At the IBC trade show, Fraunhofer IIS is debuts the latest version (R7) of its professional ContentServer technology for DAB+ digital radio and DRM, available in products from Fraunhofer OEM partners. The ContentServer R7 has many new features, such as additional interfaces for IP-based audio streaming sources, automatic normalization and loudness monitoring (based on Fraunhofer Sonamic technology), and full CAP compliance for automatic processing of EWF (Emergency Warning Functionality) messages.
The demo station will show, how the ContentServer generates multiplexes that are then played back via a Fraunhofer DAB+/DRM MultimediaPlayer radio application. In addition, the data applications Journaline and EWF, which are standardized in DAB+ and DRM, will be shown as part of the ContentServer R7 demo. We will also present the Fraunhofer IIS hybrid radio solution: it comprises all components of a modern SDR-based radio system for the reception of analogue and digital radio services combined with the possibilities of internet streaming. By continuously searching for the best reception option, hybrid radio enables users to enjoy uninterrupted listening while on the move and provides an easy way to listen to favorite regional programs outside the respective broadcast areas. Especially for in-car listening with multiple audio zones and additional digital information services, several independent reception units can be active simultaneously on one radio platform.
MPEG-H Audio: Personalized and Immersive Sound for Broadcast and Streaming
The MPEG-H Audio System enables immersive and interactive sound that can be personalized, for instance with enhanced accessibility features such as dialogue enhancement and audio description. With MPEG-H, next-generation audio is already a reality, as the system has been on the air 24/7 in South Korea since the UHDTV system was launched there in May 2017. It is also used for streaming: Sony's new immersive 360 Reality Audio music streaming services are based on MPEG-H audio. The immersive music tracks, available from providers such as Amazon Music HD, Deezer, nugs.net and TIDAL, can be played on mobile devices (with headphones), soundbars, smart speakers, and also in the car.
Listen to a 3D audio experience that perfectly matches your preferences. With MPEG-H, you can choose from presets or create your own settings. For example, it is now possible to switch between different languages, adjust the volume of a sports commentator, enhance the dialogue and choose from different audio description options. All these features contribute to the pristine sound that listeners expect from quality services today.
Fraunhofer DIALOG+ in Broadcasting: Deep-Learning-Based Dialogue Enhancement
User complaints about hard-to-understand dialogues due to loud background sounds are common in broadcasting. Object-based audio, such as MPEG-H Audio solves this problem by enabling users to adjust the speech level. While object-based audio is gaining momentum, transitioning to it requires time and effort. Also, most of the existing content exists was produced and archived with non-object-based workflows.
To address this, Fraunhofer IIS has developed a deep-learning-based solution called Dialog+, capable of enabling speech level personalization for content with only the final audio tracks. In public field tests conducted with WDR and BR in September 2020, we proved the capabilities of Dialog+. As part of one of these tests, a survey with more than 2,000 participants showed that 90% of the people older than 60 often or very often find it hard to understand speech in TV. Overall, 83% of the participants liked the possibility to switch to Dialog+, including those who do not normally struggle with speech intelligibility. Dialog+ introduces a clear benefit for the audience, filling the gap between object-based broadcasting and traditionally produced material.
xHE-AAC: The Audio Codec of Choice for Adaptive Audio and Video Streaming and Digital Radio
Say goodbye to interrupted or buffering audio and video streams: the latest addition to the AAC codec family offers maximum coding efficiency, with a stereo bitrate range from 12 kbit/s to 500 kbit/s and higher. Combined with seamless bitrate adjustment using DASH and HLS, as well as mandatory MPEG-D DRC volume and dynamic range adjustment, xHE-AAC is the ideal solution for adaptive audio and video streaming services - whether movies, music, audiobooks or podcasts - as well as digital radio. xHE-AAC decoding is natively supported in Android OS 9 and higher, Fire OS 7 and iOS 13. Fraunhofer also offers a web-based testing service that developers and manufacturers can use to check their implementations of the xHE-AAC® audio codec for compliance with MPEG standards. The free service can be used to test both encoders and decoders. It is exclusively available at https://test.xhe-aac.com/ and can be used after registration at Fraunhofer IIS.
At the Fraunhofer IBC booth, visitors can experience the benefits of xHE-AAC in video and internet radio streaming applications.
LC3/LC3plus: High-Quality Audio for the Entire Communication Ecosystem
The new LC3/LC3plus audio codec was jointly developed by Ericsson and Fraunhofer IIS to address the drawbacks of today's wireless communication platforms. The low complexity of the codec meets the requirements of wireless communication platforms such as Bluetooth, DECT, and VoIP terminals. By reducing the required bit rate by about 50 per cent compared to older codecs, LC3 and LC3plus enable energy-saving services that allow for longer battery life or the development of smaller products. Thanks to the flexible codec design, applications are not limited to voice services, but can also be extended to high-quality music streaming. At the same time, the codec operates with low coding delay, low computational complexity and small memory requirements. Learn more about LC3/LC3plus at our booth and experience the quality of a phone call using LC3plus.
JPEG XS - Low Latency Codec for Video over IP Transmission in Production Quality!
JPEG XS stands for extra speed and extra small. The new ISO mezzanine codec standard co-developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits enables interoperability and allows an easy and cost-effective integration into IP-based infrastructure.
As an ultra low-latency lightweight image coding system, JPEG XS offers visually lossless quality with compression ratios up to 10:1. It also supports resolution up to 8K and features a frame rate from 24 to 120fps.
Virtual Reality, gaming, in-house, broadcast, and digital cinema workflows: The JPEG-XS mezzanine codec can be applied anywhere uncompressed video is used today.
Licensing available for software and SDKs.
easyDCP - DCP and IMF Software Suite
The post-production software easyDCP has secured its place on the market for the creation, playback and quality control of Digital Cinema Packages DCPs for more than ten years. Meanwhile, more than 1,800 post-production houses and customers worldwide are using the easyDCP tools that are not only available as a standalone version, but also as plug-ins for well-known post-production software such as Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve. New features are validation against RDD52, MCA labelling, CPL marker as well as a new subscription licensing model. The new software suite is a hardware-independent license that enables workflows in the cloud or cloud environments and manages operations on multiple computers.