The House of Representatives approved a measure to modulate television commercial loudness. A similar bill is headed to the Senate. If the bill becomes law, the FCC would be required to adopt Advanced Television Systems Committee guidelines for correcting loudness within one year, and to begin enforcing those standards the following year.
Here’s a great 2007 article from MSNBC that details why some TV commercials may appear louder than others. In short, they are rarely louder.
As is usually the case, legislators are better off not trying to solve a perceived consumer irritant. It is never as easy as just saying, keep the sounds levels even. There’s always a backstory and the opportunities for “unintended consequences” multiplies in direct proportion to the number of proposed bills drafted to right a wrong.
Plus, don’t we have bigger fish to fry right now?