Inside Opinion

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Tag: television


Turn down the volume on TV commercials

No, it’s not your imagination. Many TV commercials are louder than the programming. Lots louder, in fact. People have been griping about it for years, and now some members of Congress are finally doing something about it.

Granted, compared to health care reform and climate change, loud TV commercials aren’t very important. But not much else irritates so many people on a daily basis as ads that are louder than the shows they interrupt.

And unlike those other issues, this is a simple one. There are no conflicting studies showing that significant numbers of Americans enjoy television commercials that are so loud you find yourself frantically searching through the couch cushions for the remote. In fact, a recent study found that 89 percent of TV viewers are bothered by the often dramatic difference in the programming and advertising volumes. Read more »


Turning down the volume on TV ads

Here’s legislation that shouldn’t divide Congress along partisan lines: making it illegal to raise the volume on television commercials. It was approved today in the House but still must pass the Senate.

I can’t imagine any senator in his/her right mind voting against it.

Here’s the Associated Press article on the legislation.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House on Tuesday voted to level off the abrupt spikes in volume felt by television viewers during commercial breaks.
The bill — approved by a voice vote — is aimed at stopping TV ads from playing noticeably louder than programs.

“It’s very frustrating,” said Rep. Rick Boucher, D-Va. “It’s an annoying experience, and something really should be done about it.”
Irritated by loud commercials, Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., drafted the measure after discovering it was a common complaint with the Federal Communications Commission. Read more »


Watt-guzzling TVs latest target but not last

This editorial will appear in Tuesday’s print edition.

America’s obsession with the boob tube has run headlong into concerns about the costs and consequences of satisfying the nation’s appetite for power.

This month, California became the first state in the nation to adopt energy-consumption limits for televisions up to 58 inches. Regulations for larger sets are to follow.

Washington state is widely expected to follow California’s lead – if the federal government doesn’t beat us to the punch. The Golden State’s energy efficiency standards has found their way into federal policy over the last three decades at an increasing clip.

Certainly, something needs to happen to staunch the energy drain that big-screen televisions and their accessories have become.
TV-related power usage has more than tripled since 2000. There are a number of reasons for the surge, and most are beyond the reach of regulators. Americans are buying bigger televisions and more of them. They also keep the sets turned on more hours of the day.

Read more »