Translation with SYSTRAN Links
Sound intensity of television

Why publicity is too strong?

 Why publicity is too strong?

The “volume” of publicity

Sound intensity of television (DT)

With identical adjustment of television, certain sequences appear stronger than others with the ears of certain televiewers. This phenomenon comes from what the “volume” managed by the button of the remote control is the maximum level of instantaneous sound intensity. When the sound is lowered, all the sound amplitudes are decreased in proportion to the allowed maximum amplitude.

The listener, perceives the cumulated sound intensity to him, and this one can vary to a significant degree for the same maximum amplitude. It is what the producers of the advertisements exploit by the dynamic operation of compression of the sound, which consists in recording the amplitude of the frequencies which are used below maximum level. To use this manoeuvre margin existing on each frequency between the initial amplitude and the authorized maximum amplitude makes it possible significantly to increase the intensity perceived without “increasing the sound” of television… and thus without the agreement of the televiewer. This technique of dynamic compression is in particular used in the industry of the disc, since the democratisation of the compact disc in the years 1990.  

In addition to the discomfort which this practice in television has, it is commercially against-productive, since it encourages the spectator to lower or cut the sound, to even change chain. It is however difficult for the advertisers unilaterally to give up proposing their advertisements by this means. This is why a concerted regulation represents a progress for the whole of the actors – the advertisers, the televiewers, but also the TV channels, ridges some today with criticisms of exceeded televiewers.

A subject difficult to frame

In France as in other countries, the question of the sound intensity of the advertisements generated many discussions and becomes ripe only around the year 2010. In Italy, in Poland, in Germany, in Belgium or in the United States, work is thus in hand or led to decisions since the end of 2009.

Several factors are combined to complicate the resolution of the problem:

  • the impression of embarrassment among televiewers, denounced as of the Nineties, was to be characterized and measured by a precise method;
  • a strategy of adapted regulation was to be identified, in a complex environment where intervene of many actors;
  • the passage of analogical to digital modified gives it in the course of reflection, by facilitating the operations of treatment of the sound.

Since article 14 of decree of March 27th, 1992, which provides that the noise level of publicity should not exceed the noise level average moreover program, intervened at the French level two great periods:

  • until 2007, successive campaigns measurement followed by mails near certain hertzian chains allow partial and limited improvements: the times of observation, in laboratory, are too long several months to hope to correct the drifts, and the methods put in work do not allow an industrialisation of these measurements. In 2005, the advent of digital and, concomitantly, new ways of managing of the audio tracks numerically, clarifies the limits of the regulatory framing existing and the processes of measurement.
  • in 2008, the Council inaugurates a new strategy of regulation, via the launching of a co-operation with the editors and the assistance of audio specialists. It is a question of better understanding the physical phenomena concerned and of helping the editors to obtain indutrial resource to manage the sound without notably modifying their procedures of validation or rejection of programs. The co-operation continues in 2009 and 2010 within the Technical Commission of the Experts of Digital of the CSA, to lead in 2011 to the new recommendations of the CSA, by taking account of the works completed in same time within the technical Commission superior of the image and sound (CST), of the Federation of Industries of the Cinema, Audio-visual and Multi-media (FICAM) and the HD Forum like on the levels European and international. In parallel, the regulatory framing was modified in 2010 and specifies henceforth that the noise level of publicity, including the treatment of sound dynamics, should not exceed the noise level average moreover program.

The recommendation adopted by the CSA on July 19th, 2011 was the object of a broad dialogue and fixed of the orientations compatible with those which retain the French or regulating authorities professional European.