Preliminary Loudness Guidelines published for online video content
WORLD: Aiming to produce ‘a comprehensive recommendation, providing effective guidelines for managing audio loudness of soundtracks of television and video content available to consumers Over-The-Top (OTT) and by Online Video Distributors (OVD)’, the Audio Engineering Society (AES) formed the Audio Guidelines for Over the Top Television and Video Streaming (AGOTTVS) technical group earlier in the year. Following several months of research and work by 50 members, the technical group has published its preliminary guidelines.
‘Our paper’s purpose is threefold; first, to create awareness in the industry of a developing loudness problem, also, to invite all professional stakeholders to join our ongoing effort to develop more detailed recommendations, and to supply credible, fundamental loudness guides for actions that can be taken now by content suppliers and distributors,’ explained Jim Starzynski, chair of the AGOTTVS technical group. ‘We are delighted that our work was published at the time of the AES convention, the right forum for getting the word out.’
AGOTTVS comprises a membership of volunteers, all with an expertise and interest in professional audio’s creation, distribution and emission. Membership of the technical group is open to all, regardless of AES membership and current participants include representatives from companies such as Amazon, Apple, BBC, CBS, Dolby, DTS, DTV Audio Group, Fox, Fraunhofer, Google, NBC Universal and Netflix.
As per the introduction to the recommendations published, the group has acknowledged ‘a thorough process of user input, data collection, discussion and drafting’ is required to deliver a comprehensive recommendation and that this will be forthcoming. With this being the case, the reason for the publication of the Preliminary Loudness Guidelines at present is due to the ‘urgent need’ to address loudness issues in the growing online television and video content delivery markets.
‘The television-viewing experience is rapidly migrating from linear broadcast to streaming, over a growing assortment of fixed and mobile devices,’ said Roger Charlesworth, executive director at DTV Audio Group (DTVAG), which reportedly pioneered work on television loudness guidelines and has driven the current development of guidelines. ‘We applaud the AES and the contributing organisations and individuals for taking on this challenge.’
To view the preliminary guidelines in full, click here.