Wellington-based media strategist Paul Feenstra has authored a white paper titled 'Towards a world-class New Zealand Broadcasting Industry' to highlight the need for audio broadcast standards to create a sustainable New Zealand television industry.
Paul Feenstra says, "The paper highlights the need to create the new standards to solve the problem of volume inconsistencies in broadcast audio, and at the same time improve the technical quality of New Zealand produced media that will help generate more international sales."
Mr Feenstra's vision is that there is no discernable audio difference between locally-produced content and programming produced in the U.S or Europe. "Imagine watching television and hearing consistent programme audio levels: as a viewer, you no longer need to adjust the volume for the loudness variances between channels, programmes, and even commercials."
The creation of a national Broadcast Audio Standard that controls broadcast audio levels will establish an internationally-recognised level of technical expertise, standardise and align New Zealand-produced content to the same criteria that top-level overseas television programmes are produced according to Mr. Feenstra.
"This standard will make our programmes internationally attractive and these will have the potential to be sold to overseas broadcasters and generate revenue and jobs for New Zealand. The standard will also improve the skill level of local technical operators, enforce technical quality control and can even reduce post-production costs of making a TV show. It will help our international footprint," says Mr. Feenstra.
Other nations are facing similar challenges. Australia and the U.K recognise that advances in digital television broadcasting require technical parameters to be redefined. The USA has already implemented new laws to govern loudness variances. New Zealand's small size makes it an ideal candidate to unify our own industry and enable us to collaborate with other countries to create ownership of an international Audio Broadcasting Standard.
Mr. Feenstra, an Emmy nominated entertainment industry veteran with over 24 years' experience working in Hollywood, relocated back to New Zealand in 2009 after a very successful career in the US. He encourages people in the industry to make contact, ask questions and offer support.
The white paper 'Towards a world-class New Zealand Broadcasting Industry' is available online: http://www.shinegroup.co.nz/