August 24, 2008 The Fraunhofer stand at the IFA consumer electronics trade show in Berlin will achieve a world first by broadcasting a radio station in DAB Surround and MP3 Surround Internet radio. ROCK ANTENNE will be transmitted in the MPEG Surround standard, which compresses the six channels of a surround music track to the extent that they require no more memory than a compressed stereo signal.
The MPEG Surround standard was developed by engineers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits ISS in Erlangen. The standard automatically produces a stereo mix and sets parameters describing the surround sound, removing the need for broadcasters to transmit simultaneously in stereo and surround. Conventional speakers play back a regular stereo signal, but DAB Surround speakers reproduce the original 5.1 audio with perfect quality.
ISS is also offering the SX Pro technique, which allows stereo content to be incorporated into a 5.1 transmission. SX Pro analyzes the characteristics of the stereo music signal and integrates the center and rear channels of a 5.1 system, enlarging the listening area and stabilizing the sound.
“When you listen to music on the radio, it will sound like you’re sitting in a concert hall and not at your own breakfast table,” says Matthias Rose of the IIS. ANTENNE BAYERN and ROCK ANTENNE can be received online using the MP3 Surround Player freeware or WinAmp.