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Waveform monitor equipped with loudness meter

Tektronix Inc. has enhanced its family of waveform monitors and rasterizers with critical audio loudness capability. Building upon its current loudness measurement capability, Tektronix now offers WFM6000/7000 and WVR6000/7000 series customers new firmware and software upgrades that adhere to the ITU-R BS.1770-1/1771 specifications. The upgrades include capabilities such as an Audio Loudness Meter, an Audio Loudness Session Display and the claimed to be the first audio loudness monitoring of Dolby Digital Plus audio, among others.

The transition from analog to digital has enabled improved audio and video performance that allows the broadcasters and program providers to send a wider dynamic range of audio signals to the home than what was possible in the past. Today's commercial programming is taking advantage of this wider dynamic range to grab the attention of viewers and results in increased audio loudness between programs and interstitial material. The objection by TV viewers to this wide variation in audio loudness has led to governments around the world to consider legislations or pass laws to regulate this practice.

As a result, loudness has become a serious issue for broadcasters and program producers and they have been working to address the problem. In the United States, an ATSC industry expert group has created a "recommended practice" (ATSC A/85), using the ITU-R BS.1770-1/1771 specifications as basis for measurement methods and guidelines on how to make loudness measurements. In Europe, P/LOUD Group of EBU has been working towards a new EBU recommendation on audio loudness. There will be EBU Practical Guidelines which will cover similar grounds as the ATSC A/85 Recommended Practice. Various testing on audio loudness have also been underway in Japan and China to determine local audio loudness recommended practices. Tektronix is providing the new tools required to measure the audio loudness following these specifications and guidelines and provides an approach that can be easily understood by program providers, broadcasters and operators.

"As the leader in video test, it's imperative that we stay on the cutting edge to address the challenges our customers face and the current audio loudness debate is no different," said Ian Valentine, director, baseband video products, Tektronix "With the addition of our new audio loudness capabilities to the WFM/WVR 6000/7000 series products we are delivering the advanced, high-performance tools our customers need to effectively and efficiently adhere to the new specifications and recommended practices."


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