If you’re one of those people who keep your television volumes set
at a certain level to ensure that pets, babies, or mistresses do not wake up while you’re watching TV only to have a loud commercial startle them awake, you don’t have to worry about that anymore. Legislation adopted by the FCC a year ago — the “Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act” (or the CALM Act) — finally goes into effect today, requiring that television commercials match the volume of the programs you are watching.
Ironically, it was never really the advertisers faults to begin with. According to a WIRED article, the FCC sets a particular volume limit, and in order to enhance the sounds of the commercials, it was the television stations (mostly local stations) that turned the volume on their own shows down. You had to turn your televisions up to hear Letterman, and then once the commercial came on, it would scare you out of your drunken slumber. The CALM Act doesn’t just prevent commercials from exceeding the volume limit, it ensures that it matches the volume of the program you are watching, so everything should be in equal now.