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From Microphone to Speaker – Fraunhofer IIS Presents MPEG-H Audio Real-Time Chain at IBC

At the IBC Show, taking place from September 14 – 18, 2018 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Fraunhofer IIS will showcase a complete production and transmission chain for the MPEG-H Audio system at booth #B80 in hall 8. The equipment includes MPEG­-H monitoring units for real-time monitoring and content authoring, postproduction tools, MPEG­-H Audio real-time broadcast encoders, as well as decoders in professional and consumer receivers.

  1. Live production: MPEG-H-enabled hardware devices for live production are the first section of the chain, including a LAWO Audio production console, as well as the Jünger Audio MMA and Linear Acoustic AMS authoring and monitoring systems, which are able to generate the metadata “on the fly” during live broadcasting.
  2. Postproduction: The Fraunhofer IIS MPEG­-H Authoring Tool (MHAT) enables the creation of MPEG-­H scenes and the related metadata with existing content in postproduction. The producer can define specific parameters, instantly listen to configuration changes and later export these settings in the form of a “control track”. The control track is a mono PCM audio signal, which is distributed with the audio content over SDI ensuring a secure transmission of the content together with the metadata through the broadcast facility to the MPEG-H emission encoder.
  3. Encoding and decoding: MPEG-H-enabled broadcast encoders from DS Broadcast, Kai Media as well as Pixtree, which are already in regular operation in the Korean UHD broadcast services, will be shown alongside encoders with MPEG-H support from Chinese manufacturers Kuvision and Sumavision, which were used for first successful UHD trials in China. Also on display is French manufacturer Ateme’s live UHD broadcast encoder, which has been used in several DVB broadcast trials in Europe, including one of the major French tennis tournaments. All equipment shown in this real-time chain is readily available for broadcasters worldwide.
    End user products will also be presented, such as MPEG-H-enabled TV sets from Samsung and LG, which have been on the market since the launch of the Korean terrestrial UHDTV service with MPEG-H Audio in March 2017, as well as set-top-boxes from Korean manufacturer Innopia, and from Chinese manufacturers Zhaoxin and Skyworth. The MPEG-H-enabled Ambeo soundbar by Sennheiser, reproducing true 3D sound by using latest virtualization technology developed with Fraunhofer, rounds off the end-to-end real-time chain.

Another novelty showcased at the Fraunhofer booth will be the Ericsson AVP 2000 Contribution Encoder and its companion, the MediaFirst Content Processing Decoder, the industry’s first contribution-path encoding/decoding solution with support of MPEG-H Audio.

MPEG-H Audio is a next generation audio solution which enables broadcasters and content producers to create and distribute attractive programs with immersive and interactive audio. It allows the delivery of audio in the traditional channel-based format or as objects and in Higher Order Ambisonics. The ability to transmit specific elements of the audio mix as objects offers the user a choice of different languages or the possibility to alter single audio elements in terms of volume and position within the limits defined by the content producers. With its new features, MPEG-H Audio opens up new dimensions for creatives and for viewers.

MPEG-H Audio has been on air since May 2017 as the sole audio codec of South Korea’s new terrestrial UHDTV service and is the only next generation audio codec worldwide used in regular broadcast operation. Additionally, a number of end-to-end broadcast trials based on MPEG-H Audio were conducted throughout the summer of 2018.

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