S. Korea’s SBS Broadcasting Immersive Audio over ATSC 3.0 for World Cup

SEOUL, S. KOREA—SBS, the South Korean television and radio network is transmitting live UHD coverage of select World Cup matches over ATSC 3.0 in immersive and interactive audio using Fraunhofer’s MPEG-H audio format. The demos marks the “world’s first” regular broadcast of immersive and interactive audio powered by MPEG-H according to the broadcaster.

In addition to the opening match between Russian and Saudi Arabia, SBS says it is broadcasting more than 30 matches in UHD/MPEG-H over the ATSC 3,0 broadcast transmission standard during the month-long tournament, including the final and all matches involving the South Korean team. To complete the experience, the loudspeakers at the stadiums from which the matches are being aired include a 5.1 surround setup. For the viewers, SBS is offering three audio presets to hear each match: S. Korean, English or “pure stadium atmosphere.”

[Read: Do We Need More Audio? A Primer On Immersive (3D) Sound]

In addition, a “Dialogue Enhancement” feature will allow viewers to individually optimize the mix of dialogue and effects based on their listening situation

Although the U.S. iteration of the ATSC 3.0 uses Dolby AC-4 for audio, South Korean broadcasters are using the MPEG-H standard for ATSC 3.0 audio. 

For a comprehensive list of TV Technology’s ATSC 3.0 coverage, see our ATSC3 silo

Tom Butts

Tom has covered the broadcast technology market for the past 25 years, including three years handling member communications for the National Association of Broadcasters followed by a year as editor of Video Technology News and DTV Business executive newsletters for Phillips Publishing. In 1999 he launched digitalbroadcasting.com for internet B2B portal Verticalnet. He is also a charter member of the CTA's Academy of Digital TV Pioneers. Since 2001, he has been editor-in-chief of TV Tech (www.tvtech.com), the leading source of news and information on broadcast and related media technology and is a frequent contributor and moderator to the brand’s Tech Leadership events.