Sony Digital Rapids Pixel Power calrec Sony

Tech Focus: Immersive Sound, Part 1 - The Battle Between Speakers and Channels Rages On

14/09/2017

Tech Focus: Immersive Sound, Part 1 - The Battle Between Speakers and Channels Rages On Immersive audio gets denser even as the speakers it can call on become fewer By Dan Daley, Audio Editor

Thursday, September 14, 2017 - 10:39 am

Print This Story

Story Highlights

The history of television audio is paradoxically coming full circle: with immersive sound looming, some home devices have a single transducer.

Stereo television sound entered the mainstream in fits and starts. NBC's The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson was the first regularly scheduled programming to use stereo, in 1984, but, by 1987, the then-Big Three nets were largely in stereo, with fledgling Fox catching up in 1990. All four networks had their entire primetime schedules in stereo by late 1994 (although the caveat where available was liberally applied.)

Getting a pair of stereo speakers into a television set wasn't a major undertaking for most of stereo-audio broadcasting's history. At a time when a Sony 32-in. Trinitron set weighed 165 lb., accommodating a couple of 4-in. transducers was fairly straightforward. However, when flat-screen televisions began to enter the market in force in 1998, speakers were among the first components to feel the pressure. By the time flat screens became ubiquitous, starting around 2005 as their prices fell more than 25% a year, audio was clearly on the defensive. It was stereo, but bandwidth and frequency response were increasingly limited by smaller speaker size.

Enter Surround

Ironically, just as truncated transducers were fighting for space in new flat TVs, broadcast audio was gearing up to need more of them, with 5.1 surround becoming the new standard. The consumer-electronics industry produced an abundance of external speaker/subwoofer arrays, many designed for high-end home theaters. But even the more affordable home-theater-in-a-box versions of these saw limited uptake among most households.

Today, television is migrating to even smaller screens on mobile devices. And, following the tortured logic of the past, broadcast audio is now being aimed at immersive sound formats, which can require anywhere from eight to 22 speakers.

The consumer-electronics industry's response to immersive audio at first was similar to its reaction to 5.1: external speaker arrays but with some of the speakers in the sets firing upward, in hopes of hitting an acoustically resonant ceiling that would mimic the response of an overhead speaker. Those systems found very limited acceptance in the marketplace and are being rapidly outpaced by soundbars, which appear to be the future of immersive sound for home television viewing - at least in homes where residents don't constantly wear headphones. The category reached the $1 billion mark in sales in 2016 and continues to increase.

Soundbars initially were intended to provide a semblance of a 5.1 experience: using a combination of beam-steering, volume differentials, equalization, and phase shifting, they direct some of the audio around a room and deflect it off walls to create a virtual surround effect.

The next generation of soundbars is now taking on Atmos, DTS:X, Auro, MPEG-H, and other immersive formats. Some units create two overhead channels in a similar fashion to the way they still create the rear channels, for a 5.1.2 effect. Then there are top-line products like Yamaha's YSP-5600 soundbar, which is loaded with more than 40 beam drivers, including 12 upward-firing drivers, to simulate a virtual 7.1.2 Atmos surround experience.

Fraunhofer IIS, which developed and markets the MPEG-H codec, is behind an MPEG-H-enabled immersive soundbar and audio/video receiver (AVR) design that, using Texas Instruments' 66AK2G02 DSP + ARM System on Chip (SoC) on broadcast systems that have integrated MPEG-H (South Korea is the first), will give those users the ability to adjust the sound mix to suit their preferences, for example, by choosing between different commentators in a sports event.

The next generation of home-audio devices seems to underscore the odd pattern of divergence between speakers and channels: as the age of immersive sound looms, the trend in consumer electronics has been to home-assistant devices, such as Amazon's Echo and Google's Home, so-called smart speakers that, in some cases, literally have only a single transducer. And one of their many applications is to act as a satellite speaker for other devices - including televisions. So broadcast audio's channel count continues to increase even as its array of playback devices seems to heading back to mono.

