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A Year After Ban On Loud TV Commercials: Has It Worked?

Soulskill posted about 10 months ago | from the where's-the-beef dept.

Television 288

netbuzz writes "It's been a year since the FCC implemented the CALM Act, a law that prohibits broadcasters from blasting TV commercials at volumes louder than the programming. Whether the ban has worked or not depends on who you ask. The FCC notes that formal complaints about overly loud commercials are on the decline in recent months, but those complaints have totaled more than 20,000 over the past year."

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288 comments

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loud quiet loud quiet (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45664841)

It says that on average they must be the same audio level as the programming.
So, they yell, then there is a pause and then someone else yells at you.

Re:loud quiet loud quiet (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45664957)

Hi, Billy Mays here for Chipotl-away!

Re:loud quiet loud quiet (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 10 months ago | (#45665309)

I'm guessing it says that on average they must be the same audio level as the programming.

FTFY.

Re:loud quiet loud quiet (5, Interesting)

L4m3rthanyou (1015323) | about 10 months ago | (#45665473)

What I'm noticing lately is that they'll mix the commercial audio "creatively" to increase its effective volume. I'll be watching a show on cable with 5.1 audio (so, mostly dialogue out of the center speaker), then have a commercial come on and pipe all its audio through both front speakers, at the "maximum" volume. The levels are probably about the same, but it still gets that "attention jolt" from the perceived increase in volume.

The other annoying trend is the use of excessive "wub wub" (bass) in ad music. Result is the same, increased distraction without "excessive" volume.

Re:loud quiet loud quiet (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45666011)

Nice conspiracy and you may be correct since we all know the sleaze in the ad business but at least for the wub-wub part, that is due to the current popularity amongst teens and young adults with dubstep music. A pic my daughter used to keep on her desktop said "Dubstep- my heart doesn't beat, it wobbles." For an old fuck like me, it is a truly horrendous musical genre that isn't welcome on my lawn. To imagine what it sounds like just envision what you might hear outside of a closed garage door that has 2 Transformers fucking inside. Good ol' Tranformer hate sex. This genre is popular amongst most of the nerd crowd so I dare not post this honest flame under my UID.

Yeah... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45664857)

Thanks Obama.

Re:Yeah... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45665911)

You're welcome, mooch.

No complaints here (3, Insightful)

sk999 (846068) | about 10 months ago | (#45664863)

My analog TV died just before the switch to all-digital. I never replaced it. Been CALM ever since.

Re:No complaints here (5, Funny)

GumphMaster (772693) | about 10 months ago | (#45665765)

I Don't Own a TV [xkcd.com]

Re:No complaints here (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45666047)

Mods are MORANS. This isn't OT. Pretentious and smug, yes, but not OT.

Re:No complaints here (1)

lgw (121541) | about 10 months ago | (#45666151)

This isn't OT. Pretentious and smug, yes, but not OT.

It's not even pretentious and smug any more - watching everything on a computer/tablet is pretty mainstream these days, if still a smaller group than TV-watchers.

This year's "pretentious and smug" is "I don't even have a Facebook page". Yeah, we're bad about that one here.

The issue has moved to the Internet (5, Interesting)

alfrin (858861) | about 10 months ago | (#45664877)

Now that I exclusively use online streaming services to watch television shows, I find the commercial volume issues there are far more irritating than I ever experienced on actual television. Spotify is the worst culprit, since it PAUSES the commercial if you lower your system volume. You cannot even avoid the obnoxiously loud commercials there.

Re:The issue has moved to the Internet (5, Insightful)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about 10 months ago | (#45665003)

Stop using the service then. Seriously. If something is that insanely bad then just go without.

Re:The issue has moved to the Internet (3, Insightful)

alfrin (858861) | about 10 months ago | (#45665035)

Stop using the service then. Seriously. If something is that insanely bad then just go without.

That's the equivalent of saying "TV commercials are annoying, so stop watching TV at all." That's not a solution to the actual problem, that's just hiding from it. I love the actual service, I just find the intrusiveness of the commercials unnecessary( and counterproductive to the purpose of commercials i.e. to convince me to buy a product)

Re:The issue has moved to the Internet (2)

khellendros1984 (792761) | about 10 months ago | (#45665119)

Well, there is always the option to use them as a paid service. As far as the ad-supported version goes, if people (as a whole) avoided ad-supported services, I'm sure the issue would sort itself out one way or another (that is, the business would change its monetization model or go out of business). It seems like hiding in the short term, but it would force the "problem" to solve itself in the long run.

