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Networking and EBU R128 to loom large at NAB

ALC NetworX, APT, EVS (pictured), Riedel and many others are preparing to showcase the latest fruits of their labours at the 2011 NAB Show, which takes place in Las Vegas from this weekend onwards.

ALC NetworX, APT, EVS (pictured), Riedel and many others are preparing to showcase the latest fruits of their labours at the 2011 NAB Show, which takes place in Las Vegas from this weekend onwards.

New developments in networking-related technology (ALC NetworX, Riedel) and level metering upgrades to ensure EBU R128 compliance (DK-Technologies, RTW, TC Electronic) are among the likely recurrent themes of this year’s event.

After a successful European launch at IBC 2010, ALC NetworX will take this opportunity to introduce its IP-based real-time media distribution technology to the US market. At its NAB booth, the company will display a RAVENNA network comprising different prototype implementations from current RAVENNA partners. As well as RAVENNA-enabled mixing desks, audio workstations, MADI signal converters and speakers, a native PC deployment will be shown for the first time.

Possible fields of applications for RAVENNA include in-house signal distribution in broadcasting facilities theatres, concert halls and other fixed installations, flexible set-ups at venues and live events, OB van support, inter-facility links across WAN connections, and production & recording applications.

Meanwhile, ALC NetworX parent company Lawo will spotlight a new surface layout for the mc²66 MKII production console. Dubbed Extra Faders, the new layout was developed in response to requests from British and American sound engineers for a surface arrangement that provides more faders and fewer buttons close to the console’s arm-rest. With the new Extra Faders option, the Screen Control Module in the mc²66 MKII’s Central Control section is replaced by the ‘Short Fader Control’ panel. In addition to the control elements commonly associated with this section, the new surface layout incorporates eight additional faders.

A new user panel (Screen Panel) providing for a variety of essential functions requiring dedicated hardware buttons, a new Monitoring Touch GUI page, and a dedicated Reveal Fader user panel providing access to individual components of the surround package are among the other features of this new layout.

“The new Extra Faders option addresses a variety of requests that we’ve received from sound engineers,” said Herbert Lemcke, president of Lawo North America. “By adding more faders to the console’s Central Control section, while also improving the system’s surround sound mixing capabilities, we have demonstrated Lawo’s commitment to listening carefully to our customers while also providing world-class, customisable solutions for the most demanding mixing projects. I’m confident many audio professionals will find Extra Faders a compelling option.”

In addition – and following on from EBU R128 and ATSC A/85 specifications, and based on ITU1770 – Lawo will highlight the availability of loudness metering for every channel on the mc² series. The metering is shown in the Channel Display and the GUI Main Display; a permanent display of the integrated measurements is provided within the GUI. This is a first within the Lawo product range and claimed to be a world first for production consoles – a mc² series console offering integrated loudness metering.

A new wireless intercom proto-type, the ProLink 500, will be a priority item on the NAB agenda for Anchor Audio. The new digital wireless intercom system – an enhanced version of the Anchor ProLink – allows full duplex communication between four users simultaneously with the option of an unlimited number of listen-only belt-packs. The transmitter and receiver operate utilising the FCC license-free 902-928 MHz range for the US without the need for a base station.

In addition to the ProLink 500, Anchor will show the Beacon portable line array system, Liberty Platinum sound system, Anchor ProLink wireless intercom system, Portacom wired intercom system, WingMAN interface system, AN-Mini speaker monitor and the MiniVOX Lite public address system.

APT, meanwhile, will introduce a new generation of IP audio codecs. The WorldCast Horizon NextGen will be the first IP audio codec to feature the company’s new SmartIP package, including the SureStream technology that enables broadcasters to utilise inexpensive public internet connections (ADSL, wireless 3G and 4G, LAN, WAN and Wi-Fi) to obtain audio quality and link reliability traditionally associated with T1 and E1 links. Any combination of these links can be used in a dual-streaming configuration to provide additional redundancy.

“SureStream is entirely different from anything that has gone before,” said Kevin Campbell, APT’s sales director. “There are alternative schemes which will scale back audio quality to compensate for issues on the IP link or switch between two links depending upon performance but SureStream does not require any compromise on the issues of audio quality or continuity.”

In light of the recent CALM legislation on audio loudness in the US, DK-Technologies is highlighting the audio and video metering products within its range that are compliant with ATSC recommendations, as well as the European EBU R128 and ITU BS1770/1771 recommendations. The company will also promote a free software update offer to all customers with a MSD or PT0 600 series audio meter, which will enable them to use the new recommendations, while the PT0740M – an audio-only version of the PT0760M waveform monitor – will also be on show.

