Engineers Debate Dialnorm

A chief engineer at one of the Big Three says dialog normalization doesn’t work while his counterpart at another says it does, but the disparity is complicated, according to a report in Television Broadcast, a sister publication of TV Technology.

“Reining in the ear-bleeding peaks of television audio takes more than hardware and calibration, and what works for one infrastructure may not work for another,” TVB reports.

“Dialnorm is ineffective 54 percent of the time,” said Bob Seidel at the Hollywood Post Alliance conference this week in Rancho Mirage, Calif. Seidel is vice president of engineering and advanced technology at CBS. The network has made no secret of its dissent on dialnorm, parameters for which are required by the FCC.

Seidel was part of a panel of network engineers who participated in an audio summit at the annual Hollywood Post Alliance Technology Retreat held this week near Palm Springs.

The problem with dialnorm is temporal, he said. CBS measured dialnorm over 60-minute periods, but the outcome didn’t represent the moments going into a commercial break. The dialog within that short interval may range from quietly dramatic whispers to a caterwauling car hawker.

Read more of this story in TVBhere.