Loud commercials may not cease anytime soon but at least I know I am not going crazy

It was sometime last year that I discovered television commercials at a volume level higher than the program preceding it bothered, as it does me, many Americans. That was about the time that a legislative measure sought a CALM solution to the problem.

Learning that thousands of other people are likewise hacked off about the same irritant as one’s own can be an epiphany of sorts. I figured that since enough people were also upset over the elevated commercial volumes that legislation to tackle the problem was required meant I wasn’t just some crank who gets upset over seemingly nothing. That legislation, called the Commercial Advertisement Mitigation Act (CALM,) was signed into law last December by President Obama.

It has taken a year but the law has finally been implemented. Unfortunately, it doesn’t sound like the Federal Communications Commission is likely to swoop down very soon and nab those SOBs breaking the law. Penalties for violations have yet to be determined and it is up to viewers to report those scofflaws.

Compliance may prove difficult for cable providers. But where I live — with Time-Warner having a virtual lock on cable service — it shouldn’t be all that difficult since Time-Warner’s own commercials often seem to be among the suddenly loudest.

Broadcasters have previously operated under the standard that the volume for TV ads should be no louder during commercials than the peak volume within the show being broadcast. But these ads are often placed next to very quiet moments during the show. One can imagine that, between the geological time under which the government operates and the complexities of broadcast engineering, we might just have to go right along for some time having to put up with these irritatingly loud commercials.

Nevertheless, when I rat out my local TV station or cable operator to the FCC, I will at least know I have the law on my side and that I am not the only one out there who is pissed off.