Re:The issue has moved to the Internet (2)

CWCheese (729272) | about 10 months ago | (#45665931)

Well that was the whole deal with CATV many decades ago, when it was beginning to be widely marketed they said we would pay for transmission of programming and not see advertising, or a very small amount of ads. We can plainly see how that's turned out, there's much more advertising than content on pretty much every channel except C-SPAN. I don't hate ads, but please we need to see a higher percentage of content versus ads.

Re:The issue has moved to the Internet (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45665299)

That's the equivalent of saying "TV commercials are annoying, so stop watching TV at all." That's not a solution to the actual problem, that's just hiding from it.

I torrent ("pirate") shows and I never have any of these problems. Ever. I'd rather use a service like that but not when they go out of their way to be annoying. You cannot irritate me into buying something. You can't scream at me into buying something. You can be un-obnoxious and treat me with respect and maybe I'll be more receptive to the sales pitch. Till they figure that out, it's pirate bay for me baby.

Re:The issue has moved to the Internet (2, Insightful)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 10 months ago | (#45665331)

That's the equivalent of saying "TV commercials are annoying, so stop watching TV at all."

Yes, exactly like a completely valid and rational reaction, and a wholly achievable policy.

Its true: You don't have to use other peoples services unless you choose to ('cept for that whole health insurance mandate.)

Re:The issue has moved to the Internet (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45666131)

('cept for that whole health insurance mandate.)

Nice troll. I'll bite.
You don't have to use it either. You can pay your penalty. Did you flip your shit this much when your state mandated car insurance too? I mean you can forego it as well but you won't be having a license if you get caught. AFAIK every state in the US now has mandatory car insurance. Some are just fines for noncompliance (around $500) and some revoke your license for 6 months or more. C'mon. Where is all your outrage now? Did our society totally fall to shit now that everyone is supposed to have car insurance? Doesn't look like it to me.

Re:The issue has moved to the Internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45665431)

WELL, that's exactly what I did. I mean, why should I dedicate 30 minutes to a 18 minute long program anyways? That is a waste of time! Undeniable. And to say advertising pays for anything is bullshit because I pay out the ass for cable.

Re:The issue has moved to the Internet (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 10 months ago | (#45665013)

lower you speaker volume.
Of course, this means there may be a market for speakers that detect the gain increase and auto lower the volume in the speaker box and not in the system.

Re:The issue has moved to the Internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45665117)

FFS

Anyone who says "turn down your volume" to this issue needs to be publicly slapped up and down the main street in their town.

Re:The issue has moved to the Internet (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45665239)

Anyone who says "turn down your volume" to this issue needs to be publicly slapped up and down the main street in their town.

Anyone who says "I need the government to turn down the volume" to this issue needs to be publicly slapped up and down the main street in their town.

Re:The issue has moved to the Internet (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45665333)

Holy logical leap, Batman!

Suggesting that people not be complete dickfaces does not, in any way, imply that the state should impose "non-dickface" laws.

The point was that the people who say "hurr, turn down the volume" are missing the point entirely.

Re:The issue has moved to the Internet (2)

camperdave (969942) | about 10 months ago | (#45665499)

The purpose of the government is to implement and regulate broadcast standards. It is the government's job to make them turn down the volume.

Re:The issue has moved to the Internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45666149)

Right but the Libertarians don't think they should be regulating that either.

Re:The issue has moved to the Internet (1)

PlusFiveTroll (754249) | about 10 months ago | (#45665787)

Anyone who says "I need the government to turn down the volume" to this issue needs to be publicly slapped up and down the main street in their town.

You'd be the first asshole to call the cops if I played a loud radio in front of your house.

Re:The issue has moved to the Internet (1)

Zynder (2773551) | about 10 months ago | (#45666161)

You should change your username to PlusFiveTruf.

