Los Angeles, CA (October 21, 2014)—The five-hour DTV Audio Group (DTVAG) forum at the recent AES Convention in Los Angeles opened with a wireless microphone spectrum update by Shure's Mark Brunner. The FCC is encouraging U.S. TV broadcasters to sell off unwanted spectrum in the 600 MHz band. "This year there will be more mobile devices on Earth than people, and that stuff needs bandwidth," he said, so wireless mic users must be prepared to share spectrum going forward.
The main themes of this year's DTVAG forum were the broadcast plant's migration toward IP infrastructures, the industry's transition to streaming delivery and the potential of object audio workflows for broadcast.
"Television is in the midst of a rebirth," observed Mark Francisco of Comcast. The company recently unveiled a new ad campaign: "The television is not necessary to watch TV."
"Every live TV station is available in the palm of your hand," said Francisco.
Thomas Edwards of FOX Networks detailed the advantages of an IP infrastructure in the plant. "The power that network media gives us is value proposition number one," he said.
Jim Starzynski of NBCUniversal, chair of the ATSC subgroup selecting the next U.S. TV audio standard, offered an update. "We are moving forward," he announced, after some remaining issues were agreed upon last week. The candidate standard will be selected in 2015; the ATSC 3.0 rollout is several years away.
The latter half of the program featured a panel of cable and TV network executives considering the great potential but not insignificant challenges associated with the distribution of next-generation audio services, including immersive audio formats. Technical engineers from Hollywood's major post production facilities discussed their implementation of those new formats-Dolby Atmos and Auro-3D-for theatrical presentation. Four of Hollywood's top sound designers and mixers also shared their experiences working with the formats on blockbusters such as Godzilla, Transformers: Age of Extinction and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.