I found this piece of equipment that keeps the audio and video in sync where the Terk VR-1 has trouble maintaining the audio/video in sync. From reading customer reviews it senses within 0.000002 of a commercial and levels the audio to a pleasant level, and it really works!!! For the hearing impaired I think a product such as this may work, but for someone who whats to hear the sound in all of its dramatic glory then I would pass on this equipment.http://www.tvsoundregulator.com/Why is it that TV stations are permitted to raise the volume during the commercials? I find it very aggravating.
— Bob K.
Ask any TV station this question and you’ll get the same answer, “the commercials are no louder than any of the other programming we broadcast — they just sound louder.”
It’s true, the station isn’t turning up the volume when the commercials run, but that’s not the complete answer. Otherwise, you wouldn’t need to reach for the remote to turn down the volume during the commercial break. So what’s really going on here? This gets a little complicated, so stick with me on this.
The Federal Communications Commission does not specifically regulate the volume of TV programs or TV commercials. However, broadcasters are required to have equipment that limits the peak power they can use to send out their audio and video signals. That means the loudest TV commercial will never be any louder than the loudest part of any TV program.
A TV program has a mix of audio levels. There are loud parts and soft parts. Nuance is used to build the dramatic effect.
Most advertisers don’t want nuance. They want to grab your attention. To do that, the audio track is electronically processed to make every part of it as loud as possible within legal limits. “Nothing is allowed to be subtle,” says Brian Dooley, Editor-At-Large for CNET.com. “Everything is loud – the voices, the music and the sound effects.”
Spencer Critchley, writing in Digital Audio last month, explained it this way: “The peak levels of commercials are no higher than the peak levels of program content. But the average level is way, way higher, and that’s the level your ears care about. If someone sets off a camera flash every now and then it’s one thing; if they aim a steady spot light into your eyes it’s another, even if the peak brightness is no higher.”
There’s also what Brian Dooley of CNET.com calls “perceived loudness.” If you’re watching a drama with soft music and quiet dialogue and the station slams into a commercial for the July 4th Blow Out Sale, it’s going to be jarring. If you happen to go from the program into a commercial for a sleeping pill, one with a subtle soundtrack, it probably won’t bother you.
Help is on the way! Last month Dolby Laboratories announced it has developed technology to level out the sound differences that take place during shows and between TV programs and commercials. You pick the volume you like and the Dolby software will make the adjustments in real time automatically.
Dolby Volume could show up in some TV sets by the end of this year or early next year.