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Monitoring audio loudness in a digital world: with the transition to digital TV continuing in earnest, the consistency of audio loudness has taken on extra importance and significance for broadcasters around the world. Shawn Liew tells more ...

The introduction of digital systems has brought about a wider dynamic range with multiple audio channels sent to the home, presenting broadcasters and audio professionals the challenge of continuing to offer audiences programmes that are not only intelligible, but also easy on the ear.

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As part of an ambitious project to implement a tapeless ingest, editing and playout platform at its new broadcasting centre in Doha, Qatar, Arabic sports broadcaster Al Jazeera Sports chose Junger Audio's Level Magic loudness control technology to provide automatic-level monitoring across all 19 of its playout channels.

Established in Berlin in 1990, Junger Audio specialises in the design and manufacture of high-quality digital audio dynamics processors for the professional audio market.

The equipment installed at Al Jazeera Sports includes 18 B46 digital dynamics processors, each incorporating a HD-SDI board for PGM-Out limiting and levelling. The B46 digital dynamics processor performs automated levelling of digital audio signals, integrating Junger Audio's Level Magic adaptive loudness algorithm.

Based on a Multi-Loop dynamic range control principle, Level Magic can simultaneously handle slow changes (automatic gain control), fast changes (transient processing) and 'look-ahead' peak limiting, thus offering level management with exceptionally high audio quality and without colouration, pumping, breathing, distortion or modulation effects.

This affords Al Jazeera Sports a loudness control system that not only is easy to use but also delivers transparent and almost inaudible processing.

Stephen Seelander, general manager of Ovest Media, the Dubai-based systems integrator which undertook the installation as Junger Audio's Middle East distributor, says: "We selected Junger Audio for its limiting, levelling and sound operation control based on the high quality of its products and its intuitive handling. The nearly loss-free sound delivered by Junger Audio's Level Magic solution, despite heavy sound corrections, is extremely well-suited to the level-monitoring requirements at Al Jazeera Sports' playout facility."

In addition, Qvest Media also supplied Al Jazeera Sports with six Junger Audio MIX4 compact four-fader mixers, each with two HD-SDI boards.

These simple mixers are easy to operate and offer many different configuration possibilities, making them ideally suited to a wide range of radio and TV applications, including editing, voice-over and console back-up. For Al Jazeera Sports, the mixers were utilised for channel swap and operation control.

Meanwhile, in a bid to regulate loudness worldwide, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) introduced the ITU-1770 and ITU-1771 standards -- algorithms to measure audio programme loudness and true-peak audio level in digital broadcasting. The ITU is the leading United Nations agency for information and communication technology issues, and the global focal point for governments and the private sector in developing networks and services.

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According to Wohler Technologies, a provider of in-rack audio and video monitoring solutions for the broadcast, motion-picture and professional audio/visual markets, its Pandora loudness analyser is the "perfect solution" to ensure that broadcast content is in compliance with the ITU-1770 and ITU-1771 standards.

The Pandora loudness analyser is a compact and easy-to-use desktop or rack-mountable loudness monitor that can be employed at any point in the broadcast chain to provide simple, yet accurate, loudness monitoring. It also provides a clear, accurate reading of loudness measurements for any SDI video signal with audio.

Accepting and analysing SDI, AES, stereo or multi-channel audio, Pandora affords users an accurate reading of loudness measurements over a user-defined period of time, ranging from five seconds to 60 minutes.

Additionally, Pandora allows users to set a range of loudness parameters, including reference level, gating and integration time; configure the system for two-, four-, six- or eight-channel (AES or SDI) operation; or even use a contribution matrix for multi-channel mode.

Wohler recently announced the launch of the AMP1-E8-MDA-3G, the company's first 1RU, eight-channel audio monitor to support 3G transmissions as well as a comprehensive array of Dolby audio sources.

The AMP1-E8-MDA-3G is the latest in Wohler's highly popular E8 series of multi-format eight-channel monitors, bringing together a powerful array of features for multi-channel digital and analogue audio monitoring in a compact 1RU chassis.

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"Our 2RU AMP2-E8-MDA is a real legend in broadcast audio -- it's truly the benchmark for Dolby-capable eight-channel audio monitoring. But space is often at a premium in many broadcast operations, so we took everything our customers love about the AMP2-E8-MDA, repacked it as a 1RU system, and added 3G and Dolby capabilities. The result is the AMP1-E8-MDA-3G," says Kim Templeman-Holmes, executive vice-president of global sales and marketing for Wohler.

The AMP1-E8-MDA-3G is capable of monitoring audio from Dolby E, Dolby Digital (AC-3), Dolby Digital Plus, 3G, HD-SDI, SD-SDI, AES/EBU and analogue signal sources. The system provides embedded Dolby D, E, Digital Plus and AES audio processing, with metering and alternate undecoded Dolby, AES and analogue inputs, as well as complete down-mixing capabilities.

Templeman-Holmes added: "The AMP1-E8-MDA-3G is perfectly suited for operations that require a more compact solution for high-quality, multi-channel audio monitoring -- such as VTR bays, mobile-production vehicles, teleconferencing installations, multimedia systems, satellite links, cable-TV facilities and on-air radio studios."
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Publication:APB Magazine
Article Type:Company overview
Date:Jan 1, 2011
Words:825
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