN THEIR ENTIRETY at the volume level of the moment when the crowd went wild.

Reason number 13,245 why I don't watch TV...

Cheers.
You can skip commercials with Tivo-like devices. Also commercials come in fixed time lengths, it's very easy to manually scan past them. Since the overwhelming majority of TVs and home theater systems are remote controlled, the changing volume just isn't a big concern - you use the remote to change the volume. Philips applied for a patent earlier this year for a TV that freezes it controls whenever a commercial starts so you can't change the channel or the volume. They have no plans to implement this feature since they see no consumer demand for it.
Early versions of PVRs such as Replay TV did allow you to easily skip commercials. The networks threatened the manufacturers, and the feature was soon eliminated. There may be hacks available for PVRs. A Google search will probably find some.
I remember when cable tv was promised "commercial-free" YEAH RIGHT, that blew out like the wind.

Now, they added the annoying animation commercials running along the bottom of your screen DURING programming, along with the station's permanent insignia in the corner, they can't get enough, can they ?

So you suffer VISUALLY and AUDIBLY, plus we're PAYING for these services.
I believe it was Magnavox that used to sell a TV that lowered the volume of commercials. Has anyone other than me ever wondered why you have to pay for cable TV but still have to watch commercials? After all, commercials are supposed to pay for the use of the broadcast.
Maybe to explain what Ghostrider said, the commercials are broadcast not at the volume of regular dialogue level for programming but at the max volume(explosions,etc). I used to set my Fosgate Model 5's dialogue setting at high during regular shows then hit the button again when commercials came on. This attenuated the volume if the remote was within reach. My family got pretty good at it. Dan
Rwwear

Yep....not fair at all, it's not like cable is cheap? We pay a high cable bill to watch a program full of commercials.

Dave
Because the broadcasters know you are going to get up and leave the room when the commercials are on. Move your beer refrigerator further from the tv.
TV has always been more enjoyable when the volume was off and the stereo was on...win/win...
"The NTSC TV system uses signals transmitted during the retrace interval at the end of several scan lines to signal TV stations on signal equalization and among other things, commercial cueing. I always wondered why no one built a TV that could read the cues and mute during commercials, or a video recorder that could use this info to skip commercials."

Toshiba made a VCR that did this, I had an RCA version of it, called "Commercial Advance". It actually worked pretty well. After it was done recording, it went back and marked all the commercials. Then during playback it automatically fast-forwarded through them. I would estimate it worked on 90% or better of the commercials.