Beginning today, watching TV will be a CALMer experience

Posted at: 12/13/2012 5:20 PM
Updated at: 12/13/2012 5:51 PM
By: Abigail Bleck

MENANDS--Viewers who find themselves reaching for their remote when a commercial comes on have one word to describe the inconvenience.

"It's annoying, yeah," complains Christina Hutchinson.

"It's so annoying," adds Ernst Mondesir.

"Really annoying," proclaims Jason Coonrood."

"No seriously, it's annoying,"confirms Pat Peterkin.

Apparently, it's annoying.  So much so that Congress took action.  The Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation--or CALM--Act takes effect Thursday.  It requires stations to regulate ads so they can't be louder, on average, than the shows they accompany.

"Obviously it's not in our best interest to annoy viewers.  Our goal is to make the listening experience as good as possible for people so it's a pleasant thing," explains Steve Baboulis, NewsChannel 13's General Manager.

WNYT is actually already compliant and has been for some time now.  It's been a two year process and the station invested in equipment to monitor audio levels on both the commercials and the programming.  The law requires just the ads.

"Technically, it's only about the commercials.  But people will feel there's less of a violation if everything is the same," explains Baboulis.

Meeting in the middle means everything on NewsChannel 13's air will be less jarring for viewers like Peterkin.

"Next thing you know when a commercial comes in...it's loud, like you're at some discotech and it doesn't make any sense."

Now that we don't have to frantically mute while watching TV, Congress can get back to its regularly scheduled programming. 

"They're doing something good for us for a change," adds Peterkin, jokingly.

If only the fiscal cliff could be solved with the click of a remote.

For more information, check out the guidelines on the FCC website.