Deliver for HBO Max

Hi everyone,

Has someone worked delivering for HBO Max? Because they send to us two documents with specifications for audio delivery and I’m a little bit confused.

The first says:
Audio levels: the dialogues should be maintained between -16 dbFS and -24 dbFS.
Dialog (RMS/VU): -24dBFS to -20dBFS (-4 VU to 0 VU) Average: -27dBFS a -18dBFS (-7 VU a +2 VU)
Peak: -5dBFS

And the second one says:
Content must conform to either ITU-1770-3 (for US content deliveries) or EBU R 128-2020 (for content deliveries outside of the US).
For EBU R 128-2020, target audio loudness must conform with:

  • Program Loudness Level must be normalized to a Target Level of −23.0 LUFS ±1db.
  • True Peak Level of a program must not exceed −1 dBTP.

And I’m having a very hard time “compatibilizing” both. (I think we should stick to the second one).

Any advice? Thanks in advance.

If your material is to be distributed outside the US (and inside the US)… you’d use the EBU standard. Otherwise the ITU standard for stuff only distributed inside the US, which is higher in level overall, by 1 dB.

Program loudness level = AVG level, not peak. dBTP Decibels true peak (digital peak.) This is for the entire program, not just voice.

Hopefully someone else can chime in, if they have had experience specifically with HBO.

Thanks for answering noeq!

But I’m aware of what you pointed. My main concern was compatibilize one requirement with another.
The mix is for a TV drama serie, with direct sound (captured on location). When I target for -23LUFS it’s very hard to keep dialogs between -16dbFS and -24dbFS without compromise every other sound of the take, specially considering dialogs aren’t dubbed and there’s no budget for foley nor time to do it. Yeah, I know, not ideal at all…
Anyway, as I said in the first post, I was thinking to ignore the first document, so we did and we focused on target for -23LUFS and we pass the test file with 0 warnings 0 errors. So we are happy!
Thanks again for your answer.