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Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Oct 5

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10/5/2009 9:41 AM  RssIcon

Discovery Communications has chosen Jünger Audio’s LEVEL MAGIC™ technology to deliver loudness consistency and peak level management across all programs broadcast from its Discovery Networks Latin America/U.S. Hispanic headquarters in Florida.

The broadcaster has installed 15 rack-mounted 8-channel C8086 LEVEL MAGIC modules and 30 C8402 SDI input modules as part of a general technical upgrade of its Miami facility.

Jünger Audio’s LEVEL MAGIC is a sophisticated adaptive level control algorithm that is designed to adjust the level from any source at any time, with no pumping, breathing or distortion. It is based on a simultaneous combination of an AGC, a Transient Processor for fast changes and a “look ahead” Peak Limiter for continuous unattended control of any programme material, regardless of its original source.

Capable of using any kind of I/O (Analog and Digital) sources, as well as SDI, HD/SDI, Dolby 5.1 and all its related metadata, LEVEL MAGIC is available in a variety of configurations to suit different applications. Discovery has installed a modular system that takes up very little space in its equipment racks.

Controlling loudness and audio level is an important issue for Discovery, which has recognised that viewers do not want to adjust their TV set volume to compensate for loud and soft passages within a program, or between programs and commercial breaks. The broadcaster was one of the first in the US to adopt dialnorm, specifically measured by Dolby's lm100, to maintain a consistent loudness across all of its broadcasts. Each Discovery show is produced and broadcast with a specific dialnorm value (-27dbfs plus or minus one), based on the average of the entire show.

The fact that LEVEL MAGIC accepts embedded audio was a key reason why Discovery chose this solution. With these units in place, it can now reduce volume (loudness) peaks and valleys within a given show without affecting the overall dialnorm average.

Prior to installation, Jünger Audio also worked with Discovery to create a new version of its algorithm that more accurately suited the broadcaster’s requirements. This incorporates a customization know as the ‘do nothing’ zone, which provides a broader target level so that the sound needs less processing and remains truer to the original program mix.

Peter Poers, managing director of Jünger Audio, says: “It took a few months to complete the new algorithm but we understand the customisation is now operating satisfactorily and enabling Discovery to obtain a compromise between the program creator's vision for the sound track and what it believes is best for transmission. We are also pleased that Discovery appreciated the overall sound quality Jünger Audio’s LEVEL MAGIC is able to deliver, especially in terms of transparency.”

The media brands originating from Discovery’s Miami facilities include Discovery Channel, Discovery Kids, People + Arts, Animal Planet, Discovery Home & Health, Discovery Travel & Living, Discovery Civilization, Discovery Science, Discovery Turbo, and Discovery HD Theatre, as well as two U.S. Hispanic channels, Discovery en Espanol and Discovery Familia. These are broadcast to more than 130 million cumulative subscribers across 34 countries and territories.

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About Jünger Audio

Established in Berlin in 1990, Jünger Audio specialises in the design and manufacture of high-quality digital audio dynamics processors. It has developed a unique range of digital processors that are designed to meet the demands of the professional audio market. All of its products are easy to operate and are developed and manufactured in-house, ensuring that the highest standards are maintained throughout. Its customers include many of the world’s top radio and TV broadcasters, IPTV providers, music recording studios and audio post production facilities. www.junger-audio.com

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