In several applications it may be desirable to improve an existing digital two-channel stereo system by providing additional audio channels in a compatible way, without making use of simulcast operation. This strategy is considered by a multi-channel stereo coding method under development, called MUSICAM-surround. The encoder delivers the basic stereo signal coded according to Draft International Standard ISO 11172, completed by a MUSICAM-extension bitstream (less than 128 kbit/s). The MUSICAM surround decoder is designed to recombine a five-channel stereo signal (3/2-stereo surround) from both bitstreams.
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