Fraunhofer IIS announces Sony has licensed MPEG-H Audio Decoder Software and joined the MPEG-H Trademark Program

Fraunhofer IIS, primary developer of the MPEG-H 3D Audio standard, announced today that Sony Corporation (Sony) has licensed Fraunhofer’s MPEG-H 3D Audio Baseline Profile Decoder software and joined the MPEG-H Trademark Program.

MPEG-H 3D Audio is the leading Next Generation Audio system used for immersive music streaming and TV broadcasts. The MPEG-H 3D Audio system is also specified in TV broadcast standards such as ATSC 3.0 and Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB) and has been on air as part of South Korea’s terrestrial UHDTV service since May 2017. Moreover, MPEG-H 3D Audio has been selected to enhance the ISDB-Tb broadcast system in Brazil and for the China 3D Audio TV draft standard, having already been successfully evaluated and tested in 2018. Several major sports events and music shows have been broadcasted using MPEG-H 3D Audio in many European countries whose digital television systems are based on DVB.

Tailored to the needs of next-generation broadcast, streaming, and high-quality immersive music delivery, the MPEG-H 3D Audio Baseline Profile is the ideal answer to industry requirements, providing truly immersive experiences and unmatched advanced Next Generation Audio features including user interactivity and accessibility. As a subset of the MPEG-H 3D Audio Low Complexity Profile, the Baseline Profile enables maximum interoperability with devices that have implemented that particular profile while at the same time significantly reducing the implementation and testing effort.

Sony’s 360 Reality Audio, a new immersive music experience using Sony’s object-based 360 Spatial Sound technology based on MPEG-H 3D Audio, can be enjoyed with MPEG-H Audio Baseline Profile decoder devices. Individual sounds such as vocals, chorus, piano, guitar, bass and even sounds of the live audience can be placed in a 360° spherical sound field, giving artists and creators a new way to express their creativity.

Shinji Okazaki, General Manager at Sony Corporation, said, “The partnership with Fraunhofer on MPEG-H 3D Audio allows us to enable 360 Reality Audio and MPEG-H 3D Audio in a wide variety of products from Sony. We expect to expand the ecosystem of 360 Reality Audio together with Fraunhofer.”

Marc Gayer, Head of Business Department and Deputy Division Director of Audio and Media Technologies at Fraunhofer IIS, said, “We look forward to many exciting Sony consumer products that will also support the playback of MPEG-H 3D Audio from other content services.”

Sony has also joined the MPEG-H Audio System Trademark Program administered by Fraunhofer as a licensed end-product manufacturer. The program signals to consumers that MPEG-H products have been verified to work with each other and support all necessary MPEG-H Audio features.