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December 13, 2012 05:57 PM

CALM Act Quiets Commercials

Sioux Falls, SD

You might notice your TV viewing experience is now a little more pleasurable.  Starting Thursday, a federal act is in place that requires all TV providers to ensure the volume of commercials isn't louder than the show you're watching.

Some back-room machines at KELOLAND TV don't look like much to you and me, but they play a big role in how we watch and, more importantly, hear what's on air.

The machines compress the audio before it reaches your TV. That ensures that the volume of the commercials is equal to the volume of the show you're watching.  And starting Thursday, all TV providers must make sure the volume doesn't spike when commercials come on.  That's part of a federal law known as the CALM Act.

That doesn't mean everything will be the same volume, such as shows, commercials will still have louder and softer areas, but it is meant to protect viewers from those excessively loud commercials that can be startling.

The Federal Communications Commission adopted the new rule one year ago, and allowed a 12-month phase-in process.  They also have established a process for filing a complaint.  At KELO TV, everything is archived to ensure our volume complies and can be checked if ever a complaint arises.

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