SCTE Issues SCTE 197 2013 for Spot Check Loudness Measurements

EXTON, PA.—The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers has released SCTE 197 2013, a new standards document to help cable system operators and programmers comply with federal Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act mandates.

“Recommendations for Spot Check Loudness,” provides best practices for measuring the audio content carried in a single programming channel of a program network, aligned with techniques discussed in Advanced Television Systems Committee standard A/85, “Recommended Practice: Techniques for Establishing and Maintaining Audio Loudness for Digital Television.” SCTE 197 provides guidelines for recording measured loudness and loudness metadata value, as well as approaches for interpretation of the collected data and for actions to be taken in the case of discrepancies.

The CALM Act requires the audio level of commercial messages be at the same average loudness as the associated programming content. The new SCTE document was developed under the SCTE Digital Video Subcommittee Audio Drafting Group.

“This Recommended Practice is the result of collaboration by SCTE Standards members representing a cross-section of stakeholders, including multiprogram video distributors, programming networks, equipment vendors and related industry groups to come up with a pragmatic and practicable measurement procedure,” said Craig Cuttner, senior vice president of advanced technology for HBO and chairman of the Audio Drafting Group. “The SCTE 197 recommendation applies the procedures outlined in ATSC A/85 while still maintaining the high-fidelity premium sound that subscribers expect from their program providers.”

The SCTE Standards Program is the industry’s only ANSI-accredited forum for the development of technical specifications supporting cable telecommunications.