Fraunhofer IIS, Qualcomm and Technicolor to Demonstrate the World’s First Live Broadcast of MPEG-H Interactive and Immersive TV Audio
Demonstrations at NAB 2015 showcased new TV audio system for ATSC 3.0 and Internet streaming in a complete broadcast chain showing live sports and music productions
2015 NAB Show
Fraunhofer IIS, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. (“QTI”), and Technicolor, the three major technology companies behind the MPEG-H Audio standard, demonstrated this new technology at the NAB 2015 conference in Las Vegas this week. In two separate venues, the companies offered the world’s first live broadcast demonstration of their new immersive and interactive TV audio system currently proposed for ATSC 3.0 and being developed for over-the-top streaming video services.
“Qualcomm Technologies collaborated on the development and supports the new MPEG-H standard, and is taking important steps towards widespread distribution of HOA and MPEG-H audio across a range of consumer devices”
MPEG-H Audio is designed to offer broadcasters a cost-effective means to elevate the sound quality of their offerings beyond 5.1 surround while incorporating groundbreaking new interactive and immersive features across the full range of modern viewing devices from high-end home theaters, to tablets, smartphones, and sound bars.
MPEG-H Audio Live Broadcast Demonstration
The end-to-end live production demonstration at the Fraunhofer booth incorporated a live audio feed from a remote truck combined with recorded programming from video servers at the network. The process for distributing the new, live content to affiliate stations, inserting local commercials and emission to viewers’ living rooms was included in the demo.
Aside from the Fraunhofer prototype audio/video encoders and decoders and a Jünger Audio monitoring unit, all of the equipment in the demonstration is unmodified broadcast equipment used in TV plants and remote trucks today.
The system is based on the new MPEG-H Audio international standard. It offers viewers the ability to choose different audio presentations, such as “home team” or “away team” commentary for a sports event, or volume control over specific audio elements in a program – such as dialogue or sound effects. Viewers are also able to experience immersive sound over loudspeakers, new 3D soundbars, tablet computer speakers, and headphones. Additionally, it is a true multi-screen audio system that tailors playback so programs sound best on a range of devices and environments – from quiet home theaters with speakers to the subway or airport with earbuds.
All of these features will be under the control of the broadcaster or content distributor, providing new creative opportunities, such as the ability to efficiently add additional languages, players, or official microphones, or, as the three companies have demonstrated, car to pit crew radios at races.
“This system has grown from our pioneering work on Dialogue Enhancement years ago and our early work in immersive sound, as well as our 15 years of providing half the world’s TV sound. In November 2013, we presented the idea of a football game where you could Hear Your Home Team™ and adjust audio elements of a program to your preference. We have progressed to a full, live implementation of the audio path from the field of play at a sports event to the listener’s ears at home or mobile," said Robert Bleidt, Division General Manager at Fraunhofer USA Digital Media Technologies.
“At Technicolor we are proud to contribute our Scene Based Audio Higher-Order Ambisonics technology to this great opportunity for broadcasters,” said Claude Gagnon, SVP, Content Solutions & Industry Relations. “We continue to invest in the creative community to develop a rich ecosystem for the Film and the Broadcast industry.”
The demonstration included prototypes of new consumer devices supporting MPEG-H, including a Technicolor set-top box, Samsung pre-production prototype TV, and Texas Instruments-based audio-video receiver.
MPEG-H Scene-Based, 4TH Order HOA Audio Demonstration Over 7 PCM channels
In addition, Qualcomm Technologies demonstrated an end-to-end simulated live broadcast of immersive, scene-based MPEG-H audio. Every stage of a live Higher Order Ambisonic (HOA) production was demonstrated: from capture of a live 3D musical performance, through efficient transport through a TV plant (NoC to affiliate), an emission encoder (MPEG-H) to playback on consumer devices with various speaker configurations.
"Qualcomm Technologies collaborated on the development and supports the new MPEG-H standard, and is taking important steps towards widespread distribution of HOA and MPEG-H audio across a range of consumer devices,” said Samir Gupta, Vice President, Engineering, Qualcomm Technologies. “Given Qualcomm Technologies’ technology leadership in 4K UHD video and now with MPEG-H audio, Qualcomm Technologies continues to drive innovations that can deliver unprecedented mobile multimedia experiences to consumers.”
As people across the globe consume more and more content on their mobile device, Qualcomm is committed to advancing multimedia and broadcast experiences.
About Fraunhofer IIS
When it comes to advanced audio technologies for the rapidly evolving media world, Fraunhofer IIS stands alone. For more than 25 years, digital audio technology has been the principal focus of the Audio and Multimedia division. From the creation of mp3 and the co-development of AAC to the future of audio entertainment for broadcast, Fraunhofer IIS brings innovations in sound to reality. Fraunhofer IIS technologies enable more than 8 billion devices worldwide. The audio codec implementations are licensed to more than 1,000 companies. Fraunhofer IIS is based in Erlangen, Germany, and is an institute of Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Europe’s largest applied research organization with over 23,000 employees. For more information visit: www.iis.fraunhofer.de/audio.
Qualcomm Incorporated is a world leader in 3G, 4G and next-generation wireless technologies. Qualcomm Incorporated includes Qualcomm’s licensing business, QTL, and the vast majority of its patent portfolio. Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, operates, along with its subsidiaries, substantially all of Qualcomm’s engineering, research and development functions, and substantially all of its products and services businesses, including its semiconductor business, QCT. For more than 25 years, Qualcomm ideas and inventions have driven the evolution of digital communications, linking people everywhere more closely to information, entertainment and each other. For more information visit: www.qualcomm.com and www.qualcomm.com/mpegh-scene-based-audio.
Technicolor, a worldwide technology leader in the media and entertainment sector, is at the forefront of digital innovation. The company’s world class research and innovation laboratories leads the market in delivering advanced video services to content creators and distributors. Technicolor is the beneficiary of an extensive intellectual property portfolio focused on imaging and sound technologies, based on a thriving licensing business. The company is committed to supporting the delivery of exciting new experiences for consumers in theaters, homes and on-the-go. For more information, visit: www.technicolor.com.
For Fraunhofer IIS
Matthias Rose, +49 160 474 28 27
Carla Trancoso, +44 (0)207 075 7808
For Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.
Tara Sims, +1 415-713-5986
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