Globo enables MPEG-H Audio on free-to-air commercial channels in three Brazilian states

Latin America’s largest media group, Grupo Globo, drives the change of media production, transmission, and consumption to a future-proof system. In a major step in Brazil’s Digital TV evolution, they bring the SBTVD TV 2.5 standard into reality.

Globo transmits all matches of the football tournament in Qatar with MPEG-H Audio immersive sound according to the Brazilian TV 2.5 standard on its commercial free-to-air channels from the stations in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, and Recife. This makes a fantastic sound experience available 24/7 to all Globo viewers tuned into the respective channels.

“For launching new technologies onto the market, we need to address the “chicken-or-egg”-issue, and that is why we decided to start broadcast using these technologies. After testing MPEG-H Audio in the laboratory for a long time, we chose a few cities in which we launched MPEG-H Audio on our commercial feed on air,” explains Paulo Henrique Castro, Director MediaTech Lab, Grupo Globo. “This is what we not only want to demonstrate, but, more importantly, promote at Globo. The idea for our platforms: VoD, streaming, Globoplay, as well as live on-air broadcasts, is to have more and more immersive content.”

This new audio experience was made possible by a group of committed technology partners who have been supporting the implementation of cutting-edge technology in Brazil for years. In addition to Fraunhofer IIS with MPEG-H Audio, Ateme provided low-latency encoding solutions, while TV sets in Brazil powered by MediaTek’s chips can easily offer MPEG-H Audio support: “Delivering the highest video and audio quality to the Brazilian audience is a priority at MediaTek,” explains Alfred Chan, Vice President of TV BU, Smart Home Business Group at MediaTek. “By enabling MPEG-H Audio for ISDB-T broadcast and streaming in our flagship Pentonic series, we upgrade the TV viewing experience to the next level.”

After a series of successful tests conducted during major events in the past, Globo has now taken the next step and enabled MPEG-H Audio in regular broadcast. This is a milestone on the way to a full-coverage service with immersive sound that can be adapted to listeners’ personal preferences.

“Working together with Globo for bringing the latest innovations to life is always an exciting and fun challenge,” says Adrian Murtaza, Senior Manager Technology and Standards at Fraunhofer IIS. “We are proud to be part of this step ahead that enables viewers in Brazil to enjoy a unique experience with immersive and personalized sound using receivers capable of decoding MPEG-H Audio.”

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