Meeting Topic: The Future of Audio for Television
Moderator Name: Gary Epstein
Speaker Name: Mike Babbitt, Dolby Labs; Robert Bleidt, Franhofer; Steve Silva, consulting for Fox; Glenn Stone, DTS; Jeffrey Riedmuller, Dolby
Other business or activities at the meeting: Elections for the Executive Committee and Section Officers
Meeting Location: Sportsmen's Lodge, Studio City, CA
The June meeting of the AES-LA focused on the future of audio for television. The Advanced Television Standards Committee (ATSC) is finalizing the ATSC 3.0 standards for terrestrial broadcast television, designed to accommodate Ultra-High-Definition (UHD) video at 2160p, high dynamic range (HDR) picture, and expanded color space. As part of this effort, the ATSC is making recommendations for audio codecs and other systems to support enhanced audio presentations with ATSC 3.0.
The first commercial broadcasts will kick off in early 2017 in South Korea using Fraunhofer's MPEG-H codec. Meanwhile, the ATSC has standardized on Dolby's AC-4 for US broadcast, with Dolby working with both broadcasters and equipment manufacturers to bring that to reality. Both codecs support object-based immersive sound, as well as personalization and customization features to enhance the consumer experience.
The discussion covered topics such as; in the absence of an FCC mandate to convert, who can we solve the chicken-and-egg problem; what tools are available to produce audio, especially in a live environment, for immersive playback; how will all this integrate with cable and OTT systems? The discussion provided an intriguing glimpse at the road ahead.
Written By: Daniel Schulz