Ad Muter

Hi everyone. I noticed that the commercials are very loud compared to the programs on the tv station that I listen to. Is there any way buy using an arduino I could distinguish ads from the show. That way I could have it so that it automatcally mutes or turns the volume down via a IR led when a commercial comes on and turn it back up afterwards.

Think I saw something about using a microphone to pick it up, but not sure how reliable this would be.

Thanks

Separating loud ads from loud program will be the hard part.

Weedpharma

Automatic muting would be hard particularly during a loud action movie. Other approaches have detected teletext or subtitles...but difficult to get right. Some channels in the UK display a small white graphic in the upper corner of the TV just before the adverts appear (I believe it signals a sync for regional advertisement inserts) and you could tap into the video signal to get that, if available.

However, I have seen projects that attempt to auto-level the volume from the TV. In fact I put one together once and it wasnt too bad at all - but never deployed it.

From memory:

  • use a spare remote with Vol+,Vol-. which can be read by the Arduino. (any 2 buttons will do -even on the main remote)
  • As you hinted you need an audio sensor connected to the Arduino (you need to be able to read an analog value for the volume level in the room close to the TV)
  • Use the spare remote to set the desired threshold level on the arduino
  • when the Arduino detects the level is too high it sends a VOL- signal to the TV.
  • there will be a slight lag, but at least the max volume with be set.

It can be fun if different people have control of the 2 remotes :slight_smile:

Note: most modern TVs I have seen, have an automaic volume leveling or max feature hidden under the Audio setting menu. May be called something else.

Some may also have a (hidden) Hotel mode which can also put a cap on the volume level,

This might be a good place to start.

did you ever notice that your radio has a continuous volume regardless of if the announcer is whispering or shouting ?

in broadcast radio they use a device, IIRC is called a compander. it both COMPresses and expANDES the signal to increase the dynamic range.

by sending a fixed volume for any and everything broadcast on the radio, you can drive your car for hours without having to adjust the volume and you never yell at the radio because you missed what was said because it was a wisper.

back to your request. many ads are preceeded by a black screen. only for a fraction of a second for you and I, but enough time to determine that there is a break between events. program and commercial.

it would seem that you would need to have a DVR running to keep track of the broadcast, then process the signals, and in the event something went wrong, you could rewind and replay.

People have been trying to do this since TV (or more exactly adverts) was invented, good luck.


Rob

Thanks everyone.

Graynomad:
People have been trying to do this since TV (or more exactly adverts) was invented, good luck.


Rob

And others use that time for a visit to the bathroom. That's what they must mean, at any rate, when they say: "All those ads really piss me off."

That's the trouble with the ABC here in Oz, no ads, so it's difficult to go for a leak :slight_smile:


Rob

Graynomad:
That's the trouble with the ABC here in Oz, no ads, so it's difficult to go for a leak :slight_smile:


Rob

Oh my! That sounds horrible.

:smiley:

But there are so many repeats that you can take your time in the middle of the program cos you know what happens next!

Weedpharma