Cologne, Germany (May 7, 2010)–The Weather Channel has purchased an RTW SurroundControl 31960SD surround sound monitoring controller to help the network adapt to upcoming loudness control legislation.
TWC staff members had their first glimpse of the RTW SurroundControl 31960SD at the 2009 IBC show in Amsterdam last fall, where they were hoping to find an audio meter compliant with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) BS.1770/1771 guidelines for loudness consistency. If the guidelines became mandates, and the U.S. government also issued similar legislation, the TWC team felt such a meter would put them ahead of the curve. According to Glenn Jordan, director of broadcast integration and distribution technology, The Weather Channel, RTW’s SurroundControl 31960SD was the only ITU BS.1770/1771-compliant device that was ready for action–all the others they looked at were still prototypes.
The RTW SurroundControl 31960SD features a Dolby E and Dolby AC-3 decoder, so it can support analysis of Dolby 5.1 surround sound, which TWC is planning to implement shortly. “That is a handy feature for us,” says Jordan. “Thanks to features such as that one, the 31960SD’s overall level of sophistication is just much higher than other devices we’ve had in the past.”
After having used the RTW SurroundControl 31960SD as a portable testing device in various locations around the TWC facility, TWC staff members installed it permanently in the station’s technical center. Situated in the equipment area of TWC’s transmission chain, which is known as the “last mile,” since it’s the last stop for a signal before leaving the facility, the RTW SurroundControl 31960SD verifies and validates the audio component of the signal, ensuring it is always within specification.
“The Weather Channel has had a long history of innovation in the field of television meteorology, and we are truly honored that it has chosen to make RTW metering a part of its continued success story,” says Andreas Tweitmann, managing director, RTW.