February 2009 Meeting

SMPTE Philadelphia Section Meeting Notice
Guests and Non-members Welcome

Date / Time:
Tuesday, February 10, 2009

WHYY Technology Center  www.whyy.org
Philadelphia, PA

William Weber – WHYY

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Broadcast Audio Processing and Transmission

by Tim Carroll, president and founder of Linear Acoustic, Inc.

Greatly increased audio dynamic range, channel count, and accurate metadata can combine to produce spectacular audio results. Unfortunately, they have proven more likely to result in significant loudness and soundfield inconsistencies between different program elements, and to an even greater degree between different broadcast outlets, much to the displeasure of consumers. Loudness consistency remains the number one area of complaint for HD viewers. Existing audio problems threaten to be compounded as SD viewers will increasingly hear an audio signal created for HD re-purposed for SD.

The presentation reviewed the most common television audio coding systems and the standards that implement them, showing how inconsistencies actually start at this most basic level. Ingest and quality control of surround audio and metadata were discussed along with the challenges of managing the audio within file-based content. Some practical strategies for managing program loudness along with format and level metadata inside the broadcast plant were presented.

Equally applicable to the local station or the national network operations center, the presentation provided an overview of recent world-wide developments and an inside look at how smart broadcasters large and small are meeting the challenges of DTV audio production, distribution and transmission in a cost-efficient and effective manner.

A tour of WHYY’s facility followed the main presentation.

This meeting was live streamed.

Presenter’s Bio:
Tim Carroll is president of Linear Acoustic Inc., a company he founded to offer innovative, customer-centric solutions for managing multichannel surround sound audio and loudness issues in digital broadcast. Previously, he was the Product Manager for the Professional Audio Division of Dolby Laboratories in San Francisco, where he helped define and develop Dolby Digital (AC-3), Dolby E, metadata, and Dolby Surround products for Digital Television, DVD, Digital Radio, and Digital Cinema applications. He was later recognized by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences with an Emmy® acknowledgement for his work on the Dolby E system. He is also an inventor of several patent-applied-for audio technologies. Mr. Carroll is a member of IEEE, AES, SBE, SMPTE, and BKSTS and is an active participant in the work of the ATSC.

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