White Plains, NY (March 5, 2013)—The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) has created a new technology committee, TC-25CSS, that will work to update SMPTE standards and recommended practices and to improve the quality and consistency of cinema sound.
"Improvements in measurement technology, digital sound delivery, and in sound reproduction equipment, as well as the greater detail and dynamic range of movie soundtracks, present a variety of challenges in providing quality cinema sound," said Brian Vessa, executive director of digital audio mastering at Sony Pictures Entertainment and chair of the new SMPTE committee. "TC-25CSS, the first SMPTE technology committee dedicated solely to cinema sound, will explore and standardize new sound measurement techniques with the goal of consistency in sound reproduction between the mixing stage and diverse cinema spaces."
TC-25CSS was formed following a study by the Theater B-Chain Study Group, which conducted tests of current test equipment and methods, measured reference and commercial theaters, and collaborated on observations and results. The committee currently has 130 members, representing more than 90 companies and academic institutions from 14 countries.
Current activities include development of a recommended practice for measurement and calibration of B-chain sound systems using modern standards and measurement technology, creation of a standard pink noise test signal, a final report on data and findings from the Theater B-Chain Study Group, and work by two new study groups examining immersive audio systems and new electroacoustic measurement methods and target curves.
"This is the first time since the late '70s that cinema sound has been addressed in depth," said Mark F. Collins, director of projection technology for Marcus Theatres. "Over the past three decades, we've seen huge changes in audio technology, and our hope is that, through the work of the new SMPTE technology committee and its subcommittees, the tools used to measure audio signals will be brought into tune with today's technology."
Vessa will discuss the current SMPTE standards, the new committee's work and the impact of new technology on standards creation in a webcast, "Cinema Sound Systems - Raising the Bar Through New Standards," scheduled for March 12.
Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers
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