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Arris Hushes Up Shrill TV Ads

With obnoxiously loud TV ads soon to be
outlawed, Arris has added an audio-normalization
feature to its line of VIPr Transcoder/Re-Encoder

Congress earlier this
month passed the Commercial
Loudness Mitigation
(CALM) Act, which would
direct the Federal Communications
to regulate commercial
volume in accordance
with the Advanced Television Systems Committee’s
A/85 recommended practices adopted last November.
The legislation would give cable operators and broadcasters
one year from the law’s adoption to comply.

The Arris VIPr family of encoders — which
provide HD compression, ad splicing and MPEG-
4-to-MPEG-2 t ranscoding capabilities — now
include what the company says is a ready-todeploy
solution for toning down loud ads.

“We have come up with a way to [monitor average audio
levels] more efficiently and faster,” Arris vice president
of engineering for digital video systems Santhana
Chari said.

VIPr’s audio normalization incorporates a patentpending
feature that continuously measures and calculates
a running average of the audio levels in the
video stream. If the audio level of a subsequent advertisement
is significantly higher than the program audio,
the VIPr will adjust
relevant parameters in
the advertisement’s audio
bit stream, instructing the
set-top box to reduce the
audio levels to approximately
the same level as
the program audio.

Suwanee, Ga.-based Arris
acquired key assets of
EGT, including the VIPr
encoder product line, last
year for $6.5 million.