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MPEG-H 3D Audio Becomes 3GPP’s Standard Audio Codec for Video Streaming over Mobile Networks

3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project), the united standards body for the global mobile industry, has approved a technical specification for 360° video streaming in its work item “VRStream”. It will be included in 3GPP release 15, the most recent 3GPP release and the first one to specify 5G. The recommended audio format for use in VRStream services is the MPEG OMAF 3D Audio Baseline Profile, based on MPEG-H Audio.

Among other things, the VRStream specification defines audio and media profiles for mobile operators that want to offer fully immersive 360° video services cost-effectively on a broad range of mobile devices connected over the most advanced mobile networks, such as upcoming 5G networks. The joint proposal of Fraunhofer IIS and Qualcomm for the MPEG OMAF 3D Audio Baseline Profile, which is based on MPEG-H 3D Audio, is recommended as the only audio format for VRStream services, as part of 3GPP’s Packet-switched Streaming Service (PSS) and Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service (MBMS). This 3GPP decision coincides with the selection of MPEG OMAF and MPEG-H 3D Audio respectively, as the only audio codec in the Interoperability Guidelines of the Virtual Reality Industry Forum (VRIF), an industry body focused on enabling the widespread availability of high quality audiovisual VR experiences for the benefit of consumers.

MPEG-H 3D Audio is ideal for Virtual Reality and other mobile applications: it is the only audio codec system that provides sound designers with the creative freedom to combine audio objects, audio channels and Higher Order Ambisonics Audio (HOA) in a single mix while delivering the content with highest coding efficiency to devices that make use of MPEG-H’s built-in real-time, low-latency binaural rendering capabilities.

Global industry standardization efforts conducted by 3GPP and VRIF, which Fraunhofer is actively driving and contributing to, are essential for the commercial success of VR. Additional factors are the availability of great content, a safe and high-quality consumer experience and the interoperability of immersive services on affordable, comfortable and easy-to-use consumer devices.

Visitors of the IBC Show in Amsterdam can experience great VR demos, based on the 3GPP and VRIF specifications, at the Fraunhofer and VRIF booths.

Further information: http://www.3gpp.org/release-15

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