Loudness – and occasionally the lack of volume – is a persistent complaint from viewers who frequently write to the newspapers grumbling about the volume of ad-breaks, or intrusive inter-programme trails. This past year saw record complaints made to the BBC over ‘inaudible’ audio during its Jamaica Inn production.
These problems don’t just upset viewers, they can lead to audiences switching channels. Jamaica Inn ‘lost’ two million viewers between its first and last episode.
Hence this perfectly timed EBU session at IBC, and the producer's promise that this session will have full focus on facts, technology and standards – not on products.
Chairman Florian Camerer, ORF/Ploud, Austria, says: “There is one major international standard for loudness measurement (ITU-R BS1770), which forms the basis of a few recommendations used in diverse parts of the world (EBU R 128 in Europe and South Africa, ATSC A/85 in the US and Canada, etc.). A few short case studies will illustrate the dissipation of these recommendations and the practical consequences. This session will be an update on the situation, the successes and failures of the Loudness
Regulations in Broadcasting and other markets. Different regions and different use areas have very different stories to tell.”
The session will be rounded off by a worldview panel discussion and Q&A managed by Camerer, and his expert panel includes the EBU’s Frans De Jong (senior engineer/Tech & Innovation).