A real-time broadcast chain using MPEG-H audio is being shown on the Fraunhofer stand at IBC2015.
The chain simulates delivery from a sports OB to network operations, then to a local affiliate, and then being broadcast to a Technicolor consumer set-top box for playback. A wide range of content formats are being used, and the demo features content stored on the video server in 5.1, stereo, 5.1 + 4H, and even 7.1 + 4H and HOA.
Fraunhofer said the audio system developed by the MPEG-H Audio Alliance (Fraunhofer, Technicolor, and Qualcomm) allows broadcasters and streaming services to deliver the future of TV audio at comparably low bit rates and in a cost-effective manner. It is based on the MPEG-H audio standard and is being evaluated for the new ATSC 3.0 TV broadcast standard for the US.
The system is designed to work with today’s broadcast equipment. It includes object-based and immersive audio that allows viewers to adjust the sound mix to their preferences and improves the realism of sound. Furthermore it will tailor playback to sound best on a range of devices and environments, providing universal delivery.
To enable broadcasters to take advantage of all the features of MPEG-Audio, new products have been developed and are being shown at IBC2015. The Jünger Audio MPEG-H audio monitoring and authoring units adapt today’s 5.1 consoles for immersive audio production and allows operations to audition MPEG-H audio in the plant as it will be reproduced on viewer’s devices.
Real-time encoders and decoders that include MPEG-H audio, supporting all phases of content delivery, are part of the demo, along with selective loudness levelling available from Alliance partners such as Jünger.