In addition to terrestrial channels, I regularly watch the following: The Biography Channel; E4 (Big Brother, Scrubs, Friends); More4 (The West Wing, Hill Street Blues, ER, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Father Ted, River Cottage, F Word, Come Dine With Me); ITV2 (Judge Judy, Katie & Peter); Living (CSI, Wonder Woman, I Dream Of Jeannie, The Golden Girls); Paramount Comedy (Sex & The City, Cheers, Frasier, South Park, Short Cuts); The Hallmark Channel (House); MTV (South Park); BBC3 (Family Guy); Sci Fi (Heroes, Star Trek, The Twilight Zone, V); Sky Movies; Film4; TCM; UKTV Gold (Dallas); FX (Dexter, Family Guy); E! Entertainment; UKTV Drama (Butterflies, Steptoe And Son, Just Good Friends); UKTV G2 (Classic Top Of The Pops); Five US (Happy Days, House, CSI, Dirt); ITV4 (The Professionals, Planet Of The Apes, Randall And Hopkirk (Deceased); Men & Motors (Miami Vice) and finally, ITV3 (Columbo, Tales Of The Unexpected).
The more discerning may have noticed that Sky One is missing from my list. I am a Virgin Media subscriber and because of a row with Sky over the price of their basic channels, a row that has seen both media giants display all the maturity of a two-day old baby, we Virgin Media subscribers are without said channels. But that’s for another blog entry…
Anyway, with a few exceptions, the channels above share one extremely annoying trait: BLOODY LOUD ADVERTS!! Every day I set my video (yes, I am still stuck in the 90s) to record Dallas on UKTV Gold, and the difference in sound between the programme and the commercial breaks has to be heard to be believed. It’s loud enough to wake the dead. Not the recently deceased, I’m talking Plato and Aristotle here. And why is it that no matter how quickly I reach for the remote control, I’m never in time to mute the promo for UKTV Gold’s much-hyped new sitcom ‘The New Adventures of Old Christine’?
Why must we be subjected to this? WHY? There are laws to prevent neighbours from being a nuisance, but advertisers and TV channels get away with abusing our ears every 15 mins. The Television Advertising Standards Code contains this rule: "Advertisements must not be excessively noisy or strident. Studio transmission power must not be increased from normal levels during advertising breaks." The accompanying note to the Rule advises that: "A fairly constant average level of sound energy should be maintained in transitions from programmes to advertising breaks and vice versa so that listeners do not need to adjust the volume." HAH! They might as well have printed it in Swahili for all the notice anyone takes of it (yes, I mean you Paramount Comedy Channel and UKTV).
I can complain to Ofcom of course, but isn’t this a question of common sense? I fail to see how annoyingly loud adverts can possibly benefit the advertiser or channel concerned. Invariably, viewers are driven to mute the commercial break or turn to the BBC for 5 mins. Either way, the message in the advert will not be heard. A rather fitting irony…
Today I am mostly lovin’ – An old video tape that I didn’t even know I had. It’s got an episode of Grange Hill spin off Tucker’s Luck on it.
Today I am mostly hatin’ – TV quiz phone-in shows. What a rip-off. Don’t call in! Hopefully they’ll all die horrible deaths eventually.
MSN Editor Coops