Linear Acoustic Hits the Road To Educate Broadcasters on Loudness Issues, Solutions

Linear Acoustic kicked off its 2010 Hear Factor Tour with a presentation at the Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE) Chapter 36 meeting in San Diego on Jan. 13. The tour helps attendees further understand loudness-control issues discussed in the company’s successful 2008-09 Myth Busters Tour.

Presented at local SBE and SMPTE meetings across the U.S., the tour includes presentations and discussions led by audio experts from Linear Acoustic. Hear Factor focuses on understanding the need for loudness metering and control in television audio, from original content creation to ingest to final transmission. It also demonstrates some of the “gotchas” of metadata, including dialnorm, and how stations can use upmixing of stereo to surround so that their sound doesn’t collapse when transitioning from network to local programming.

The presentation examines the reasoning behind the recently published ATSC Recommended Practice A/85, “Techniques for Establishing and Maintaining Audio Loudness for Digital Television,” and reveals simple and effective means for broadcast facilities to implement the practices. The Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act (CALM) legislation, H.R.1084 and S.2847 passed by the U.S. House and pending in the Senate, directly references A/85, mandating the FCC to enforce the recommended practices.

“In the current economic climate, many station chiefs are having to work with very tight capital-equipment budgets,” explains Ed Simeone, VP of U.S. sales for Linear Acoustic and one of the presenters on the Hear Factor Tour. “This combined with the pending CALM Act is leaving many stations unsure as to how to comply with the ATSC A/85 recommendations or if their current audio-processing equipment will do the job. The Hear Factor Tour looks to take the fear factor out of a station’s audio-processing and -monitoring decisions.”

From their work across the country developing loudness-control and audio-monitoring solutions for major broadcast networks and local affiliates, Simeone and the other Hear Factor presenters, Field Applications Engineer Hal Buttermore and Director of Major Business Development Don Cardone, have firsthand experience of what broadcasters today are facing and can offer practical advice relating to loudness.

Upcoming Hear Factor Tour dates and locations are Dallas on Jan. 28 and San Francisco on June 30. Check the Linear Acoustic Website for additional tour dates.

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