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

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

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.