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May 11, 2022 8:28 pm  #1

What does radio do better than TV?

For a start, consistent sound levels between stations. I do realize that compression and shaping can modify the apparent loudness, but I don't need to drastically change the volume settings when changing stations, unlike my cable TV channels. Surely with all the extensive and varied standards for video encoding that all result in a watchable image, there still seems to be a dearth of standards to properly manage the sound levels. 


May 11, 2022 9:03 pm  #2

Re: What does radio do better than TV?

There are actually CRTC rules about this. Not that they're very closely followed. 

CRTC Commercial Loudness Rules


May 11, 2022 10:58 pm  #3

Re: What does radio do better than TV?

The rules state that broadcasters and television service providers "must ensure that TV commercials are broadcast at a similar volume to programs".  This does not mean the audio level is, or must be, consistent between channels or even between programs.

Contrary to belief, there is a fair amount of effort placed on TV audio levels.  In many cases, audio levels are normalized to a common level, when ingested into the server, prior to broadcast.  But it ain't perfect.

Television is a challenging platform to maintain the perception of consistent audio levels across a variety of programming content (theatrical movies, news, live sports, sitcoms, talk shows, games shows, awards shows, etc) especially when a given commercial might air within any of them.  In addition, there is a multitude of audio formats (mono, stereo, and 5.1) and personal settings on home "TV's".

Radio stations tend to have a common type of programming (classical, talk, rock, news, etc) across their program day, in a single audio format (stereo) which can make it a lot easier to maintain the perception of consistent audio loudness.