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CALM Act music to TV viewers' ears


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- If you've ever been annoyed by a blaring TV commercial, you have a reason to calm down. A law goes into effect today to balance the volume on those loud ads.

"The CALM Act is set to keep the commercial levels from being very loud when you come from a program to a commercial," WWAY Chief Engineer Billy Stratton said.

Congress passed the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation (CALM) Act last year. Most viewers say it's about time.

"You fall asleep, and all of a sudden the commercial wakes you up, and you don't know where you are," Jeanne Chase said.

"I find it irritating when I'm listening to commercials to have the volume come up and have to turn it down," Bob Haywood said.

Stratton says this is something viewers have wanted for a long time, but the technology was not there until now.

"With the digital world, it's more easily done," Stratton said. "It's measuring an average of loudness over a period of time."

And as for the advertisers who will have to find another way to get your attention? Most viewers say being blasted never sold them anything.

"We're going to buy their products anyway," Chase said. They don't have to blast it in our faces."

"I think they've been out-screaming each other," Kenneth Eaton said. "They're playing on a level field here."

The CALM Act applies to all commercials on all channels whether they're on cable, satellite, or over-the air.

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