Fraunhofer Demos HE-AAC 5.1

AMSTERDAM —Fraunhofer IIS demonstrated its HE-AAC 5.1 surround codec in real-time DVB-T2 live broadcasting and in Android 4.1 at IBC 2012.

The broadcasting chain consisted of all necessary elements to bring multichannel content to the end user's TV set over DVB-T2 terrestrial TV, including encoder, multiplexer, and modulator on the transmission side, as well as set-top box, and TV set on the reception side. Thomson Video Networks and Rohde & Schwarz provided equipment for this demo.

With a bit-rate of only 160kbit/s for high-quality 5.1 surround sound and freedom of choice of the channel configuration from mono to stereo to 5.1 surround, up to 48 channels, Fraunhofer claims HE-AAC is unmatched in efficiency, flexibility and quality. HE-AAC is the mandatory audio codec in most countries, which recently introduced the second generation of terrestrial TV, for example, UK and Sweden.

Native support of HE-AAC enables playback of 5.1 surround content on Android 4.1 phones and tablets connected via HDMI to a home theatre system. In combination with adaptive HTTP streaming technologies such as MPEG DASH, Android devices become delivery platforms allowing service providers to offer their content.

"With the inclusion of HE-AAC multichannel in Android 4.1, users will be able to enjoy full surround sound with content delivered to Android phones and tablets as easily as they have with BluRay or DVD titles. Connecting a HDMI cable from their existing audio/video receiver or TV set to the MHL or HDMI connector on Android devices will deliver foolproof surround audio and video", says Robert Bleidt, division general manager at Fraunhofer USA Digital Media Technologies.

HE-AAC multichannel is part of the new Fraunhofer FDK AAC codec library for Android. This software, included in Android since version 4.1, makes open-source Fraunhofer implementations of the MPEG audio codecs AAC, HE-AAC, HE-AACv2, and AAC-ELD available to the Android community.