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German, Austrian and UK loudness compliance

Kevin Hilton 12 September 2012
German, Austrian and UK loudness compliance

German and Austrian broadcasters are now using the EBU R128 standard for loudness control, with the UK Screen Association staging an event this month to raise awareness in the run-up to all British broadcasters having to deliver programmes complying with the specification. Both public and commercial TV stations in Germany and broadcasters in Austria officially adopted R128 from 31 August, harmonising loudness production for programmes and advertisements/promos. German regional broadcaster NDR released a waveform timeline of a day’s transmissions, showing an average of -22.8 LUFS. A spokesman says this was achieved with little use of audio levelling devices. UK Screen, which represents facilities and producers in the TV and film industries, is holding a meeting on 25 September to discuss the results of a recent survey of its members. This looked at experiences of loudness mixing and equipment and will be used to advise the Digital Production Partnership (DPP), which is co-ordinating the implementation of a new standard for producing and exchanging programmes between facilities and broadcasters. Kevin Burrows, chief technology officer for broadcast and distribution at Channel 4 and chair of technical standards for the DPP, says broadcasters are already working to comply with R128 but that the intention was to "work as an industry" to achieve consistency with loudness. This will apply to levels within programmes as well as between different shows, commercials and promos. R128 was developed by the EBU PLOUD group and launched officially at IBC 2010. At this year’s show loudness again had a high profile, with new products from manufacturers including DK Technologies, RTW and eMotion. The EBU also held a breakfast meeting (pictured, featuring Bjørn Aarseth of NRK) to discuss further implementations of loudness technology. These included preventing the creation of "loudness sausages" (over-processed sound-tracks with little dynamic range); loudness normalisation in radio, with the creation of a PLOUD sub-group for this area; and applying R128 to music and online production. tech.ebu.ch/loudnesswww.ukscreenassociation.co.uk

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