Spring is here and this means that we’re headed to Las Vegas for the annual show of the US National Association of Broadcasters. We are packing and prepping our audio innovations to showcase how Fraunhofer IIS research and development improve content and its transmission all around the globe. Come and see for yourself how we enable noticeable improvements in broadcast infrastructures, content, and technology. Visit us at booth C3926 and learn more!

MPEG-H Audio: Personalized and Immersive Sound for Broadcast and Streaming

© Photo Fraunhofer IIS/Viaframe
© Fraunhofer IIS/Viaframe

With MPEG-H, Next Generation Audio is already a reality: broadcasters and immersive music streaming providers around the globe count on it for their services. In Brazil and South Korea, MPEG-H Audio is on the air 24/7 and Sony's immersive 360 Reality Audio music streaming services are based on MPEG-H Audio. The immersive music tracks, available from providers such as Amazon Music Unlimited, Tidal, Deezer, nugs.net and Sony Select, can be enjoyed on mobile devices (with headphones), soundbars, AVRs, smart speakers, and 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. It is now possible, for example, to switch between different languages, adjust the volume of a sports commentator, enhance the dialogue, and choose from several audio description options. All these features contribute to the pristine sound that listeners expect from quality services today.

S-ADM: Maximum Interoperability for Next Generation Audio Content

The Audio Definition Model (ADM) defines an open metadata format for production, exchange and archiving of Next Generation Audio (NGA) content in file-based workflows. It is an open standard, created for maximum interoperability. A serial representation of the Audio Definition Model (S-ADM) defines a segmentation of the original ADM for use in linear workflows such as real-time production for broadcasting and streaming applications. At NAB, Fraunhofer presents the first implementation of S-ADM metadata over IP according to the upcoming SMPTE ST 2110-41 standard in Ateme’s TITAN Live Encoder with S-ADM over IP input and MPEG-H Audio encoding. Fraunhofer also offers the MPEG-H Info Tool, an application that provides automated conformance verification for ADM metadata. 

Cingo: Big Sound from Small Devices

© Fraunhofer IIS/Kurt Fuchs

Fraunhofer Cingo turns smartphones and tablets into true immersive sound theaters, enabling users to watch movies and listen to music in enveloping 3D sound even while on the move.

Cingo is specifically engineered and tuned to offer a stunning immersive spatial impression and at the same time deliver a natural and clear sound - retaining the the intent and production quality of the original mix.

Modern headphones with inbuilt gyro sensors supply headtracking data that can be used in Cingo. As a result, the sound image adapts naturally to the listener’s head orientation, significantly improving the 3D feeling and spatial precision.

Cingo, in combination with MPEG-H Audio, delivers an immersive audio experience on mobile devices with any pair of headphones or the device’s built-in stereo speakers. Listen to the technology in action at NAB.

xHE-AAC: Netflix’s Choice for Adaptive AV Streaming and the Standard for Digital Radio

© VAKSMANV – stock.adobe.com

Say goodbye to interrupted or buffering audio and video streams: The latest addition to the AAC codec family provides maximum coding efficiency with a stereo bit rate range from 12 kbit/s to 500 kbit/s and higher. Combined with seamless bit rate adjustment using DASH and HLS, as well as mandatory MPEG-D DRC volume and dynamic range adjustment, xHE-AAC offers the best user experience for any content – be it movies, music, audiobooks or podcasts – and in any environment, at home or on the go. xHE-AAC decoding is natively supported in Android OS 9 and higher, Amazon Fire OS 7 and Apple iOS 13. It has recently been licensed to Microsoft and Facebook/Meta and is used by Netflix for their streams to Android mobile devices. It is also the standard audio codec for the digital radio system DRM.

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/

LC3/LC3plus: High-quality Audio for the Entire Communication Ecosystem

© cristalov – stock.adobe.com

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 percent compared to older codecs, LC3 and LC3plus enable energy-saving services that make a longer battery life or the development of smaller products possible. 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.

easyDCP and IMF Studio

easyDCP Plug-in
© Fraunhofer IIS/Kurt Fuchs

With the easyDCP software suite, post-production companies can generate DCPs, KDMs and IMF packages compliant with the industry standards, easily exploiting the potential of the technology on common computers. It is an easy -to-handle solution for the creation, playback, and quality assuranceof SMPTE compliant IMPs/DCPs. Due to a very flexible subscription licensing model, IMF Studio enables users to create complex workflows in local and cloud-based environments. easyDCP software suite and IMF studio offer GPU-based real-time decoding and fast software-based decoding and support Dolby Vision.

Learn more about easyDCP online and at our NAB booth.

JPEG XS: Low Latency Codec for Video over IP

© kentoh - stock.adobe.com

We present at NAB our implementation of JPEG XS as an SDK to easily make available the JPEG XS advantages both, low latency and high resolution over IP in media equipment and in media as well as broadcast workflows. 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. Whether Virtual Reality, gaming, in-house or broadcast and digital cinema workflows, the upcoming JPEG XS mezzanine codec standard can be applied where uncompressed video is used today.

We are partner of the JPEG XS Patent Pool Licensing. Learn more about the Patent Pool Licensing at www.jpegxs.com