Independent station group Belo has chosen the Neural-THX Surround MultiMerge and Neural Loudness Control (NLC) advanced audio processing technology to maintain a constant audio level across its digital channels. The goal for Belo is to provide viewers with a consistent high-quality listening experience while avoiding abrupt (and annoying) sound level changes.
The audio solution — called the MultiMerge-NLC advanced audio processor — is a collaboration between Harris and Neural Audio, a provider of audio and surround sound technologies.
Belo will use the MultiMerge solution within its on-air chain to upmix stereo to 5.1 surround sound, when necessary. The solution provides a loudness-controlled output that can eliminate drastic changes in volume, especially between programs and commercials.
The Neural-THX MultiMerge-NLC system enables broadcasters to transition between 2.0 stereo and 5.1 surround sound while providing viewers with a simultaneous 5.1 and 2.0 output. Unlike traditional volume management solutions, this system leverages Neural Audio’s perceptual loudness measurement tool to model how the human ear will perceive the loudness of the audio content. This process accounts for many variables that can affect how audio is perceived, including spectral and density differences, as well as temporal overlaps. By accounting for the human experience of listening, the company’s loudness measurement accommodates both stereo and multichannel audio equally well.