A new five-channel transmission hierarchy is described for HDTV surround sound, incorporating previously described frontal stage multispeaker stereo hierarchies and a full 360 deg ambisonic surround sound stage. The structure of the hierarchy is different from previously proposed 3:2 hierarchies, but supports a much larger number of source and reproduction modes, including those allowing direct sounds from the sides, front, and rear stages with optimized psychoacoustic quality. The hierarchy supports full up, down, and sideways compatibility of all supported reproduction modes, and allows indefinite cascading down long broadcast production chains without increasing losses of directional reproduction quality.
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