Microsoft Backs Eureka-147 - Radio World

Microsoft Backs Eureka-147

Microsoft Backs Eureka-147
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Proponents of HD Radio and satellite radio have been experimenting with the concept of delivering surround sound over digital radio, and now, so are the proponents backing the Eureka-147 technology for digital radio.
Microsoft Corp. has joined the World DAB Forum, a group promoting the Eureka-147 technology for digital radio. Microsoft said it would work with members to speed deployment of devices and services based on the Eureka standard.
Microsoft wants to combine the terrestrial digital radio technology, used in countries other than the U.S., with its Windows Media Player.
Microsoft said Eureka-147 technology combined with its Windows Media 9 Series is being used to deliver 5.1 surround sound in London trials. Microsoft is working with Capital Radio plc, NTL Broadcast, RadioScape Ltd., and PURE Digital and Imagination Technologies Ltd. on the tests. The London trial, which is scheduled to last through summer 2004, involves live Internet Protocol datacasting of Windows Media Audio 9 Professional encoded 5.1 channel surround sound content over L-Band in the central London area.
"The software we have developed for the trial enables our digital radio tuner to receive the 5.1 channel audio stream from the DAB data broadcast and to send compressed audio from the tuner over a USB connection to the user's PC," says Nick Jurascheck, vice president of software development at PURE Digital.
"The PC software allows them to receive that stream and feed it into Media Player to decode the Windows Media Audio 9 Professional data into full 5.1 surround sound, for output via a standard six-channel sound card, without requiring any additional hardware."
Windows Media 9 Series allows delivery of 5.1 channel surround sound at bit rates as low as 128 kbps, says Simon Mason, head of new product development at NTL Broadcast. NTL is trying to determine whether surround sound with DAB could be used primarily for home or car.
Microsoft Research Cambridge in England has been exploring services and technologies that make use of DAB, along with several partner organizations. Microsoft said trials have begun in home and mobile networks in Cambridge. The Cambridge trial, which is more open-ended, includes the same 5.1 channel surround sound IP datacasting via DAB, along with digital television services broadcasting over DVB using Windows Media Video 9 Professional encoding.

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