A portable, handheld, digital audio stream analyzer/generator is an essential piece of test equipment in the broadcast environment. It allows engineers and system integrators to quickly monitor and verify the composition, and integrity of, audio signals at any point from production all the way through the distribution chain.
While the process of testing and troubleshooting audio systems is not new, it is important to employ a solution that supports multiple audio formats, such as PCM and Dolby
® encoded bitstreams, and includes modern interfaces. This allows it to be used everywhere in a broadcast, cable, satellite, or post production facility, and even to verify the signals received by the viewer's home theatre system. A device that enables testing in all these environments is as useful to an audio engineer as a digital multimeter is to an electrician.
The Linear Acoustic® MT2000 Multichannel Bitstream Analyzer is one such solution. It accepts signals via AES, 3GHz SDI, MADI, and DVB-ASI* interfaces, and even supports TOSLINK optical and HDMI* consumer connections. The unit identifies the format of the selected input signal and when appropriate, activates the built-in Dolby E, Dolby Digital or Dolby Digital Plus decoder.
Analysis capabilities include error detection at the AES3 layer and within the coded audio layers, including SMPTE 337 formatting information and Dolby E guard band position. Display of the full set of bitstream configuration and metadata parameters contained within Dolby bitstreams is also a standard feature.
In addition to displaying audio signal statistics and metadata, the MT2000 includes ITU-R BS.1770-1/2/3 loudness measurement with selectable Dolby Dialogue Intelligence to support ATSC A/85 and EBU R128 measurements.
User configurable alerts are supported to monitor for conditions such as: the loudness measurement being either over or under a threshold, the center channel measuring too low, which indicates a possible loss of dialog, silence detection, loss of reference, or other stream error conditions.