MPEG-H 3D Audio is the first next generation audio system worldwide used in a regular broadcast: Since May 2017, it is part of the regular commercial terrestrial 4K TV service in South Korea. In China, MPEG-H 3D Audio has been selected as candidate solution for China’s next generation 3D audio standard by the AVS 3D Audio Working Group.
At CCBN 2018, we will demonstrate an end-to-end MPEG-H TV Audio System live chain in cooperation with domestic and global partners that provide ready-to-use professional broadcast equipment supporting MPEG-H. In particular, we show real-time authoring and monitoring systems and a first Chinese encoder. We also present an MPEG-H enabled Digital Audio Workstation (DAW).
On the consumer side, visitors can experience the truly immersive sound of MPEG-H 3D Audio from a 3D audio soundbar incorporating a MPEG-H decoder. The soundbar transforms any living room into an immersive sound stage, without the need to install a 3D loudspeaker setup.
In addition to immersive sound, MPEG-H 3D Audio enables interactive features allowing viewers to adjust the audio mix for a program to their individual preferences, for example:
The MPEG-H TV Audio System is designed to work with most of today’s broadcast and streaming equipment. The MPEG-H TV Audio System is part of the ATSC 3.0 standard and the DVB A/V codec specification. MPEG-H Audio is also an optional part of the UHD Alliance specifications and defined in the DECE UltraViolet Common Media Format for VoD delivery.
With its special features, xHE-AAC (Extended HE-AAC) perfectly meets the requirements of digital radio and streaming services, especially at very low bit rates for various audio content types. The xHE-AAC audio codec produces excellent sound for both music and speech, delivering unrivaled quality at bit rates starting as low as 6 kbit/s for mono and 12 kbit/s for stereo services. Thus, xHE-AAC streaming apps and streaming radio players may switch to very low bit rate streams and offer an uninterrupted playback even while the network is congested. After network connectivity recovers, the xHE-AAC player seamlessly switches to a higher bit rate up to transparent quality.
This opens up the possibility to reach billions of 2G users with streaming services for the first time, especially in emerging markets such as, India and Latin America. Streaming service providers benefit from drastically reduced CDN cost and a simplified encoding asset management while consumers enjoy an improved service quality and, at the same time, save on their monthly data allowance.
DRM (Digital Radio Mondiale) is the first digital radio standard to adopt xHE-AAC and is therefore benefiting from its features. The digital radio standard adopted it as mandatory audio codec in 2013. xHE-AAC is a perfect fit for DRM: It is a superset of the MPEG HE-AAC codec which was used for all DRM transmissions so far, therefore allowing an easy migration.
At this year’s CCBN, visitors will have the chance to experience how well xHE-AAC meets the complex requirements in the fields of digital radio and adaptive streaming, handling all types of content at lowest and dynamically changing bit rates.
xHE-AAC is included in the AAC Patent Licensing Program by VIA Licensing at no extra cost.