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28 l September 2014 SOUNDBITES broadcast UNITED KINGDOM

French broadcaster NRJ TV has purchased a Studer Vista 1 digital console for its Ethernet-based television control room. The facility manages the production of its NRJ 12 channels, Chérie 25 and NRJ Hits. “We have a variety of programming that takes place here at NRJ 12 and Chérie 25, so we need equipment that provides a high level of versatility to meet our varying needs,” says technical manager Cédric Drapeau.

Warsaw-based post-production studio Dreamsound has become the first post-production house in Poland licensed to produce film soundtracks using Dolby Atmos. The Dolby Atmos JBL and Crown system is installed in a new 280sqft, 15-seat screening room. It employs a total of 32 JBL loudspeakers including ScreenArray 3731-T 3-way tri-amplified loudspeakers and 4642 dual-18” subwoofers. The loudspeakers are driven by a complement of Crown DSi 1000 and XLS 2500, XLS 2000, XLS 1500 and XLS 1000 amplifiers.

The newly completed ITV Cymru Wales broadcast production facility features an SSL C10 Compact Broadcast Console as the centrepiece for audio production. Having moved from its long-time location in Culverhouse Cross, the new building includes a news studio, production and sound galleries and editing, voice-over and dubbing suites. Technical systems integration for the project was handled by TSL Systems. The C10 is being used for live news programming, including the station’s main news programme Wales at Six.

BFBS radio in Buckinghamshire has purchesed four Gefell M930 large-diaphragm condenser microphones, complete with EH93-P suspensions and matching Håkan P110 Pop Killers for its radio studio, as part of the complete refurbishment of its studio complex.

BBC Radio 3 and R&D test 4.0 surround for The Proms

The annual Promenade concerts feature extra sound coverage this year, as Kevin Hilton reports

THE BBC Proms are the epitome of British tradition - with Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory on the Last Night – but the concert season, broadcast on BBC TV and Radio 3, has become a showcase for innovation, not just with experimental and modern music but also new technologies to bring the atmosphere of the Royal Albert Hall to the listener and viewer.

To enhance the listening experience this year the BBC is testing 4.0 surround sound over the internet. The intention is for people around the world to be able to receive the live online transmissions using a standard connection, “a suitable web browser”, a surround sound card or HDMI output and a loudspeaker set-up with at least four speakers.

The experiment is being run by Radio 3 and BBC R&D and is, comments Rupert Brun, head of technology for BBC Radio, a continuation of the broadcaster’s aim to “bring the listener at home an exciting, immersive experience when listening to live concerts”. This, he says, began in 1958 with stereo, followed in the ’70s by quadraphonic sound and in recent years “wide dynamic range high-quality stereo (HD Sound)”.

The 4.0 online broadcasts are based on HTML5, which includes an Audio API (application programming interface) that enables web browsers to play surround sound without the need to download and install special software. Brun explains that because HTML5 also features the Mediasource API the MPEG-DASH (Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP) media delivery

Laura Mvula was the star of one of the Late Night Proms this year Picture credit: Helen Aitchison

standard, which is able to adjust the bit stream according to the available bandwidth, can be used to carry the data.

Brun says not all web browsers currently support HTML5 – and the Mediasource API in particular – but that tests proved Chrome on Windows 7 and Mac OSX did work. According to the frequently asked questions section of the BBC R&D site on this subject, Internet Explorer 11 will run it on Windows 8.1 only, while Safari, Opera and Firefox “do not support one or more of the

required features at this time”. To create the surround mix additional microphones have been placed in the Albert Hall to supplement those already used for the standard Radio 3 stereo broadcast and the 5.1/stereo set- up for BBC Television. These extra mics are, explains Brun, “to offer a sense of the space and acoustic”. The stereo and surround mixes are made in BBC Radio Resources outside broadcast truck Sound 3, which is equipped with a 40-fader Stagetec Aurus digital console. Brun says the 4.0 format was

chosen because the existing operational set-up is based on stereo. He adds that people do not need to worry about the centre or LFE channels as audio is not being sent to them but that some systems with small loudspeakers will run all the bass through the subwoofer, meaning it must be connected. BBC R&D is encouraging reaction to the surround sound Proms on its blog and Twitter feed.  posts/BBC-Proms-in-Surround- Sound

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