PRSS to Remove 6 dB Boost in February

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The PRSS plans to make a change in the audio levels of the programs it distributes to stations. Specifically, a 6 decibel (dB) boost, which was added by the PRSS to analog and digital outputs a year ago, is going to be eliminated. This action has different implications for stations depending on how they use their IDC SFX 4104 Pro Audio receivers' analog, AES and Livewire ports.

The cessation of the 6 dB boost is scheduled to occur on Thursday, February 26. A detailed schedule of this action will be shared with the system well in advance.

The boost removal action is being taken alongside the PRSS' issuance of a new broadcast loudness standard. At some point in the coming months, the PRSS will begin monitoring all program levels and will notify producers whose content does not meet the standard. Before this can occur, however, the levels emanating from the two digital outputs (AES and Livewire) must match. In addition, removing the boost will provide producers with sufficient audio "head room" when incorporating the new PRSS standard.

Important note - When the PRSS removes the 6 dB boost, stations will have to manually adjust their receivers' livewire port to compensate for the decibel takeaway. Most stations using the receivers' AES and/or analog ports will be able to compensate externally for the level change. An illustrate guide for manually adjusting an SFX 4104 Pro Audio receivers' Livewire port can be found on the PRSS website at http://prss.org/technical-documents (Click the top link titled "Resetting the Livewire attenuation in an SFX 4104 Receiver").

There will be several system messages sent out in advance of this change. The PRSS is committed to ensuring that all stations are prepared for this action, and the PRSS Help Desk will be briefed to handle questions about the 6 dB action. You can reach the Help Desk at prsshelp@npr.org or call 800.971.7677.

 

Posted: December 18, 2014