Coding Technologies, Philips and Linear Acoustic develop MPEG Surround/PCM multichannel audio solution

Coding Technologies, together with Philips and Linear Acoustic, have announced the availability of a new professional broadcasting hardware/software solution based on MPEG Surround. The technology enables high-quality multichannel audio to be distributed over existing stereo infrastructures. Linear Acoustic will be the first company to offer the solution in their professional audio processing products.

MPEG Surround, developed by Coding Technologies, Agere Philips and Fraunhofer, was recently ratified by the ISO as a codec agnostic compression technique for delivering multichannel audio signals. It creates a stereo audio signal from a multichannel audio source and a small set of parameters describing the original surround-sound signal.

The solution employs MPEG Surround in conjunction with a digital PCM stereo audio signal and a technique from Philips to embed the MPEG Surround parameters into a backward-compatible PCM stereo audio signal. An MPEG Surround decoder can then recreate the multichannel audio based on the embedded parameters.

The demonstration featured an upMAX-MPS professional broadcasting encoder and decoder from Linear Acoustic, which transports the multichannel audio signal in high quality over a single AES/EBU stereo audio connection.

It is expected that such a solution will serve remote event locations with multichannel audio production facilities such as sports venues or concert halls. The solution enables broadcasters to transport stereo and multi-channel audio over a single AES/EBU connection to the studio, without any necessary change to the existing stereo infrastructure.

The new combined MPEG Surround/PCM buried data solution was demonstrated at the AES show at the Austria Center Vienna.

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