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TV advert volume too high?

B12

Banned
Am I the only person to keep picking up the remote to tone down volume, when TV adverts come on with a dramatic increase in volume for adverts?

Honestly ... it can go from a thought proving documentary, to a screaming heavy metal advert in a fraction of seconds that advertise a breakfast cereal.

Its bloody nonsense, why should I keep the remote to hand to lower the volume of offending adverts all the time?

I understand there are specialist hi fi TV's that overcome this problem, but the problem is with over aggressive advertising in the first place, and Sky and such like should keep adverts volume down and at same levels as scheduled programmes ... surely?

I normally have my remote to hold these days and automatically mute adverts ... so for me, they have failed miserably.

But Why Should I do that ?
 

weetsie

Prominent Member
people get up to make a brew during the ad break and the advertisers want to make sure you can still hear it in the kitchen.

and yes i turn it down most ad breaks.
 

Codehead

Distinguished Member
I used to notice this during American shows on Sky. Perhaps the Yanks have a different standard volume to the UK?
 

HMHB

Distinguished Member
Yes they do seem to have higher volumes for adverts on a lot of channels but I don't watch much live TV these days and just skip the ads whilst playing back on Sky+
 

Fmrl

Prominent Member
Some adverts use compression to make it seem like the volume is higher.

Buy a PVR, record everything, skip through all the adverts, job done :thumbsup:
 

kav

Distinguished Member
Certain televisions have a "normalise" function over the volume. You could try checking your tv for this - it might balance out the volume issues.
 

Toasty

Distinguished Member
I tend to have the TV volume high during most programs, so when the ad break arrives, it's like Metallica have just started their sound check in our living room :D
 

Hillskill

Moderator/Games Reviewer
Been thinking how I can best explain this, this is what I have got:

All sound on Television Programming and Commercials have to peak at a certain level, they cannot exceed this level. Commercials are mixed to sit at a conisistent level close to this limit so the advertiser ensures value for money and consitency compared to other TVCs (television commercials). If say you were watching a Drama or Soap Opera which will have scenes of varied content then you would certainly notice the difference between a commerical and a program. For example; if you were watching a scene from a film which had very soft and quiet dialogue which then went to a commercial break with Halifax's latest campaign then you would certainly perceive this to be louder, which technically speaking it isn't. Both the film and the commercial are mixed to the same guidelines but the Film/Drama use more of a dynamic mix. Also all commercials have to have 12 frames of silence at the beginning and end, this is to ensure that when edited together they still are kind on the ear. For example if you had a commercial with Opera Music running straight into a commercial with HipHop music it would sound odd. The 12 frame buffer on the start and end creates a second of silence in between the two. Making for a much nicer commercial break :D
 
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nogg

Established Member
Actually it seems to have become alot worse in the last couple of months.

Certain channels have now turned down the volume of their shows so much that I have to turn my volume up by 10-20% to get the same volume in the main show. I Sky+ stuff, but occasionally I hear a snippet of an advert, and the sound is proportionally far louder, and blasts out of my speakers now. :(
 

PoochJD

Distinguished Member
Hi,

Volume differences between programming and trailers/ads has been an ongoing issue for several years now, and it does appear to be getting worse. (Sky 1, as others have said, are one of the worst "offenders" for this.)

Although an investigation by OFCOM earlier this year, did note that the audible difference between programming and ads appeared to be vastly louder, the actual difference was almost zero. Sadly, OFCOM haven't enforced ad and trailer makers to adjust for the audible difference, meaning that ads and trailers will - for the time being - be blasting your ears out for a long time to come. :mad:


Pooch
 

SecretSquirrel

Established Member
This is a US answer, but may be the same/similar for here too...

Hit the mute! Why TV commercials are so loud, and how that may change.

Annoyingly loud TV commercials are like the weather. Everyone complains about them, but no one does anything about them. Except that lately, someone is doing something about it. Several someones, in fact. After decades of neglect, the issue is finally getting so much attention that the familiar explosion of noise signaling the start of a commercial pod could soon be a thing of the past.

