Fraunhofer Cingo® Brings Surround Sound to Hulu’s Virtual Reality Experience


ERLANGEN, Germany (March 24, 2016) – Fraunhofer IIS and Hulu enter an agreement for the use of Fraunhofer Cingo, the leading immersive audio headphone rendering solution for virtual reality and mobile devices. Users of Hulu’s VR app will benefit from movies and TV shows streamed using the HE-AAC surround sound audio codec and rendered for headphones through Fraunhofer Cingo.

Immersive audio is crucial for virtual reality experiences to create a full sense of presence. Fraunhofer IIS, the world-renowned experts in audio and multimedia technologies, developed Cingo to achieve enhanced playback of stereo, surround and 3D sound on mobile devices. On VR platforms, Cingo makes use of head-tracking to dramatically improve the entertainment experience on headphones.

HE-AAC is the native surround sound audio codec for Android, the underlying operating system of Samsung phones paired with Gear VR. Android’s HE-AAC implementation includes full support for loudness and downmix metadata commonly known from the broadcast TV world, as well as other features that allow the sound to be tailored for an optimum user experience in any environment.

"Great audio is essential for virtual reality, more than on any other platform,” says Jan Nordmann, Senior Director Business Development, New Media at Fraunhofer USA Digital Media Technologies. "We are thrilled to bring surround sound to Hulu’s virtual reality experience through Fraunhofer Cingo. This helps to create the illusion of true presence.”

Consumers can experience Hulu with surround sound today by downloading the Hulu VR app from the Oculus Gear VR Store.

Cingo is available from Fraunhofer as a product-ready software implementation for mobile device manufacturers, chip set vendors and providers of multimedia services. Visitors of NAB can experience Cingo at the Fraunhofer booth SU6716.

HE-AAC is today’s most efficient high-quality surround and stereo codec, deployed in over 8 billion devices and used in TV, radio and streaming services worldwide.

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