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CALM Law In Effect Thursday Means No More Screaming TV

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DETROIT (CBS Detroit) If your TV seems calmer today, you’re right, and it’s not just because the political ad season is over.

Just a month after viewers got a respite from screaming political ads, they’re getting a break from screaming ads of any kind.

A new law called CALM went into effect Thursday that mandates no commercial can be louder than the programming itself. President Barack Obama signed it into law two years ago and broadcast companies had two years to get it together on the technical side.

Starting Thursday, all digital TV broadcasters, digital cable operators, and other digital multi-channel video programming distributors have to keep sound levels the same for programming and commercials.

“The CALM Act rules apply to all commercials, regardless of content or duration, and to both locally inserted commercials and commercials embedded by a program supplier,” according to a reminder from the government. “Political advertisements, promos for television programming, and program-length commercials are not exempt from the rules.”

What does that mean for you in metro Detroit? It could mean less of a workout for your mute button, and definitely means fewer nights falling asleep in front of the TV and jarring awake to an infomercial.

And if you notice any programming that appears to violate the rules, you have recourse. You can file a complaint with the FCC’s Consumer Call Center at 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322) or 1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322).

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