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commercials too loud on some channels: "CALM LAW" not followed

Frequent Visitor

commercials too loud on some channels: "CALM LAW" not followed

I have reported on several occasions to a Comcast rep. dedicated to these types of issues. Issue is thatsome channels continue to have commercials significantly louder than the program. Congress passed a law ("Calm Act" in the past year prohibiting this nuisance by advertisers as of Dec 13, 2012. It directs stations to have the same average volume on commercials as they do in programs. On a few channels and times I reported, the Comcast techs reportedly agreed with my observations/findings and stations were to be contacted. But, there are more and I am tired of keeping the requested "diary" with channel, program title, times, etc to report.  Why cannot Comcast "police" this issue on ALL channels or even have an audio :level" system at their distribution center which automatically adjusts DB level of all audio on any channel ? I am at the point where I want to report issue to FCC.

Valued Contributor

Re: commercials too loud on some channels: "CALM LAW" not followed

The Calm Law only affects stations that broadcast over the air; cable channels are exempt. If you're noticing your local, free-to-air stations violating the law, you should contact the FCC. You're wasting your time calling Comcast, though.
Frequent Visitor

Re: commercials too loud on some channels: "CALM LAW" not followed

I agree to a point, have indeed got mixed results via Comcast. They did rectify two of the stations I reported to my Comcast contact...so I was optimistic about it. But, later reports got me nowhere. However, I don't think it effects only "over the air" broadcasts. I have a copy of "Public Law 111-311, 11th Congress" in front of me and it specifically mentions "television broadcast statios", "cable operator", or "other multichannel video programming distributor".   I am surprised that the law allows "waivers" for up to 1 year, which means until mid-December 2013 if any waivers approved.
see: http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/loud-commercials   (link has copy of the law)

Frequent Visitor

Re: commercials too loud on some channels: "CALM LAW" not followed

One of my received replies:

"Arthur Lafond" <Arthur_Lafond@cable.comcast.com>
Sent: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 10:55:03 AM
Subject: RE: Comcast Cable    ( 859411 )


Hello Mr.---------,


Our engineers report that they have heard the commercial breaks as being loud.    We are escalating this matter now to our National Support Desk in Denver, CO.   This is where these channels are handled.    I will keep you updated.


Thank you,

Arthur Lafond


Sent: Monday, March 11, 2013 8:55 PM
To: Lafond, Arthur
Subject: Re: Comcast Cable ( 859411 )


We have not made an intentional ongoing monitoring of many stations, but have taken a few notes on specific days/times while watching a channel/program that seemed to be (subjectively) loud on commercials. In those cases, it seemed so obvious to us that we recorded the events as follows:

3/8/13   Channel 798  "IFC channel" between 7:28-7:33pm (approx range)
                Movie was "Bogie Night"
                Loud commercials for :
                 STATE FARM
                   RELION GROUP
              It seemed like every commercial was much louder than programmimg and naturally it was a subjective opinion and not a measured value (yet) by a Decibel Meter

3/9/13      Channel 788   LMNHD
                 Watching "Chloe"
                 Loud Commercials  6:32 - 6:36 pm  i...various commercials
                  Loud Commercials 6:46-6:49pm included:
                 MUTIGRAIN CHEERIOS
                 SUNSWEET JUICE
                 and others
                Loud Commercials 7:12-7:14PM included:
   On that night the commercials were quite obviously LOUD as heard even from 2 rooms away

On 3/10/13 to include a GOOD channel with no loud commercials: CHANNEL 243  ...non problems at all..PERFECT!

 IFC Channel 798 watching "The Brothers Grimm" temporarily
 7:38pm - 7:40PM
One-in-ONE website

This channel had commercials louder than program but nowhere near as ad as channel 788 on 3/9/13 above

Hope that helps.
It is all "subjective" and to prove it will require a Decibel Meter with recorded averaging of sound levels.
I could borrow one from work, but at this point I will hold off and just report my/our "subjective" observations to see if there is any merit in them.
I think that if named stations just deny it and refuse to even suggest a possibilty of occurence, then I may be able to make scientific observations using a calibrated Decibel Meter and taking averages over a period of time...

Gold Problem Solver

Re: commercials too loud on some channels: "CALM LAW" not followed

BPreston wrote: The Calm Law only affects stations that broadcast over the air ...

As the OP has pointed out, this is incorrect. See http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/loud-commercials/ :

Q:   Does the FCC currently regulate loud commercials?
A:   Yes. The Commission adopted rules on December 13, 2011 that require commercials to have the same average volume as the programs they accompany. The rules became effective on December 13, 2012, one year after the date of their adoption. Broadcast television stations and pay TV providers were given until this date to be in full compliance.
Frequent Visitor

Re: commercials too loud on some channels: "CALM LAW" not followed

The law did allow a  1 year waiver if tv station or cable operator or other didtributor of video for home use can substantiate a good reason. That means that AFTER DEc 2013, ALL stations and ALL distributors must be 100% compliant..no more waivers after that. I don't know if Comcast has a waiver, though I doubt it..so it is UP TO COMCAST to assure all video sent to homes complies....and if some feed stations have waivers and Comcast does not ..TOUGH! They can go after the feed staitons but MUST deliver compliant signal. .

Regular Contributor

Re: commercials too loud on some channels: "CALM LAW" not followed

When one of these commercials blows my speakers/headphones, I will be all about a class action lawsuit. In fact, if anyone knows of any class action alwsuits against Comcast please let me know...I'd love to get some of my money back from these irresponsible jerks.


BTW, heres the solution: Check the file before uploading it to the live servers. Judging from the amount of loud commercials and grainy shows, there is no quality control going on at Xfinity.

New Poster

Re: commercials too loud on some channels: "CALM LAW" not followed

I have been also experiencing this for months now. I thought it was an issue with the DVR since I was certain comcast would have been complying with FCC regulations. However, not sure that is the case anymore. My most recent call to comcast regarding the issue resulted in the technician saying comcast is not responsible for the feeds from the television providers. It is their responsibility to be compliant with sound levels. I have filled several complaints with FCC that, as far as I know, went no where...never heard a response. My experience with the loud commercials is, I enjoy my program louder than most, but still able to easily hold a conversation with someone 10 feet away. Program ends, first commercial same volume as program. Second commercial acts like someone is turning up the volume, slowly gets louder and louder to the point of having to cover your ears while scrambling for the remote. Turn the volume down at least 10-15 levels. next 5 to 6 commercials go by, programs comes back on dead quiet. If anyone has any progress on this issue...please share.

Frequent Visitor

Re: commercials too loud on some channels: "CALM LAW" not followed

Seems like Comcast does not really care and is trying to pass on the issue to it's sources. I'm not so sure that it is the accepted way per law. In any event, it is one more reason why I have not been satisfied with Comcast: Loud commercials, tech support (internet) that has been for the most part 3rd rate on occasions of problems (usually end up resolving myself) , terrible "bundling" that forces people to buy into so many totally useless channels just to get the few they want.......!  I am waiting for the day that FIOS comes into our town and then definetly sayonara to overpriced and poor value Comcast. Not worth going to RTN as they have some of the same issues I hear. Only swich choice is FIOS when it comes or DISH (which I am mulling over). THERE IS VIRTUALLY NOTHING THAT I WOULD GIVE COMCAST A HIGH RATING FOR. I would rate it overall as "acceptable"....but those loud commercials really irritate us! So much for the law with "no teeth"..

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