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SRS, Ibiquity Complete Surround Sound Testing

SRS, Ibiquity Complete Surround Sound Testing

For those who believe the difference between analog and FM digital radio needs to be more dramatic, surround sound may fit that bill.
SRS Labs Inc. and Ibiquity Digital say they have completed testing of SRS Circle Surround technology as a compatible surround sound format for HD Radio. They had announced in January at the Consumer Electronics Show that they intended to conduct testing.
Circle Surround encoding would allow stations to encode multichannel content into two-channel output for broadcast over the HD Radio system, which can be decoded into full-bandwidth surround using decoder found in home theater and auto systems.
Up to 6.1-channel surround sound can be realized with a CS II decoder, which is in home theater products from Kenwood, Marantz, Accuphase and Theta Digital.
For those listening to HD Radio in cars, Circle Surround Automotive technology includes the CS decoder along with technologies that the companies say overcome problems of speaker placement and other obstacles in the car.
“We feel that SRS Labs’ surround sound technology will accelerate the growth and adoption of the HD Radio system,” said Mike Lyons, an executive with Ibiquity Digital.
CS encoding is compatible with mono and stereo.
“As Circle Surround reaches beyond home theater-based products to automobiles and other HD Radio-enabled receivers, broadcasting in surround sound will quickly become the standard,” said Mike Canevaro, director of sales and business development for SRS Labs.
SRS Circle Surround is a patented, encode/decode multichannel system. The Circle Surround encoding system accepts a multichannel source and encodes it to a two-channel output, which its developers say can be transmitted over existing stereo analog or digital broadcasting infrastructure, such as the HD Radio system.
The Circle Surround-encoded two-channel signal can be decoded back into 5.1 or 6.1 surround sound by a consumer with a multispeaker system that includes a matrix decoder, such as Circle Surround or Dolby Pro Logic.
SRS Labs said it is working with several automakers, car entertainment manufacturers and platform partners to provide a version of Circle Surround optimized for an automobile.
An Ibiquity spokesman said the agreement between SRS and Ibiquity is not exclusive.