FEED Autumn 2022 Web

IP technology and ever-higher video resolution have become a given. Time to take immersive audio mainstream

he importance of audio in live broadcasts is sometimes undervalued, yet we all agree that poor sound makes a video far less attractive – or in the worst cases, a real turn-off. What does it take to deliver compelling audio? ‘Time’ is the first answer that springs to mind. But that is in short supply in today’s production environments, big or small, where every second counts. ‘Talent’ is another ingredient. What about a means to complement 4K picture quality with an enveloping sonic experience? HEARING THE CALL As expected, immersive audio was put on the back-burner during the pandemic, with broadcasters having more pressing matters to attend to. But with lockdowns and other

social distancing restrictions – hopefully – behind us, broadcasters and service providers can now devote their undivided attention to what’s next. And that is going to be 3D or immersive audio. A proof of concept has just been completed, to demonstrate how live multi-channel audio can be reliably delivered to a sports broadcaster over two redundant IP pipes from two cities. It involved deployment of two Lawo A__UHD Core processors in different geographic locations. As long as the A__UHD Core at the stadium in city X – closer to the broadcaster – is available, teams at city Y can mix audio versions using the core stationed at X. The console in the ACR only sends control essences. Should the A__UHD Core in city X become unavailable, the core B at the data

centre in Y is able to take over seamlessly and keep transmitting the mixes to the broadcaster – or to any other city in the world, for that matter. That’s the magic of IP. The proof of concept’s demonstration of immersive audio worked so well, the result is being rolled out in early September 2022, in time for the new football season and a major immersive software boost for the A__UHD Core/mc² platform. Immersive – or 3D – audio has ceased to be the sole preserve of finals and opening ceremonies for top-tier sporting events. It is on the way to becoming a given, even for regular matches and games – and it isn’t restricted to sport. Festivals all over the world are increasingly using Dolby Atmos-based immersive audio for live streams from selected stages to fans unable to attend the event.


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