Harris, TC Electronic Develop New Loudness Analyzer for NAB

Harris Corporation is ramping up its audio loudness product portfolio as the U.S. Congress considers legislation to reduce volume level variations between programs and advertisements.  In collaboration with TC Electronic, Harris will unveil a new loudness analyzer tool to verify audio program integrity at the production side during the 2010 NAB Show in Las Vegas (Booth N2502).

Harris first collaborated with broadcast/pro audio innovator TC Electronic two years ago when Harris unveiled loudness monitoring technology in its Videotek QuiC media analysis server.  This year, the collaboration has produced the Harris Videotek CMN-LA loudness analyzer, a comprehensive audio measurement instrument made for content producers and distributors seeking to verify program integrity.

The CMN-LA loudness analyzer is built into the same chassis as the Videotek Compact Monitor series of video and audio waveform monitor/vectorscopes.  It incorporates the TC Electronic-created radar display, which shows loudness on short-terms meters, graphs covering periods from one minute to 24 hours, and numeric display of the long-term center of gravity (average loudness) and consistency (loudness range).

“The research TC Electronic has done in loudness measurement and their involvement in global standards makes them an ideal company to work with on the timely subject of audio loudness,” said David Guerrero, VP and GM of Harris Videotek test and measurement solutions, Harris Broadcast Communications.  “Several countries are considering laws governing the loudness of interstitials, such as commercials, compared to programs.  International program distributors are seeking standards that will allow one version to be used in many countries.  The new Harris-TC Electronic collaboration helps to verify audio integrity in support of such requirements.”

The CMN-LA loudness analyzer provides a variety of metering, metadata readout, alarming and data logging about the audio content under analysis.  Integrated within the Compact Monitor, the loudness analyzer’s short depth makes it ideal in a quality control monitoring rack or on the meter bridge of an audio console.

“The method of measuring audio loudness and loudness range has become standardized from production through to ingest and broadcast, creating a transparent loop based on the ITU-R BS.1770 standard used in ATSC A/85 and EBU R128,” says Thomas Lund, manager of pro audio development at TC Electronic A/S.  “TC has been involved with the actual development of the standard for years, and good experience from the QuiC collaboration made it easy for us to work with Harris for program audio analysis.  The CMN-LA is bound to become an indispensable tool, and we’re excited that our unique radar display with its descriptors has become part of such a comprehensive analyzer.”

Harris offerings also include the DTS Neural Loudness Control solution to measure short-, medium- and long-term audio content and control loudness during the transitions between programs and commercials.  Harris and digital technology company DTS have collaborated to assist broadcasters in adhering to the recently developed ATSC A/85 Recommended Practice to address loudness, and ensure all audio content stays within the defined range.

DTS Neural Loudness Control solutions also will be on display at the 2010 NAB Show within the Harris 6800+ and NEO® modular platforms, as well as the X85/X75 1RU multiple application processors.

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