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Auracast Broadcast Audio - Bluetooth LE (ALS) technology as IFB discussion


PCMsoundie
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Will this change how IATSE feature film and Episodics handle IFBs on the set? No.

Indie films, documentaries, corporate & smaller productions? Yes.

 

Just announced by Bluetooth spec group's multi-stream audio called Auracast™ broadcast audio enables an audio transmitter, such as a smartphone, laptop, television, or public address system to broadcast audio to an unlimited number of nearby Bluetooth audio receivers, including speakers, earbuds, or hearing devices/next-generation assistive listening system (ALS) technology.

Auracast will allow a single audio transmitting device to broadcast to an unlimited number of nearby receiving devices.
share audio with other listeners and even receive broadcast transmissions in airports, museums, auditoriums, and more.
Hearing Loss Association of America have already said that they are going to support the new standard. [Hearing aid industry as Bluetooth Auracast transmitter vendors]
https://www.bluetooth.com/blog/just-announced-auracast-broadcast-audio-a-new-feature-of-le-audio/

Augmented/Assistive Listening
Auracast broadcast audio will function as a high quality, low-cost, next-generation assistive listening system (ALS)
https://www.bluetooth.com/auracast/assistive-listening/

specs:
Your Bluetooth 5.2 device is about to be able to listen in to Auracast broadcasts,
Bluetooth Low Energy (Bluetooth LE, colloquially BLE) , Bluetooth 5 connection range to up to 240m.  LC3 audio codec @ 48KHz audio streams to 192Kbps

Quote

In order to use the Auracast™ trademarks in promoting services available at your location, you will need to meet the licensing requirements detailed in the Public Location Brand Guide for Auracast™ Trademarks, which will include registering your location with the Bluetooth SIG.


https://www.bluetooth.com/auracast/public-locations/

Quote

public uses—like, say, a theater in which everyone has headphones—as well as private ones: users will be able to create closed audio feeds protected via passcode.

How join an Auracast™ broadcast on a mobile phone?
A simple scan of a QR code will allow you to join an Auracast™ broadcast effortlessly.
[Think a QR code shown shown discretely to the crewmember at the sound cart]

 

Let's discuss the pros and cons of this for film/TV set use.

security? possibly unauthorized recording of the sound mix leaked, script/plot leaks from it.

 

Would a production company buy a transmitter and expect crew to use their own mobile phones? maybe on a smaller production like a 4 week non-union indie film. Expect to hear of a film doing this in 2023.

Would the Sound dept maintain Auracast transmitter equipment for production? and also lose out on IFB rentals? Possibly.

Would we have to put in a Deal Memo that we are not liable of unauthorized recording of the sound mix leaked, script/plot leaks from use of it?

RF conflicts with other Bluetooth 2.4Ghz bandwidth onset? possibly.

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Very interesting. Bluetooth 5.2 was already pretty impressive, in terms of range, quality and power draw. Curious how reliable multi-receiver use will be. Is the delay still around ~250ms ? Can't find info on it. 

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This will be nice for indies / docs where you are out running about and that field producer just wants to listen to what's going on with their airpods.  But yeah, IFB's are not going anywhere like you said.

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There's certainly a cost/benefit ratio of not needing to supply comtek/IFBs – If the transmitter is reasonably priced, and "professional" enough, I could see myself getting one and charging to deploy it on set for the agency folks to all connect. Since I don't need to worry about supplying additional headsets or tracking them down at wrap that could save me a lot of grief on set (even though the IFBs basically just print money for me, since clients want them and they're already paid off)

 

What I don't want (and what I'm sure it would turn into) is being tech support for everyone having issues connecting their phone/headphones/whatever to the transmitter.

 

My gear is already pre-configured and when I hand it to them, I know it's already set up and ready. So for the $50/per they're also getting my time, effort, and knowledge for setting them up with something I stand behind.

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