Re: [LEAPSECS] DRM broadcast disrupted by leap seconds

From: Peter Bunclark <>
Date: Mon, 21 Jul 2003 07:42:09 +0100 (BST)

On Sat, 19 Jul 2003, Markus Kuhn wrote:
> All modern digital broadcast transmission systems introduce significant
> delays due to compression and coding. It is therefore common practice
> today that the studio clocks run a few seconds (say T = 10 s) early, and
> then the signal is delayed by digital buffers between the studio and the
> various transmitter chains for T minus the respective transmission and
> coding delay. This way, you can achieve that both analog terrestrial and
> digital satellite transmissions have rather synchronous audio and video.
> Otherwise, your neigbor would already cheer in from of his analogue TV
> set, while you still hear on DRM the "live" report about the football
> player aproaching the goal.
But that's exactly what does happen, analog TV is ahead of digital, often
leading to asynchronous cheering coming from different parts of the house.
> There are a couple of problem though with delayed "live":
> - One is with the BBC. They insist for nostalgic reasons to transmit
> the Big Bang sound live, which cannot be run 10 seconds early in
> sync with the studio clock.
> - Another are live telephone conversations with untrained members of the
> radio audience who run a loud receiver next to the phone. The delay
> eliminates the risk of feedback whisle, but it now ads echo and
> human confusion. The former can be tackled with DSP techniques, the
> latter is more tricky.
But then there's often a deliberate delay introduced so the editor can
push the cut-off button on the first f....

> - The third problem is that in the present generation of digital
> radio receivers (DAB, DRM, WorldSpace, etc.), the authors of the
> spec neglected to standardize the exact buffer delay in the receiver.
Intestingly, I have noticed Radio 5 live is synchronous or even slightly
ahead of analogue on Digital Terrestial. I put it down to relatively
instantaneous compression/decompression of audio cf video streams.
(NICAM is near-instantaneous on 15-year old technology)

Received on Sun Jul 20 2003 - 23:42:35 PDT

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