London Radio Listeners Will Be Able to Hear DAB in Surround Sound

London Radio Listeners Will Be Able to Hear DAB in Surround Sound
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Microsoft Corp., Capital Radio, NTL Broadcast and RadioScape Ltd. plan a six-month trial period that will bring 5.1-channel surround sound to the Eureka-147 DAB system in the U.K. The companies said the trial period to begin in October would involve live Internet protocol datacasting of Microsoft Windows Media Audio 9 Professional (WMA Pro) 5.1-channel content over L-Band in the central London area.
The companies are also demoing WMA Pro 5.1 channel DAB over a single data channel at IBC 2003 in Amsterdam Sept. 12-16.
For the U.K. trial, the Capital Radio group will provide surround-sound content encoded in WMA Pro. The material will be transmitted over L-band in London using NTL Broadcast's DAB trial multiplex. Microsoft claims the high compression efficiency of WMA Pro makes it possible to deliver 5.1-channel surround sound at bit-rates as low as 128 Kbps. WMA Pro will be streamed from Windows Server 2003 and then broadcast using IP datacasting via the DAB transport stream.
Two RadioScape Eureka-147 receiver designs that deliver 5.1-channel audio DAB data streams are currently in commercial production. These designs include Modular Technology's new L-Band DAB PCI card and the Gyro-1112 DAB receiver module from GyroSignal Technology Co. Ltd.. Both interface with a PC for the final stage of the 5.1 audio decoding.

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