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Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Oct 30

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10/30/2009 10:00 AM  RssIcon

103009_loud.jpgRep Anna Eshoo, D-CA, must really be trying to look busy — witness her repeated introduction of another worthless government mandate. Her goal is to force broadcasters to control loudness.

Eshoo has, for the second time, introduced legislation titled “CALM”. Her bill, H.R. 1084 “Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation, or CALM, (don’t you hate such ridiculous acronyms?) would require the FCC to prescribe a regulation prohibiting advertisements from:

• being excessively noisy or strident;

• having modulation levels substantially higher than the accompanying program; and

• having an average maximum loudness substantially higher than that of the accompanying program.

Eshoo said her proposed legislation is designed “to make the volume of commercials and programming uniform so that spikes in volume do not affect the consumer’s ability to control sound.” Even worse, she claims commercials’ volume spikes have “endangered hearing for decades.”

Not satisfied with her own opinion, she claimed that fellow legislative spouses have been urging husbands or wives to sign onto her bill as co-sponsors. “I think they are all tired of getting blasted out of their easy chairs or off their exercise equipment due to these ridiculously loud commercials.”

Wow! I was unaware that audio volume could blast a person out of a chair or off the tread mill. Let me look into that.

Like many, if not most, elected officials, Eshoo is never satisfied with an industry’s own solution. It makes no difference to her that ATSC is expected to release a proposed operating standard on loudness next month.

“I wish that we could trust everyone to voluntarily comply, but the industry’s track record has not been so great in this regard,” she said.

Remember, government IS the solution. As of now, the bill has 82 co-sponsors, only one of which is a Republican. Uh, Rep. Eshoo, could you give me one specific example of the broadcast industry’s poor “track record” on compliance?

Oh, you can’t?

Broadcasters can solve any perceived loudness issue without your intrusion, thank you Rep. Eshoo. May I encourage you to GO BACK TO CALIFORNIA AND BE QUIET!

You may now return the volume to normal.

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