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Bit-Rate Saving in Multichannel Sound: Using a Band-Limited Channel to Transmit the Center Signal

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A method is proposed to achieve full-frequency-range three-channel (left, right, and center) sound reproduction in systems that have only two full-range sound channels and some band-limited commentary channels. The low-frequency part of the center signal, which matches the bandwidth of the commentary channels, is added to the (multilingual) speech signals in each of the commentary channels. The remaining high-frequency part is added in the left and right channels as in conventional mixdowns. Sound reproduction of this signal by a conventional two-channel receiver remains unaltered. The low-frequency part of the center signal is mixed to the left and right signals together with the speech once the user has selected a commentary channel. Three-channel reproduction is obtained by routing the selected commentary channel to a central loudspeaker. Listening tests revealed that sound reproduction according to the proposed scheme could not be distinguished from original three-channel reproduction. This scheme can be applied to proposed standards such as D2MAC and MPEG2.

JAES Volume 42 Issue 7/8 pp. 555-564; July 1994
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