The best long-term response to the CALM Act is to demand better loudness care at every stage. It’s not all that complicated to maintain compliance at the affiliate level once the inventory has been tested, but networks and MVPDs are swamped with original content and laboring to obtain, maintain and document loudness compliance. Typically, incoming content that doesn’t comply is run through an automatic scaler. A scaler adjusts the average audio to match a target. When performed in the file domain, scaling can be done much faster than real time. Scaling can also be done manually in real time, but this can be time consuming.
Networks and syndicators are all working on providing loudness certified content because affiliates and MVPDs can’t do it all alone. Without everyone working together on long-form and short-form loudness compliance, the CALM Act could become the PALM Act.
A great deal of information about the CALM Act and Report and Order can be found here.
The author wishes to thank Andrew Sachs with Volicon and Steve Smith with Broadcast Technology Consultants for their assistance and information they provided.