IBC 2009: Linear Acoustic Launches Metadata-Based Loudness Solution

"Carbon" device combines loudness control and audio encoding

IBC Amsterdam 2009: Complete Coverage of the IBC Show

Audio processing specialist Linear Acoustic, which provided audio upmixing technology to NBC for its 2008 Beijing Olympics coverage, unveiled a new device at IBC designed to fix the loudness problems inherent in many digital TV broadcasts while preserving the original audio content.

The "Carbon" Hybrid Metadata Loudness Controller uses a patent-pending process to combine loudness control and audio encoding, and allow infinitely variable adjustment between permanent and reversible control of source audio loudness and dynamic range. While it is capable of working with any audio codec that supports metadata, the premier version of Carbon is designed specifically to work with the metadata included in the Dolby Digital (AC-3) 5.1-channel system and automatically fix loudness problems in DTV broadcasts.

"It controls loudness via metadata by combining Linear Acoustic algorithms with Dolby Digital encoding," said Tim Carroll, founder and president of Linear Acoustic, at a Friday press event.

Carbon accepts encoded or baseband PCM audio via AES or HD/SD-SDI connections, and optionally supports processing of audio at the transport stream level via DVB-ASI connections. MPTS via Gigabit Ethernet (GigE) will be supported for cable and satellite applications. It will be sold as an upgrade for existing Linear Acoustic products and will also be selectively licensed where appropriate.

According to Carroll, the Carbon system will allow program producers to accurately preview what the end results will be of metadata-based processing.

"It's another effort to preserve what creators are producing," he said.