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ATSC expands TV loudness management recommended practice

The Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) announced that it has expanded its television loudness management techniques to cover alternative audio systems as specified in the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation (CALM) Act.

ATSC members voted to approve "Requirements for Establishing and Maintaining Audio Loudness of Commercial Advertising in Digital Television When Using Non-AC-3 Audio Codecs" as Annex K of A/85, the Recommended Practice (RP) covering Techniques for Establishing and Maintaining Audio Loudness for Digital Television. Annex K complements the A/85 RP's Annex J, which specifies AC-3 commercial audio loudness requirements.

As mandated by the statute, proposed Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules will apply to TV broadcasters, cable operators and other multichannel video programming distributors (MPVDs).

Annex J covers broadcasters and others using the AC-3 (Dolby Digital) audio system in the ATSC Digital TV Standard, and Annex K covers non-AC-3 audio systems used by MPVDs. These updates to the A-85 RP are suitable for the FCC to cite in its rules for implementing the CALM Act.

On May 27, the FCC released its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking as required by the CALM Act. Comments were due on July 8. On July 18, at the request of the ATSC, the FCC granted an extension of the Reply Comment deadline in this proceeding to Aug. 1 "to allow interested parties an opportunity to review and provide comments on the successor document to the ATSC A/85 RP."

ATSC Recommended Practice A/85:2011, July 25, 2011, is the successor document to Recommended Practice A/85:2011, May 25, 2011.