Automatic volume control puts the kibosh on loud TV commercials

automatic-tv-volume-control

If you’re having a hard time tuning out those loud commercials why not let your electronics project do it for you? This is an Arduino-based setup which adjusts television volume when it goes above a certain threshold. It uses a microphone, rather than a direct audio signal, so you can set it based on what is actually heard in the room.

The control scheme uses the IR LED and IR receiver seen on the breadboarded circuit above. The receiver lets you teach your volume up and down buttons from your remote control to the system. The one failing we see in the design is that the volume level is hard-coded, requiring you to flash new code to make adjustments (perhaps an enterprising reader could add a potentiometer for making easy adjustments?).

We can’t help but be reminded of the setup which reads the closed caption info to mute topics you’ve added to a blacklist.

Humanizing Microsoft

Ok, you’ve probably already seen it. If not, go watch the new Microsoft commercial right now. The commercial itself is nothing amazing. Its an obvious attempt to humanize [Bill Gates] and Microsoft.  [Bill] is almost endearing in his clunky delivery of the lines.  We could even get to like him. Imagine him stumbling through the world as a normal guy dealing with software as the rest of us do.  Would he change things? Could we get a sitcom with [Bill Gates] and [John Hodgman]? Would you watch it?  We would.

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