NEP Visions’ 3G OB Fleet Standardizes Audio Confidence Monitoring with TSL Professional Products

NEP Visions has selected the PAM2 3G16 Audio Monitoring unit from TSL Professional Products Ltd., a manufacturer of audio monitoring, tally, and power management solutions for the broadcast industry, as its standard solution for audio confidence monitoring across its fleet of 10 advanced OB trucks. It chose the PAM2 platform to check Dolby, AES, and analog audio streams instantly and to make sure its audio is in compliance with new loudness standards.

With a production slate that has included everything from the Royal Wedding in 2011 to the broadcast of the summer games in London, audio confidence monitoring was essential to NEP Visions. What’s more, it needed a system that its engineers could operate easily on the go.

“Our first use of the PAM2 from TSL was with our fly-packs,” says Paul Fournier, head of sound at NEP Visions. “The units were very well-received by our engineering crew. They found it incredibly useful to see a visual representation of 16 audio channels via the unit’s two OLED screens, which include bargraphs, video, setup, loudness and metadata displays. We were also looking for a simpler way to monitor Dolby encoded and discrete multichannel audio for our first 3G truck.”

The PAM2 units also offer user-selectable scales, support for a range of standard input/output signals and the ability to dissect and monitor any multichannel audio signal structure from mixed mono, stereo and 5.1. These were key reasons why NEP Visions decided to adopt the PAM2s. Three years on, NEP Visions relies on the PAM2 as the standard “go-to” audio monitoring tool for embedded audio in each of its 10 production trucks.

“The PAM2s are located in the audio racks and vision CAR, and are normally fed from a router destination within the trucks, so we use the units as check/go-to devices for AES and embedding monitoring, as well as for analogue inputs,” continues Fournier. “Another issue that the PAM2 helps us address is loudness measurement. The PAM2 tackles loudness regulation, both EBU and ATSC, with a set of tools that gives constant analysis and instant feedback. The new loudness functionality within the unit anticipates the recommendations and gives us the power to configure our own target and measurement parameters when we need them, all while providing reporting via the time-versus-level histogram and ‘over-target’ alarms.”

Over the last year, NEP Visions vehicles have been sending signals, including Dolby Digital, direct to cinemas providing, for example, live coverage of London’s National Theatre and the Opera from Glyndebourne, so that consumers can experience live events in HD and Dolby Surround. For the majority of the time, the signals don’t go through a traditional transmission stream anywhere. Instead, the signal literally uplinks directly to a multiplex theater.

“PAM2 is an easy-to-use package that gives NEP Visions the confidence that the audio streams from our OB vehicles will arrive at their destinations on the right channels, with the correct coding and the correct loudness,” Fournier explains. “With the PAM2s in use almost every day in our 3G vehicles for Sky Premiership football matches, and with coverage of crucial events such as Wimbledon, the Queen’s Jubilee Celebrations and the London 2012 Olympics, we’ve made the right choice in terms of audio monitoring for now and for the future.”

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