The MPEG-H TV Audio System, developed primarily by Fraunhofer IIS, passed a major milestone in Europe when it was successfully transmitted via satellite and DVB-T2 in the live Ultra HD TV broadcast channel of a major international tennis tournament taking place in Paris, France.
France Télévisions, in collaboration with TDF and FRANSAT, a subsidiary of Eutelsat, successfully tested the transmission and reception of MPEG-H Audio immersive sound over DVB-T2 and satellite during the tournament. The MPEG-H Audio stream was included in the regular live Ultra HD broadcast of the centre court, starting with May 27th and was broadcast live until the end of the tournament on June 10th.
After a first trial of object-based audio live production last year, France Télévisions associated for the first time the MPEG-H TV Audio System to its Ultra High Definition video. MPEG-H offers the user the full flexibility to switch between English and French commentaries or even selecting a version without any commentary to enjoy the live atmosphere of the centre court. Also during the demonstrations, the advanced settings of MPEG-H enabled personalization of the immersive mix by enhancing the dialogue for better intelligibility or changing its position in the audio scene.
The live production of MPEG-H immersive audio content was made possible through the use of the Multichannel Monitoring and Authoring (MMA) system provided by Jünger Audio. The personalization and interactivity options were enabled through the MPEG-H Audio metadata, which treats individual elements of an audio mix as objects that can afterwards be adjusted by the viewer.
For the live broadcast, video-compression solutions provider Ateme successfully integrated support for the MPEG-H TV Audio System into its TITAN UHD Live Broadcast Encoder. Ateme’s solution enables the usage of the MPEG-H Audio immersive and personalization features in any DVB market.
During the first end-to-end trial of MPEG-H TV Audio in Europe, the tennis-court action as well as the cheers and applause of spectators, delivered in immersive 5.1 surround plus four height speakers channels, could be experienced in MPEG-H Audio in the France Télévisions broadcast center using a Fraunhofer reference design of an immersive soundbar together with an Android set-top box and a UHD TV set.
The MPEG-H TV Audio System is one of the Next Generation Audio (NGA) technologies under consideration by the France’s broadcast content monitoring agency, Conseil supérieur de l’audiovisuel (CSA), for the next change of the digital terrestrial television (DTT) platform.
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