Re:The issue has moved to the Internet (1)

Khyber (864651) | about 10 months ago | (#45665917)

No, turn down the volume is a reasonable idea, because you can't control if the sound engineer is using a ton of compression to ramp up apparent volume.

Already had one set of laptop speakers blown by it.

Re:The issue has moved to the Internet (1)

khellendros1984 (792761) | about 10 months ago | (#45665051)

Spotify is the worst culprit, since it PAUSES the commercial if you lower your system volume.

I guess the physical knob on my speakers would be getting more of a workout then. Does it also do that in the web player [spotify.com] (which they apparently don't show the link to on Windows)?

Re:The issue has moved to the Internet (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45665347)

The physical knob on the end of my cock has been getting a massive work out lately.

Re:The issue has moved to the Internet (4, Interesting)

fermion (181285) | about 10 months ago | (#45665103)

I tend to mute my computer during commercials, especially now that the commercials can run into 3 minutes.

I wonder if the advertisers realize that a commercial on streaming is not the same as a commercial on TV. That a three minute break on TV is ok. After all, if one is watching live TV one can wander around the house and still probably hear the TV, hear the commercial, and get back in time for the show, even if you have to do a live rewind. If you are watching recorded TV, most of the time you can fast forward which means that if a commercial is well made you are at least seeing the branding.

OTOH, since the ads on streaming has become more than a minute, I tend to mute and do something else, then back up the content if I miss something. I have heard TV executives screaming about how mad they are that they can only sell a fraction of advertising on streaming that they can on TV. But what is going to happen when advertisers realize that nobody is going to hand around for three minutes to watch the ads? Probably the same thing that happened to web sites when ad people realized that banner ads were being ignored.

Re:The issue has moved to the Internet (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45665385)

I blacklist websites if their streaming advertizements violate any of my 3 rules:

1) The ads in question are longer than 30 seconds (with the exception of ads that I find absolutely hilarious)
2) The ads in question are longer than 20% of the content (e.g. NFL.com's can't miss plays are commonly a minute long but the ads are 30 seconds, therefore violated rule).
3) The ads in question have annoying sounds or are unnecessarily loud compared to the content.

Re:The issue has moved to the Internet (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45665567)

and I've blacklisted all advertisers as they offer me nothing of benefit. I even blacklisted TV when I got a broadband connection that didn't tie up m phone.

The only reason I'm even still paying for cable is mum. She likes to watch it and now that she has her TV ears, I don't have to listen to it scream. That product alone as made life so much better.

Re: The issue has moved to the Internet (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45665959)

Obviously then the ads for tv ears in no way benefited your life.

Re:The issue has moved to the Internet (3, Insightful)

onyxruby (118189) | about 10 months ago | (#45665249)

This is exactly the kind of issue that should be talked about. I use more than one streaming service and now know not to even bother trying Spotify. This is the market in action, make sure you tell as many people as you can.

Re: The issue has moved to the Internet (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | about 10 months ago | (#45665477)

Well. At least I don't need to bother signing up with spotify now. Thanks.

Re:The issue has moved to the Internet (2)

rrohbeck (944847) | about 10 months ago | (#45665551)

Adblocking and blackholing DNS names seems to work quite well. It's really rare for me to see an ad.

Re:The issue has moved to the Internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45665719)

The beauty of digital audio is that there's always an analog connection to the device that generates the sound. That means it's always possible to introduce a filter that adjusts the volume without Spotify being able to detect it. If you're listening with headphones, get something like this [amazon.com] . If you're listening through a receiver, use its volume control.

Re:The issue has moved to the Internet (1)

timmyf2371 (586051) | about 10 months ago | (#45665735)

The Spotify technique has always impressed me. Turning the volume too low is clearly the obvious solution to avoiding adverts, so they figured out how to reduce the number of customers who don't pay but still want to avoid the ads.

As a premium subscriber, I have managed to avoid the Spotify commercials for about two years - so it is possible to avoid them, at least in the UK. If only I had the option of paying £10 a month to cut adverts out of broadcast TV too.

Re:The issue has moved to the Internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45665853)

Then vote with your option. Don't use Spotify. Otherwise, they win and you lose.

