A Practical History and Review of Audio Codecs for Broadcast [free webinar]
(Proficiency in mathematics not required, coffee–drink plenty of coffee)
Wednesday March 26, 12:00 pm ET
Produced by the DTV Audio Group
|Tim Carroll||Dave Mazza|
|Linear Acoustic/The Telos Alliance||NBC Olympics, SVP/CTO|
Presented By: Sports Video Group
Brought to you by the DTVAG Sponsors: Calrec Audio, Dale Pro Audio, Dolby, DTS, Lawo, and Linear Acoustic
Codecs for telephony stretch far back into the last century and, though the quality was very different, the goals were essentially the same: getting more audio channels through restricted pipes. For signals that contained speech and music, even better codecs were required and began to appear on the scene even before digital signal processing (DSP) was small enough, fast enough, or cheap enough. Once DSP started to become mainstream, codec efficiency and performance began to climb exponentially. Multichannel audio, initially driven by film, rapidly expanded into the consumer space raising the bar further. Today, the broadcast industry relies on codecs in many known and unknown parts of the chain. It is facing new requirements to deliver many channels of audio across many distribution channels to myriad consumer devices being enjoyed in environments of all shapes and sizes.
In this 45-minute webinar we will review the history and progress of audio codec technology as well as exploring why codecs are still required and what they will be asked to do in the future. Can codecs continue to help balance the desire for “more” with the goal of “better”? How might this impact the broadcaster and the consumer? There will be time for Q&A.
About Tim Carroll: Tim Carroll, founder of Linear Acoustic, is the CTO of the Telos Alliance. Comprised of Telos, Omnia, 25-Seven Systems, Axia, and Linear Acoustic, each of the Telos Alliance brands focuses on specific parts of radio and television broadcast audio. Linear Acoustic has provided its products and technical services for NBC’s coverage of the Beijing, Vancouver, London, and Sochi Olympic games. Tim has been honored with several Emmy Awards for his work with Dolby E, television Audio Processing, and the Olympics. He is a member of IEEE, AES, SBE, SMPTE, and BKSTS and is a participant in the work of the ATSC and the EBU. He holds multiple patents in the field of television audio processing and resides in Pennsylvania with his patient wife, four children and two dogs.
DTVAG Establishes Wireless Microphone Spectrum Working Group
It is inevitable that the amount of RF spectrum available to audio professionals will be significantly reduced as a result of the FCC’s proposed Broadcast Television Spectrum Incentive Auction of the 600 MHz band and the consequent repacking of the UHF spectrum. Following closely on the heels of the FCC’s 700 MHz band auction in 2011, this new auction will halve the spectrum available to professional wireless microphone users.
The repacking, which is scheduled for completion by the end of 2015, will make it effectively impossible to produce the thousands of large-scale events, from football games to political conventions, that routinely require as much as 300 or even 350 MHz of wireless frequency spectrum. These events routinely consume all of the currently available UHF spectrum and frequently must request additional spectrum via Special Temporary Authority.
Consequently, the DTV Audio Group has established a working group to inform the FCC of the current scale of wireless microphone use, and to promote discussions with the FCC’s Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) to establish what frequency spectrum professional wireless users might occupy in the future. The working group encompasses our broadcast network members, frequency coordinators and end-users, and wireless microphone manufacturers and service providers including Broadcast Sports, Inc, CP Communications, Broad Comm, Frequency Coordination Group, Audio-Technica, Lectrosonics, Sennheiser and Shure.
The DTV Audio Group supports the position of the NAB that in addition to finding new spectrum some amount of UHF should be protected for wireless microphone operations on breaking news events and other purposes. As an industry it is critical that we work with the FCC to identify the spectrum in which professional users can operate in the future, while also recognizing that it will be in significantly smaller allocations of less desirable bands than available currently, and that we must be prepared to be flexible in sharing underutilized slices of spectrum with existing incumbent users. Regarding UHF, not only does the FCC plan to eliminate the protections afforded the pro audio industry during the “white space” debate, but after repacking there is unlikely to be much white space available in any case.
In the context of identifying new spectrum, the working group supports industry-wide calls for an expansion of licensing for all professional operators, taking into account the shared interests, alongside broadcasters and film studios, of Broadway theaters and tours, production sound companies, large entertainment venues, theme parks and similar large-scale users.