Why are TV commercials so LOUD?

Posted by Drothism on Sep 22nd, 2008

People are always asking/complaining to me about how loud commercials are compared to the TV program they are watching. Well here is a nice succinct explanation as to the cause of this annoying TV watching experience.

Compression. Advertisers use compression so that everything in a commercial is about at the same (loud) audio level, close to the maximum allowable levels. This way, you can still hear their pitch even if you get up to go the kitchen or bathroom. The TV channel does not turn up the volume on these commercials — they’re just recorded and mixed that way. Most shows, however, are not in an audio-compressed format so they generally have a wider dynamic range than the ads. Since they can’t go back and add compression to their shows, the ads tend to sound a lot louder than the programming.

One Response

  1. #1 Magpie

    EVIL corporations trying to make me go deaf while selling me crap I do not need. SHEESH! Thanks for this post… I always wondered!

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