As China turns its attention to the issue of loudness control across TV and radio, one of the countrys most prestigious broadcasters has chosen technology from German dynamics specialist Junger Audio to ensure delivery of superior audio quality to its audiences.
Based in Ningbo in the East China province of Zhejiang, NBTV has installed five Junger Audio D*AP LM4 four-channel Digital Audio Processors to tackle loudness control across all of its television channels. The D*AP LM4 units incorporate Version II of Junger Audios renowned LEVEL MAGIC¢ algorithm and feature on-board AES/EBU digital I/O, along with optional 3G/HD/SD-SDI I/O or analogue I/O.
This important sale was negotiated by Jian Gao, head of Junger Audios China office, in conjunction with the companys local sales partner Rotec China which specialises in providing high end solutions to the broadcast market. Based in Shanghai, Rotec China also supplies equipment from manufacturers such as Dolby, Sony, Cannon and FOR-A.
Mr Tim Zhong, Sales Engineer for Rotec China who was in charge of the NBTV project, says: NBTV has a strong reputation for installing cutting edge technology and is renowned for thoroughly testing all equipment before making a decision to invest. In this case the broadcaster was looking to upgrade its automatic transmission equipment to incorporate loudness control and Rotec was approached to recommend suitable products.
Jian Gao and Rotec China visited the broadcaster on a number of occasions and suggested Junger Audios D*AP LM4 processor because it was perfectly suited to NBTVs needs. Not only is the unit compliant with all current broadcast audio loudness recommendations (including ITU, EBU R128 and ATSC A/85) but it can also be automatically controlled via a web interface for remote applications.
NBTV tested a number of different manufacturers loudness solutions before choosing the Junger Audio D*AP LM4. Its decision was based on the units overall sound quality and its ability to control loudness across different programmes and different channels.
Mr Shi-Song Wu, the director of NBTVs Technical Center, says: We installed five D*AP LM4 units in time for the recent Chinese New Year celebrations. Their performance has been great and we are very impressed with their ability to accurately control audio loudness. The combination of German reliability and precision engineering were also key factors in our decision to invest.
Loudness control in China is now receiving serious attention from both the Government and from the major broadcasters, all of which are state owned and have their investment in technology secured every year. As in other parts of the world, loudness control is being driven by complaints from viewers who are often irritated by inconsistencies in level between different channels and between programmes and commercials.
Tim Zhong says: Chinas regulatory body SARFT is set to issue its own standard on audio loudness and we believe that this will be specify -24LKFS as the average loudness level. This is similar to the standard that has already been adopted in Europe and the USA and for this reason many Chinese broadcasters, including NBTV, are implementing the ITU1770 standard.
Another broadcaster that is implementing the ITU standard is FJTV, a provincial station in Fujian. FJTV is also an advocate of Junger Audio ITU-complaint loudness control technology, having installed a number of the companys B46 units in recent years. The broadcaster recently added to its equipment itinerary with three more B46 units, which it is using for newly added channels.
Junger Audios Jian Gao says: The B46 processor has been a good and affordable solution for Chinese broadcasters but it is being superseded by the D*AP LM4. We are now arranging for FJTV to trial the D*AP LM4 as it offers a lot more functionality including the ability to log loudness levels, which will be an important consideration for broadcasters if they are to comply with any new legislation.