Click here for Tech Focus: Immersive Sound, Part 2 - Rapid Development Spurs the Need for Training.
LINK: https://www.sportsvideo.org/2017/09/14/tech-focus-immersive-sound-part...
See more stories from svg

Most recent headlines

22/06/2018

Endemol Shine Group signs new first series deals for MasterChef Junior in Central and Eastern Europe

Global producer and distributor Endemol Shine Group today announce they have sig...

22/06/2018

Sony announces winners of European RX0 Video Challenge

Sony today announced the winners of its RX0 Video Challenge. Open since the end of January 2018, the competition challenged video makers across Europe to push b...

22/06/2018

Jason Ritter To Star In Netflix's Superhero Family Drama Series Raising Dion

Pat is a comic-book-reading scientist who worked with Mark, his best friend. With Mark gone, Pat makes a big effort to be there for Nicole and Dion, and loves t...

22/06/2018

McG's Rim of the World Sets Cast for his 3rd Netflix Film

Directed by: McG Cast:Jack Gore (The Kids Are Alright, Billions), Miya Cech (The Darkest Minds), Benjamin Flores Jr. (Game Shakers (TV), Transformers: The Last...

22/06/2018

NETFLIX MAKES OVERALL DEAL WITH STEVEN S. DEKNIGHT

Hollywood, CA - June 21, 2018 -- Netflix has entered into a multi-year overall deal with writer, director and producer Steven S. DeKnight for series and other p...

22/06/2018

CARLOS SALDANHA AND NETFLIX WILL UNVEIL INVISIBLE CITIES, NEW BRAZILIAN ORIGINAL SERIES

S o Paulo - June, 20th, 2018 - Netflix, the worlds leading internet entertainmen...

22/06/2018

MARCO PIGOSSI COMES TO NETFLIX

S o Paulo - June, 21st, 2018 - Netflix, the worlds leading internet entertainment service, announces Brazilian actor Marco Pigossi has joined Netflix for a seri...

22/06/2018

Amazon Announces First Fulfillment Center in Alabama, Creating 1,500 Full-Time Jobs

Amazon Announces First Fulfillment Center in Alabama, Creating 1,500 Full-Time J...

22/06/2018

Nepal's Largest Direct-to-home Pay-TV Operator Takes Advantage of Next-generation DVB Cardless Security from Verimatrix

San Diego, Jun. 22, 2018 - Verimatrix, a specialist in securing and enhancing re...

22/06/2018

NexPlayer and Edgeware Form Strategic Partnership to Bring Low Latency Streaming to Media Organizations

NexPlayer and Edgeware Form Strategic Partnership to Bring Low Latency Streaming...

22/06/2018

3G Wireless, KMH Audio-Visual Integration, Metrovision, CTG Renew SVG Sponsorships

3G Wireless, KMH Audio-Visual Integration, Metrovision, CTG Renew SVG Sponsorshi...

22/06/2018

Artel Video Systems, Professional Wireless Systems, Reality Check Systems, Gerling & Associates Re-up With SVG

Artel Video Systems, Professional Wireless Systems, Reality Check Systems, Gerli...

22/06/2018

Behind the Mic: Fox Sports Assigns Broadcast Teams for 2018 FIFA World Cup Group Stages, 2018 Big3 Season

Behind the Mic: Fox Sports Assigns Broadcast Teams for 2018 FIFA World Cup Group...

22/06/2018

Live From the NBA Draft: ESPN Embraces Seaport Studios for NBA Draft Coverage; NBA TV Expands Onsite Presence

Live From the NBA Draft: ESPN Embraces Seaport Studios for NBA Draft Coverage; N...

22/06/2018

NHL Draft: NBC, NHL Network Roll Out Big-Production Guns at American Airlines Center

NHL Draft: NBC, NHL Network Roll Out Big-Production Guns at American Airlines Ce...

