At NAB 2016, Fraunhofer will present the first professional broadcast encoders available to the industry that support MPEG-H Audio. MPEG-H Audio enables immersive and interactive sound in next-generation UHDTV broadcast systems, such as ATSC 3.0.With MPEG-H Audio, broadcasters and streaming services can deliver the future of video streaming and TV audio at comparably low bit rates in a cost-effective manner.
The MPEG-H Audio system is designed to work with today’s broadcast and streaming equipment and is under consideration for the ATSC 3.0 audio standard. Features including object-based and immersive audio allow viewers to adjust the sound mix to suit their preferences, improving the level of realism for the overall audio experience. MPEG-H Audio will also tailor sound for optimal playback on a range of devices and environments, providing “universal delivery”.
Fraunhofer IIS will show real-time encoding and decoding at NAB along with the authoring and rendering of the new TV audio system. A combination of audio/video content will be broadcast to a set-top box for playback for visitors to experience the new interactive and immersive features in a living room environment. Fraunhofer IIS will also demonstrate a new prototype 3D soundbar for convenient playback of 3D sound in any living room without requiring the installation of a 3D loudspeaker setup.
New products have been developed for broadcast and streaming service providers to maximize the benefit of the features of MPEG-H Audio, and the following new products will be on display at the Fraunhofer booth:
Fraunhofer Cingo brings immersive audio to VR devices and applications with a stunning level of realism to create the experience of “being there”. With more than 25 years of experience in the field of audio coding and processing, Fraunhofer IIS is a driving force in the industry in the development and delivery of truly immersive sound on VR devices, smartphones and tablets.
Cingo renders 3D audio content over headphones by incorporating head movements and as a result, sound sources can be perceived from anywhere in the 3D space around the listener. A truly immersive soundscape is of utmost importance in any VR experience and serves as a determining factor in the success of the illusion. The MPEG-H audio standard is the ideal companion for Cingo 3D audio rendering with the ability to deliver immersive 3D sound for virtual environments to mobile devices at bitrates used today for delivery of 2D surround sound. In addition to audio channels, MPEG-H can carry audio objects and higher-order-ambisonics signals. This capability makes it the ideal VR audio codec for user generated and Cinematic VR content, providing a complete toolset of VR audio mastering and mixing plugins from Fraunhofer.
In addition to immersive sound, Cingo also enables an excellent surround sound listening experience over stereo speakers or headphones while providing existing stereo content with a more natural and clear sound. It includes features such as loudness optimization for listening in noisy environments and improves the intelligibility of dialog and commentary. Fraunhofer Cingo is used by industry leaders such as Google in its family of Nexus devices, Samsung Gear VR, LG 360 VR, and in the Hulu VR app.
At NAB 2016 a new easyDCP export module for Final Cut Pro X enables users to directly export DCPs from their timeline.
With more than 1,500 licensees worldwide, Fraunhofer IIS’ easyDCP Software Suite is one of the leading solutions for creation, playback and quality control of digital cinema packages (DCP) and Interoperable Master Format Packages (IMPs) based on ISO and SMPTE standards. At IBC, Fraunhofer IIS will introduce new features including advanced subtitling options for easy quality assurance for multi-language packages, new scaling options for parallel generation of Flat and Scope DCPs from one source and support for QuickTime audio and 30 bit export for video files. Enhanced software algorithms accelerate deconding for the easyDCP Player for real-time display of DCPs and the playback of IMPs at a data rate up to 800 Mbit per second in 2k. Additionally, easyDCP will support a new generation of object-based audio formats. easyDCP is available as a standalone software or as plug-ins for various post-production tools like Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve and Quantel’s Pablo Rio.
Contact: Dr. Heiko Sparenberg, Fraunhofer IIS
Due to popular demand, Fraunhofer IIS encapsulated its light-field technology into plug-ins for The Foundry’s Nuke software suite, allowing movie professionals to take advantage of multi-camera arrays and multi-view processing. Light-field technology exploits recording of several camera views of the same scene from a single shot. Based on the different views, depth maps, virtual camera movements and changes in focus can be realized in post-production, and creative options formerly only possible with CGI, such as enhancements for virtual backlot applications, can be realized for live-action content. Test licenses are available for first professional users.
Contact: Frederik Zilly, Fraunhofer IIS