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Comparison of Multichannel Audio Decoders for Use in Mobile and Handheld Devices

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Multichannel audio provides immersive experience to listeners. Consumer demand coupled with technological improvements will drive consumption of high-definition content in mobile and handheld devices. There are several multichannel audio coding algorithms, both, proprietary ones like Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Windows Media Audio Professional (WMA Pro), Digital Theater Surround High Definition (DTS-HD) and standard ones like Advanced Audio Coding (AAC), MPEG Surround, available in the market. This paper presents salient features/coding techniques of important multichannel audio decoders and a comparison of these decoders on key parameters like - processor complexity, memory requirements, complexity/features for stereo playback and quality/coding efficiency. Paper also presents a ranking of these multichannel audio decoders on the key parameters in a single table for easy comparison.

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