[opendtv] Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act

  • From: Cliff Benham <flyback1@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 13 Dec 2012 15:00:23 -0500

re: Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act

I seem to recall that in the late 60's or early 70's the FCC passed a
rule dropping commercial sound levels by 3db under program level. In
fact, CBS introduced the Volume-AXE as a possible solution.

Now, another FCC rule has appeared that is supposed to limit commercial sound


I don't know what this new FCC rule actually controls.

Is it the actual volume level indicated on a "Standard" VU Meter?

Or is it the 'psychological' volume level heard and sensed by humans?

There is quite a difference.

A commercial can show normal levels on a VU meter but sound like it's booming out
much louder than the program material on either side of it.

This is because of the sophisticated "compressors and level controllers" used by
the commercial production companies when they make new commercials.

I believe the 1970s rule was based on what the VU meter indicated, but as above, that doesn't necessarily mean the commercials sounded like they were lower in volume than the program material.

Does anyone know exactly what this new rule does and how the FCC can control how 'loud' a non-broadcast
production company's product sound levels are?


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