Dolby DP600 Loud and Proud for File-Based Broadcast

By Carl Lindemann

Riding VU meters to set levels is as useful in
today’s IT-based broadcast infrastructure as, say, having a rotary dial cell
phone for text messaging. What’s the file-based audio update? Dolby Laboratories has now announced
the availability of the Dolby DP600 Program Optimizer. The DP600
automates loudness for cable, satellite, IPTV, and terrestrial TV broadcasters
working in a file-based environment and is compatible with many broadcast and
video-on-demand (VOD) media file formats.

The new system’s automated file-based loudness
analysis and correction provides consistency in the delivery of broadcast media
and audio files. Applications include broadcast media file quality control,
automatic loudness correction (including commercial spots), broadcast media
file transcoding, automated digital program insertion (DPI), and VOD file
analysis and loudness correction. The DP600-C version adds
faster-than-real-time encoding and decoding of Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital
Plus, Dolby E, and MPEG-1 Layer II content, as well as enabling transcoding
between any of these formats.

“The issue of loudness in broadcast television is a
complex one, but we’ve taken a significant step forward in addressing it with
the DP600,” said Rocky Graham, Technical Marketing Director at Dolby
Laboratories. “It was designed for file-based environments, making it ideal for
matching loudness between recorded sports programming and commercials.”

loudness through the digital broadcast chain depends on leverging audio

The dialnorm parameter, which
indicates the average program loudness, is c

in the Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, or Dolby E bitstream, describes the
encoded audio. It conveys information that controls the reproduced audio level
and dynamic range within consumer decoders. This gives content producers and
broadcasters the ability to deliver a consistent listening experience to
consumers for a wide range of listening environments.

notes that, for sports audio, the challenge is keeping a consistent loudness
while maintaining the dynamic range.

DP600 automatically measures program loudness, and because it ei

ther corrects
existing audio metadata, or scales the signal itself to match a target value,
the dynamic range of the program remains virtually untouched– preserving the
original excitement of the event” said Graham.

The Dolby DP600 and DP600-C Program Optimizer are
now available worldwide through Dolby’s dealers and distributors for a
manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $17,500 and $26,000, respectively.

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