With most TV stations migrated to SDI, the merits of embedding the program audio into the stream have become clear. One of the larger benefits of embedded audio is the lip-sync factor. With discrete audio and video, by the time you add a box to key over network material, and add a box to shrink down the picture for emergency information, the lip-sync can be way off.
With embedded audio, in addition to better lip-sync, the quality remains pure and fewer cables means simplicity in the rack. Embedded is the way to go. However, you should be aware that embedded audio does have special requirements.
Modern master control switchers are wonderful tools and reflect the state of the art. One of the benefits of modern switchers is their ability to accept a wider range of “timing” from their sources. This benefit often means that system timing can get sloppy. If video sources fall outside of the timing window, in most cases embedding cannot take place. This would result in a loss of audio.
System source timing should remain a top priority in today’s studio environment. Most MC switchers have warning lights to indicate a timing issue. However, by the time an operator notices the indicator light a situation has probably already occurred.
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