NEW GENERATION AUDIO, PROTAGONIST OF THE 5TH UHD SPAIN MEETING
50 professionals participated in the fifth virtual meeting on the evolution of sound processing in consumer AV products
The meeting, in virtual format, was led by Samuel Fabra, TV Technology Manager at Sony, and was restricted to members of the association.
In this UHD Spain meeting, an evolution of decoding and sound reproduction was presented, as well as an introduction to codecs, their benefits, and the reproduction of immersive sound on TV receivers and audio systems (SB, HT, HP).
UHD Spain hosted last week a new virtual meeting exclusively for members of the association and led by Samuel Fabra, TV Technology Manager at Sony, which consisted of an NGA Masterclass on the evolution of sound processing in consumer AV products.
Almost fifty professionals attended this fifth meeting, including members of Axión, COITT, Asturias Principality Radio and Television (RTPA), Ametic, Medina Media, SAPEC, Dolby, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Fraunhofer and Corporació Catalana de Mitjans Audiovisuals (CCMA).
Fabra opened the meeting with a brief historical perspective on sound decoding and reproduction from its origins, with the invention of the gramophone, through digital sound processing with the Compact Disc to the present day with NGA and surround sound.
During the masterclass, Fabra presented the features and benefits of the three NGA codecs included in DVB spec (Dolby AC-4, MPEG – H, and DTS-UHD), as well as an interesting comparative with the advantages and disadvantages of each one.
“Thanks to the NGA codecs, we can reproduce immersive sound without the complicated installation that was previously required for home speaker systems. In addition, it is possible to customize the audio, being able to select different types of background sounds and different audio objects,” says Fabra.
Another important advantage is that the dialogue can be improved since it is treated as an independent audio object and can be assigned a higher volume than the soundtrack. There are also improvements in accessibility and audiodescription management, for the same reason: being an independent object, we can not only modify the volume but also move away from the screen, where the dialogue comes from.
A very important issue is the Dynamic Range Control (DRC) to be able to adapt the audio to different environments or devices. “It’s not the same to listen to a movie in your home theater than on your tablet in an airplane, where the noise level is much higher and we can’t have such a large dynamic range. In this sense, the NGA codecs support various functionalities to manage the DRC because they associate metadata to these Dynamic Range characteristics,” says Sony manager.
IMMERSIVE SOUND REPRODUCTION
The second part of the masterclass was focused on the reproduction of immersive sound on TV with audio devices and systems (SB, HT, HP).
In this context, Fabra indicates that the first aspect to consider is the position of the sound and, as in the cinema, in TVs, the main sound has to come out of the screen and not from speakers that are outside the screen. “But, to give a sense of immersion you also need to have methods so that the user can receive the audio from many points. So we are talking about techniques that by bouncing sound can bring the sound as immersively as possible to the user.”
“Virtual surround systems were invented quite some time ago, they’re not NGA’s business, but the key here is how you can create something that is tailored to each home. Sony’s current TVs have an automatic acoustic calibration system. The microphone built into the remote control is used to perform this calibration,” says Fabra.
But, to get an immersive sound you also need additional speakers or additional systems, such as Home Theater System,(HT), Headphones (HP) which is a great way to get high-quality immersive audio, and Sound Bars (SB).
“Wireless speaker installation and an automatic calibration system, as well as speaker reduction by recreating some with virtualization are the options used to counteract tedious HT installations. In the case of HPs, ambient headphones are the new option to reduce individual isolation with audio systems that give you ambient sound. And with respect to the problem of soundbars, not having rear speakers, virtualizing these speakers would also be an option,” Fabra explains.
This initiative of the non-profit association UHD Spain consists of meetings of its members with experts from the audiovisual sector and responds to the commitment to promote Ultra High Definition in Spain, at all levels: both for consumers and professionals.
UHD Spain is a non-profit association created on January 26, 2021, to promote Ultra High Definition (UHD) in Spain. There are currently 38 associated companies: ADM, Agile Content, Ametic, Ateme, Atresmedia, Axión, Canal Sur, Canon, CCMA, Cellnex, Cires21, COITT, Dolby, Egatel, Fecotel, Fenitel, Forta, Fraunhofer, Gsertel, Henneo, Hispasat, Hurí, Lavinia, Mediapro, Medina Media, Rohde &. Schwarz, RTVE, Sapec, Secuoya, Synamedia, Tedial, Telecom CLM, Televés, TRedess, UPM, Uteca, Vestel and Video-MOS.
For more information and to become a member of UHD Spain: firstname.lastname@example.org