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Are you sick of loud adverts on TV?

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u-chappy | 23:48 Tue 04th Apr 2006 | Film, Media & TV
14 Answers
Quiet programs? Thundering adverts? Annoying isn't it?

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Having the adverts on as loudly as they are, completely defeats the object as far as I'm concerned, as most people get annoyed at the volume of the adverts and either mute or turn the TV down immediately, thus not hearing a word of the advert! It makes me want to SCREEEAAAM, especially when my little bit of shut-eye in front of the telly is so rudely interrupted!

Get Sky+ never watch another ad, zip, ad gone, wonderful!
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Fair comment about $ky+ but I refuse to pay such ridiculous sums for what amounts to very little viewing pleasure for me personally especially saying as I already pay a TV license fee for (in my opinion) lot of poor programmming.
OK enjoy your loud ads, personally I think less than Half a pint a day is pretty cheap! Do you smoke? That's �5 a day!
There's a device called a "VolumeMaster" (or similar) that sits between your digibox/cable box/Sky that puports to auto-sense and mute the ads, but I've only ever seen it for sale on German eBay, and have been reluctant to test it.

The ads aren't (apparently) actually louder, it's just some digital trickery that makes them SOUND louder!
hi u-chappy, i hate this too. To make things worse I have to have the tv on pretty loud when I watch it at night as I work in a factory and wear earplugs all afternoon. This means when I finish work my hearing is all fuzzy and the tv sounds muffled so I have to turn it up, so when the adverts come on they nearly blast me through the wall. All I can say is thank god I dont watch a lot of tv
it annoys me to you set your volume to what is comfortable for you and all of a sudden get a great blast which leaves you scrambling for the remote, then when the ads finish you have to turn it up again to hear the programme your watching, whats the point of these ads being so loud?
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Thank you all for your support.

LeMarchand - they are not apparently louder - they are louder in many cases (but not all) - this has been ruled upon by OffCom in a case with Channel 5.

What happens is that program makers have a maximum decibel level, so to give certain parts of the audio more impact, they seta dialogue level lower so that the musical score, explosions or whatever can be set at a louder level. Other programs set their dialogue levels louder which means that some program or film dialogues differ from each other. The advertisers compress their audio signals so that the audio signal has les peaks and troughs and produces a constant wave of sound with music, effects and dialogue all at higher levels.

Technology exists to regulate decibel level based on sample dialogue levels or average dialogue levels over the whole program. Dolby's LM100 Broadcast Loudness Meter. This uses Dolby's Dialogue IntelligenceTM, a revolutionary technology developed specifically to measure the perceived loudness of dialogue. Research shows that most viewers adjust TV volume to normalize dialogue levels. By analyzing the input signal and measuring program loudness only during the presence of speech, Dialogue Intelligence objectively measures what viewers subjectively experience.

The technology is there. All they have to do is explain to advertisers that commercials will be analysed for an average decibel level and broadcast in relation to the average dialogue level for the program in which the commercials will appear.

Make a rule, set a standard, distribute guidelines to producers of commercials.

Sounds simple doesn't it?

I think it is. I must conclude, therefore, that they're doing this on purpose.

By the way, the Dobly LM100 RRP is around $3000 - how much do they Charge per second of advertising??????
I totally agree with Wispy and Coojy and the ads. do come thundering on making you jump and reaching for the mute button on the remote... but I have discovered that its not the ads that are too loud its the program is to quiet (I know the same difference) but as most of you have stated it defeats the purpose of the ad. companies when you have to mute them and wait for the program to start again....(now I feel so much better for getting that off my chest) keep up the good work one and all....
u-chappy, I think you'll find that you repeated what I said (albeit with more technical info!), ie it is not necessarily that the adverts are actually louder, it's just that our perception of them is louder. There are already rules in place about adverts, and the fiddling with the levels is a way for the advertisers to get around the rules.

As for "they must be doing it on purpose" - unless you're being ironic, of course they are. Don't forget that adverts and the associated "industry" around them are made by people who spend more money on a meal out than most of us spend on our family's food for a month. They're rich, they're powerful, and there's little chance that Joe Public's intense dislike of their underhand tricks is going to stop them becoming even wealthier. I dare say that they can even find "proof" that people LIKE having the adverts sound louder. (I know that Sky claim that they get requests for the end credits of programs to be squished/talked over as apparently people are incapable/too bone idle to use their remote/paper/TV mag/computer to work out what is on next).

Until there is a complete change in the way we watch our media, we are (unfortunately) stuck with the ads, and I can't see the industry dropping the perceived volume without another way to try to sell its wares. Mind you, there does seem to be an increasing use of product placement (cf. 24 Season 4 where - just in case we missed a lingering close-up of the Cisco security software preventing a terrorist intrusion - a character informed us that it was OK, the CISCO SECURITY SYSTEM had stopped the hack *rolls eyes*).

Anyway, I take it that no-one has used a VolumeMaster? (The product seems to be discontinued, so either it was a bit poor or it worked too well!)

Question Author
LeMarchand - I didn't repeat what you said. You've not understood.

Look, put more simply, the dialogue level differs from program to program. You adjust your volume accordingly. So when adverts deliver audio at an increased level compared to the preceeding program, it blasts out becuse your volume is up.

You perceive it to be louder because it IS louder. The average decibel level of the advert is higher than the decibel level of the preceeding dialogue.

It may be that an explosion sound effect is at a high decibel level compared with dialogue but you accept it as this is the desired effect and it occurs for a short period. But if, at the commercial break, the Stella Artois music is set at the same level as the explosion then it isn't "apparently" loud - it "IS" loud.

The whole point of a public vote is to show companies that the producers of "their" advertisements and the broadcasters of "their" advertisements are annoying "their" customers. They pay the bills, so if we can get them on board we will see the the industry doing something about it. That's better than just rolling over and accepting it don't you think?
"Don't forget that adverts and the associated "industry" around them are made by people who spend more money on a meal out than most of us spend on our family's food for a month. They're rich, they're powerful....."

This statement is a bit off the mark. The ads are made to SELL that is why so much money is spent on them. They pay for the prodution costs of the programs that are there to get you to watch the ads. A chicken and egg situation. Rich people with money don't make ads ~ they are busy living it up.

People who make ads have to 'prove' thay can increase sales and use all the tricks mentioned above to do this ~ one not mentioned is the unexpected SILENCE that is also used. All to grab your attention. The programs are secondary to the ads. Commercial stations have to show successful ads or they would cease to exsist.
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Quote: "The programs are secondary to the ads. Commercial stations have to show successful ads or they would cease to exsist."

I agree with you to a certain extent, Kwillmot, although the programs themselves have to attract large audiences or they would fail to attract advertisers. So I don't think I can agree that they are secondary: they feed the core product of commercial television which is the audience.

The main point of this is not the presence of the ads themselves but the perceived loudness in relation to the program which is annoying their core product.

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Yes, absolutely, in fact am fed up with most of TV anyway. Thinking of just using radio.

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