Congress Passes CALM Act, Regulates TV Commercial Volume

Congress apparently took a break from still arguing about unemployment benefits and tax rates to address a very pressing issue: TV Volume. The CALM act is crafted to solve what’s apparently a major crisis in the living room.

You know the problem…you have volume set to say 50% while watching your favorite Dancing with the Stars contestant. The music is pleasant and the judge’s critique sounds just right. But when they cut to commercials all the volume sounds at least twice as loud. In a fit of panic, you scramble for the remote to turn down the volume, but by the time you find it hidden under your sofa cushions you’ve already had to endure a whole minute of  loud commercials. You turn the volume down, which solves your TV watching problems….until the music and dancing starts again and you can’t hear it.

This is one of those problems I wish Congress would’ve let technology and the marketplace deal with. There’s already technology that exists for this problem and if enough people complained I’m willing to bet that the networks would’ve make some volume adjustments of their own. The technology being built into many home theater components that solves this problem is called Dolby Volume, which can be found in many Panasonic HDTVs and a ton of receivers. Of course the best way to deal with loud commercials is to simply skip them by using a Tivo or DVR. You can still watch live events without commercials if you just wait about 15 minutes after the hour to begin watching your favorite program.

No matter what your party affiliation may be, I’m sure we can all agree that our country has much more pressing issues than this.

via WSJ