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Wohler Debuts Audio Metadata Analyzer

by Mary C. Gruszka~ April 24, 2006


Wohler Technologies is bringing audio metadata out into the open with its new Metadata Analyzer and Alarm monitor incorporated into its AMP2-E8 2RU Dolby E decoder/monitor.

"Once metadata is locked into the stream (AC-3 or Dolby E) it is difficult to get at," said Carl Dempsey, executive vice president of Wohler Technologies, at a press conference Sunday morning. "The problem with live broadcast is that metadata is often set incorrectly or not at all."

Possible Problems

Audio metadata contains some 30 parameters for each program that is carried, many of which can directly affect audio playback, Dempsey said. Used incorrectly, parameters can combine to create unacceptable audio loudness shifts, loss of dialogue or inappropriate dynamic range.

The new Metadata Alarm and Analyzer monitors metadata and passes it to an included PC software package via TCP/IP. The graphical user interface on a PC monitor hooked up to the unit provides a clear indication of metadata parameters. The system also allows for unattended checking of entire programs through logging, as well as providing alerts to metadata parameters that are out of tolerance to user-set limits.

Among its other offerings, Wohler is rolling out two new products, results of close collaboration with Wohler customers.

"The broadcast industry comes to us when they want specialized monitoring products," Dempsey said. "Wohler offers a very large range of products for specific needs."

The TKMB-28MD is an AES/SDI audio monitor/level meter unit that features eight high-resolution, 53-segment, tricolor, LED bargraph level meters, and two high-quality mechanical VU level meters.

The AMP2-S8MDA is another Wohler audio monitoring and conversion product that has been customized for specific broadcast needs, in this case the monitoring of closed captioning data as well as key parameters of embedded audio metadata on an LCD status display. The unit also includes eight audio input channels (digital and analog), front panel summing of any combination of up to eight channels and eight 53-segment level meters showing simultaneous VU and PPM.

"With so many channels of audio - surround sound, Lt/Rt, and secondary audio programs - audio is very complex these days," Dempsey said.

New LCD Screens

New for NAB2006 is the Touch-it LCD touch screen video monitor with built-in switcher. The Touch-it had two high-resolution 7-inch LCD panels, offering video confidence monitoring for up to 12 channels of composite video. The left LCD monitor displays twelve 1.8-inch thumbnail images. The user touches one of them to select which image appears on right screen at full size.

Also available is audio monitoring of 12 stereo analog audio inputs, plus internal speakers and audio-follow-video routing. The selected video output appears on BNC connectors and audio on XLR connectors for connection to external monitors.

"Touch-it is one of the best things we've done at Panorama," Dempsey said. "It's a very integrated comprehensive package for confidence monitoring of 12 sources."

Also on the Panorama roster are three new high-resolution LCD video monitors products.

The MON4-2W/HR offers 4 HD/SD-SDI inputs, four 4.3-inch wide LCD video monitors, 16:9 aspect ratio and a resolution of 480 x RGB x 272. A high-resolution triple screen 4.3-inch wide screen LCD video monitor panel will also be available. In addition to the new high-resolution products, an existing eight 1.8-inch LCD screen video monitor, the MON8-1, will feature high resolution viewing of 279 pixels x 234 lines.

© 2006 NAB