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Trends and Activities in the Development of Multichannel Sound Systems

The new 3/2-stereo sound format is recommended by specialist groups of CCIR, SMPTE, and EBU. It provides an additional center channel and two surround channels, completing the left and right stereo channels, thereby offering an enlarged listening area and, at the same time, enhanced quality of the stereophonic presentation. This article looks at a number of aspects related to practical applications with and without accompanying picture, and to a final detailed specification of a universal multichannel sound system. Current international discussions and investigations as well as new experiences of the program makers have produced actual results concerning multichannel monitoring in the studio (and home), application of the subwoofer concept and the low-frequency effect channel, downward compatibility, compatibility with film material, etc. Some of these results may be considered for improvements of the CCIR Recommendation 775, -Multichannel stereophonic sound system with and without accompanying picture,- and for the specification of a corresponding universal multichannel transmission system.

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