Linear Acoustic announces AMAS

Linear Acoustic has unveiled the LA-5170, a new system to simplify the monitoring of essential audio metadata parameters within digital signals being carried between network centers and delivered to consumer playback systems.

Audio metadata — also known as Dolby Metadata — has the capability of managing critical aspects of audio for digital television and DVD uses. Used correctly, metadata can help guide reproduction of audio to match the producer's original intent, but faulty or incorrect values can produce the exact opposite.

Audio Metadata contains some 30 parameters for each program being carried, some of it informational and some directly affecting the quality of audio playback. The LA-5170 provides software controls to set limits of critical parameters. Any variance outside those parameters is displayed and logged, allowing entire programs to be checked automatically.

Information is also provided for distribution-audio coding systems such as Dolby E. Correct guard band position is extremely important for this system, since it directly impacts its ability to be edited or switched. The LA-5170 compares incoming Dolby E frame position to the video reference input and displays the result.

A custom Windows-compatible application that connects to AMAS over Ethernet provides display of metadata, Dolby E guard band, video reference and linear time code (LTC) parameters. Individual errors are highlighted and a summary alarm alerts operators to problems. A log file is created that shows errors time stamped with current PC time and incoming LTC time.

A bright LED display, rotary encoder, and four control keys provide for menu navigation and function adjustment on the local interface unit. A rear-panel nine-pin D-sub connector carries metadata input/output signals per SMPTE 207M (RS-485) and is designed to interface with Dolby Metadata and LM100 protocols. The Model LA-5170 AMAS occupies 1U of rack space, and weighs six pounds.

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