The fight against excessive commercial volume has two fronts, legislative and technological. The first line of defense on the legal side is the Federal Communications Commission, which mandates that commercials can be no louder than the loudest parts of the programming they accompany.

But this approach has serious limitations. An action show that climaxes in a burst of gunfire is one thing; a commercial that's as loud as a gun going off from start to finish is another -- especially if the lead-in to the commercial is relatively quiet. And in addition to making their commercials as loud as the FCC lets them, marketers also use various technological tricks to make them sound even louder than they are, like packing more sound energy into midrange frequencies, the ones that the human ear is most sensitive to.

To close this loophole, Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) introduced a bill in the House of Representatives last year, the Commercial Advertising Loudness Mitigation Act. CALM would charge the FCC to enact regulations prohibiting commercials from being "excessively noisy or strident." The House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing to consider amendments on the bill Thursday.

And a parallel effort within the TV and consumer-electronics industries may also bear fruit soon. The Advanced Television Systems Committee, a nonprofit whose membership includes broadcast networks, cable operators, and electronics manufacturers, has been working to develop voluntary standards that will let broadcasters measure and effectively modulate the volume of commercials.

"We've been working for over two years to help broadcasters, cable operators, and others come up with a uniform strategy so we can minimize the subjective perception of the volume changing during commercials," Mark Richer, the group's president, tells DailyFinance. "Our experts have developed what we call a recommended practice, which provides guidance to broadcasters and others on how to use our standard in a way that will minimize the 'audio loudness differential,' let's call it, that is bothersome to many people. It's a little more complicated than you would think, and getting everybody to agree on how to do it was not easy."

This week, ATSC will send a ballot to about 190 members seeking approval of the recommendations. Richer expects it to pass within 30 days.

But consumers who don't wish to bet their delicate eardrums on legislation or self-regulation already have some options, and soon they'll have more. TV sets featuring Dolby Volume, a technology that automatically flattens out the sound spikes of commercials, have been on the market for two years. They'll soon be joined by a device called SRS TruVolume, a gadget that performs much the same function while claiming to offer some advantages over Dolby Volume -- above all, distinguishing between commercials and programming, and suppressing the sound levels of the former without affecting the latter.

Article link.
 

GaryB

Distinguished Member
Certain televisions have a "normalise" function over the volume. You could try checking your tv for this - it might balance out the volume issues.

They do, but the problem is that they work by increasing the volume of the quieter bits and reducing the volume of the louder bits - exactly what the advertisers do. They do keep everything at the same level, but that is at the expense of losing the dynamics of the sound - everything ends up at more or less the same level.
 

B12

Banned
Hi,

Volume differences between programming and trailers/ads has been an ongoing issue for several years now, and it does appear to be getting worse. (Sky 1, as others have said, are one of the worst "offenders" for this.)

Although an investigation by OFCOM earlier this year, did note that the audible difference between programming and ads appeared to be vastly louder, the actual difference was almost zero. Sadly, OFCOM haven't enforced ad and trailer makers to adjust for the audible difference, meaning that ads and trailers will - for the time being - be blasting your ears out for a long time to come. :mad:


Pooch

Thanks for that.

Ofcom are as about much use as an ashtray on a Motorcycle.

I'll keep muting all adverts on sight until its sorted out.

Cheers.
 

MikeTV

Distinguished Member
Am I the only person to keep picking up the remote to tone down volume
You are certainly not alone. I often mute the adverts - advertisers take note! In fact, subconsciously i think I mostly avoid watching commercial channels for that reason. The best programmes are usually on the beeb anyway, or else I do the PVR thing and skip them. I have little tolerance for any adverts any more.

(but I also try to avoid weather reports too, so maybe I'm just a bit strange. If I want to know the weather, I'll look it up, damnit! You are just wasting my time with your stupid swirly graphics and telling me there might be rain in inverness, probably. I think I'm the impatient sort. And programmes that are just clips from other programs...ok. I'll stop now)
 

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