Prior to this study the evaluation of multi-channel audio codecs has been done mainly according to the ITU-R standards BS.1116 and BS.1534. Basic audio quality is the only perceptual attribute assessed in the majority of these tests. This approach, although efficient for measuring the overall quality of several codecs at once, does not provide reasons why a particular codec is rated as better as or worse than another. In this study, fidelity attributes were included; these were based on the attributes suggested in the ITU-R standards but have not been used explicitly in codec evaluation up to now. In this experiment the perceptual importance of these attributes and their contribution to the basic audio quality of low bit-rate surround sound codecs were investigated.
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