The FCC's effective deregulation of FM multichannel broadcasting standards, and the advent of multichannel audio via satellite, cable, and video systems, pose the question of the most effective use of 3 or 4 related audio channels. The Ambisonic UHJ hierarchy for transmitting total sound fields offers more varied mutually compatible applications than do other proposals (such as quadraphonics), with options up to and including full-sphere ("periphonic") directional reproduction. These options are detailed, including mono, stereo, 2-, 2 1/2-, 3-, and 4-channel horizontal surround encoding, 4-channel periphony, and a range of user sound field adjustments in stereo and psychoacoustically optimized surround-sound reproduction modes.
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