Each word alone in the above post title seems simple and harmless enough. Put together, they sound pretty darn inviting and high-tech. They evoke those same pleasant feelings stirred by the words “remote control.” But is the Automatic TV Sound Regulator (quite a mouthful, isn’t it?) or TVSR destined to become as ubiquitous as that “clicker?” (Clicker? Yes, younger readers. Remote controls were not always the solid state devices they are today. Once upon a time, and not so very long ago, remote controls made a distinct clicking sound when used. That’s why your grandparents call them “clickers.” Isn’t The Distillery a wonderful place for absolutely useless information?)
However, one must wonder why the firm did not devise or contrive a demonstration of the TVSR at its web site. It could very easily be done. Although not absolutely necessary to have a potential customer understand the product, a virtual “hands-on” demonstration might be a more effective selling mechanism. On the other hand, the manufacturer is not over-estimating the public’s collective intelligence when it supposedly explains how its product works. There are words written, but they ultimately reveal nothing at all about how the TVSR works.
One thing The Distillery tends to like about the TVSR site is the immediate availability and playback of its online [only?] video promotion. Yet, the manufacturer then falls into the very trap stated as the problem — no user control! One has no choice but to listen to the video except by navigating away from the home page. And given it’s right on par with some of the worst “only sold on TV” ads seen, the manufacturer walks right into the very quicksand its product is intended to help you avoid.
Another thing. The site states that the Automatic TV Sound Regulator (Are we certain that’s not the code name of some new DoD weapon?) does not reduce the sound’s dynamic range. But given what has already been noted about vacuous explanations, The Distillery questions that. By law, commercials cannot be aired at a higher volume than regular programming.
Then why do almost all commercials sound louder than the TV shows? It’s the lack of dynamic range that the shows retain and the commercials eschew. That is, does a whisper sound like a whisper and you must strain to hear it? Does the cannon fire from the 1812 Overture leave you no choice but to reduce the volume?
If both answers are no, then you are experiencing a lack of dynamic range. That’s what we typically experience with commercials. Commercials are simply notched up to the top of their dynamic range. So, now everything — whispers, pin drops, gentle rain falling on a tin roof, etc. — sounds just as loud as “Help! I’ve fallen and can’t get up!”
Home page: The Automatic TV Sound Regulator