Feature-Rich Pro-Grade Loudness Meters Prove to Be Practical Administration Solution
COLOGNE, GERMANY, 17 OCTOBER 2013—RTW, a leading vendor of visual audio meters for professional broadcast, production, post production and quality control, has delivered 145 TM3 TouchMonitor units to German broadcaster WDR, Europe’s second-largest broadcaster after the BBC. The units, which WDR has installed in its regional studios and editing suites, enable the broadcaster to comply with EBU R128 loudness metering.
With the development of EBU R128, the audio metering reference has shifted from PPM to loudness, with a peak level (QPPM) of –9 dBFS to a loudness target of –23 LUFS (Loudness Unit Full Scale). Since August 2012, when all German broadcasters agreed to implement EBU R128-compliant loudness metering, WDR has employed a large number of TM7 and TM9 units. Installing the TM3 for EBU R128-compliant loudness metering in smaller editing suites was a natural next step.
WDR opted for the TM3, the smallest member of the TouchMonitor family, because it offers not only PPM and true-peak meters, but also supports all current loudness metering functions compliant with the major international standards (including EBU R128, ITU-R BS.1770-3/1771, ATSC A/85 and ARIB) for up to six channels. The broadcaster also liked that the TM3 could display measurements by single channels, summing bar graphs, loudness range or numerically, with the capability of separating displays as needed for easy viewing by multiple users. The TM3’s flexibility and easy-to-use setup software, which offers customizable administrative support, was also a factor in its purchase.
“The display provides excellent readability and the software offers great views for a large number of applications,” says Friedrich Neher, head of the master unit service group at WDR. “In addition, the similarity to the TM7 and TM9 units already in use at WDR was an attractive point. Also, we liked the idea of using the TM3 as a standalone device. The separation of the display unit and the breakout box were critical, as this considerably increases the flexibility compared to competing products.”
Martin Leuenberg, head of sales at RTW, also noted that while plug-in solutions might seem like a realistic alternative, they have two major drawbacks. “First, any user can change presets or the setup. Second, this would have added another GUI to an already cluttered screen area,” he says. “While you might think that an integrated plug-in would ensure clarity, it comes at the cost of precious display area.”
As freelancers and full-time employees share the same work areas at WDR, the company requires a powerful administration solution to ensure seamless workflows. The Devicer DC1 setup software component for the TM3 allows for preset customization, allowing users to configure administration rights for the application, making sure that only authorized employees can change the setup.
RTW’s TM3 TouchMonitor comprises a horizontally or vertically mounted display unit for easy readability along with a separate interface box. The meter handles analog (balanced or unbalanced) as well as digital stereo signals (AES, S/PDIF). The TM3-6CH version accepts up to six AES3 input signals. The easy-to-use interface ensures fast and intuitive touch operation. The supplied factory presets provide a good set of samples for the supported applications, connection options and standards, and also allow for out-of-the-box operation. Plus, the existing presets can be customized easily using the Devicer DC1 software for Windows and Mac OS.
WDR in Cologne, with a broadcast center in Düsseldorf, eleven regional studios, and five regional offices concerns itself with dependable reporting on the current topics of interest in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Events of the day from around the world are chronicled on WDR Television in reports from ARD Network studios in 29 foreign nations. The operation of eight of these correspondent’s offices is the direct responsibility of WDR.
Renowned for its top-quality regional, national and international journalistic excellence, the WDR trademark stands for up-to-the-minute, knowledgeable, and reliable reporting. In addition to news and current affairs, entertainment and cultural programs are also important elements of the programming presented on WDR radio, television, and via the internet at www.wdr.de.
For more than 45 years, Cologne-based RTW has accompanied the steady technological progress in the professional audio industry with innovative instruments and technologies for visual audio monitoring in broadcast, production, post production and quality control. Its state-of-the-art audio and loudness metering systems have an excellent reputation throughout the world. With groundbreaking products such as the Surround Sound Analyzer, the company has been a key vendor of professional broadcast and audio metering equipment for decades.
RTW’s ranges of products currently include the SurroundControl series for monitoring, controlling and routing stereo, multichannel and surround audio and the TouchMonitor range, which truly marks a paradigm shift in visual audio monitoring and loudness metering. Combining maximum flexibility and modularity with an intuitive touch-enabled surface and multichannel signal analysis, the TM7 and TM9 units are the essence of many years of experience. The attractively priced TouchMonitor TM3 entry-level system opens new markets, targeting applications such as journalist cubicles, edit suites and small control rooms.
As part of its expansion into the U.S. market, in 2013 RTW established RTW International Corp. in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The new office is the first U.S. location launched by RTW, showing the company’s dedication to supporting its customers and dealer networks in the U.S. The new U.S. office will house all customer service, repair and final product assembly activities for U.S.-based RTW customers.