Uncover your ears, folks. A measure meant to control how loud television commercials can be, goes into effect today.
The CALM Act — which stands for Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation — was enacted as a regulation by the Federal Communications Commission. The regulation stems from a law that requires that broadcasters make certain that the volume for commercials is equal to that of their entertainment programming.
The law was passed by Congress last year following complaints from viewers who said commercials were frequently blaring loudly out of their televisions. Following its enactment, the FCC permitted a one-year comment period before enforcement began. That comment period expired today.
Broadcasters have used the year to install new technology that regulates the volume of all of their signals to around 70 decibels — the level at which normal television broadcasts go out over the airwaves, the Los Angeles Times reports. For most stations, the old equipment wasn’t sensitive enough to track changes in volume needed to comply with the law.
Television viewers who feel commercials are too loud and wish to file a complain can call the FCC at 1-888-225-5322.