Congress Tells TV Commercials and Inventors to Shut Up
The House on Tuesday voted to level off the abrupt spikes in volume heard by television viewers during commercial breaks.
The bill — approved by a voice vote — is aimed at stopping TV ads from playing noticeably louder than programs.
Irritated by loud commercials, Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., drafted the measure after discovering it was a common complaint with the Federal Communications Commission.
The bill, however, has unintended consequences. Congress single handedly killed off innovation, possible job creation and profits that could be made by making televisions with automatic volume controls.
Just like FM (frequency modulation) a volume modulation system could have easily been installed in TV sets to keep volume at a steady level – the level that the consumer chooses.
But Congress, like a bull in a china shop, wiped out the chance for inventors to offer consumers more choice.
Our advice to congress: Quit meddling.