Lancaster, PA (July 10, 2009)–Freedom Communications, Inc. has standardized DTV audio processing across its eight-station Broadcast Television Division with a range of products from Linear Acoustic.
The Linear Acoustic audio processors ensure consistent 5.1-channel audio and significantly streamline plant workflows. “The key is that we’re upmixing to 5.1 from stereo, we’re no longer switching any metadata, we don’t need any metadata decoders, and we’re matching levels with network no matter what the programming is,” explains Fred Lass, director of engineering at Freedom Broadcasting of NY, Inc. “It really solves a lot of problems in one box and it doesn’t end up costing a lot more because you can avoid all of the metadata switching.”
The range of Linear Acoustic audio solutions selected by Freedom Communications consistently reformats all stereo programming to 5.1 channels. The company’s upMAX algorithm may be operated in automatic mode or enabled manually to generate 5.1 audio from stereo programming. Ingested 5.1-channel content is automatically passed through by the Linear Acoustic AutoMAX-II auto-detection algorithm.
“The result is that the viewer’s receiver does not switch back and forth between stereo and 5.1. The benefit to the listener is that it avoids the brief muting that many receivers do at the transition between 2.0 and 5.1,” says Lass.
Lass explains that Linear Acoustic processing also provides a number of major workflow advantages at the plant. Because the stations are not switching AC-3 metadata, certain elements along the audio signal path through the plant are no longer necessary. There is no need for multiple presets on the Dolby DP-569 AC-3 encoder, for example, or for a metadata decoder on the network line. An RS-232 metadata bypass switch around master control is also no longer required. It is not necessary to deal with metadata in the station’s HD video server, nor is it necessary to track 5.1 metadata in the traffic log. Metadata tags were not required in the on-air automation system. Syndicated programming may be either stereo or 5.1 and it all airs properly.