The MPEG-H TV Audio System, developed primarily by Fraunhofer IIS, passed a major milestone in Europe when it was successfully transmitted via satellite and DVB-T2 in the live Ultra HD TV broadcast channel of the Roland Garros French Open tennis tournament.
France Télévisions and the French Tennis Federation, in collaboration with TDF and FRANSAT, a subsidiary of Eutelsat, successfully tested the transmission and reception of MPEG-H Audio immersive sound over DVB-T2 and satellite during the Roland Garros tennis tournament. The MPEG-H Audio stream was included in the regular live Ultra HD broadcast of the Philippe Chatrier court, starting with May 27th and will be broadcasted live until the end of the tournament on June 10th.
Immersive sound has been produced by France Televisions for a decade, but this year a unified setup of Schoeps microphones is used on all courts covered by France Télévisions to provide one of the most precise sound of ball hits.
But this year the main court also benefits from an ORTF-3D Schoeps microphone, to produce some ambient sound in 3 dimensions.
After a first trial of object-based audio live production last year, France Télévisions associates for the first time the MPEG-H TV Audio System to its Ultra High Definition video.
MPEG-H provides new features for users:
- to switch between English and French commentaries
- to select a version without any commentary and enjoy the live atmosphere of the Philippe Chatrier court
- to enhance the dialogue for better intelligibility
- to change the position of commentaries in the audio scene.
The live production of MPEG-H immersive audio content is made possible through the use of the Multichannel Monitoring and Authoring (MMA) system provided by Jünger Audio. The personalization and interactivity options are enabled through the MPEG-H Audio metadata, which treats individual elements of an audio mix as objects that can afterwards be adjusted by the viewer.
For the live broadcast, video-compression solutions provider Ateme successfully integrated support for the MPEG-H TV Audio System into its TITAN encoder. Ateme’s solution enables the usage of the Next Generation Audio immersive and personalization features in any DVB market.
During the first end-to-end trial of MPEG-H TV Audio in Europe, the tennis-court action as well as the cheers and applause of spectators, delivered in immersive 5.1 surround plus four height speakers channels, can be experienced in MPEG-H Audio in the France Télévisions broadcast center using a Fraunhofer reference design of an immersive soundbar together with an Android set-top box and a UHD TV set.
The MPEG-H TV Audio System is one of the Next Generation Audio (NGA) technologies under consideration by the France’s broadcasting authority, Conseil supérieur de l’audiovisuel (CSA), for the next change of the digital terrestrial television (DTT) platform.
About the MPEG-H TV Audio System
The MPEG-H TV Audio System works with today’s broadcast and streaming equipment, enables broadcasters and service providers to deliver immersive cinema-like surround sound cost-effectively at comparably low bit rates, and enables personalization features, which lets viewers adjust the sound mix to suit their personal preferences. MPEG-H also tailors playback to sound best on a range of devices from TVs to mobile devices.
MPEG-H has been integrated into the ATSC 3.0 and DVB TV standards. In South Korea, terrestrial ATSC 3.0 broadcasting with MPEG-H TV Audio is already underway, making MPEG-H the world’s first commercialized next-generation TV-audio technology.
Professional broadcast equipment, including encoders and monitoring solutions, as well as decoders and consumer products such as TV sets and sound bars, have been announced and introduced with MPEG-H support.