|1998 April, Introduction|
Eureka Project 1187
(Advanced Digital Television Technology)
To aid European industry compete collectively in an increasingly international market, the European governments established an initiative in 1985 under the Eureka banner. The aim of the initiative was to encourage like-minded organizations in any particular branch of industry to work together toward common goals, and thereby use their collective muscle and powers of innovation, development, and marketing to better compete in the worldwide market. To date over 1200 projects have been established on subjects such as farming, medicine, broadcasting, and so forth.
Eu1187 (ADTT) is just one such project. Started in 1994, the project ran for two years and completed its work in 1996 December. Centered on the technology that would be required to produce television programs in the digital age and convey them through a variety of routes to the consumer, ADTT followed the pioneering work of Eu95, an earlier project that defined the ways and means of generating high-definition television with surround sound. The audio work within ADTT also built upon the initial findings and proposals of the Audio Project Group within Eu95 and benefited significantly from a number of common members.
The members of ADTT who contributed to the Audio Working Group were BBC, B&O, Deutsche Telekom (Berlin), IRT, Nokia, and Philips CE. Each contributed their own expertise and efforts toward the common aim of identifying ways in which the audio aspects of television could be improved for the consumer. The remit of the group was determined at the start of the project by mutual negotiation and agreement. The outcome of those negotiations was the following list of topics for study and development.
- Sound program material: Recordings and post-production studies
- Loudspeaker and room requirements: Stereophonic width
- Surround sound concept
- Single-versus-distributed subwoofer
- Directivity studies
- Headphone listening
- Intelligent subwoofer
- Compatibility: Dynamic range control
- Reequalization and up/down conversion
- System evaluations: Codec tests
- Multichannel film-to-television sound conversion
- Dolby Stereo sound-to-television sound conversion
- Audio system specification, demonstrations, and project management
As the work progressed, the content of each notional package was further defined and addressed by those members specifically interested in the study and with relevant knowledge and skills.
Throughout the project, as phases of the work reached worthwhile conclusions, papers were presented at conferences of the Audio Engineering Society, the Montreux Television Symposium, and the International Broadcasting Convention. Additionally, as the project drew to a close, the members specifically decided to aim for the 1997 spring AES Convention in Munich for its closing reports. The eight project papers from that convention, covering topics as diverse as subwoofers, dynamic range control, and program production, are reproduced in this issue of the Journal. Inevitably in such a project the answers to some questions open up further lines of inquiry. The ADTT project was no exception and, with slight changes in direction, focus, and membership, a new Eureka project has been born, namely Eu1653 MEDUSA (Multichannel Enhancement of Domestic User Stereo Applications). The work of this project has now started in earnest and will undoubtedly form the basis of future conference and convention papers for the AES.
Chairman, ADTT Audio Working Group