MPEG-H Audio

Next Generation Audio

© Photo Fraunhofer IIS/Viaframe
© Fraunhofer IIS/Viaframe

Providing interactive, immersive sound for TV, streaming and VR applications

 

Immersive and personalized audio

Hear your home team™: The MPEG-H Audio system delivers enveloping immersive sound and allows consumers to choose between different audio presets or to adjust the dialogue volume.

 

Universal Delivery

Regardless of the device, the MPEG-H Audio system delivers the best sound experience possible  - in the home theatre as well as on smartphones, tablets and Virtual Reality devices.

 

A single technology for all applications

The MPEG-H Audio system is designed to work in streaming systems as well as in existing and future broadcast systems from contribution to emission.

 

Next-generation open audio standard

Fair pricing and an extensive community of open standards developers ensures easy and transparent access and a quick development of a whole ecosystem of devices for professionals as well as for consumers.

 

Ease of use

The MPEG-H Audio system is designed to work with today's streaming and broadcast equipment. The immersive sound features can be played back over any loudspeaker configuration or over headphones.

 

Personalization and audio description offer improved accessibility

With its unique personalization features, the MPEG-H Audio system offers fully user-adjustable dialogue level and customizable audio description, allowing the media consumption experience to be tailored to individual preferences and needs.

Fraunhofer IIS is also committed to making it easier for broadcasters to offer personalization features and to comply with accessibility regulations. Our dialog separation algorithm also enables dialog level adjustment for conventional film material, where the single audio components are non-existent. Automatic audio mixing may be an important step towards making audio descriptions affordable, even for low budget productions, and is a big time-saver for short-term productions. At the same time, the advanced MPEG-H Audio metadata gives broadcasters the possibility to carefully control each feature they offer to their viewers.

Native support of open production formats

The MPEG-H Audio system can ingest Next Generation Audio content using the Audio Definition Model (ADM) according to ITU-R BS.2076 or the Immersive Audio Bitstream (IAB) according to SMPTE ST 2098-2. The MPEG-H ADM Profile provides native interoperability with production and distribution systems for MPEG-H Audio in real-time and post-production workflows. The Fraunhofer ADM Info Tool facilitates automated conformance testing of ADM-based content with respect to ADM profiles supported by the MPEG-H Audio system.

Immersive Music Streaming

MPEG-H Audio powers the new music format 360 Reality Audio, initiated by Sony. This makes it possible for artists and music creators to produce an immersive musical experience by positioning sound sources such as vocals, chorus and instruments in space to perfectly match the creative and artistic intent. When playing back the resulting content, users can enjoy music that immerses them in sound from every direction as intended by the content creator.

First 360 Reality Audio immersive music streaming services from Amazon Music HD, Deezer, nugs.net, Sony Select and TIDAL launched in fall 2019. There are more than 3000 songs from major labels such as Sony Music, Universal Music and Warner Music as well as live concerts offered by Live Nation. The first dedicated 360 Reality Audio playback device is the Amazon Echo Studio premium smart speaker. To play back 360 Reality Audio with headphones, those should be combined with an Android/iOS smartphone that has a participating streaming services app installed.

A prototype for immersive music playback in a car was demonstrated by Fraunhofer, Audi and Sony at the 2019 AES International Conference on Automotive Audio in September 2019. Being able to enjoy popular recording artists’ latest immersive music mixes in any environment and on many 3D audio enabled devices will provide audiences with a seamless immersive experience.

Fraunhofer IIS offers 360 Reality Audio compliant MPEG-H decoders to manufacturers of CE devices.

TV and Streaming Audio

Fraunhofer’s interactive and immersive audio system for TV broadcasting and streaming, based on MPEG-H Audio

 

Hear your home team™: Interactivity offers a personalized listening experience

Our system offers interactivity using MPEG-H’s object coding, which allows viewers to adjust the sound mix to their preferences, boosting hard-to-understand dialogue or creating a “home team“-mix of sports broadcasts. This feature may also be used to efficiently add objects for dialogue in additional languages or VI descriptions to a broadcast, spending only 20-40 kbit/s for each language.

 

Immersive sound offers cinema-like realism

The system may transmit immersive sound with additional front and rear height speaker channels or the Higher-Order Ambisonics sound field technology, improving today’s surround sound broadcasts and streams to provide a truly realistic and immersive audio experience on par with the latest cinema sound systems.

Immersive sound may also be enjoyed with devices such as 3D soundbars, enabling mainstream consumers to experience high-quality immersive audio without the complexity of adding new speakers.

Internet-ready for a great listening experience on every device

The MPEG-H Audio based system offers DASH support for stutter-free streaming and audio I-frames for easy DASH bit stream switching and easy splicing for ad insertion. It includes multi-platform loudness control to provide a tailored experience for a viewer’s device and listening environment.

 

Speaker-foolproof rendering for the best sound from legacy speakers

Improved rendering technologies in the system offer the ability to play any content format on any speaker configuration and may be able to correct for misplaced speakers in the consumer’s listening room. The renderer also offers improved downmix quality by avoiding signal cancellation and may render a limited impression of height without height speakers, for legacy 5.1 or 2.0 consumers.

Standards

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