Translation with SYSTRAN Links

Sound intensity: first world

Publication date: Monday, April 16, 2012
Letter CSA n°258 - March 2012


Thanks to the CSA, France is the first country in the world to solve the problem of the loudness of the advertisements. That of the sound difference between chains is also about to being solved.

Concerned of the comfort of the televiewers, the Council organized since 1992 several series of measurements of the sound intensity of the televised programs. Those had allowed only partial improvements, for lack of tools making it possible to precisely consider the excursions sound perceived like excessive. But as from the year 2010, thanks to work of the group “Publicity and consumer protection” chaired by Christine Kelly, the Council could bring a concrete solution to this problem by establishing a calendar being spread out December 2011 to 2013.

A median value to be respected

Following a dialogue with the editors and the professional organizations concerned, the Council adopted a deliberation on July 19th, 2011. Laying down precise technical methods to improve comfort of listening and a calendar for the chains and the producers, it aims to the control by the editors of the sound intensity of the programs and the advertisements diffused.

Thus, since mid-December 2011, a generalized fall of the average sound intensity of the chains makes it possible to the televiewers to pass from the one to the other without undergoing important differences, for little that their television receivers do not introduce new variations. The first technical measures carried out by the Council on the 19 free national chains of the DVB during twenty-four hours indicate that most between them the actions envisaged by the deliberation carried out. Indeed, the average sound intensity of these chains measured during twenty-four hours is very close to the value -23 LUFS (measuring unit of the sound intensity of an audio sequence) recommended by the Council. Some of these average sound intensities present a profile far from variable over the day, while others have a greater variance.

A variation reduced for the advertisements

Since January 1st, 2012, the variation of sound intensity at the time of the passage of a program to a publicity is framed. These variations cannot from now on exceed a ceiling considered as that of the auditive embarrassment for the televiewers. This variation will not be either inevitably worthless, for example between a “calm” end of program followed by a publicity. However, starting from January 1st, 2013, the televiewers will note a variation of sound intensity even weaker for the advertisements. The good implementation of these various phases described in the deliberation will be checked by the Council thanks to new campaigns of measurements of the intensity.

The first results are promising and seem to indicate that the chains acted to apply the deliberation of the Council. Complementary actions will be however necessary, in particular on behalf of the manufacturers of television sets and the distributors (ADSL, satellite, cable) which must be associated with this effort with homogenisation with the sound intensity. The report which the Council will submit soon to the Parliament will detail of the proposals, so much for the television services than for the services of audio-visual mediums to the request.