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ITU receives Emmy Award for new audio broadcast standard

Recommendation ITU-R BS.1770 standardizes loudness metering on TV

Geneva, 12 January 2012 – ITU will receive the prestigious Emmy Award from the US National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show today in Las Vegas for the “Standardization of Loudness Metering for Use in Broadcast Audio”.

The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences is dedicated to the advancement of television broadcasting and the promotion of creative leadership for artistic, educational and technical achievements within the television industry.

Interview with David Wood, European Broadcasting Union

The annual Technology and Engineering Emmy Award recognizes the ground-breaking work on the worldwide standardization of loudness metering for use in broadcast audio, which the Academy considered as outstanding and showing excellence in engineering creativity. ITU-R Recommendation BS.1770 on “Algorithms to measure audio programme loudness and true-peak audio level” was elaborated over a decade as a result of the dedication of many specialists including Craig Todd of Dolby Laboratories, USA; Gilbert Soulodre of Communications Research Centre, Canada; and Spencer Lieng of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. The standard was finalized during the last study period within ITU-R Working Party 6C under the Chairmanship of David Wood of the European Broadcasting Union. The pertinent algorithm and the agreed parameters are now contained in the ITU-R Recommendation approved by ITU Member States, giving worldwide guidance on loudness metering.

ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré expressed satisfaction that ITU has been internationally recognized for its work in setting new standards in broadcast television. “The Emmy Award exemplifies the close relationship that ITU enjoys with its membership and partners in industry,” Dr Touré said. “By working together under the aegis of an intergovernmental platform we are able to develop standards that enhance the quality of ICTs and their accessibility to a worldwide audience”.

“ITU’s pioneering work has led to many innovations in broadcast television,” said François Rancy, Director of ITU’s Radiocommunication Bureau, in Las Vegas to receive the Emmy award. “The ITU-R Recommendation BS.1770 on Loudness Metering in Audio Broadcasting will improve the experience of watching television for viewers worldwide as they will no longer have to adjust the volume on their sets while switching channels or watching commercials.”

“There are many applications where it is necessary to measure and control the perceived ‘loudness’ of audio signals,” said Christoph Dosch, Chairman of ITU-R Study Group 6, which focuses on Broadcasting Services. “Examples of this include television and radio broadcast applications where the nature and content of the audio material changes frequently. In these applications the audio content can continually switch between music, speech and sound effects, or some combination of these. It can also change between various audio or audio-visual sources, for example in international programme exchange. Such changes in the content of the programme material can result in significant changes in subjective loudness, and the new standard on loudness metering will make it easier for television viewers.”

Dosch added that the matter of subjective loudness is also of great importance to the music industry where dynamic processing is commonly used to maximize the perceived loudness of a recording.

For more information, please contact:

Sanjay Acharya

Chief, Media Relations and Public Information

tel +41 22 730 5046
tel +41 79 249 4861
tel sanjay.acharya@itu.int 

Grace Petrin

Promotion Officer, ITU Radiocommunication Bureau

tel +41 79 599 1428
tel +41 22 730 5810
tel brpromo@itu.int 


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