Tom Philois annoyed with . . .

Loud Commercials and the Federal Communication Commission (FCC)

The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) does some real good things in the USA in maintaining the frequency spectrum for most people to use. Some of the items they have been granted control of by our Congress they seem to have no clue as to what is going on and then what to do about it when people complain.

Do commercials come in louder than the shows you watch? If they do you have the FCC to thank for that. You want a chip to silence those loud commercials? They were invented a long time ago but the patents were bought up to prevent them from coming on the market or the rules were blocked by powerful business interests of the TV industry. (Can't blame the FCC for all those!)

Transmitter Power and Recording Power

Transmitter Strength

In the 60s TV stations raised the transmitter power during commercial in order to make the commercials louder as people left the room and the FCC stopped that on technical interference reasons.

Recording Strength

Now the TV commercial producers RECORD them louder so that they end up many times louder than the show. All networks do that. There are a few that are really bad. I can't remember their call signs but the worse offenders seem to originate out of Chicago and Atlanta.

Since the transmitter cannot change, the advertising people just took a step back and ensured that commercials are all recorded much louder than the shows so that when people leave the room you can still hear them. On my TV to get the same volume in shows as commercials it goes from 32 to 25 in power output: TV shows set at 32 and when the commercials come on I have to turn the volumn down to 25 to hear the commercials at the same decible level.


The FCC also regulates phones. If you ever lived right across another from state I am sure you get annoyed at having to pay LONG DISTANCE charges to call a few hundred feet across the state line. You have the FCC to thank for that also. From that same location you may be able to dial 20 miles free of long distance charges in your same state! Does this make sense in the new "Digital Era"?

This is a holdover from the old "mom and pop" phone systems that were everywhere back in the 30s. They were regulated by the States back in a time that it technically impossible to get to another CO and the communications was within the "states rights" to regulate. There was no FCC back then.

A local phone company could not lay down phone cable to another state. Only AT&T could traverse state lines. That era has long since passed.

The FCC, being Federal and in charge of all this, should eliminate state borders as an arbiter of determining long distance charges. I think long distance should be set up to be anything more than 25 miles from a person's CO (Central Office) or in the case of rural areas more than 3 COs away would be long distance regardless of state or county political boundaries. This could allow people in rural areas to call three towns away (maybe 30 to 60 miles in some cases) and be a local call.

Return to Tom's Annoy list