22/06/2018

Leading from Within: Inspiring Women in the Creative Industry During See It Be It' Events at Cannes

There are still too few women rising in leadership within the creative industry....

22/06/2018

AMC Orders Season Two of Anthology Series The Terror'

Photo Credit: Aiden Monaghan/AMC AMC has renewed its anthology series The Terror for a second season. The next season will be set during World War II and cente...

22/06/2018

Primetime Ratings: CBS, Fox Split Soft Night

CBS and Fox were the winners in Thursday prime ratings, on a night when no network exceeded a 0.7. Both CBS, in repeats, and Fox, with The Four, scored a 0.7/3....

22/06/2018

Drama Timeless' Done on NBC

Timeless on NBC (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC) NBC has cancelled drama Timeless after two seasons. The network did not comment, but executive producer Shawn Ry...

22/06/2018

Meet BMX Rex: The Smoothest Kid on 2-Wheels

community Jun 22, 2018 Seven-year-old Rex Johnson delivers this year's cutest performance in our newest GoPro Award-winning video, Rex the BMX Kid. Th...

22/06/2018

Friday Tip: Make Mastered Songs Better with Tempo Changes

We covered tempo changes previously, with an emphasis on using tempo changes to add dramatic pauses, and also doing longer changes that are useful with DJ sets ...

22/06/2018

RGBworks Studio Builds Multiple New Color Grading Suites with DaVinci Resolve Software and Panels

-- Blackmagic Design today announced that Guangzhou based RGBworks Studio, a p...

22/06/2018

TSL Products Partners with DNF Controls To Enhance Control Systems Functionality

TSL Products Partners with DNF Controls To Enhance Control Systems Functionality posted: 22/06/2018 TSL To Use DNF's Products as Standalone Hardware a...

22/06/2018

Africa Magic to announce AMVCAs nominees

-- -- Facebook Twitter Google Pinterest Nominees for the 2018 Africa Magic Viewers' Choice Awards (AMVCAs) will be announced via a televised broadc...

22/06/2018

NFVF calls filmmakers to attend the Nature Environment & Wildlife Filmmakers...

-- -- Facebook Twitter Google Pinterest The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) has announced the call for filmmakers to attend the Nature Enviro...

22/06/2018

Sonarworks intro new standard for accurate monitoring

Promises just +/-0.9dB difference across different devices Software > Processor Mixing Among its host of users, the Sonarworks Reference plug-in has become ...

22/06/2018

Ability to see through...

Image: Jason Dorfman/MIT CSAIL In the healthcare world, the ability to see through walls, could monitor diseases and help elderly people live longer in their o...

22/06/2018

Nanolaser copies chameleon ability to change...

Scientists have designed a nanolaser that can change colour in the same the way that chameleons are able to change the colour of their skin. Scientists at North...

22/06/2018

Exterity expands Middle...

Ahmad Bsat - Regional sales manager ME, Exterity Exterity, a provider of IP video and digital signage technologies, has announced several enhancements to its g...

22/06/2018

Peter Mathia joins the board of Lang

Peter Mathia as been added to the management board of German rental company Lang. Starting from July 1, Mathia will share this responsibility with chair Tobias ...

22/06/2018

Alcons Audio appoints Elit as distributor for Turkey

L-R: Emre Defne (Elit), Tom Back (Alcons) and nsal ak r (Elit) Alcons Audio has appointed Elit Light and Sound Technologies, based in Besiktas, Istanbul, as ...

22/06/2018

Superwog to forge new ground with a series for ABC COMEDY and YouTube

22 06 2018 - Media release Superwog to forge new ground with a series for ABC COMEDY and YouTube Superwog The ABC and Screen Australia are excited to announc...

22/06/2018

IBC2018 announces Cyber Security Forum to help media tackle cyber threats

IBC2018 announces Cyber Security Forum to help media tackle cyber threats posted: 22/06/2018 World's most influential media, entertainment and technol...

