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DTV Audio Group Advanced Audio Summit Recap

July 17, 2019

Meeting of the Minds for Broadcast Delivery's Future.

We recently co-sponsored the DTV Audio Group's Advanced Audio Summit, held in Detroit, Michigan by our friends at the Sports Video Group. Attending the summit on our behalf were Joel Guilbert and Dan Ross. Read on for Joel's recap!

By Joel Guilbert, Dale Pro Audio
The annual Sports Video Group DTV Audio group summit occured in the lull during the MLB All-Star Break, affording the time for the attendance of the US top A1s, (the chief audio engineers) and others in this orbit. A day of lively panels covered a myriad of topics, from the oft-discussed topics like Atmos and immersive audio mixing and remote production, to more up and coming topics like Cloud-based production.

Tom Sahara, chairman emeritus of SVG DTV Audio Group, started the panels discussing what should be on everyone's’ radar as a “next big thing” - the build out of tomorrows 5G wireless network, and how this network can be used to replace the fiber or copper that brings internet to peoples houses and businesses.

Jim Starzynski, Director and Principal Audio Engineer, NBC Universal, talked about the evolution of streaming services, and attempts to regulate levels across platforms for the best possible audio experience.

Mark Stephens (above), Global Tech Lead, Media + Entertainment partners at Amazon Web Services (AWS) had an eye-opening presentation about the power of cloud services. Particularly impressive were statistics regarding last years Soccer World Cup and it’s utilization of AWS to transport content from Moscow back to LA in the US for post production. Over 2 PETAbytes(!!!) of data was transferred, with a latency of only about 10 seconds!

Chris Nighman, product manager for Professional Wireless Products, Audio Technica, spoke of ATs long under-development “smart” networked microphone, and some of it’s capabilities with metadata, as well as a general call-to-arms for new ideas to use such a mic.

Dolby Atmos content and devices was the topic for Rob France, Head of home content engineering, Dolby Laboratories. Atmos virtualization is a big topic for Dolby, with many millions of Atmos capable mobile devices are entering the market, including the introduction of Atmos is IOS 13.

Doug Deems, Sr. Audio Engineer, NBC Sports, outlines Atmos mixing for this past seasons Notre Dame football season and the unique challenges and solutions for their 5.1+4 mix.

At lunch break attendees could get immersed in new Atmos consumer technologies, presented by Dolby, as well as hear some recent Atmos mixes in a Professional setup with JBL 7 series speakers. Of special interest was Sennheiser's new Atmos soundbar (above), and some of the Atmos virtualized 2 channel devices.

After lunch Henry Goodman, Director of Product Development, Calrec Audio, and Christian Struck, Sr. Product Manager, Audio Division, Lawo, discussed consoles and new technologies and concepts for immersive audio. They were later joined by Josh Daniels, Sr Audio engineer, Fox Sports, and Doug Deems, Sr. Audio Engineer, NBC Sports, and moderator Steve Harvey, Sr content producer, Pro Sound News. The panel got into a number of topics, but chief among them were the need for more powerful consoles, with 1500+ channels.

Ben Escobedo, Sr market development specialist from Shure gave an overview of some of Shures latest offerings, including the new Twinplex lavalier (above).

Next up was Tim Carroll, Sr. Director Technology, office of the CTO, Dolby Laboratories. He spoke on the upcoming ATSC 3.0 roadmap - with Q2 2020 launch in the top 40 markets in the US.

Glenn Stilwell, Sr audio operations manager of Pac-12 Networks spoke about at-home/Remi productions and how the future seems to indicate more of these remote productions are going to happen.

The final panel of the day, moderated by Henry Rousseau, Associate Director Remote Production Operations, ESPN, included industry luminaries such as Fred Aldous Audio Consultant + Sr. Audio Engineer, Fox Sports; Jeff Feltz, Sr Audio Engineer, NBC Sports, Zack Bayer Sr Audio Engineer, Fox Sports; Josiah Gluck, Music and Post Production mixer, SNL and Karin Weitzman, Studio Audio Specialist and Lead Mixer, Turner Sports. The panel touched on a number of topics; such as the current need of A2 to be up on IT standards, the importance of troubleshooting, the spectrum crunch and inability of productions to change workflows to take it into account. As with last year’s summit, the issue of lack of women in the industry was raised, with some attendees speaking of attempts they had made in the last year to bring more into the fold.

Joel Guilbert is Dale Pro Audio's Technology Development Manager, and assists on technical support inquiries, system design and integration, and much more for our company. He can be reached at joel@daleproaudio.com.

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