DTV Audio Group Workshop Set for Monday, Dec. 15 in NYC

The mission of the DTV Audio Group is to help our industry meet the potential of digital television audio with consistency and efficiency through education and communication. This year’s program features discussions on UHF Spectrum Battle, Audio Production Training and Education, Near-Field Monitoring for Multi-Channel Audio, Virtualization of Audio Infrastructure, and Practical Implementation of Object and Immersive Audio in Live Production.

The DTV Audio Group will take place on Monday, Dec. 15, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Murray Hill B (2nd Floor) in the New York Hilton Hotel. Contact Roger Charlesworth, Executive Director at roger@dtvaudio.org  for more info.

UHF Spectrum Battle
The release of FCC proposed rulemaking for wireless mics and for unlicensed devices in the soon-to-be repurposed 600 MHz TV band removes much of the uncertainly as to what can be expected for UHF wireless operation in the future.  In addition to updating the status of these proceedings and coordinated industry efforts to influence them, we will examine the effort to secure replacement spectrum and take a look at some innovative approaches to maximize bandwidth efficiency and exploit less-desirable spectrum.

Audio Production Training and Education
With a highly fragmented workforce largely made up of freelancers, live audio production suffers from entrenched challenges to training new operators and providing ongoing education to existing personnel.  In addition to discussing the recently released DTVAG 5.1 operations tutorial, we will learn more about an innovative educational program to provide real-world training, placement opportunities and certification to new operators wishing to enter the field.

Near-Field Monitoring for Multi-Channel Audio
A systematized approach to near-field monitoring of 5.1 audio continues to be an obstacle to format standardization at many facilities.  As monitoring of advanced consumer formats becomes a reality for some premium content providers, this problem compounds itself.  We will take a look at some recent work to address the specific needs of broadcasters and film studios in television pre-production and production workflows and to streamline deployment and management across a large facility.

Virtualization of Audio Infrastructure
Audio transport over IP networks is now widely employed on large-scale live productions.  Obstacles to harmonization around standard telecommunications protocols are being slowly overcome.  Transport is, however, only the first chapter of this story.  As audio increasingly moves over standard computer networks to be managed by off-the-shelf server technology, we should expect to see massive shifts toward the virtualization of audio infrastructure.  Separate audio appliances operating on multiple interconnection layers can be expected to eventually melt away, revealing opportunities for gains in efficiency through automation of signal management, manipulation, and distribution, leveraging proven IT and telecommunications practices.

Practical Implementation of Object and Immersive Audio in Live Production
Object audio has recently moved from the cinema to the consumer living room and home theater. Compatible equipment and content are already available in the marketplace.  Direct streaming of UHD content to next-gen TV and viewing appliances will accelerate the adoption of advanced immersive formats while object-enabled interactive audio apps for mobile and fixed streaming are currently in advanced development.  Object-based live production for marquee sports and entertainment events is an inevitable reality in the very near future.  Whether the driver is immersive experiences, interactivity, or simply enhanced accessibility, it seems likely that mix workflow and monitoring and authoring technology solutions for new distribution platforms will need to be developed.  As this subject quickly moves from the abstract theory to reality, we will once again endeavor to further a discussion of the challenges and opportunities in practical terms.