EVS will unveil the third generation of its XT servers at NAB. The new XT3 production server, which offers eight flexible channels SD/HD and six channels 3D/1080p capabilities, will be available from July 2011. The XT3 server features a number of improvements including more supported audio and video channels, an increase of bitrates per video channel, an introduction of lower scale chassis version and an implementation of new mixes on one channel capabilities. The server is available in two versions, a 6RU chassis supporting up to eight HD/SD channels (including 6-in/2-out) or six channels in 3D/1080p mode, or a 4RU chassis supporting up to seven HD/SD channels or four channels in 3D/1080p mode. It supports up to 96 audio tracks (16 audio tracks per video channel) and can be configured in an extensive range of natively supported video codec (including the new Panasonic Avc-Intra) without requiring hardware change.

Elsewhere on the showfloor, Jünger Audio will respond to many broadcasters’ increased awareness of systems’ initial purchase price and long-term costs by introducing two new Combo cards for its modular C800m dynamic processing solution, which incorporate its proprietary LEVEL MAGIC algorithm for automated loudness control. The first of these cards, the C8586, is a dual combo board providing two SDI streams, each with four channels of audio. In particular, this card will enable re-broadcasters to process up to 32 channels in dual stereo and in one frame. The second card, the C8582, is an 8-channel analogue and DSP Card that can handle four stereo pairs, enabling cable head ends to process TV programmes per board.

“This board works the same way as our existing – and very popular – C8486 board, but it uses analogue signals instead of SDI,” said Peter Poers, managing director of Jünger Audio. “It is highly cost-effective and the fact that it can handle four stereo pairs is exactly what cable operators have been asking for.” The company will also be modifying its existing C8486 card to give it 8 channels of HD/SDI, and renaming it the C8584 so that it becomes an integral part of this new series.

A key product on the Linear Acoustic booth will be the new 2RU version of the company’s signature TV audio processor, the AERO.air. Key features that were once optional upgrades will be made standard on many 2011 versions of the Linear Acoustic product line. The AERO.air transmission audio/loudness manager features HD/SD- SDI I/O, which allows for de-embedding and re-embedding up to 16 channels of audio plus SMPTE 2020 (VANC) metadata. UPMAX-II provides a more spacious and stable 5.1 upmix from a stereo source while CrowdControl ensures dialogue is preserved even in rich stereo mixes. is a simple, cost-effective solution designed to manage loudness (measured using ITU-R BS.1770 method), upmixing, metadata, signal routing and audio coding. This 1RU product allows the audio quality of the main path to be matched in a cost-effective manner.

The latest addition to the Riedel range, MediorNet Compact, will be showcased alongside a host of other new developments, including a two-user Commentary Control Panel based on Riedel’s Artist 1100 series control panels.

Details were scant at press-time about this latest product for Riedel’s fiber-based real-time network for 3G-SDI video, audio, data and communications – although product manager Henning Kaltheuner promises that “this product will completely change the way users think about MediorNet installations”.

RTW will reveal upgrades to several of its top-performing products, including the TouchMonitor series, DigitalMonitor 10500X-PLUS and the SurroundControl 31900/31960 series. In addition, the company will announce a raffle during NAB, giving attendees the opportunity to win a TM9. The software and hardware upgrades for the 31900/31960 SurroundControl series are designed to support the new EBU/ITU regulations. Combining control, analysis and monitoring of eight-channel 5.1 to 7.1 surround sound into one single system, the SurroundControl 31960, a compact, 3-RU rack-mountable module that fits into half the space of a standard 19” installation rack for waveform monitors, is perfect for studios working on video production, post-production and live entertainment projects.

Sound Devices will introduce the latest hardware accessory for its 788T digital recorders, the new CL-WIFI. The CL-WIFI allows users to control the 788T from anywhere on set. It works together with its companion iOS software app to allow iPads, iPhones and iPod Touches to control a connected 788T. The CL-WIFI turns an iOS device into a simple, portable control surface that allows a sound mixer to move around on set, away from the sound cart, yet still have extensive control and monitoring of their 788T recording system.

TC Electronic will bring its DB4 MKII and DB8 MKII cross-platform broadcast processors to the event. The DB4 MKII and DB8 MKII conform to the EBU, ATSC and ITU Loudness and True-peak level standards across all platforms and all formats. ”The broadcast world’s highest resolution, lowest latency and lowest distortion comes complimentary with DB4 MKII and DB8 MKII,” claims TC.

Finally for this round-up, TSL will announce the global launch of a brand new concept in audio signal monitoring and management at the show. A member of the PAM (Precision Audio Monitor) family, PAM2i-C uses the features of TSL’s PAM2-3G16 and adds external screen monitoring capability, IT network integration and advanced signal management functionality such as Loudness Logging, Audio Alarm reporting and third party system control. PAM2i-C forms part of an integrated facility wide audio monitoring and management system collecting and collating signal data from Ingest, Master Control, QC and any other critical element of the broadcast workflow.