Tektronix Feels CALM With Loudness-Monitoring Solution

Tektronix is launching a video-monitoring solution aimed at helping cable and other pay-TV operators comply with the U.S.'s Commercial Advertising Loudness Mitigation (CALM) Act, which mandates that ads be no louder than the programs they surround.

By Dec. 15, the Federal Communications Commission is set to adopt rules enforcing the CALM Act, but has not determined details including whether there should be fines. Cable operators have objected for various reasons, with small and midsize operators saying they may have legal trouble complying depending on how the rules are defined the NCTA arguing MSOs should not be responsible for national ads that they don't insert.

Other vendors offering solutions to operators to comply with CALM include Arris, Dolby Laboratories and Volicon.

Tektronix's Sentry Assure device, specifically designed for CALM compliance, simultaneously monitors hundreds of channels at a time with loudness-detection capabilities and post-splice ad insertion monitoring, which identifies when local ads are not inserted correctly. Sentry Assure also helps operators comply with government regulations for closed captioning with support for the SCTE-608, SCTE-708 and SCTE-20 specifications.

"Variations in content loudness have been a challenge for decades, but because of the CALM Act they could have a costly impact to the bottom line of cable operators," Eben Jenkins, general manager of Tektronix's Video Product Line, said. "We've developed Sentry Assure to give operators what they need to tackle loud ads and to enable them to come into full compliance with CALM Act."

Beaverton, Ore.-based Tektronix obtained the Sentry product family with the May 2010 acquisition of privately held Mixed Signals.