Re:The issue has moved to the Internet (1)

Khyber (864651) | about 10 months ago | (#45665875)

See, this is why I sit in a sound chair with analog inputs. Detect analog volume controls from input only, hah!

commercials? (0)

captain_nifty (132748) | about 10 months ago | (#45664879)

Are those the things before youtube videos?

honestly who watches broadcast TV? I haven't since I built my first media center PC years ago.

Re:commercials? (1)

Iniamyen (2440798) | about 10 months ago | (#45665023)

Some of us enjoy live sports, and are willing to pay the (admittedly ridiculous) price for TV service to watch them.

I have a server + raspbmc's for everything else but can't seem to break the TV habit for this single reason.

Re:commercials? (1)

spxero (782496) | about 10 months ago | (#45665135)

I was in the same boat with you, but since MLB.tv offers a YEAR of games for what one month of cable or satellite costs I've cut that cord and haven't looked back. Supposedly the Xbox One will have all live streaming NFL games, but I haven't seen it in action yet. I hope more leagues go the way of MLB.tv- I gladly pay for the games I want to watch without getting all the extra channels or insane pricing for such little use.

Re:commercials? (1)

aardvarkjoe (156801) | about 10 months ago | (#45665425)

I hadn't heard of that -- but hopefully where they're going, other sports will follow. I'm completely uninterested in watching baseball, but at least they've got the right idea.

The situation with sports broadcasting is ridiculous. It would cost me well over $100 per month to get TV service with the additional extra "packages" to be able to watch all the games for the team that I follow. There is no chance that I will ever pay for that. If they had any halfway reasonable pricing for a streaming option, I'd be all over it.

Re:commercials? (1)

mcl630 (1839996) | about 10 months ago | (#45665717)

Unfortunately you can't watch your local teams with MLB.tv, or any national game on ESPN or TBS, or any of FOX's Saturday games (even the ones not shown on your local FOX affilate). I subscribe to and enjoy MLB.tv, but I can't "cut the cord" until they start allowing me to watch my local teams (at least when they're on cable rather than broadcast TV).

The NHL does the same with Gamecenter.

Re:commercials? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45665941)

VPN to another country.
in japan i watch all NFL games streaming live or recorded in HD, MLB gives me /all/ the games, same with NHL.
and i can watch them all on my htpc, laptop, smartphone, or tablet.
if youre paying for cable mainly for sports, the cost of a VPN and seasonal subscriptions will save you a lot of money and get you more than you had with cable.

Re:commercials? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45665173)

Get the SportsDevil add-on for XBMC. You can find it on xbmchub.

Re:commercials? (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 10 months ago | (#45665337)

if you are paying it, it isn't ridiculous.

Re: commercials? (1)

daggertoes (3455955) | about 10 months ago | (#45665145)

Judging by the huge amounts of money that the networks have, many millions of people are still watching broadcast tv. That's great that you've got a fancy PC for watching things on but remember that tv is, in fact broadcast and that for the cost of a tv and an antennae it's still possible to watch a great deal of programming without any further cost.

I can legislate everything! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45664895)

This seems like the gov't putting its dick where it doesn't belong. It's pretty annoying, but you'd really expect station owners to normalize the volumes to keep people from changing the channel right at the commercial break.

Re:I can legislate everything! (2)

reboot246 (623534) | about 10 months ago | (#45664963)

No, station owners want you to be able to hear the commercials even if you're in the kitchen or bathroom (or, for some commercials, even outside).

Re:I can legislate everything! (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 10 months ago | (#45665351)

Public air ways is one of the places it does belong.

Re:I can legislate everything! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45665625)

"you'd really expect station owners to normalize the volumes"
Well they don't, how many more decades should we wait for them to maybe do it a little ?

Probably directly proportional (2)

fred911 (83970) | about 10 months ago | (#45664905)

To the amount of people now viewing broadcast TV. I woulkdfnt even consider viewing commercial TV realtime.

Re:Probably directly proportional (1)

Megane (129182) | about 10 months ago | (#45665025)

It's the 4chan live-viewing threads that keep me watching some OTA shows live (and I have a 4-tuner MythTV now, so I don't have to watch live). Nothing like watching a show with a couple dozen other people making snarky commentary during the show. The best is when someone predicts some stupid thing happening later in the episode, and then it happens.

