The Changing Deliverables Of Broadcast Audio
TVTechnology.com‘s Jay Yeary writes that this column is the wrap-up to a workshop I moderated at the AES Convention last October with panelists Jeff Brugger of Turner Studios, Michael Cardillo from Creative Waves, television mixer extraordinaire Ed Greene, and Sean Richardson, principle audio engineer at Starz. The proposition of the workshop was that delivering mixes for television has become substantially more complicated with the large number of outlets content is delivered to and the deliverables required by each outlet.
Where we once simply sent a mix to the primary air chain, they can now end up in places we never dreamed, after going through file manipulation processes over which we have little information or control. In addition, wide dynamic range surround mixes designed for broadcast are impractical in just about every situation outside the living room, and preparing content for the mobile world and low bandwidth connections may require modifications to channel configuration, bit rate, codec and loudness settings.
With loudness specifications for streaming just beginning to be sorted out, it’s still a little like the Wild West for content once it leaves the traditional broadcast path. With ATSC 3.0 bringing immersive 3D-like soundfields to the home, including more than 100 channels to manipulate, even broadcast deliverables are becoming more complicated. The following is a distillation of my key takeaways from the workshop.