At NAB 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 NAB we will present the high sound reproduction quality of the 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.
Since May 2017, MPEG-H 3D Audio has been 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 NAB 2018 visitors can experience various aspects of the MPEG-H TV Audio System:
We will present a real-time encoding-decoding chain, as well as 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. We will also demonstrate the MPEG-H workflow based on Merging Technologies Pyramix 11.1 DAW.
Experience the first MPEG-H 3D Audio enabled TV sets from Samsung and LG, made for the new UHD TV system in South Korea. You will also be amazed by the pre-production prototype of an MPEG-H enabled soundbar by Sennheiser that transforms 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 Omnidirectional Media Format (OMAF) 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 (Extended HE-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, with built-in advanced Dynamic Range Control and loudness management, and delivers 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 Once full-bandwidth network connectivity is restored, the xHE-AAC player app adapts seamlessly to a higher bit rates. xHE-AAC possesses the unique capability to switch across the full range of bit rates – from ultra-bitrate-saving up to transparent audio quality.
xHE-AAC 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 improved service quality while also saving their precious monthly data allowance.
DRM (Digital Radio Mondiale) is the first digital radio standard to adopt xHE-AAC and benefit 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 NAB, booth visitors will have the chance to experience how well xHE-AAC meets the complex requirements for both digital radio and adaptive streaming to handle all types of content at the lowest and dynamically changing bit rates.
xHE-AAC is included in the AAC Patent Licensing Program by VIA Licensing at no extra cost.
easyDCP Publisher is an all-in-one software solution for the generation and playback of Digital Cinema Packages (DCP) based on the recognized and wide-spread easyDCP suite. By utilizing easyDCP Publisher's Pay as You Go licensing model users can generate a delivery version of the package once they are happy with the preview version.
Using the easyDCP Publisher bridge, filmmakers and video enthusiasts can now pass their timeline directly from Final Cut Pro X to the easyDCP Publisher ecosystem. Here, users can preview the generated package and switch back and forth to Final Cut Pro X to make changes as needed.