Why broadcasters need an open, codec-independent workflow for NGA production deployment

Tech Report 045

This Technical Report discusses in some depth the issues surrounding the need for codec-independent workflows for NGA production.

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The quality of experience of television viewing continues to rise. Sound is a vital part of television and as well as bringing new heights to the televisual experience, Next Generation Audio (NGA) will enable more services. The technology for NGA is here now, but it will not achieve its potential if nothing is done to overcome the industrial fragmentation of NGA production systems, all essentially doing the same things in an incompatible way.

The EBU aim is to see the Audio Definition Model (ADM) and its serial version, the sADM becoming the backbone of all NGA systems throughout the entire audio chain, from acquisition to production, archive, distribution and reproduction with audio tools (e.g. DAWs, consoles, authoring tools, etc.).

The ADM is a formidable specification and it is intended to define ADM “profiles” as agreed subsets of the ADM, which should be used for specific applications (e.g. production, contribution, distribution, etc.). The EBU’s aim is that these profiles will contain mapping instructions for a defined transcoding between profiles and to commercial delivery formats.
Furthermore, the EBU envisions the wide adoption and integration of the EBU ADM Renderer (EAR, specified in EBU Tech 3388) along the end-to-end chain, with transparent and compatible conversions between ADM profiles and encoder specific interfaces