ATSC To Show Commercial ‘CALM' Zone


Las Vegas - Solutions for complying with a government edict that broadcasters stabilize audio levels between TV programming and commercials will take center stage in the booth of the

Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC)

during the National Association of Broadcasters Convention, held here April 11-14.

Called the CALM Place, the ATSC TechZone centerpiece was designed to show attendees how broadcasters can best to comply with new federal regulations addressing the issue.

The Commercial Advertising Loudness Mitigation (CALM) Act, which was passed by Congress last December, was a legislative response to consumer complaints about the relative loudness of TV commercials.

It requires the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to adopt the relevant portions of the ATSC A/85 Recommended Practice developed by ATSC to deal with the issue.

The TV broadcasting industry is prepared to fully meet the requirements of the new law, which is expected to be incorporated into new FCC regulations later this year.

"Many local broadcasters have already started to implement the ATSC's A/85 Recommended Practice. There are already tools available for broadcasters to use. In some cases, it's as easy as a software upgrade," Mark Richer, ATSC executive director said. "The government, broadcasters, trade associations like NAB, CEA and NCTA, and technology companies all agree: A/85 is the way to deal with the commercial loudness issue -- so there's ‘homeland harmony.' "

The A/85 ATSC Recommended Practice provides guidelines and technical parameters for the transmission of commercial advertisements by a television broadcast station, cable operator, or other multi-channel video programming distributor as required by the CALM Act.

First approved in late 2009, the Recommended Practice document focuses on audio measurement, production and post-production monitoring techniques and methods to effectively control loudness for content delivery or exchange. Additionally, the ATSC's A/85 Recommended Practice covers methods to effectively control program-to-interstitial loudness and it discusses metadata systems and use and describes modern dynamic range control.

The CALM Place will feature the following:

·         NBC Universal and FOX will demonstrate audio mixing, loudness monitoring and transmission/splicing systems;

·         DaySequerra/DTS will show the new NLC5.1ST loudness control, iLM8 intelligent loudness meter and M2DTV mobile media loudness processor;

·         IneoQuest will show the Expedus DVA;

·         Linear Acoustics will demonstrate multiband audio processing, Aero.qr, Aero.air (S.1), LAMDA --II, and HDX/A5A/Lilliput; and

·         Dolby will showcase its DP600 program optimizer, which provides a range of tools for helping operators comply with the CALM act regulations.

Other CALM Place sponsors include ABC, NAB, NCTA and Univision.


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