Hear the future of television audio featured by the MPEG-H Audio Alliance
At CES 2015, visitors to the Fraunhofer IIS booth will be able to experience the progress being made in building a new audio system for future TV standards based on the recently completed open MPEG-H Audio standard.
To make MPEG-H Audio a reality, the three industry leaders Fraunhofer IIS, Qualcomm Technologies and Technicolor have formed the MPEG-H Audio Alliance. Each one contributes key technical elements as well as long-standing expertise within their market segments. The combined experience and broad-market presence represented by these three companies has not only been critical in developing MPEG-H, but also provides the foundation for successfully bringing exciting new audio features to market.
The system includes object-based audio that allows viewers to adjust the sound mix to their preferences, boosting hard-to-understand dialogue or creating a “home team“-mix of sports broadcasts. Immersive sound may be carried using a traditional channel-based approach or using Higher-Order Ambisonics technology.
Fraunhofer IIS will feature a real-time hardware prototype with the ability to encode audio for live broadcasts from stereo up to 3D sound in 7.1+4 H format with additional tracks for interactive objects including commentary in several languages, ambient sound or sound effects.
Fraunhofer’s real-time system is comprised of:
- real-time encoder for contribution from outside broadcasts to the studio, where a professional decoder recovers the uncompressed audio for further editing and mixing;
- real-time encoder for emission to consumers - over the Internet for new media use or for trials of upcoming over-the-air broadcast systems such as ATSC 3.0;
- professional decoder used to monitor the emission encoder's output.
Another highlight at Fraunhofer’s booth is the conceptual prototype of a “3D sound bar”, enabling mainstream consumers to experience high quality immersive audio without the complexity of adding new speakers.
Fraunhofer Cingo – An immersive sound experience on mobile devices
With Fraunhofer Cingo your mobile devices become true multidimensional sound theaters. Plug in your earphones or use the built-in stereo speakers for enveloping sound when enjoying movies, games or any other virtual environment.
Not only does Cingo enable an excellent surround sound listening experience over stereo speakers or headphones, it also provides existing stereo content with a more natural and clear sound. What’s more, Fraunhofer Cingo supports rendering of 3D audio content with formats that add a height dimension to the sound image, such as 9.1, 11.1 or other channel configurations. In addition, Cingo includes loudness optimization for listening in noisy environments and improves the intelligibility of dialog and commentary.
The Google Nexus family of devices uses Cingo for an enhanced listening experience when playing back content in stereo or surround. Cingo is also part of the Samsung Gear VR, creating the ultimate mobile virtual reality experience by delivering 3D spatial sound that incorporates head movements.
Preview: Enhanced Voice Services
Enhanced Voice Services (EVS) is the next-generation 3GPP communications codec designed specifically for Voice over LTE (VoLTE) services. EVS enables phone calls with Full-HD Voice quality, bringing call fidelity up to the same level with today’s other digital media services. The technology combines coding of speech, music and mixed content with the full audible audio spectrum at unmatched low bit rates. This results in clear and natural sounding conversations, previously unachieved in mobile communications services.
HE-AAC – Google’s Choice for Surround Audio on Android and Android TV
At CES, Fraunhofer IIS will present High-Efficiency Advanced Audio Coding (HE-AAC), the global standard for streaming surround audio. Since Android version 4.1, HE-AAC is the only native surround sound codec in the world’s most popular mobile operating system, and Google selected HE-AAC Multichannel to provide its Google Play movies in true 5.1 surround sound. Recently, Google extended its use of HE-AAC Multichannel to Android TV and is now offering Google Play Movies with HE-AAC 5.1 sound on Android mobile and Android TV devices including the new Nexus Player from Asus.
In addition to Android OS, HE-AAC 5.1 is now natively supported in iOS, Fire OS, Windows Phone, Mac OS X and Windows. It is also supported in all leading HTML5 browsers and streaming devices such as PS4, Xbox One, Chromecast and Fire TV.