IBC 2010: Linear Acoustic Adds Key Features to AERO.air Loudness Manager

Linear Acoustic returns to IBC this year with a host of new features for its flagship AERO.air transmission loudness manager as well as a mobile audio loudness manager geared towards the mobile TV market. In addition, Linear Acoustic is on the shortlist for the IBC Innovation Award for Content Creation.

“Linear Acoustic is honored to be shortlisted for the IBC Innovation Award for Content Creation,” says Tim Carroll, president and founder of Linear Acoustic. “It is recognition of our dedication to creating technology that enables broadcasters to produce dynamically compelling audio while keeping loudness variations within standardized guidelines.”

AERO.air Transmission Loudness Manager
The AERO.air — for over-the-air and cable network broadcasters — is an all-in-one processor that accepts any Dolby-encoded or PCM audio, provide upmixing and loudness control, and to output both PCM and Dolby-encoded audio for transmission. Advanced multiband processing ensures consistency without artifacts, which is not achievable with wideband-only control.

New AERO.air features include UPMAX-II 5.1 reference quality 5.1-channel automatic upmixing; CrowdControl (which prevents dialogue from disappearing in the mix); internal Dolby E/Digital/Plus decoding; Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, and Dolby Pulse (HE-AAC) encoding; and internal Nielsen Watermark encoding for audience measurement.

“Control of loudness while maintaining production values is critical to broadcasters worldwide,” says Howard Mullinack, director of marketing for Linear Acoustic. “At IBC, Linear Acoustic will show a range of new features for the flagship AERO.air™ Transmission Loudness Manager, including support for the EBU P/LOUD recommendations, once finalized.”

AERO.mobile Audio Loudness Manager

Audio for mobile DTV presents new challenges. The dynamic range “comfort zone” used for mixing television audio for viewing on stereo or surround in-the-home televisions is far too wide for comfortable listening on typical earbuds or tiny speakers. Background noise in many environments will define a relatively high loudness floor — if the volume is increased for acceptable intelligibility on soft passages, loud passages run the risk of causing hearing damage.

The AERO.mobile employs newly developed psychoacoustic processing that enables content to remain audible in noisy environments on small mobile devices. Accepting mono, stereo, or Dolby 5.1-channel station audio, the unit includes all tools a broadcaster needs to deliver an experience appropriate for widely varying individual listening environments.

e² 16-Channel Backhaul Encoder and Decoder
Offering up to 16 channels of full-bandwidth audio carried via a single 20-bit, 48-kHz AES pair, e² (e-squared) provides high-quality, reliable, error-free backhaul of program and associated audio of high-profile events including the Academy Awards and Country Music Awards.

The e² format has less than one frame total encode/decode latency and is video-rate independent. Rugged, simple-to-use hardware supports AES and SDI connectivity and includes redundant power supplies. An SDK is available for integration of software decoding.