Digital Alert Systems Unveils Solution for Addressing Latest FCC Rules on Message Audio

Digital Alert Systems (DAS) will show a new digital Audio Management System (AMS) that helps broadcasters ensure that they comply with 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) rules and the FCC’s Message Audio mandate on both the main and SAP audio streams.

The DAS AMS incorporates the new DAS Audio Message Controller (AMC) and the company’s MultiPlayer audio player and program switcher, tightly integrated in a new solution that supports message aggregation, text-to-speech (TTS) functionality, and proper message audio on both main and SAP audio streams.

Bill Robertson, vice president of business development at DAS, said that by leveraging functionality from the MultiPlayer solution along with innovative software tools from the company’s DASDEC EAS systems, they now offer a powerful and economical means to aggregate emergency information and provide audio playout, switching, and signaling on multiple channels.

“We've also made it simple, enabling users to manage compliance with just one system rather than using a variety of boxes,” he said.

The new FCC requirements governing emergency message audio will apply to all televisions stations providing emergency information that is not part of a newscast or Emergency Alert Systems (EAS) message. Under the rules, television stations must provide audio description in the secondary audio program (SAP) channel that corresponds to any "emergency information" appearing on the main channel. Any crawls or text displays on the main channel — information such as weather alerts and school closings — that are not actual newscasts or EAS alerts must be "voiced" on the SAP channel.

Broadcasters also must insert an “attention” signal or tone on the main channel to indicate that emergency audio is available on the secondary channel. Easy to configure, operate, and modify, the DAS AMS addresses all of these aspects of compliance including comprehensive logging and reporting.

The DAS AMS aggregates information from a variety of sources, converts the text information to audio using a high-quality TTS converter, prepares it for playback on the different audio channels, and then—via a Web-based user interface—provides audio and triggering signals on all configured channels. The system supports multiple channels of AES and/or analog audio switching and playback, and it offers three playback modes: manual, automatic, and triggered playback. Because the TTS lexicon is customizable, broadcasters can adapt it to ensure accurate "pronunciation" of difficult or colloquial location names or phrases.

The DAS AMS will be available at a price of $4,495, complete with one TTS voice. In the future, DAS will make additional voices available for addition to the system at a nominal cost.

DAS will exhibit at NAB 2015 in booth N4816.

Let us know what you think…

Log-in or Register for free to post comments…

You might also like...

ZombieLoad And Other Things That Go Bump In The Night

May 14, 2019 may not have seemed a particularly important date for those who edit and color grade on Mac’s and PC’s. But it was. By chance, that day I went looking for the May Windows 10 Feature Update (1903). I was sur…

The Move Towards Next Generation Platforms

Whenever I’m asked about my opinion on the transition to IP, I always state that the impact can’t be appreciated until its history is understood. This brings into context the need for broadcasters to educate and surround themselves wit…

Essential Guide: Immersive Audio Pt 3 - Immersive Audio Objects

Immersive audio transforms the listening environment to deliver a mesmerizing and captivating experience for a wide range of audiences and expansive group of genres.

Taming The Virtualized Beast

Without doubt, virtualization is a key technological evolution focus and it will empower many broadcast and media organizations to work differently, more efficiently and more profitably.

Loudness for Audio Producers

Wild variations in the levels of program audio has long been a problem for broadcast outlets. Due to controversy over varying audio levels, governments have forced broadcasters to specify specific loudness levels for all programming. In this article, we’ll l…