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Multi-Channel Goes Mobile: MPEG Surround Binaural Rendering

Surround sound is on the verge of broad adoption in consumers’ homes, for digital broadcasting and even for Internet services. The currently developed MPEG Surround technology offers bitrate efficient and mono/stereo compatible transmission of high-quality multi-channel audio. This enables multi-channel services for applications where mono or stereo backwards compatibility is required as well as applications with severely bandwidth limited distribution channels. This paper outlines a significant addition to the MPEG Surround specification which enables computationally efficient decoding of MPEG Surround data into binaural stereo as is appropriate for appealing surround sound reproduction on mobile devices, such as cellular phones. The publication describes the basics of the underlying MPEG Surround architecture, the binaural decoding process, and subjective testing results.

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