DAB Surround® will lend a whole new quality to digital radio thanks to developments by the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS in Erlangen. Researchers there have devised the necessary techniques for processing and compressing the audio data.
“When you listen to music on the radio, it will sound like you’re sitting in a concert hall and not at your own breakfast table,” says Matthias Rose of the IIS. The special feature of DAB Surround is that it doesn’t require a higher data rate than stereo DAB to achieve this noticeably better sound experience. This is because the new MPEG Surround standard, developed largely by Fraunhofer engineers, compresses the six channels of a surround music track to the extent that they require no more memory than a compressed stereo signal.
Another advantage is that radio broadcasters will be spared the expensive business of transmitting simultaneously in stereo and surround, as compression of the original 5.1 data automatically produces a stereo mix and sets parameters describing the surround sound. These parameters require only a few kilobits per second, and are aired by the broadcasters together with the stereo signal. While conventional receivers will ignore these extra data and play back the stereo signal as usual, future DAB Surround receivers will reproduce the original 5.1 sound – in perfect quality.
For broadcasters and programs that do not yet have any 5.1 content or would like to mix 5.1 and stereo source material, the IIS is offering another solution: the SX Pro® technique. This processes the stereo content in real time at the broadcasting station so that it can be smoothly incorporated in a 5.1 transmission. To do so, SX Pro® analyzes the sound characteristics of the stereo music signal and integrates the center and rear channels of a 5.1 system.
This enlarges the optimal listening area and stabilizes the sound. As a result, even oldies from the 1970s and stereo concert recordings of well-known classical works can sail effortlessly over the airwaves in 5.1 Surround from now on. “Our mp3 Surround format also enables surround sound to be heard over the Internet – a chance for thousands of mp3 Web radio broadcasters to offer their listeners an extra bonus,” says Rose. What is special about it is that the required bandwidth stays the same, thus avoiding higher broadcasting costs.
ANTENNE BAYERN and ROCK ANTENNE are leading the way: Online, users can find links to the two broadcasters’ Surround Web radio stations, and can listen to them using the mp3 Surround Player freeware or the latest version of WinAmp.
Matthias Rose | alfa
New cruise ship “Mein Schiff 1” features Fraunhofer 3D sound on board
05.09.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Digitale Medientechnologie IDMT
Small enclosure, big sound, clear speech
31.08.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Digitale Medientechnologie IDMT
A stellar flare 10 times more powerful than anything seen on our sun has burst from an ultracool star almost the same size as Jupiter
A localization phenomenon boosts the accuracy of solving quantum many-body problems with quantum computers which are otherwise challenging for conventional computers. This brings such digital quantum simulation within reach on quantum devices available today.
Quantum computers promise to solve certain computational problems exponentially faster than any classical machine. “A particularly promising application is the...
The technology could revolutionize how information travels through data centers and artificial intelligence networks
Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley have built a new photonic switch that can control the direction of light passing through optical fibers...
Physicists observe how electron-hole pairs drift apart at ultrafast speed, but still remain strongly bound.
Modern electronics relies on ultrafast charge motion on ever shorter length scales. Physicists from Regensburg and Gothenburg have now succeeded in resolving a...
Engineers create novel optical devices, including a moth eye-inspired omnidirectional microwave antenna
A team of engineers at Tufts University has developed a series of 3D printed metamaterials with unique microwave or optical properties that go beyond what is...
17.04.2019 | Event News
15.04.2019 | Event News
09.04.2019 | Event News
18.04.2019 | Life Sciences
18.04.2019 | Physics and Astronomy
18.04.2019 | Life Sciences