At CES 2018 we will showcase the Fraunhofer upHear Immersive Audio Virtualizer. Fraunhofer upHear is a codec-agnostic audio post-processing technology that brings authentic and enveloping 3D sound to mass-market consumer devices such as soundbars and TVs. At CES we will present the high sound reproduction quality of Fraunhofer upHear Immersive Audio Virtualizer using our 3D soundbar reference hardware. The design is based on a single-element soundbar without satellite speakers. The high level of envelopment means a dramatic improvement over today's stereo and surround soundbars. It is easy to set up and works simply out-of-the-box without installing numerous loudspeakers in the living room.
The Fraunhofer upHear Immersive Audio Virtualizer includes a sophisticated upmix algorithm that turns any content source (stereo music, 5.1 surround movie sound, 3D audio broadcast programs or 3D music mixes, etc.) into an immersive audio experience while preserving the authenticity of the original audio.
Take a seat in our living room at CES and experience unsurpassed immersive sound reproduction.
Since May 2017, MPEG-H 3D Audio is the first next generation audio system to be used in a regular commercial terrestrial 4K TV service in South Korea. MPEG-H 3D Audio enables immersive sound and interactivity. In the future, viewers can set the audio mix for a program to their individual preferences, for example:
In 2018, the first immersive soundbars that reproduce MPEG-H 3D Audio will be available to consumers worldwide. This will provide the users with the opportunity to experience the truly immersive sound of MPEG-H 3D Audio without the burden to install a large number of discrete speakers.
At CES 2018 visitors can experience various aspects of the MPEG-H TV Audio System:
We will present tools to produce 3D sound and interactive audio with MPEG-H such as the Spatial Audio Designer (SAD) plugin for Digital Audio Workstations like ProTools. In addition, we will demonstrate the MPEG-H workflow based on Merging Technologies Pyramix 11.1 DAW.
Experience the first MPEG-H 3D Audio enabled TV sets from LG and Samsung made for the new UHD TV system in South Korea. You will be amazed by our reference design of a 3D soundbar and first OEM soundbar products that transform any living room into an immersive sound stage, without requiring the installation of a discrete 3D loudspeaker setup.
The MPEG-H TV Audio System is designed to work with 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 optional part of the UHD Alliance spec and defined in the DECE UltraViolet Common Media Format for VoD delivery.
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. MPEG-H can carry channels, audio objects and higher-order ambisonics signals. This capability makes it the ideal VR audio codec for user generated and cinematic VR content. MPEG-H audio has been standardized in the MPEG OMAF Omnidirectional Media Format and selected by the VR Industry Forum (VRIF) as the only audio codec for its Industry Guidelines (http://www.vr-if.org/guidelines/).
In addition to immersive sound, the Fraunhofer Cingo® renderer 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.
Cingo has already made a global impact with the integration into Google’s Nexus and Pixel family of devices, Google Play Movies & Music, Video Player apps by Mobile Operators such as Korean Telecom (KT), SK Broadband and LGU+. It is also making headway in the world of VR thanks to its integration into Samsung’s first generation of Gear VR, LG’s 360 VR headset and the Hulu VR app for mobile and tethered experience.
With its special features, xHE-AAC effortlessly meets the requirements of digital radio and streaming services where various audio content types need to be transmitted at very low bit rates. The 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 a continuous playback even while the network is congested. When network connectivity recovers, the xHE-AAC client will adapt to a higher bit rate and seamlessly switch across the full range of bit rates up to transparent quality.
It also 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 save on their precious monthly data allowance all the same.
DRM (Digital Radio Mondiale) is the first digital radio standard to adopt xHE-AAC and therefore benefiting from its features. xHE-AAC is a perfect fit for DRM. The digital radio standard adopted it as mandatory audio codec in 2013. xHE-AAC 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 CES, booth visitors will have the chance to experience how well the most advanced audio codec (xHE-AAC) for radio and streaming handles all types of content at lowest and dynamically changing bit rates. In addition, visitors can listen to some real-world deployment examples from Argentina, the U.S. and other markets. For instance, we will show a Radio Mitre live stream from Buenos Aires employing xHE-AAC at 16 kbit/s.
xHE-AAC (Extended HE-AAC) is included in the AAC Patent Licensing Program by VIA Licensing at no extra cost.