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ATSC Sets DTV Audio Loudness Guidelines

Washington – The Advanced
Television Systems Committee (ATSC) said
Thursday it has approved a recommended practice for establishing and
maintaining audio loudness for digital television.

The recommended practice provides
guidance to broadcasters and content producers on best production, distribution
and transmission practices, for the highest quality audio soundtracks.

The document focuses on audio
measurement, production and postproduction monitoring techniques, and methods
to control loudness.

It also recommends methods to
effectively control program-to-interstitial loudness, discusses metadata
systems and use, and describes modern dynamic range control.

It also includes specific
information on loudness management at the boundaries of programs and
interstitial content.

“High quality multichannel sound is
an important element of the digital television experience,” said ATSC president
Mark Richer. “The new recommended practice provides the industry with uniform operating
strategies that will optimize the audience listening experience by eliminating
large changes in sound levels.”

“The adoption of a recommended practice
for implementing audio loudness culminates years of work by the ATSC. These
efforts will benefit American consumers by resolving problems associated with
‘loud commercials.’ We look forward to working with ATSC to help television
stations across the country implement this important decision,” said David
Donovan, president of Maximum Service Television (MSTV).

The guidelines were presented at a Nov.
4 seminar and included presentations focused on the ATSC’s work on audio
loudness, the ATSC said.

The program discussed related
legislative activities and key topics such as industry outreach, real-world applications
in audio, loudness measurement, monitoring, program interchange, interstitial
loudness and metadata.