WASHINGTON - Congress has passed legislation that could shield TV viewers from those jolting jumps in volume when programs go to commercial.
Under the legislation, the Federal Communications Commission will require adoption of industry standards aimed at ensuring that commercials will not be noticeably louder than regular programs.
Consumers long have been complained about being blasted with noisy TV ads, but the FCC currently does not regulate audio levels. Instead, it has reminded viewers to use systems in their TVs that adjust sound levels or make liberal use of their mute buttons when bombarded by loud ads.
Relief from excessive commercial noise would occur a year after the FCC crafts the new regulations, and apply to all broadcast providers, including cable and satellite.
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