Brits Shush TV Commercials

May 20, 2008  •  Post A Comment

British regulators adopted a rule mandating that TV commercial must not be “excessively noisy or strident,” the New York Times reports. But it turns out measuring loudness is trickier than it sounds. American viewers have similarly complained that the volume goes up during commercial breaks.


  1. It is very hard to check volume levels. If an audio signal is compressed (hard limited or enveloped), similar to hip-hop, without the bass, you can get a rather loud signal.
    However, I’m not sure how ITV compressed their audio. Same for Sky.
    We American’s do not see what the Brits have… and think BBC is all that’s over there. Therefore, most do not know of this issue. Most do not know that you can watch a movie and then get a blast for “Fairy” brand laundery powder or BT’s newest gimick for choosing their phone service. It would seem 3x louder than the movie.
    Too bad the FCC doesn’t have rules as such. Even “smart compression TV’s” do not cover major audio discrepancies.

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