Cut the cord (3, Informative)

Scared Rabbit (1526125) | about 10 months ago | (#45664911)

I couldn't tell you. I cut the cord three years ago and haven't looked back. Sure I don't get to see the latest and greatest things, and must instead wait for video/netflix, but it's been worth it.

Re:Cut the cord (4, Funny)

kimvette (919543) | about 10 months ago | (#45665311)

Oh, you're THAT GUY [theonion.com] !!

Re:Cut the cord (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 10 months ago | (#45665381)

If you can't tell us, why did you reply?

Re:Cut the cord (1)

camperdave (969942) | about 10 months ago | (#45665761)

If you can't tell us, why did you reply?

Because not being able to tell us is a data point as well.

I don't think so (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45664915)

CUE THE BOLTON

Re:I don't think so (1)

alta (1263) | about 10 months ago | (#45664927)

Yeah, I'm about sick of those right now.

I have only one thing to say... (1)

jaeztheangel (2644535) | about 10 months ago | (#45664917)

"..pardon?"

Want: ban on loud set-top box menu commercials (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45664925)

Have FIOS set top box and going into the DVR or On-Demand menus is so frustrating because of the loud embedded commercials.

Re:Want: ban on loud set-top box menu commercials (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45665529)

Yo dawg, I heard you hate commercials. So I put commercials in your channel guide so you get blasted with loud commercials when you try to escape the regulated volume commercials.

Re: Want: ban on loud set-top box menu commercials (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | about 10 months ago | (#45665643)

I used to buy on demand movies all the time. FIOS put an end to that with their horrible interface.

That, and disabling fast forward. If I accidentally hit 'stop' it always forgets where I was in a program and acts like I'm going to sit through 40 minutes of a show just to get back to where I was. Yes NBC, I was going to watch one of your shows but I'm not gonna sit through the first episode 1.8 times just to watch the last 10 mins.

Wrong Forum (4, Insightful)

rsborg (111459) | about 10 months ago | (#45664937)

Most /.'s I image don't put up with Ads.

I sure as hell haven't noticed ad volume - of course, I gave up broadcast TV with ads since I got my first TiVo in 2003. DVRs all they way, but nowadays I don't even watch TV that's not Netflix - only the kiddos have time to watch TV in our house (how else would I have time to post on /. ?)

Re:Wrong Forum (1)

Cro Magnon (467622) | about 10 months ago | (#45665015)

Even with Tivo, it might take a few seconds to grab the remote and skip past those SOBs, and those few seconds, it can still blare at you.

Re:Wrong Forum (1)

rsborg (111459) | about 10 months ago | (#45665657)

Even with Tivo, it might take a few seconds to grab the remote and skip past those SOBs, and those few seconds, it can still blare at you.

True, which is why I really like ad-free (or ad-between-shows) channels like Nick Jr. (which is pretty much the only broadcast tv that gets watched in our house - exception being the Dance reality shows). The worst is when it's an ad for some horror movie - do not like my kids being exposed to suggested gore and violence in a damn advert.

Re:Wrong Forum (1)

Belial6 (794905) | about 10 months ago | (#45665755)

That's why it is sad that ReplayTV got sued out of business. They did automatic commercial skip.

It's not the commercials. (4, Insightful)

mythosaz (572040) | about 10 months ago | (#45664987)

...it's the switch from national programming to regional or zip-code based advertising.

Program.
National commercial.
National commercial.
REGIONAL COMMERCIAL
Program.

My cable network screws this up regularly on Comedy Central. South Park goes into break, and then a BLARING LOUD commercial for a local product happens.

I skip most commercials that aren't on during live sports -- but I watch a lot of live sports, and they're guilty too.

I blame an idiot working in the Cox video operations center.

Re:It's not the commercials. (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 10 months ago | (#45665147)

Have to agree with this - the really loud commercials tend to be the local commercials provided by Comcast.

Re:It's not the commercials. (1)

Pinkfud (781828) | about 10 months ago | (#45665663)

I have Cox, and by far the loudest and most obnoxious commercials are THEIRS! They have this guy who screams everything, goes COX BUNDLE!! over and over, etc. It does annoy me, sometimes to the point of grabbing for the mute button.

