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Bel Digital Audio improves visual audio monitoring

Bel Digital Audio is launching a new 2U audio monitor/de-embedder that features 16 individual high-resolution LED bar graph meters. The new unit provides audio monitoring of 3G, HD and SD SDI video signals with loopthrough and additionally offers Dolby E/Digital and Digital Plus decoding in addition to integral loudness metering compliant to ITU-R BS1770.

The Bel BM-A2-E16SHD provides visual monitoring of the de-embedded audio by 16 individual, high-quality, three-color, front panel-mounted bar graphs, whilst audible monitoring is provided by two speakers also mounted on the front panel. A comprehensive range of inputs and outputs are provided as standard. There are two SDI inputs alongside eight AES audio pairs and eight analog inputs. The device provides auto-selection of 3G, HD and SD or SDI bit streams and decodes as appropriate. Switching between inputs is accomplished by use of the simple, front-mounted rotary controls.

All 16 audio channels present on the front panel bar graphs are also available as AES-3 outputs on the rear of the unit, therefore enabling the monitor to de-embed all 16 audio channels from any SDI stream. In addition, a reclocked SDI loopthrough and eight analog outputs (with front panel level control) are provided.

This device is the second in a range of new high-spec products and their variations expected from Bel in the near future. It is instantly recognizable as a Bel device and follows the company's stated principles of innovative yet practical designs that employ a rotary control system on the front panel.

Using the rotary control, the user can monitor any channel and can create combinations and groups. The bar graph meters are switchable between all available channels and inputs. Each meter features adjustable color transition points and a peak-hold facility. The ballistics are user assignable and seven standard scales are available to choose from, Nordic, BBC PPM, DIN PPM, VU, VU Ext., AES/EBU. Additionally, loudness metering, a subject of much discussion at present, is catered for by the unit to ITU-R BS1770.

The two monitor speakers on the front panel are switchable between any of the available channels and additional audible monitoring is provided via a headphone socket also on the front panel.

A Dolby decoder is included in the BM-A2-E16SHD as standard. When enabled, it can decode Dolby E, Dolby Digital and Dolby Digital Plus material from any of the AES inputs, or from embedded audio data within the SDI bit streams.