Whilst the transition to IP is certainly allowing for new efficiencies in operation, and for new business models, it is by no means a guarantee of increased revenues. So, as ever, the expectation remains for customers to do more with less, and to reach more and more consumers across multiple platforms with the same or fewer staff.
A key challenge for any audio solution is to create and present an operational experience that is both simple and intuitive, regardless of the method being used to carry audio throughout a broadcast facility. The transition to IP infrastructures, coupled with the need to do more with less, only serves to increase the importance of being able to address this challenge.
At the very least, operators needing to manage and monitor audio within an IP infrastructure need a set of quick and easy to use controls, made available by a friendly and intuitive control interface that will allow them to monitor and manipulate audio in the same manner that they have grown used to when working in traditional SDI environments.
When considering an IP audio monitoring device, its basic functionality, such as the need to display audio levels, present audio metadata, support Dolby audio formats and to monitor audio loudness, remains much the same as when using an audio monitoring device to monitor audio presented as an SDI, AES, MADI or Analogue source. Similarly, the very nature of the tasks an operator will need to perform remain all too familiar. Does the audio meet the required standards for audio levels and audio loudness? Is the audio in the correct format – mono, stereo, surround? In the case of a multi-lingual feed, are the correct languages present and on the correct audio channels? Are audio channels in phase? Is the audio in sync with the video? And of course, is the audio free of noise, distortion and audible artifacts?
When we started designing our newest OB truck, we were looking for the smallest form audio monitoring unit we could find, that would be flexible and easy to use for our VT operators, and the new MPA1 Solo SDI was just the ticket.