IBC 2010: New Audio Products

The IBC Show in Amsterdam last week offered a full share of sound-gear introductions. Here’s a look some of the highlights.

The Tempest2400 digital wireless intercom has a firmware update that introduces two modes of operation — shared mode and split mode — and functions that increase the capacity, flexibility, and usability of the system, such as the ability to connect an unlimited number of BeltStations to a Tempest2400 BaseStation. Building on Tempest’s ability to connect up to 10 BaseStations in the same RF area, the new firmware update gives users the opportunity to combine three modes of operation to accommodate most production wireless-intercom requirements. In addition to normal mode, which offers up to five full-duplex BeltStations per BaseStation, shared and split modes allow an unlimited number of users per BaseStation. In shared mode, all the BeltStations can use the dual listen/talk feature, and BeltStation users can individually select which channels they listen and talk to just like in normal mode.

Release 2 of the OIPF specification for standardized end-to-end delivery of IPTV services will include DTS digital audio technology as an option for audio coding and delivery. And the AudioXpress PCIe card and the AudioXpress APM use the universal 72-pin SIMM module I/O. All AudioXpress products feature proprietary DTS Neural algorithms to solve loudness issues in DTV broadcasts, transport 5.1 surround over stereo infrastructures, and synthesize perfect, artifact-free, spectrally balanced stereo from mono content.

The new version of the DTS-HD Master Audio Suite v2.6 (MAS v2.6) adds a series of encode modes, new stream types, and additional bitrates, including the bandwidth-adaptive DTS Express encode format. MAS v2.6 also increases encoding speed up to 48 times faster than real time (based on 12 CPU cores running multiple simultaneous encodes). This multiprocessor speed increase is combined with existing folder-based encoding, auto-import, and auto-verification features. DTS-HD Master Audio Suite v2.6, priced at $1,495, is scheduled to ship in the fourth quarter.

Linear Acoustic
The new AERO.file file-based loudness manager powered by RadiantGrid brings Linear Acoustic multipass scaling, loudness-range control, and UPMAX-II upmixing and downmixing to file-based workflows without the need for external hardware devices. AERO.file uses RadiantGrid transwrapping functionality to pass through video streams of any type while separately performing audio functions via the AERO.qc loudness-correction module (a software version of the AERO.qc hardware product). The triple-pass approach enabled by working in the software domain guarantees that the loudness target can be met independently of other processing choices and preserves the quality of the original content. Options include Dolby Digital (AC-3) and Dolby E decoding and encoding, plus a host of codecs for other audio formats.

The NVISION 8500 hybrid router (3D/3 Gbps/HD) integrates de-embedding, shuffling, break-away, and re-embedding in a single frame. In a typical installation, multiple racks of routing, de-embedders, and embedders can be replaced with a single NVISION 8500 router. This audio-processing functionality is available across the entire NVISION 8500 router range, from 144×144 to 1152×1152. The advanced hybrid router cards with audio-processing functionality can be mixed with regular input, crosspoint, and output cards within a router frame. With dynamic hybrid path-finding, the router detects the card types in the frame and can intelligently route signals from the standard cards to the hybrid cards for processing, thereby making the audio processing available across all the inputs.

The new ON AIR 24 console consists of compact fader panels with four faders each, plus a monitor panel. It can be expanded to a maximum of 24 faders. An additional GUI-based PC software application enables the technical supervisor to prepare and support self-op and makes many configuration options available, including full remote control. A conventional Ethernet connection or a USB cable is all that is required to link the ON AIR 24 to the PC. In a larger network with several ON AIR 24 consoles, the PC software can configure, monitor, and remote control all of the attached mixers. The console is similar to the other Stagetec mixing consoles in that it is based on the NEXUS audio router.

Solid State Logic
Among new features for the C100 HDS broadcast console is V3 software, which offers support for low-cost I/O, expanded remote GPIO options, extended remote-control capability with Pro-Bel protocol compatibility, and integration with Ross Overdrive and Sony ELC production-automation systems. V3 also adds SSL’s Dialogue Automix option to the C100 to manage riding the faders in the fast-paced environment of a live multi-microphone production. V3 also adds an automatic stereo-to-5.1-surround up-mix option and compatibility with SSL’s Alpha-Link Live audio converter and Alpha-Link 8RMP eight-channel mic pre units.

TC Electronic
The new LM2 loudness and true-peak level meter conforms to the latest American, Japanese, and European broadcast standards. It enables precision normalization and optimum use of dialnorm metadata in AC3 transmission to prevent level jumps and comes loaded with factory presets compliant with new ITU-R BS.1770, ATSC A/85, EBU R128, NABJ, OP-59, BCAP, and more guidelines. It’s priced at $1,800.

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