ATSC Sets DTV Audio Loudness Guidelines

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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.


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