ITU creates new loudness standard

The ITU has created a new standard on audio levels for broadcast TV aimed at ending irritating variations in sound volume between programmes and advertising breaks.

Entitled Operational practices for Loudness in the International Exchange of Digital Television programmes, a draft recommendation will now be submitted to national telecommunications administrations for approval.

The new standard complements existing recommendation ITU-R BS.1770, which describes features of the ‘loudness meter’ that should be used by broadcasters to measure loudness, according to the ITU. Work is underway to enhance this recommendation with ‘gating functions’ to eliminate periods of silence or low-level signals that do not contribute to the perceived loudness of a programme, and this should be advanced at the next meeting of ITU-R Study Group 6 in April, said the ITU.