There’s nothing like winding down in the evenings with a nice show on Hulu, but just as the show fades to black and the commercial comes on you get the fright of your life because you are suddenly being yelled at without any warning by commercials that are booming at 20 dB higher than the show you were watching.
It’s frustrating and can ruin the viewing experience for a lot of people, and it’s hard to understand why they couldn’t just lower the volume a bit and the booming sound even follows you into the kitchen as you retreat to get a snack.
Some people are even worried that it’s becoming an anti-social issue as the commercials are at such a high level that it’s disturbing their neighbors.
Sure, you could turn the volume down or mute it, but this can become a pain in the neck pretty quickly, so there must be a better way around it right?
Why Are Hulu Commercials So Loud?
It’s common practice that commercials are made to be louder than the show because most people leave the room to go to the restroom or to get a snack from the kitchen but the high volume of the commercial means that they will still be able to hear it. It is a way to get our attention and for the most part, it is working but for all the wrong reasons.
At one point, people had gotten so fed up with the loud commercials that there was a new law introduced in 2010 that was made to regulate the volume of these commercials. It was called the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act (CALM) and if any commercial was louder than the average volume of the channel it was on, it would be illegal.
However, this only worked for so long before advertisers had found a way to bypass the regulation. This was done by only making a certain part of the commercial louder in order to grab your attention but then bringing the volume back down to abide by the rules.
This results in the first few seconds of the commercial being the same volume as the show before increasing the volume steadily so that it seems almost unnoticeable.
How to Fix Loud Hulu Commercials
The first thing you can do about this is to submit a complaint to Hulu about the volume of their commercials and hope that you and many others are eventually heard.
A way to fix the loud commercials is by avoiding them altogether by signing up for a Hulu ad-free plus plan which will cost you almost $13 a month but will let you watch as much Hulu as you want without being interrupted by commercials.
However, if you don’t want to spend money on a monthly subscription, you can also try changing the setting on your TV to help stabilize the volume levels or if you are watching Hulu on a computer, you can get a plug-in that will automatically mute the commercials when they come on and will unmute when the show resumes.
Most modern smart TVs will have a built-in sound leveling feature which will help prevent any volume inconsistencies. You will need to check that all of your TV’s firmware is completely up-to-date before going into the audio or sound section within the settings menu.
The setting you will be looking for may be called something like auto volume or volume stabilization but should be pretty clear if you come across it. If it isn’t already, go ahead and enable this feature and your TV should do a much better job at keeping the volume levels consistent.
Another thing you can do is use an external mixer that is connected to your streaming box and back into your TV via HDMI cable.
This little device will automatically mix the audio which may make it sound louder in general, but it will all be consistent which means you just need to turn down the volume a bit, and you’re good to go.
If you are watching Hulu on your computer, you can try downloading an ad blocker extension onto your browser. There is one that was made specifically for Hulu which detects commercials and skips through them for you.
You can also try having two browser tabs open at the same time. The first tab should have Hulu’s website open on it so that you can begin watching a movie or show. Then open a separate tab and play the same movie or show on it but mute the tab.
Use this second tab to scrub through the video until you get to the first commercial. This is where you should stop for a few seconds before the commercial plays. Switch back to the first tab and start watching the video from the start and when you hit the first commercial, switch back to the second tab.
This method is a bit of a pain, but it allows you to enjoy a movie or TV show without having to sit through any commercials.
The Psychology Behind TV Commercials
It may not just be the volume that’s driving you crazy when it comes to commercials, after all, there is a lot more going on subconsciously that we may not even be aware of.
The main reason why we tend to hate commercials is that we feel like we are being told what to buy, and it is being forced into our faces.
As well as this, on streaming platforms such as Hulu, the commercials are recycled over and over again meaning that it only takes the first few seconds for us to groan in frustration because we know what’s going to follow.
We also seem to be more aware nowadays of how commercials are manipulating us and that annoys us even more because we feel we are taken as blind followers who have no thoughts of our own.
Not only that, there was a study conducted in the US that reported that 70% of people felt that commercials are more intrusive now than they were three years ago and felt that more commercials were appearing in more places.
This makes sense as to why three in 10 people use an ad blocker when using the internet, so you can imagine how frustrated a lot of people are that they can’t block the commercials on their TV.
It’s not just you who thinks that Hulu commercials are loud, as the evidence of multiple people reporting it online suggests, and it’s likely not only due to the sheer volume of them. The commercials are booming through our living room because they want to grab our attention, and it’s fair to say that they have.
Fortunately, there are ways that you can get the commercials back down to the volume that they should be to comply with the CALM act by playing around with your smart TVs settings and using external plug-ins.
If you are streaming Hulu on your computer, there are also clever little tricks that you can try to outsmart Hulu and give yourself the upper hand without having to pay for a subscription.