NBC's 5.1 audio provided courtesy of Linear Acoustic®
Cool fact: Over 219 million Americans tuned in to enjoy the 2012 London Summer Games, making it the most watched event in US television history. Extra cool fact: Every second of the audio heard by those viewers was monitored through or processed by a Linear Acoustic product!
We're very proud to have supplied NBC Olympics with 31 AERO.qc units, four LA-5269 Dolby® Digital/Plus Transcoders, four LAMBDA Digital Audio and Metadata Monitors, and several advance copies of our soon-to-be-released Avid® Media Composer 6 plugin. But this wasn't the first time we've worked together: NBC Olympics chose the Linear Acoustic UPMAX™ for upmixing at the 2008 Beijing Summer Games and used our AERO.qc Audio Quality Monitor at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games.
Here's how it worked: mix engineers at each of the remote venues scattered around the complex used the AERO.qc as a meter to ensure an average loudness level of -24LKFS for audio delivered to the International Broadcast Center for distribution. AERO.qc provides multiple ITU-R BS.1770 meters on its display, so engineers could simultaneously monitor loudness with short, medium, and long integration times while also having the overall loudness target displayed as a large numeric value.
Bob Dixon, Director of Sound Design and Communication at NBC Olympics, told us "the AERO.qc offered a great loudness meter, especially when using the VGA output to feed an external display." Most on-site audio was discrete 5.1-channel surround, but older stereo material was upmixed by the AERO.qc hardware or by an Avid plug-in. Dixon says "The transitions were automatic, seamless, and difficult to discern."
Linear Acoustic founder and President Tim Carroll was justifiably pleased. "[The] London Games marked the third opportunity we've had to work with some of highest calibre people in broadcast. We are honored to have been involved and are gratified that the high quality audio thrilled viewers."