Fraunhofer IIS Announces Licensing Efforts for New MPEG-H 3D Audio Baseline Profile

July 24 2020, 13:10
Fraunhofer IIS confirmed the release and official adoption of the MPEG-H 3D Audio Baseline Profile. The new profile was designed to exactly meet the business and technical needs of the industry and was announced during the MPEG WG11 131st meeting. Tailored for broadcast, streaming, and high-quality immersive music delivery use cases, the MPEG-H 3D Audio Audio Baseline profile supports channel and object signals and is a subset of the existing Low Complexity profile. 

The new MPEG-H 3D Audio Baseline Profile provides truly immersive experiences and unmatched advanced next-generation audio features including user interactivity and accessibility. As a subset of the existing MPEG-H 3D Audio Low Complexity Profile, it enables maximum interoperability with existing devices that have implemented that particular profile while at the same time significantly reducing the implementation and testing effort.

"Taking the next step to make the new profile easily accessible and facilitate its widespread usage, Fraunhofer IIS as the major contributor to the MPEG-H 3D Audio standard is collaborating with interested industry partners on establishing a licensing program for patents essential to the MPEG-H 3D Audio Baseline Profile," says Dr. Bernhard Grill, Director of Fraunhofer IIS.

"The MPEG-H 3D Audio Baseline Profile has been designed by ISO/IEC MPEG to deliver the most convincing immersive and interactive audio consumer experience. By cutting the implementation and testing effort by up to fifty percent, while enabling at the same time support for up to 24 audio objects, the MPEG-H 3D Audio Baseline Profile is exactly meeting the industry requirements. Its streamlined set of tools also allows for an attractive licensing program." 

As a driving force in the development and deployment of the MPEG-H Audio system, Fraunhofer IIS is leading the way to enable rapid adoption of the new profile, by offering a complete set of encoder and decoder software solutions as well as content production tools and extensive technical and creative support to the industry. Consumer products tested under the established MPEG-H trademark program will give end users the confidence that products are interoperable and provide the full benefits of the MPEG-H Audio system.

In addition to its advanced loudness and Dynamic Range Control (DRC), interactivity and accessibility features, the new 3D Audio Baseline profile enables the usage of up to 24 audio objects in Level 3 for high quality immersive music delivery. The MPEG already initiated a working group for defining new MPEG-H 3D Audio Reference Software and Conformance which incorporate the 3D Audio Baseline profile functionality.

The official MPEG announcement that also details the latest Versatile Video Coding Standard (VVC) - known as H.266 in the ITU-T - can be found here:

MPEG-H Audio is the industry’s most advanced audio system for UHD-TV and streaming. It supports both immersive sound and the ability for users to adjust elements in the audio to their preferences. MPEG-H has been on the air since 2017 on all TV networks in South Korea under the ATSC 3.0 standard. It has also been selected for new broadcast standards to be launched in China and Brazil and is the distribution format of the 360 Reality Audio ecosystem for immersive music streaming services. Fraunhofer already offers MPEG-H software implementations for many popular CPU, SoC and DSP platforms. It is widely deployed today in TV sets, premium soundbars and high-end smart speakers.

More information about the MPEG-H Trademark Program is available here:
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