Dolby isn't the only company tackling the problem of wayward volume levels on TV broadcasts: Audyssey Laboratories, perhaps best known for its MultEQ automatic set-up system used in AV receivers, is launching its own Dynamic Volume technology.

This, it says, 'frees listeners from the disruptive changes in volume levels while watching movies, and when broadcast material changes between television shows and commercials'. It expects to see the system rolled out into consumer products during the coming year.

Audyssey Dynamic Volume has been developed after extensive research directed by the company's Chief Science Officer, Tomlinson Holman (left) - yes, the original 'TH' in THX! . This involved the analysis of volume adjustment patterns of everyone from consumers to professional recording engineers, and from living rooms to calibrated cinemas.

The company says that the system uses 'advanced audio signal processing technology that operates in both time and frequency domains. The spectral content in individual channels is continuously monitored in order to maintain constant volume for stereo and surround sound.

'Audyssey Dynamic EQ loudness compensation technology is also integrated to make sure the correct frequency response and surround impression is maintained, compensating for the human ear's lower sensitivity to bass, treble and surround sounds as volume levels decrease.

'The result is a comfortable, predictable level of volume, producing clear dialogue while maintaining the full dynamics as they were intended. Dynamic Volume also efficiently monitors rapid and gradual dynamic variations in volume levels, thereby preventing artifacts commonly produced by traditional compressor methods.'

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