Pioneering European HD broadcaster, Euro1080, which switched to MPEG-4 transmissions across all of its channels on 2 January, will now deliver aacPlus multichannel audio to a new generation of MPEG-4 set top boxes for HDTV, where it is transcoded to DTS Digital Surround.
Jacques Schepers, technical director at Euro1080, said: "Euro1080 has been the leading technical innovator in implementing European HD broadcast services. We have always been ahead of the rest of the industry, and were the first in the world to broadcast using the MPEG-4 standard. Now we are adopting MPEG-4 compression across all of our channels, we intend to incorporate the advantages inherent in the aacPlus/DTS broadcast solution in our service plan going forward into 2007.
"In some countries we have a requirement to transmit the audio in more than one language. This was a major reason why we required a more efficient solution than was currently available for multichannel audio to accompany MPEG-4 pictures."
Until now, the barrier to broadcasters implementing the latest high efficiency aacPlus audio codec for multichannel HDTV broadcast has been the lack of ability for consumers to decode the surround sound in the home. Working with Coding Technologies in Europe, DTS has enabled the 'transcoding' of the advanced aacPlus MPEG-4 audio codec to DTS Digital Surround in the set-top box.
With the efficiency and audio quality of the aacPlus codec, consumers can now receive much more HDTV programming in high quality surround sound, allowing broadcasters to deliver more movies, more sports, more documentaries and more dramas in 5.1-channels than ever before. They can also provide programming with multiple language surround soundtracks, as on DVD releases, and can now do so with immediate access to the entire installed base of DTS-enabled home theatre systems.