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Loudness in TV Sound
Nowadays, in a world of super-audio formats, the 'loudness'-problem is one of the most important restrictions for the audience to get an informative and relaxed experience. When zapping through the channels, loudness-differences are quite the usual thing. But also within one broadcaster levels are not consistent from one program switch to another. Viewers are extremely annoyed and complaints are to be expected, but no major enhancement has been undertaken in the broadcast world. Surprisingly enough the transition from analogue to digital did not improve matters - on the contrary, it became much worse!The trap to be the loudest is very tempting. The use of heavily compression techniques and the development of new signal processors have fed a culture of rivaling loudness. Louder attracts attention, but in the end the viewer will turn down the volume and discover a beaten, compressed and uninteresting sound. A common and single solution to the loudness-problem is to 'try' to correct the level at the end of the productionchain. Inserting just one peace of equipment right before transmission can?t solve this: a processor, which solves all of the problems. This results in a sound which even causes listening fatigue. It should be clear that a more extensive solution is advised. The solution was the installation of a broadcast processor in every facility unit within the VRT. The program will also be processed just before transmission and pro format: mono, nicam-stereo and recently audio for DVB-T. Most important was not to forget the training of all technicians from every unit as post-production, studio, OBfacility, continuity and transmission. Even the (non-sound-minded) editors who fill in all the production aspects in an off-line video facility, do need some facts on how to judge loudness. The external production units of advertising trailers and programs should also be given the necessary information.. Louder attracts attention, but in the end the viewer will turn down
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