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Members of the ATSC agree on measure to curb loud commercials

Ben Drawbaugh

And here it was not even a few weeks ago when we thought our only hope to address crazy loud commercials was a new law and now Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) has agreed on a measure that'll solve it with out Congress. The new Loudness Recommended Practice will be called ATSC A/85 and specifies that all content be submitted with the audio set at -24 dB (±2 dB). NBC Universal has already gotten started by deploying new software that will ensure all the content stored on file servers is at the correct level, otherwise the encoder will correct it. In addition, new dB meters have been installed to ensure technicians have the necessary tools to make sure this happens. Among others, CBS, Starz, HBO, ABC, and PBS are also involved, but everyone is going to have to get on board to ensure the end of commercials that are louder than the content. Of course this still doesn't mean we'll watch them, but on the rare occasion that our Media Center doesn't automatically skip 'em we won't get blown out of our seats.

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