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Surround Broacasting in Japan

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Surround sound has penetrated the Japanese consumer electronics market more fully than any other. Nearly 45% of all TV sets sold in Japan in 1989 incorporated built-in surround decoders, over and above many elaborate surround systems and components. Japanese television and radio broadcasters have rapidly increased the number of surround broadcasts to keep pace with consumer demand for surround products. This paper describes how they have learned to best utilize surround for sports events, concerts, and both TV and radio dramas. Various microphone and other techniques are described, as well as caveats derived from experience. The elaborate surround mix created for an hour-long NHK radio drama broadcast in May of this year, "The Ears of the Earth", is described in particular detail.

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