Arlington, VA (May 1, 2012)—PBS has implemented the Sentinel Surround Sound Audio Monitor from Qualis Audio at its media operations center in Arlington, VA.
The Sentinel, with a range of QoE measurements and ability to visualize both real-time and logged measurements, has been used to meet the loudness and quality control requirements enacted when PBS transitioned to HDTV and 5.1 surround sound.
PBS's media operations center receives, evaluates and produces the final preparation of all programming content scheduled to air across the broadcaster's various nationwide member stations. To ensure this material meets PBS's strict Technical Operating Specifications, staff watches all programming in real time, comparing the final broadcast version to other processes.
"A number of PBS members worked on implementing the CALM Act, and we believe it's a service that is in the public's best interest, so we make sure to evaluate every program that comes in and reject anything that does not meet our loudness guidelines," says Steve Scheel, senior director, media operations center, for PBS. "PBS distributes a large number of programs in surround sound and is very aware of the differences in loudness in 5.1 surround as opposed to stereo downmixes, so we are very keen to solve the problem upstream when we can. Having the Sentinel at the media operations center has allowed us to meet our criteria on a variety of program materials and audio formats."
Scheel is also able to record an entire program, then cut the program into various pieces and reassemble it for distribution on other platforms and have the Sentinel measure individual segments of loudness after the fact. "No other device has done this for us," he says. "It is amazing how much time it saves."