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Linear-Cobalt loudness partnership

Linear Acoustic and Cobalt Digital have teamed up to address loudness problems in IP and DVB ASI transport streams while retaining the original mix on film soundtracks, writes Kevin Hilton.

Linear Acoustic and Cobalt Digital have teamed up to produce systems that deal with any loudness problems in IP and DVB ASI transport streams while retaining the original mix on film soundtracks, writes Kevin Hilton. The two companies announced the partnership at IBC 2011 and are already integrating the technology into their respective product ranges. Announcing the association, Christina Carroll (pictured), senior vice president of global sales for Linear Acoustic, said the aim was to deal with a situation that had caused concern for both broadcasters and cinema sound mixers. Quoting Linear Acoustic’s founder and president, Tim Carroll, she explained, “Those in TV say they want to process audio properly and film people say they don’t want their audio touched in anyway.” The proposed answer is LMNTS (pronounced “elements” and standing for loudness manager for N – as in an unspecified number – transport streams). This combines Linear Acoustic’s AEROMAX loudness control algorithm with Cobalt Digital’s multi-channel 3G/HD/SD conversion systems. The process can be used for MPEG streams over both IP and ASI and is also part of the openGear programme. LMNTS has been designed to process audio tracks only if they do not comply with international loudness standards. If this happens then any changes can be reversed in the set-top box when broadcasts reach the home. If there are no problems then the processor leaves the audio untouched. The system has been added to Cobalt’s existing line of products and forms the basis of Linear Acoustic’s new AERO.calm coded audio/loudness manager. AERO.calm is available in different versions to deal with baseband AES/SDI audio, DVB ASI or transport streams using IP. Kevin Moore, Cobalt Digital’s vice president of engineering, explained that LMNTS operated in metadata, which avoided the use of compression as used by some other loudness controllers. “This means the metadata can be switched off in the set-top box if people don’t want the processing,” he said. www.cobaltdigital.comwww.linearacoustic.com

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