MPEG Gives Thumbs Up to Fraunhofer 3D Audio

The Motion Picture Experts Group (MPEG), the standardization body that brought you MPEG-2 for the video on your DVD disc among other standards, has recommended adoption of the Fraunhofer IIS 3D audio proposal for an emerging standard for a future MPEG-H 3D Audio Standard. Fraunhofer is the same German company that brought up the ubiquitous MP3 stanard years ago. They have continued to develop and refine their portfolio of intellectual property and surpassed a number of other audio researh facilities from around the world.

The MPEG organization conducted a months long evaluation of the Fraunhofer technology proposal that included 10 professional testing labs and more than 50 participants who generated over 40,000 subjective responses.

Submissions were evaluated and tested for use in two different applications: channel/object-based and scene-based audio signals. Fraunhofer’s proposal describes an Extended HE-AAC based audio codec coupled with a 3D rendering engine. Their approach supports the transmission of 3D audio signals and 3D rendering for the playback across a variety of platforms. These include 3D home theaters, 22.2 surround loudspeaker arrays, automobiles and headphones.

“Fraunhofer IIS is proud to develop leading audio technologies that meet the high standards of MPEG,” Harald Popp, head of the audio and multimedia business department at Fraunhofer IIS, stated. “Similar to previous standardization activities of MPEG, Fraunhofer IIS’s proposal was selected once again for its superior audio quality and performance,” he added.

MPEG plans to incorporate the Fraunhofer 3D audio proposal into a future standard that is to be completed in 2015.

The winning channel/object-based and scene-based proposals will be merged in the future standardization process to be finalized in early 2015.

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