22/06/2018

More than 85 per cent of US millennials subscribe to at least one OTT service

Research suggests overall penetration of subscription OTT video services among the generation has topped out Author: Colby RamseyPublish date: Jun 22, 2018 ...

22/06/2018

Viacom to close down VIVA channel by end of 2018

Comedy Central will expand into a 24-hour service as a result Author: Colby RamseyPublish date: Jun 22, 2018 Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) is t...

22/06/2018

Disney could get US antitrust approval for Fox deal "within weeks"

Report suggests approval could come as soon as two weeks Author: Jenny PriestleyPublish date: Jun 22, 2018 The Walt Disney Companys bid for control of 21st ...

22/06/2018

ARRI behind the scenes on WRATH OF SILENCE

ARRI behind the scenes on WRATH OF SILENCE Director Xin Yukun's critically acclaimed film, WRATH OF SILENCE, is a tough crime thriller set in a Chinese c...

22/06/2018

9 Most-Anticipated Upcoming Movies of 2018

22 June, 2018 - 07:46 2018 began with major roller coasters, yes, we saw the likes of Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, Deadpool 2, Ocean's 8, and ...

22/06/2018

Marvel fans are stoked after seeing the trailer to "Ant-Man and the Wasp

22 June, 2018 - 07:46 Marvel fans are stoked after seeing the trailer to Ant-Man and the Wasp, which flies into theaters on Friday, July 6. Many point out j...

22/06/2018

Arturia introduce Keylab MkII controllers

New controllers sport CV I/O and aluminium construction Hardware > MIDI Controller Video of Arturia announces KeyLab MkII Arturia's MIDI controller lin...

22/06/2018

Primetime Ratings: Fox Doubles Runner-Up Ratings

Fox was the big winner in the Wednesday ratings race, the Gordon Ramsay shows leading the network to a 1.0 in viewers 18-49, and a 5 share. That beat CBS at 0.5...

22/06/2018

Ozark' Back on Netflix Aug. 31

David Dwyer, Julia Garner Jessica Miglio/Netflix Season two of drama Ozark premieres on Netflix Aug. 31. Jason Bateman and Laura Linney play a married couple ...

22/06/2018

ABC Picks Up Roseanne' Spinoff Straight to Series

ABC has ordered a spinoff of Roseanne straight to series for this fall. The Conners (working title) will star John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, Sara Gilbert, Lecy ...

22/06/2018

Media Alert: Koko the Gorilla, Spokesperson & Images Available

**Media Alert** Why Koko the Gorilla Mattered Featured twice on the cover of National Geographic magazine, Koko led to major revelations about animal empathy ...

22/06/2018

Claypaky Fixtures Help Paul Guthrie Give a Modern Edge to the Hall & Oates Legacy on Summer Tour Co-Headlining with Train

Claypaky Fixtures Help Paul Guthrie Give a Modern Edge to the Hall & Oates Legac...

22/06/2018

Firefly Glows With Bandit Lites

Firefly Glows With Bandit Lites posted: 21/06/2018 The Firefly Music Festival wrapped this weekend with Bandit Lites proud to once again provide the light...

22/06/2018

Marillion gets animated with the Claypaky Scenius Spot

Marillion gets animated with the Claypaky Scenius Spot posted: 21/06/2018 Marillion performing at the Brighton Dome and lit using the Claypaky Scenius Spot....

22/06/2018

Go Skateboarding Day 2018: Mastering the Edit

pros Jun 21, 2018 Around GoPro, skateboarding is a means of transportation, a daily source of entertainment (mongo ...) and the source of some of our favor...

22/06/2018

Delivering the right content at the wrong time can make it irrelevant

MediaTech 360 panel discusses personalisation and the use of data to improve user experiences Author: Colby RamseyPublish date: Jun 21, 2018 Day two of Medi...