ATSC’s approved the recommended practice, ‘Techniques for Establishing and Maintaining Audio Loudness for Digital Television,’ known as A/85 is the technical foundation for the new Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act, which took effect last week.

Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-Calif.) and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) were joined by industry leaders to trumpet the CALM Act, which requires broadcast, cable, satellite and other video providers to keep the volume of commercials at a level consistent with regular TV programming. Eshoo was the original author of the law.

According to a 2009 Harris poll, almost 90 percent of TV viewers are bothered by high commercial volumes, prompting 41 percent of viewers to turn down the volume, 22 percent to mute the TV, and 17 percent to change the channel altogether.

“Earsplitting television ads have jolted and annoyed viewers for decades,” Rep. Eshoo said. “With this new law, loud TV commercials that make consumers run for the mute button or change the channel altogether will be a thing of the past.”

“Loud TV commercials have been among the most common consumer complaints to the FCC for decades now,” said Senator Whitehouse. “While this is a small issue compared to the big challenges facing our nation, it is an unnecessary annoyance in the daily lives of many Americans, and I’m glad to have done something about it.”

“The CALM Act requires the FCC to mandate use of A/85 as the basis for regulation of commercial audio loudness. I want to thank Congresswoman Eshoo for her confidence in ATSC to provide the industry developed technical strategies necessary to control the audio loudness of commercial advertisements,” said ATSC’s Mark Richer.