WPBT has been on the air since 1953, and on Sept. 30, 2008, the station made the transition to a new digital master control system, which required QC monitoring of 5.1 surround sound and its data. To address this need, integrator Broadcast Systems Consultants Inc. installed four Linear Acoustic LAMBDA units at the station to provide QC monitoring for the new system over three digital channels, one HD and two SD, in addition to out-of-house submissions to PBS.
"Modern digital broadcast audio such as 5.1 surround sound and its metadata have made QC monitoring extremely important to our operations. In our move to a digital environment, we needed an advanced solution that would appropriately adjust metering and playback audio levels throughout the entire broadcast chain," said Gene Talley, director of engineering/operations at WPBT. "We chose the Linear Acoustic LAMBDA based on an expectation of excellent audio quality, and that is exactly what we see. We've had the units in place for several months, and they have provided exceptional performance across all three of our channels."
The LAMBDA serves as a modulation monitor for DTV, displaying both audio and metadata to provide accurate monitoring. The base model includes standard features such as ITU BS.1770 loudness measurement and display, baseband AES and HD-SDI inputs, the ability to display/reproduce up to 16 channels of audio and metadata, and premium acoustically tuned speaker enclosures with subwoofer output. Options include Dolby® E/AC-3 decoding and dual power supplies.
With the LAMBDA, engineers can monitor metadata effects on audio prior to transmission. In master control room applications, for example, it enables final QC of outgoing and off-air audio monitoring. When the LAMBDA is equipped with optional Dolby decoding, users can switch between AC-3 and HD-SDI embedded audio for evaluation, monitoring, and QC. Other outputs include a front-panel headphone connector, rear-panel balanced analog, and an AES digital output. Additionally, decoded discrete PCM audio outputs enable connection to amp and speakers for monitoring. The powerful two-way, digitally amplified speaker system is rated at +98 dB SPL, overcoming the constant noise of servers, fans, HVAC, and UPS systems common in master control rooms.
Unique front-panel controls allow quick stepping through any channel, channel pair, or downmix. Numerous presets can be created and saved for different monitoring tasks. The display features full 5.1 metering with numerical dialnorm and ITU readouts, plus floating quick-reference bars.
"We are pleased to be chosen by WPBT for its QC monitoring and to help the broadcaster move into digital operations," said Christina Carroll, vice president of sales and marketing for Linear Acoustic. "Our LAMBDA includes all necessary elements for complete and highly accurate digital audio and metadata monitoring to ensure an optimal audio experience for viewers."
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About WPBT Channel 2
South Florida's premier public broadcaster, WPBT2 is a community-licensed, not-for-profit media enterprise serving communities from the Treasure Coast to the Florida Keys. WPBT2 provides high-quality content from PBS, independent acquisitions, and its own original productions. WPBT2's digital media platform offers 2HD, a 24-hour high definition channel; Digital 2.2, a mix of Science & Nature Channel, Culturas, The Florida Channel, and Create; Digital 2.3, V-me, a 24-hour national Spanish-language network; and www.channel2.org, the WPBT2 Web site including Impromp2 (a community blog), the Media Portal (an entrée into digital media), and uVu, a video-sharing Web site. Based in Miami, WPBT2 is also home of the Emmy® Award-winning national PBS series Nightly Business Report (pbs.org/nbr).
About Linear Acoustic
Linear Acoustic, a Telos company, is the leading authority in loudness control and upmixing solutions for digital television. The company designs and manufactures the award-winning AERO range of audio processing solutions and licenses key technologies such as UPMAX 5.1 channel upmixing to OEM partners. The company participates in standards work within the AES, IEEE, BKSTS and EBU, is a member of the ATSC, and is a sustaining member of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers. Linear Acoustic is also proud to have provided its UPMAX:neo™ 5.1-channel upmixer for NBC's coverage of the Beijing Summer Games. More information is available at www.linearacoustic.com.