MPEG Surround provides unsurpassed multi-channel audio compression efficiency by extending a mono or stereo audio coder with additional side information. This compression method has two important advantages. The first is its backward compatibility, which is important when MPEG Surround is employed to upgrade an existing service. Secondly, the amount of side information can be varied over a wide range to enable high-quality multi-channel audio compression at extremely low bit rates up to perceptual transparency at higher bit rates. The present paper provides a study of the performance of MPEG Surround, highlighting the various tradeoffs that are available when using MPEG Surround. Furthermore, a quality versus bit rate curve describing the MPEG Surround performance will be presented.
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