Re:It's not the commercials. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45666209)

I have Cox, and by far the loudest and most obnoxious commercials are THEIRS! They have this guy who screams everything, goes COX BUNDLE!! over and over, etc. It does annoy me, sometimes to the point of grabbing for the mute button.

But... but, don't you want a BUNDLE OF COX!! ? doesn't everyone?

I was only shouting because I thought everyone would be as excited about a COX BUNDLE!! as I am...

*cries*

-- the Cox guy

as expected (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 10 months ago | (#45664993)

It didn't effect all commercial immediately. Commercial in run or already in contract and so on.

Streaming commercials are the worst (2)

emBEDed (3013359) | about 10 months ago | (#45664997)

The volume of the commercials in SyFy's streaming videos is what drove me to install AdBlock, so in that case it backfired on them. TV commercials don't seem nearly as obnoxious as they used to, but maybe it's just me.

Crecendo (3)

themushroom (197365) | about 10 months ago | (#45665001)

Here's what happens at my house at commercial breaks on Comcast: The program is fairly quiet, the beginning of the advertisement is just as quiet (CALM in effect) but in the last 10-20 seconds you sense that the volume is going up to just below a shout... then the show resumes and it's quiet again.

Re:Crecendo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45665589)

Furthermore, I've noticed many shows crank up the volume of their opening title sequence compared to the rest of the show. This raises the average volume of the show and gives advertisers more headroom.

Become a Coke-ologist! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45666001)

No, it gives them Max Headroom! [youtube.com]

Yes (1)

StripedCow (776465) | about 10 months ago | (#45665005)

And now it's time to ban commercials featuring unrealistically beautified people.

Re:Yes (1)

jader3rd (2222716) | about 10 months ago | (#45665085)

And now it's time to ban commercials featuring unrealistically beautified people.

How else will I find out how people can be unrealistically beautified?

About as well as the Do Not Call list is working. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45665007)

But what would I know? ReplayTV for the win.,

PVR, Netflix... what's a commercial? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45665071)

Other than Sports there's not much point in watching live television any more, fire up the PVR and shotgun a few episodes of stuff I want to watch and breeze through advertising I wouldn't watch anyway.

Annoying ads are plastered all over, and injected into, YouTube content. Creators are getting paid piddling amounts, and the rules that sort out how much you earn are an ever morphing mess (which allows the likes of PewDIePie to Conquer YouTube [youtu.be] ) and the lack of any tact from Google regarding user friendliness, I fully expect to see a YouTube rival begin to rise soon (if it hasn't already).

To be honest I'd pay for content creators to keep the good stuff going, like the old PBS drive days, but there's nothing that combines a video service with user donations.

Whats "TV" ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45665075)

nm I remember now, so things still happen there? cool story.

Re:Whats "TV" ? (1)

crossmr (957846) | about 10 months ago | (#45665957)

Wow.. you're such an interesting edgy hipster. What do I have to do to get you to father my children?

No teeth in the law (3, Insightful)

wcrowe (94389) | about 10 months ago | (#45665097)

The volumes haven't changed. Except it now seems like they start at a reasonable volume, then slowly increase in volume as the commercial continues. It could be that some people don't notice this. This also, no doubt, allows a commercial to still comply with the law since the ad's "average volume" can still be within the limits of the program it accompanies.

The complaint process itself is also extremely tedious. No person is going to want to key in all that information for every loud ad they have to suffer through.

In short: all the teeth were taken out of the law, so as usual we have another useless law that doesn't work and helps no one except those it is intended to control. Government by the people, my ass.

BTW, I'm seeing a lot of posts about how watching broadcast TV is "old-school", as if it is stupid to still be doing so. I would agree, except that it is still virtually impossible to watch live sporting events online. I'm not a sports nut, but I do like college football, and that means suffering through a lot of deafening ads.

     

I Don't Have State Farm ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45665099)

But Insurance Finds Me Money!

OOooOOhh! You got to be quicker than that! /-##-\

I'll buy that for a dollar!

http://imgur.com/gallery/TIs3uBq [imgur.com]

I don't know (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 10 months ago | (#45665109)

I stopped watching traditional TV years ago. YouTube, YLE Areena [areena.yle.fi] and Twitch are my television now.

For the most part it has worked (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 10 months ago | (#45665127)

There is a slight uptick in volume on a few ads, but most ads are not really loud anymore.

