Mary, on Marco Island, writes: "I just finished reading your column — thanks for the insights. My question is: On some of the shows we watch, the sound goes up and down and the voices seem to be muffled. Our TV is a Samsung flat screen; not even a year old. It is sitting on an easel — nothing to interfere with the sound being blocked. Can you tell me if I am going deaf or is there something I can do to improve the sound? Much appreciation."
A: Mary, Mary quite contrary, how does your TV go? Up and down and all around, muffling way too much sound. That's the first, and most likely last, nursery rhyme I'll ever write.
While I don't have enough info to say whether you're going deaf or not; here's one likely culprit that will keep you adjusting the volume. Many commercials, especially national ones, are louder than the programs they advertise within. They do that to get your attention. Or so you can hear them from the kitchen, perhaps. But good news, the FCC will soon require commercials to have the same average volume as the programs they accompany.
In the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act, Congress directed the FCC to establish these rules, and they will go into effect Dec. 13.
If your sound problem is more consistent, or is not between happening between the programs and commercials, you may need to update your TV's firmware. Many HD TV owners don't even know you can do that.
Here's a helpful site for more information and instructions on how to do that: www.hmtweb.com/blog/2010/02/how-to-upgrade-your-hdtv-firmware.html
Dori writes: "I've downloaded the BTN2GO app and tried to log on to watch a Big Ten game. However, Xfinity is not on the list of participating sites. I do subscribe to the sports package that includes Big Ten. Is there some way to find out if and when Xfinity will participate? I hope you can find out for me. Thanks."
A: There are no current plans, but Comcast does not discount the possibility. The more requests they get, the more likely it is to happen. I suggest you contact Comcast and make your feelings known.
Dorothy writes: "Good morning, Mr. Green, and a good morning it is! I just read your column and I am so happy to hear Jerry Doyle will be on the radio. I am a less than two-year resident of Naples and after living in Las Vegas for more than eight years and listening to Jerry most afternoons, I am thrilled. He brings honest opinions, self effacing humor and just likability to the air. You made my day! I did stream Jerry from Las Vegas on my computer and listened on Saturday nights, when I could. Yeah WGUF!"
PBS gets into the race
"RACE 2012," a PBS Election 2012 special, is a conversation about race and politics that documents the changing face of America, and how that change may affect the country's political future.
The program premieres at 8 p.m. Tuesday, and re-airs on Wednesday.
Billed as fast-moving and nonpartisan, "RACE 2012" draws insights on racial political history from analysts, strategists and activists on both sides of the aisle, including author/legal scholar Randall Kennedy, author Rich Benjamin, tea party activist Ana Puig, former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, journalist Ronald Brownstein, and many others.
" 'RACE 2012' combines the serious, thoughtful analysis PBS audiences have come to expect, with an energetic, fast-paced and contemporary style that will appeal to younger and more diverse viewers," said Donald Thoms, vice president of programming at PBS. "This engaging program offers new perspectives on today's political landscape, addressing topics and issues that viewers care about deeply — particularly in an election year."
Zamorano back in SWFL
A new face will soon join the "Fox 4 Rising" news team, a face that may be familiar to some Southwest Florida viewers.
According to a news release from Fox 4, Miriam Zamorano will join its morning team as news anchor this month.
Zamorano most recently worked as a traffic reporter, anchor and lifestyle co-host for San Antonio's Fox affiliate, KABB-TV, but before that she spent three years as a reporter, anchor and traffic reporter for WINK-TV.
"Miriam is an experienced journalist who knows the issues important to Southwest Florida, but she is also a warm and engaging person who is just as genuine in person as she appears to be on the news," Fox 4 General Manager Judy Kenney asid.
Zamorano's return to Southwest Florida coincides with the birth of her first child.
"I am so excited to join the Fox 4 Rising team and look forward to bringing Southwest Florida viewers what they need to get their day started right," Zamorano said. "I want to tell about what is going on in the world, but more importantly, I want our viewers to know about the news that is relevant to them. We're going to be informational, but we're also going to have fun."
Bill Green is a Naples Daily News/naplesnews.com journalist and a professional couch potato. Contact him at email@example.com. Connect with him at facebook.com/billdgreen.