Published: 25 Jun 2013
UAE: An all-day seminar named ‘Facing Challenges in Broadcast and Content Distribution – Today and Tomorrow’ was recently held at the Towers Rotana Hotel, Dubai, where manufacturers including Dolby, Soundfield Tektronix, Axon and Ericsson discussed the challenges facing the broadcast industries across the Middle East and the rest of the world.
The seminar provided attendees with knowledge, advice, case studies, and ‘hands-on’ demonstrations of the latest broadcast, production, video and audio technologies. The collaborative partnership of manufacturers offered their expertise on the future of the broadcast, satellite, terrestrial, cable and IPTV industries, and the demands that this will place on those responsible for delivery.
The day began with Soundfield’s Pieter Schillebeeckx giving a presentation on surround sound capture and delivery, who later discussed how to establish a simpler workflow.
Following this, Antoni Caceres from Tektronix discussed launching IPTV services and the challenges facing quality of experience, and later talked attendees through ways to ensure the quality of video and sound transmission of sporting events on the home screen. After this, Ericsson’s Luke William led a section on 4K and HEVC, followed by Axon’s Peter Schut who covered issues relating to AVB.
The afternoon session was kicked off by Dolby’s Jacob Smith, who led a presentation named: ‘Loudness – What is the noise all about?’
‘One of the most important aspects of providing quality programming resides with the quality of sound being delivered to consumers,’ said Tarif Sayed, regional director Middle East, Africa and Pakistan, Dolby Middle East. ‘Sound completes the customer’s sensory interaction with programming, helping them create a bond with what they are visualising.
‘The problem is not with the weighing of loudness; rather it is with the delivery of sound,’ he explained. ‘When the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation (CALM) Act became effective in the United States in December 2012, it changed the landscape for audio listening.’
Continuing, Mr Sayed explained: ‘There are three ways to manage loudness, the first being through ‘Dynamic DIALNORM Metadata”, second is establishing “target loudness” and third is by processing outgoing audio in real time to match the target loudness. By establishing target loudness, content producers can create a consistent metadata delivery specification.
‘Short form content such as adverts or older archive content can be adjusted to match the target loudness,’ he stressed. ‘For live content the approach has to be slightly different where a mixer has to use a compliant loudness meter in real time to make sure they can hit the same target as offline content. Fortunately these loudness meters are now becoming commonplace in live production and many manufacturers now integrate them into the mixing consoles directly to aid with loudness compliance. The outcome is a fixed audio delivery that works for stereo and 5.1 content creating a reliable loudness experience for the consumer.’