Q6: How About Free TV With Immersive Audio?

How interested are you in a free TV service that provides immersive audio, replaceable dialogue and other advanced audio capabilities? August 2, 2016
We asked folks to answer 10 questions about “Next-gen TV,” the consumer appellation for the TV content distributed via new technology from the Advanced Television Systems Committee, a collection of engineers charged with developing the nation’s over-the-air TV delivery standard. ATSC 3.0 promises interactive, non-linear and portable functionality, as well as support for 4K and other advanced audio and video technologies.

TV Technology asked a series of questions to gauge the level of interest in these advanced features. We had 101 respondents, 67 percent of whom work in “content creation, app development, media distribution or communications.”

Links to the full results for each of the 10 questions follow the comments.
Synopsis: Nearly half of respondents are very interested in advanced audio features, while others are more reserved. There were questions about how immersive audio would be mixed and reproduced on TV sets, if TV sets are manufactured to accommodate it.

One commenter noted that 5.1 audio wasn’t widely adopted: “Present surround sound is only received by a small percentage of the viewing audience. I don’t see ATSC 3.0 changing that significantly.”

A few respondents recognized the potential to address hearing problems and underserved communities.

Of all respondents, 49 percent were very interested; 32 percent, somewhat; and 19 percent—not at all.

  • Need samples.
  • Redundant questions.
  • Just get me audio that stays a constant level! Very concerned about production of this audio.
  • I have a hearing problem so good audio for me is important, as are subtitles.
  • Very interested in a free TV service that provides immersive audio, replaceable dialogue and other advanced audio capabilities because of its entertainment benefits.
  • This could be very cool if content producers come up with compelling ways to use it. The public won’t demand something like this until the see a demo and understand the potential.
  • Without this business model, TV is dead.
  • Fraunhoffer’s MPEG-H—ability for the dialogue and music and effect tracks to be adjusted by the viewer.
  • I don’t even have stereo speakers set up at home. We went DBX stereo in 1980, but all the ancillary crap still requires extra remote controls, special hookups and my family refuses to learn that stuff. So I hope my next TV has at least a 4-inch speaker.
  • Depends on how this helps.
  • Better quality video and audio to the end user is good.
  • Assuming it really works. The bigger problem is that over the past couple of decades we have been sold a bill of goods for both free and paid programming which still doesn’t have the ability to provide solid, reliable service without technical problems. We don’t need another one.
  • Present surround sound is only received by a small percentage of the viewing audience. I don’t see ATSC 3.0 changing that significantly.
  • Will provide for disabled and needy.
  • Also very helpful, especially in competing with other services.
  • Why not? If it can be done with DVDs, why not TV we already have [second audio program]. Just expand it. After all, it is just a digital stream.
  • Audio is lagging behind in immersive, 3D and mixed reality
  • The audio improvements are not as bandwidth intensive as UHD and I believe that audio can enhance the experience more than increasing the pixel count. 1080P HDR with immersive audio will win every time over 4K without HDR and great audio.
  • 5.1 is pretty good, better is always better.
  • I can do that now.
  • Interesting, but not likely to buy a new speaker set to hear it.
  • I don’t feel these are services I’d utilize.
  • Meh.
  • English is good enough here in the USA. If you don’t like the language here, go to where it is spoken.
  • Irrelevant to me.
  • Don’t know whether I care or not. Need more info.
  • I can see these as nice features, but again, these are minor improvements on a basic, but capable, current technology, and broadcasters will likely never do more than pass through what little content arrives from the studio in such a configuration. News production in the San Francisco market is still mono upconverted to pseudo-stereo and then upmixed again to have a 5.1 presence—does this illustrate the lack of need for more audio features well enough?
  • Don’t know, why?
  • Now this is much more interesting. Audio is an area that has been left behind comparatively. However, this needs far more work in production than just changing the resolution of the video. it is a lot more work.
  • There now on Netflix
  • I really like the audio mixes, but they were available in the old A/52 standard, and they weren’t implemented in TV sets back then. This has nothing to do with the standard and everything to to with the TV manufacturers. Unless 100 percent of TVs have the multi-audio feature, no broadcaster can dare use it, because it would mean disenfranchising viewers who don’t have it. ME+D means either no dialogue or no music and effects for anyone who has a single stream TV (single-stream, incidentally, includes mono, stereo, and surround).
  • Always want you the best experience.
  • Immersive audio increases the intensity of the moment. Replacing dialogue with Klingon could be fun. 
  • We already have surround sound and it’s pretty great.
  • Not sure what that is all about.
  • I like improve SAP capabilities, beyond that meh.
  • I’d have to know more about this to determine if I’m interested.
  • I’m quite capable of entertaining myself, thank you.

  • All 10 Questions About Next-Gen TV...
    Q1: How interested are you in free television service that's interactive, like the internet?

    Q2: How do you feel about a free TV service that activates a device to deliver emergency alerts?

    Q3: How interested are you being able to view free TV on smartphones, tablets and laptops in moving cars, trains, or other mobile environments?

    Q4: How interested are you in the ability to move from TV to tablet to smartphone without missing a scene in a show or a play in a sporting event?

    Q5: How interested are you in a free Ultra HDTV service?

    Q6: How interested are you in a free TV service that provides immersive audio, replaceable dialogue and other advanced audio capabilities? <-You are here.

    Q7: How do you feel about advertisements based on data mined from your personal media usage?

    Q8: Would you be willing to buy a set-top box or other hardware peripheral to be able to receive free Next-Gen TV?

    Q9: How much TV do you watch per day? (Include TVs, tablets, laptops, PCs and smartphones.)

    Q10: Do you work in content creation, app development, media distribution or communications?

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