DK-Technologies shows its solution to the loudness issue

Loudness Meter MSD100C

DK-Technologies will be showing its MSD100C Loudness meter at this year’s Broadcast Video Expo (Stand F5). The company will also be showing its MSD600M++ audio meter and its PT0760 multichannel waveform monitor, both of which can incorporate DK’s proprietary Loudness software. There is no doubt that loudness is currently a hot topic for the broadcast and post production industries. Both the UK and Italian Governments have already introduced guidelines to tackle complaints from viewers who don’t like the difference in volume between programme material and commercial breaks. Other countries around the world are beginning to follow suit and in February 2010 it is expected that the European Broadcast Union (EBU) will join the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) in announcing its preferred parameters for measuring loudness.

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Developed in response to requests from key broadcasters

Both the UK and Italian Governments have already introduced guidelines to tackle complaints from viewers who don’t like the difference in volume between programme material and commercial breaks. Other countries around the world are beginning to follow suit and in February 2010 it is expected that the European Broadcast Union (EBU) will join the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) in announcing its preferred parameters for measuring loudness. Developed in response to requests from key broadcasters and production houses, including SKY, ITV, the BBC and RAI in Italy, DK’s Loudness software is designed to tackle the issue of the perceived loudness of audio signals. Available in either a stand-alone unit (the MSD100C Loudness) or as a feature in any of the company’s flagship metering and waveform monitoring products, DK’s Loudness software incorporates ITU Recommendations BS.1770 and BS.1771, which specify the algorithms that should be used to measure audio programme loudness. It is able to display the loudness of the individual audio channels, as well as the sum of the left and right signals, and can be used in any broadcast or post production facility as a health check during production or prior to transmission.

The industry has to agree an international standard

Although the industry has yet to agree an international standard for measuring loudness, there is still a need for broadcasters to address this issue – not just to avoid complaints from viewers but also to avoid possible fines. Andy Page, director of DK-Technologies UK says: “Regardless of standards, broadcasters are recognising the need for technology that helps keep them within the guidelines (whatever they may be). Where they put the control is up to them - they can either install equipment such as ours that warns them when they are exceeding the limit or they can install equipment that physically prevents them from transmitting anything that is too loud.” Page adds that whatever they decide, the only way for broadcasters to future proof their equipment is to make sure it can be updated, either through the addition of new hardware or new software. All DK meters have this flexibility, ensuring that no matter what standard comes into force, DK customers will be able to accommodate it.

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About DK-Technologies

DK-Technologies develops and produces audio meters, video sync and test signal generators, as well as video waveform monitors and colour analysers both for LCD and CRT monitors. Alongside its worldwide distributor network, DK-Technologies also operates branch offices in Denmark, Germany, UK and USA.

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