03.16.2012 10:09 AM
Cobalt Digital Inc. — Chris Shaw, Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing

Q. What products or services does your company offer for broadcasters?
Cobalt Digital designs and manufactures a full line of loudness processing solutions, including error logging and graphing, to enable CALM compliance.

We also provide a variety of signal processing 3G/HD/SD-SDI cards for openGear, both video and audio. Modules include, but are not limited to, Loudness Processing (using Linear Acoustic AeroMax), audio upmixing (using Linear Acoustic UpMax), MPEG4 encoding, Dolby Transcoding (Dolby E, AC3 and Dolby Digital plus), MADI distribution amplifiers, remote control panels, both physical and virtual and loudness processing over IP.

Q. What’s new that you will showcase at the NAB Show and that TV broadcasters should look for there?
Cobalt will show an exciting new technology that achieves automatic loudness processing across many transport streams. LMNTS, which stands for Loudness Manager for N Transport Streams, is ideal for MVPDs and MSOs where a large number of diverse programming sources must be simultaneously controlled.

LMNTS operates with diverse audio codec packets from program streams and performs industry-leading AEROMAX loudness management in the PCM domain. Physically, all data connection to LMNTS is via GigE IP interfaces over an industry-standard IT hardware platform, with no intermediary breakouts.

Features include: ASI and IP inputs; audio packet demux; audio decode (MPEG 1 layer II, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital plus, AAC); loudness management (pre- and post-metering, Linear Acoustic loudness processing); audio re-encode (MPEG 1 layer II, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital plus, AAC); audio packet remux (ASI and IP outputs). Transport stream delay line between audio packet demux and audio packet remux.

SpotCheck is another new product to be shown for the first time at the NAB Show. SpotCheck performs total loudness monitoring of the transport stream at the point of emission. The product performs audio decode in the same way consumer equipment would and provides accurate “as heard at home” measurement of the outbound signal.

SpotCheck reads the automation as-run list to partition the stream into logical units, allowing each advertisement to be measured independently and avoid false alarms when network material generates loudness errors. Data is reported via an HTML5 Web interface with extensive cross browser support. Total loudness history is kept for 12 months and reports can be generated covering any time span.

We will also return to our roots of throw-down modular bricks with the introduction of the Blue Box Group. This product range answers the demand for first-class quality, price competitive, signal conversion equipment. Initially offerings will include HDMI to SDI and SDI to HDMI converters, and Analog to Digital, Digital to Analog converter boxes with audio embedding and de-embedding.

Q. How is your new product offering different from what’s available on the market?
At Cobalt, we listen to our customers and promptly respond with sensible, practicable solutions. Many of our new offerings are IP-based with remote control and monitoring.

DVB require multichannel loudness processing across the world. The Cobalt Digital LMNTS provides solutions to meet compliance needs.

Q. What do you anticipate will be the most significant technology trend at the 2012 NAB Show?
Technology is advancing more and more toward IP-based workflows with an emphasis on the Cloud. Remote control, monitoring and logging over IP is becoming a vital requirement for broadcasters to provide evidence of compliance of standards across the world. Short- and long-term logs are required for reporting to customers and governing bodies. Cobalt Digital are now providing these solutions and expect to add to this library of computer/software-based product in the future.

Q. Where are you based and how many employees do you have? Anything else we should know about your company?
We’re based in Urbana, Ill., with satellite sales offices across the country. We also have representation in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Afric
Our employees number approximately 35.



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