I have reported previously on the “Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act”, or CALM, which has been passed by the House of Representatives and now is in the hands of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. However, we don’t have to wait for federal legislation to do something about the large variations in sound levels between television programming and the commercials that are inserted throughout them.
Last month, SRS Labs reported that their “TruVolume” technology is now at work in 30 million individual consumer electronic devices. More than 3,500 products use TruVolume, including HDTV televisions, set-top boxes, and soundbars. It is also found in automotive and mobile products. Samsung and Vizio are two of the companies that use SRS technology in many of their flat screen televisions. SRS also has offers a Analog Volume Leveling Adaptor, an accessory that sells for less than $50 and can add automatic volume control to televisions that don’t have the feature. (There is also an HDMI version that sells for less than $100.)
I believe that technology is the correct way to solve the problem, as opposed to invoking a new federal law or additional regulations. It puts the viewers in control of just how much — or how little — variation in volume levels is acceptable, rather than have some branch of government make that determination for them.