Philips, Coding Technologies and Linear Acoustic have announced a professional broadcasting hardware/software system based on MPEG Surround.
“Buried Data” will be part of the MPEG Surround ISO standard. The proponents say it enables professional high-quality multi-channel audio over existing stereo infrastructures; it was demonstrated at the AES convention in Vienna this week.
“The solution will, amongst others, serve remote event locations with multi-channel audio production facilities such as sports venues or concert halls,” they said in the announcement.
“It enables broadcasters to transport stereo and multi-channel audio, both in the highest possible quality, over a single AES/EBU connection to the studio, without any necessary change of the existing stereo infrastructure. The audio signal is then further utilized and delivered in plain stereo or multi-channel as required.”
Linear Acoustic is the first company to offer the technology in its audio processing products.
MPEG Surround is a codec-agnostic compression technique for delivering multi-channel audio signals; it was developed by Philips, Coding Technologies, Agere and Fraunhofer. “In the new solution, MPEG Surround creates a stereo audio signal from a multi-channel audio source, and a small set of parameters describing the original surround sound signal.
“The new solution employs MPEG Surround in conjunction with a digital PCM stereo audio signal and a technique from Philips Applied Technologies known as ‘Buried Data technique’ to embed the MPEG Surround parameters into a fully backwards compatible PCM stereo audio signal,” the statement continued. “An MPEG Surround decoder can then recreate the full multi-channel audio based on the embedded MPEG Surround parameters.”
The demo at AES featured a broadcasting encoder and decoder from Linear Acoustic, operating the MPEG Surround and Buried Data technique to transport the multi-channel signal over an AES/EBU stereo audio connection.
Proponents said the combination of MPEG Surround and Philips’ new technique offers an efficient solution to broadcasters needing to deliver stereo as well as multi-channel audio.