Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act (CALM)
The CALM Act was passed by Congress in 2010 in response to viewer complaints to the loud commercial problem. The FCC's new rules require TV stations, cable operators, satellite TV operators and multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) to correct the loudness differences between programs and commercials A viewer typically needs to lower the volume during a commercial or public service announcement and when the program returns re-adjust the volume to the previous loudness. Since cable and satellite distributors carry broadcast channels to their viewers through their distribution networks they are also impacted by the CALM Act.
Just as the FCC mandate will dictate loudness compliance to the broadcaster, the broadcaster will dictate loudness compliance to the distributor. Cable and satellite distributors need to be able to confirm that they are not modifying the loudness values of programming when audited by the broadcaster.
The mandate to monitor "program loudness" is difficult, as it requires monitoring the program from start to finish a requirement that the monitoring device recognize when a program starts and ends, and then log the loudness value for future compliance audits.
Data logging is an important tool under the CALM Act because it provides proof that the station levels meet the required standards. Several new products do data logging of the audio signal levels as well as audit the quality of the signals. A loudness logger and monitor is a compact audio monitoring tool that confirms loudness compliance via true peak measurements.
A recorded broadcast should be monitored at the point of ingest so that minimal corrections need to be made at the end. For live programs, the metering and corrections can be done at the point of origin, such as the remote location or in the master control environment. Getting all the various elements to the targeted loudness level early means you don't have to process the signal as aggressively at the final point in the transmission.
To properly monitor and track audio levels there are numerous products to meter the audio to be compliant with the CALM Act. With the correct tools from Toner Cable and proper implementations of signal management, viewers and experts agree that the broadcast will sound better.Back to News