The loud ones I just switch to another channel to ignore. Losing the channel money.

What's a commercial? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45665159)

I vaguely remember them from the time before I had a WMC extension that marked and auto-skips anything recorded through my TV tuner. I wasn't aware commercials were still around.

Our experience is it depends on the station... (1)

rnturn (11092) | about 10 months ago | (#45665195)

... or the network.

We've found that the Chicago CBS affiliate has an audio level that is consistently louder than any other station. And their audio levels seems to get louder late at night. Not exactly scientific evidence to be sure but the missus and kids can always tell when I'm watching Letterman instead of Leno because of the loud commercials.

We gotta go back (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45665259)

I think we should just go back to having no law on the loudness.

But better yet, have a law that forces them to be 10x the loudness.

Suddenly watching a really sad scene, music continues on in to the credits, those rare one-off endings, DO YOU WANT CHEAP INSURANCE FOR YOUR CAR?! THEN DON'T DIE FROM THIS ADVERT AND FIND OUT MORE

It should, in theory, kill all the complainers because those are the ones that get most shocked by it, the rest will just find it mildly annoying or amusing.
PROBLEM SOLVED.

Also, the usual "take safety notices off things and let nature take its course" applies.

Somewhat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45665345)

Somewhat. For some strange reason, overall levels have gotten a tad louder though. Either that, or my set is getting louder or taking allergy meds cleared up my ears a bit.

It's subtle, whatever it is. I'm more annoyed by multiplexed digital channels that seem to be saving bandwidth by sacrificing color information. This leads to a sort of old-school VGA look, especially on flesh tones. This is distinct from digital breakup. I'm mildly curious to know what kind of compression they are using that does this; but not enough to really care because...

...broadcast TV is becoming a media ghetto, just like they predicted it would. I don't care enough about it to pay for TV. I've done without it before. I'll just get more serious about hobbies. It'll really be better for me. If anything, they're doing me a service by making it suck.

Don't know, don't care (1)

BronsCon (927697) | about 10 months ago | (#45665459)

Don't know if it worked or not, but I do know it came too late. I, along with most people I know, switched almost exclusively to streaming services where we pay much less *and* have fewer commercials. Sure, this law doesn't apply to streaming services, but most of them seem to at least pretend to give a shit about their viewers and enforce it anyway.

Loud Music (1)

andyi (959526) | about 10 months ago | (#45665521)

At my house we've noticed that the music at the beginning and end of the shows and before advertisements seems substantially louder than the audio of the show itself. My assumption was that this was real and was an attempt to somehow skirt the intent of the CALM Act without actually breaking the law.

Oh ads... (2)

LudeJim (3460909) | about 10 months ago | (#45665599)

I have had Netflix for about 4 years or so, and I also *had* a cable subscription. Netflix does not have any ads what-so-ever. Last week I saw a free trial for Hulu Plus and I jumped on it. I was appalled that a paid service would have ads displayed in the middle of a show, then I realized that I pay for cable tv and that there are ads in the middle of all of those shows. Now, all I have is Netflix, and I am ad free. Even since I realized this, I find it disgusting that any paid service have any type of advertising.

Better, but still not good... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45665825)

Now I only have to back the volume off 20% during commercials instead of 40%. Before the law, it seemed to me that the worst offenders didn't so as much at turn up the advertisement volume, as they did turn down the program volume. I don't seem to need to keep the normal volume as high as I used to. However, a few notable advertisements still remain obnoxiously louder than the program (Proactive and a few locals seems to be the worst offenders), where as they used to be painfully louder, in the most literal sense.

Groucho's solution (2)

TheloniousToady (3343045) | about 10 months ago | (#45665895)

"I find television very educational. The minute somebody turns it on [too loud], I go to the library and read a good book."
- Groucho

Since I'm not as much of a reader as Groucho, I just mute the television when the commercials are too loud. Beyond solving the immediate problem, there's a certain moral satisfaction in it. Heck, maybe it even constitutes some form of Pavlovian conditioning for the advertisers: after all, if they think loud commercials work, they must think that muted commercials don't.

Couldn't say. (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 10 months ago | (#45665987)

Don't watch commercials.

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