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Impactful Live-Tweeting Strategies We Saw From the First Round of the Democratic Debates

June 27 2019 by Tina Nazerian

2020 Democratic Candidates Debate - Night No. 1 - 09_02_34 PM                                                                                                                                                          Photo Credit: SnapStream 

The race for the 2020 presidential election is well underway. Ten candidates took the stage in Miami on Wednesday night for the first round of the Democratic debates. While the candidates wrangled their thoughts and policy positions, news outlets were hard at work capturing every interesting comment and meme-able reaction. Here are some impactful live-tweeting strategies the SnapStream team saw some of our media customers use Wednesday night. 

 

Let One Reporter Take Over Your Twitter Account

BuzzFeed News streamlined its live-tweeting of the first round of Democratic Debates by letting reporter Ryan Brooks, who covers the Democrats, take over its Twitter account. Brooks quickly delivered some great content to the 1.3 million Twitter accounts that follow BuzzFeed News. 

 

 

Capture and Caption Funny Moments

When Beto O’Rourke started speaking Spanish to answer his first question, many people noticed Cory Booker’s reaction. The Daily Show instantly grabbed the perfect image of the moment, added a hilarious caption, and put it on Twitter. The post has been liked more than 60,000 times, and retweeted more than 11,000 times. 

 

 


Enhance Your Video Clips with Analysis

Politico also tweeted about O’Rourke speaking Spanish for part of his first response. But rather than focusing on Booker’s reaction, the organization took a different approach. It tweeted out a video clip of the moment, and added quotes from two of its staff members above the video. Politico’s Twitter followers not only got to immediately watch the scene on their devices, but they also got to read two very different takes on it. The video has gotten over 35,000 views. 

 

Tonight, 10 other Democratic candidates will have their turn. Which live-tweeting strategies will your team use? 


SnapStream makes TV social. Our technology lets users instantly capture, create, and share quality video clips, GIFs, and images to a variety of social media platforms, including Twitter and Facebook. 

Loudness Compliance and the CALM Act: What You Need to Know

June 17 2019 by Tina Nazerian

calm act - loudness compliance - sound-waves-and-human-ear-1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Pixsooz/Shutterstock

While watching TV, have you ever heard the volume increase when your show jumped to a commercial break?

The volume increase could have been the result of systems that hadn’t normalized the content based on the loudness.

Citing industry officials, the Los Angeles Times reported that due to the switch to digital TV in the United States in 2009, “the higher fidelity sound made the commercials seem even louder.” In 2006, the ITU-R had created a loudness algorithm (referred to as BS.1770-#, which nowadays has five variants) to help make sure commercials were not blaringly louder than the programs they were accompanying.

That algorithm makes “Loudness Units relative to Full Scale” (LUFS), also known as “Loudness, K-weighted, relative to Full Scale” (LKFS). LKFS is technically an amplitude level, but it’s not just the measure of an electrical signal. It’s an attempt to measure how humans perceive the loudness of broadcast audio.

graph

This graph represents the filter applied to the raw audio input so it can be adjusted to compensate for how humans perceive the loudness of different frequencies. K-weighting is part of the equation used to determine the LKFS value. It has two parts— the first is weighting different frequencies based on how loud they’re perceived. The second is modeled after the “acoustic effect” of the human head.

Here’s an analogy to help you understand LKFS: audio level is to LKFS what temperature is to wind chill temperature (or heat index). Humans don’t perceive low frequencies as sounding as loud as they actually are, but they perceive high pitched sounds to be louder than they actually are. That’s why high pitched sounds have a higher K-weighting.  

The loudness algorithm the ITU-R created was not implemented in the United States until a few years later. In 2010, Congress passed the CALM Act. The law came into effect on December 13, 2012. It stipulates that the audio of TV commercials can’t be higher than the TV program they’re accompanying. The law only applies to television commercials—it does not apply to radio or internet commercials.

For compliance, the law points broadcasters, cable operators, satellite TV providers, and other multichannel video programming distributors to the ATSC A/85 RP.

A/85 RP stipulates the use of ITU-R BS.1770-1 in the United States. It also recommends the adoption of a fixed target loudness of -24 LKFS. Annex I.7 of the ATSC A/85 RP states that there should be a fixed target loudness of -24 LKFS, + or - 2 dB.

A/85 RP also notes requirements other than loudness, one example being dialnorm. Dialnorm means “dialogue normalization.” Dialnorm specifies the average dialogue level for audio in absolute terms. Say you’re going from your main program to a commercial. The main program features soft-spoken people, whereas the commercial features loud people. On playback, the consumer receiver would automatically modulate the low dialogue up, and the loud dialogue down.

dialnorm1

A visual representation of how dialnorm works with a consumer cable box.

Luckily, as Dave Moulton wrote in TV Technology, if you’re using dialnorm, “you don’t need to worry very much about LKFS, because properly implemented dialnorm will pretty much take care of it for you.”

It’s important to stay on the right side of the CALM Act. If viewers complain to the FCC about your organization’s loudness level, and the FCC notices a pattern of complaints, it will start an inquiry or investigation for your organization. If there is an investigation, you’ll have to spend time proving that your equipment, and how you’ve maintained it, is in line with the law. If you don’t show actual or ongoing compliance in response to the inquiry or investigation, you may have to pay a fine.

Having a record of exactly what your programming sounded like when it aired will save you hassle and frustration. You will quickly be able to gather evidence and respond to viewer complaints.


SnapStream recently made a deal with Verizon to take over where Volicon left off to provide TV stations, networks, and other broadcasters solutions for logging and monitoring loudness compliance. To learn more, visit https://www.snapstream.com/broadcast-monitoring-and-compliance.

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