Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: sound volume level in TVs and radios ( No Answer,   7 Comments )
Subject: sound volume level in TVs and radios
Category: Science > Technology
Asked by: kag5-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 09 Dec 2004 02:40 PST
Expires: 08 Jan 2005 02:40 PST
Question ID: 440238
I have with great irritation noticed the volume level in TVs and
radios automatically increase very high during commercials. I wonder
if this is to  draw attention to the ads? Why is there no automatic
volume control relative to the selection of the main program? I wish
some one comes up with a device to supress the volume beyond a
selected range.
There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: sound volume level in TVs and radios
From: guzzi-ga on 09 Dec 2004 18:27 PST
Electronic devices to do this are available, whereby above a certain
level the audio is ?compressed?. Not particularly difficult to
incorporate into a TV for a skilled engineer but it would be good if
they came like that. Excellent idea. Unfortunately, after-market
devices couldn?t integrate with the set.

Remember how we moaned when we had to get out of a chair to change the
volume, and now we moan when we have to push a button. Where is this
going to end up? :-)

But by the power of the buying public, you could write to
manufacturers and make the suggestion for future models. You never

Subject: Re: sound volume level in TVs and radios
From: hoganhogan-ga on 15 Dec 2004 11:38 PST
Many TVs have automatic volume control built-in. Panasonic calls it
"Artificial Intelligence sound". Other manufacturers use different
language, but it's all the same. They claim that it is to account for
differences in volume between stations, but it also controls the
volume of ads. I have a 27" Panasonic from 1997 and it has this
feature, however it's optional so you do have to go into the menu and
turn it on.

You are correct that the volume is raised intentionally in order to
get your attention.
Subject: Re: sound volume level in TVs and radios
From: neilzero-ga on 16 Dec 2004 08:53 PST
I have often day-dreamed of a TV with two tuners and a computer that
detects commercials and some promos, credits, and other non-program
material. Switches to a different channel, VCR or DVD, but continues
to monitor the first channel so it can restore the program you were
watching within a second or two after the commercial break ends. To be
really fast (and make few errors) the computer needs to record the
first second of thousands of commercials, promo etc. The humans need
to help the computer identify these and program segments that might be
wrongly shut down. The computer would remember after being taught the
first time, and could likely identify most commercials after two or
three seconds of analysis, even new commercials.   Neil
Subject: Re: sound volume level in TVs and radios
From: scarrig-ga on 22 Dec 2004 10:55 PST
If comercials bother you that much, just purchase TiVo.
Subject: Re: sound volume level in TVs and radios
From: mrfixit1-ga on 08 Jan 2005 15:28 PST
What the add and station people do to circumvent this on your TV
equiped with auto sound is they play ALL the sounds at maximum volume
so your tv can not recognize that the sound is louder it sees the
sound amplitude but does not see HOW MUCH sound there is and so the
add makers get around the devise, what needs to be invented is a unit
that just pushes the sound UP or DOWN buttons on your remote when ALOT
of sound is present, commercial or not.
Subject: Re: sound volume level in TVs and radios
From: bigshoe-ga on 15 Jan 2005 04:42 PST
Assuming the TV has audio outputs, you can run those through an
inexpensive audio compressor like the Behringer MDX1400 Autocom Pro
Compressor/Limiter (about $50).  The TERK TV Volume Regulator (VR-1),
at about the same money, may be a better choice for the average
person, as it is simpler to use, smaller, and accepts ordinary RCA
connectors.  The Behringer unit is likely to produce better quality
results, for those who would know how to use it.

The outputs from one of these devices can be run through your stereo
system.  If you have no stereo nearby, run the outputs into a $50
computer speaker set (with woofer), and you will get better sound than
from built-in TV speakers.  Spend more on the computer speakers if you
want even better sound, or invest in a high-quality 2.1 stereo sound

Unfortunately, the above compression devices will reduce the loud
sounds, and increase the soft sounds, so music over the TV will be
affected, but probably not too much for non-audiophiles.

The above will put the volume control on the computer speaker or
stereo amp.  If you want a remote control for volume, the computer
speakers are probably not going to work for you, but you can buy a
cheap stereo amp that includes a remote control (need speakers too). 
Remember that, once the dynamics of the audio are tamed, you may not
need the remote volume control.
Subject: Re: sound volume level in TVs and radios
From: spike531nj-ga on 09 Mar 2005 09:32 PST
Inserting an audio signal processor is not really the answer.  There
are many different factors and dynamics to every broadcasted segment. 
Some commercials and shows are sound designed to meet the specs of
digital broadcasting, which simply means pushing the entire signal to
"zero", which allows the networks to set audio to the max and not have
to worry about adjustments.  When this is done, ALL frequencies have
the ability to reach the "zero" mark, but to the human ear, lows and
highs aren't necessarily heard at the same level.  Now, if you are an
audio engineer working on, let's say....a typical Car Advertisement,
you simply cut back on the low and high frequencies, so that the mids
are the ones the push the meter to "zero", which then makes you look
for the remote to turn it down.
   Is this done intentionally?  YES!!!  That's because not everyone in
the world has a nice tv or sound system, and it allows the commercial
to be delivered to every network in the country to be played on the
air.  Some markets like LA and NY have all the latest equipement for
broadcast, but that little hick town in tennesee still have people
using rabbit ears!
   Since the signals are all pushing "zero", no matter if it's a
network primetime drama or sitcom, or if it's Billy Bob's Used Cars,
using a Compressor or Limiter will effect the entire signal, effecting
the entire volume.  Besides, all the networks ALREADY compress the
hell out of their signals anyway.

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy