Asia-Pacific Broadcasting (APB) October 2016 • Volume 33, Issue 9 - Page 10

10 NEWS & VIEWS Adapting loudness in the multicasting scenario The broadcast industry has assisted in the rapid transition from peak limiting processing to audio mixing and mastering “best practices” that entirely rely on the so-called “Loudness Paradigm”. This revolution has affected all technical operations from production to transmission. It deeply changed the way digital audio is approached, processed and ultimately perceived. Has this change improved the listening experience for the viewer? Definitely yes, and for many reasons. Viewers are being provided with consistent loudness levels and the overall listening experience has generally improved. Music producers and sound mixers have been freed from the restrictions and the artifacts generated by over-compression and peak limiting. They could finally regain control of dynamics processors in a way to use them as sound designing tools, with the benefit of greater digital headroom that allows the creative use of the entire sonic palette. However, the scenario evolved again and new tools became necessary to deal with the challenges that are facing the horizon of media entertainment. While file-based processing has the benefit of tailoring the loudness adaptation with no time constraints, it cannot fulfill the requirements of live productions and of multicast distribution. In fact, broadcasting is not just preproduced content from one digital feed to the TV, but can occur via multiple streams including cable, digital terrestrial television (DTT), over-the-top (OTT) and through multiple devices such as flat-screen displays, smartphones, gaming consoles or home cinema. The unique audio characteristics, in terms of channel configuration, dynamics, frequency range and SPL, presented by those devices require customised loudness adaptation that needs to be based on more sophisticated technologies than the ones we have been using in the past decade. Critical aspects include dialogue intelligibility, sound degradation, alterations of the mixing balance and foreground sounds modulations. Although loudness compliance can still be achieved, the aim of providing listening comfort would fail if the Alessandro Travaglini, Product Manager, Research & Development Group, Minnetonka Audio & Linear Acoustic TV Solutions Group The next wave of loudness control requirements will focus more on adaptability to provide an excellent listening experience across the multitude of delivery specifications and devices. adaptation could not address those specific issues, especially for the unpredictable multicasting environment. The complexities that characterise the current broadcast universe, which include linear and non-linear television, are definitely greater than they were when loudness normalisation was first adopted. The next wave of loudness control requirements will focus more on adaptability to provide an excellent listening experience across the multitude of delivery specifications and devices, such as live streaming and multiscreen broadcasts. File-based and real-time operations need to coexist in order to provide a consistent listening experience to viewers while complying with regulatory requirements. Sound quality must be preserved, or even enhanced when possible. The Linear Acoustic APTO ecosystem is a loudness adaptation technology consisting of APTO.file for filebased and APTO.stream for real-time workflows that uses psychoacoustic findings and adaptive algorithms to provide uncompromised loudness consistency with full regulatory compliance for many different platforms, devices and standards. Linear Acoustic APTO provides fully coherent channels and mix balance, dialogue intelligibility, controllable target values and very efficient processing time. This achieves uncompromised loudness consistency throughout the broadcast chain, and ultimately benefits the viewer. q October 2016 The stage is set for DVB Asia 2016 BANGKOK – Following the success of the DVB World conferences over the past 16 years, DVB will now hold its first-ever DVB conference in Asia. To be held at the InterContinental Hotel in Bangkok from November 29-December 1, the three-day conference programme will concentrate specifically on the region's digital TV needs. The inaugural event will also provide attendees with an “unrivalled opportunity” to meet leading DVB and industry experts, who will deliver a range of opinions and guidance on the transition to HD and 4K/Ultra HD (UHD) with emerging High Dynamic Range (HDR), High Frame Rate (HFR) and much more. The event will open with a DVBT2 Masterclass led by Professor Ulrich Reimers of the Technical University Braunschweig in Germany. Professor Reimers is the former chairman of the DVB Technical Module from 1992-2012. He is regarded as a pioneer of digital television and was elected to the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Hall of Fame as one of its most important personalities. Immediately following the conference, a workshop entitled UHD — What you must know about HDR (High Dynamic Range), HFR (High Frame Rate) and NGA (Next Generation Audio) will be conducted by Professor Ulrich Reimers (left) of the Technical University Braunschweig in Germany, and former chairman of the DVB Technical Module from 1992-2012, will kick off the inaugural DVB Asia 2016 Conference & Exhibition with a DVB-T2 Masterclass. Attendees can look forward to a workshop entitled UHD — What you must know about HDR (High Dynamic Range), HFR (High Frame Rate), and NGA (Next Generation Audio), which will be conducted by David Wood (right), chairman of the DVB Commercial Module for UHDTV, and consultant to the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) in technology and innovation. David Wood, chairman of the DVB Commercial Module for UHDTV, and consultant to the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) in technology and innovation. Having written extensively on 4K/UHDTV, Wood has also chaired a number of groups in the ITU-R and DVB in 4K/UHDTV, and is currently chairing the DVB Study Mission on virtual reality (VR). As well as DVB experts, DVB Asia will include speakers from Akamai, Dolby, EBU, Harmonic, HHI, Multichoice, NBTC, Rohde & Schwarz, SATIP Alliance, Samsung, Sony and TU Braunschweig, who will share their strategies for dealing with today’s changing media landscape. The DVB Asia 2016 Conference & Exhibition will also feature a curated exhibition space adjacent to the main conference room. A number of leading companies have already booked spaces, and if you are interested in exhibiting or availing of a sponsorship opportunity, please contact Eva Markvoort at markvoort@dvb.org. For more information including the full programme, visit the event website www.dvbasia.org, where you can also sign up for DVB Asia 2016 eNews to bring you regular updates on the event. Mediacorp enhances Customer360 SINGAPORE – Nielsen and Pointlogic are working with Singapore terrestrial broadcaster Mediacorp to enhance Customer360, the latter’s cross-platform targeting solution. By integrating disparate audience currencies across TV, print, radio, out-of-home and digital on a single planning platform, the extended Customer360 now delivers deeper cross-media insights, including unduplicated audience reach, frequencies and overlaps for the first time in Singapore, said Mediacorp. Roger Moy, head, consumer insights and analytics, Mediacorp, added: “The augmented Customer360 not only allows us to measure increasingly fragmented audience behaviours holistically, but it also advances our performance optimisation agenda in meaningful ways.” As part of the Customer360 product roadmap, Mediacorp will be rolling out 360, a custom campaign tracking programme tailored for its top advertisers through its insights consultancy arm, MRC. Under 360, computer-assisted telephone interviews will be conducted monthly on a range of client-specific metrics for crosschannel attribution, mix modelling and benchmarking applications. Jack Lim, chief commercial officer, Mediacorp, added: “Customer360 will combine the extensive reach of Mediacorp with sharper audience targeting capabilities. The ability for brands to tell their transmedia brand stories, to the right audiences across the right multi-channel mix, is compelling for CMOs looking to maximise impact and campaign performance.” As the first media owner in the world to adopt a unified cross-media solution across its TV, print, radio, outdoor and digital media assets, Mediacorp is taking a “huge step forward” in delivering invaluable insights to its clients, said Elizabeth Ausman, Nielsen’s senior VP of product leadership. And in the search for greater engagement with consumers, Customer360 is a “crucial product”, suggested Sjoerd Mostert, CEO of Pointlogic, a Nielsen company providing marketing decision support systems. He concluded: “It provides Mediacorp with a single integrated system that brings together data that were previously siloed, and delivers the necessary insights to drive cross-media campaign performance.”