We all know the situation, you are into a show and it is intense, the volume is turned up so you don't miss anything, then all of a sudden commercial break. WAM HI WE WANT YOU TO BUY….. Followed by the misses, "can you turn that down it is so loud why do you listen to it so loud!" Hehe (I love you hunny)
Well I was thinking and there a couple things that play into this. First, we don't invest in high end audio equipment for the most part. Secondly, we like things louder.
Every CD, DVD, MP3, broadcast tv and cable tv station knows this and tries to counteract poor audio equipment by flattening out the sound so all bits can be heard. They know the average person does not invest in high end audio so they try to balance that. The technical term for this is reducing the dynamic range and boosting the average signal IE: "dynamic range compression."
See, high quality audio systems with digital audio (optical or HDMI) can separate out the individual sounds and allow you to hear all the soft sounds, light effects, and not have any distortion while still having clear bass frequencies. On the opposite end mid grade systems would miss these sounds, muffle them, and you would miss the detail….. So what do we do, we turn the tv up, and in conjunction with tv and cable companies flattening the audio, we sacrifice ourselves to the loud noises in order to hear the small ones. So when we turn to a channel and think the sound is good in reality it usually means it is loud, that brings me to part two.
We like things loud. We like the music, we turn it up. So… We have associated loud music with being good. We also pay attention to loud noises. When your parents yell at you, you pay attention. When you are walking down the street and you hear someone yelling, you pay attention.
Well guess what, TV companies and commercial producers know this. So after that show with the intense scene ends and commercials come on they turn it up. Hopefully they want us to pay attention and subconsciously think if its loud it must be good, important, or whatever.
This does not even take into consideration how some audio hardware and TVs try to ALSO compress audio so the volume stays the same but that is a whole other level.
So the next time the commercials come on and they are louder than normal you can say "hunny its not me its the tv and cable companies trying to get our attention" OR my personal favorite "Maybe its time to upgrade our home theater system!"
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