WASHINGTON (CN) – Digital television broadcasters will have to turn down the volume on commercials, under new rules adopted by the Federal Communications Commission.
The FCC adopted the regulations, which go into effect December 31, 2012, to comply with the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation (CALM) Act.
Congress passed the CALM Act in response to viewer complaints about the sudden increase in volume during commercial breaks.
According to the FCC, change in volume at commercial breaks has been complaint of viewers since the inception of commercial television in the 1950s.
The problem appears to have been exacerbated by digital broadcasting technology, which allows the creators of programs and commercials to encode more dynamic sound options than were possible in the age of analog TV transmissions.
By mandating that commercials can not be louder than the programs they accompany, the FCC says the act allows it to avoid making subjective judgments about the overall volume of broadcasts.
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