Wednesday, October 28, 2015

ITU grants standards for advanced audio broadcasting technology

The membership of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has granted approval for open standards, in line with the recommendation ITU-R BS.2088-0, aimed at delivering advanced sound for broadcasting services that will create a listening experience that is closer to real life, reports ITRealms.

The new global standards will facilitate the production and exchange of advanced audio files by allowing a single file to carry a complete audio programme containing audio samples as well as metadata for any combination of object, channel and scene-based audio. The new file format was developed based on the existing and widely used Resource Interchange File Format (RIFF) or Waveform Audio File Format (WAVE/WAV) Filename extension file format in order to facilitate its application and implementation.

ITRealms reports that sound have become an indispensable part of television and radio, just as in real life, experts say, man hear sound from all around; a bird above us, a car behind us, and a voice ahead of us. 

ITU in a press statement made available to ITRealms also noted that emulating this same experience in the media will be ‘immersive audio’. 

“Coupled with new high quality Ultra High Definition Television (UHDTV), which offers enhanced image rendition, immersive audio will lift the television experience to an entirely new level, further blurring the line between physical reality and virtual or digital simulation,” part of the press statement read.

Future technical capabilities for audio, ITU said, will allow viewers to select their own menu of services. “They will be able to decide on and adjust the level of immersive sound in their living rooms, creating dynamic sound imaging,”

ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao was quoted as saying that these features become possible with ‘object based coding’, which will allow viewers to personalize their viewing and listening experience ‘at the point of consumption’.

This, he said, could include setting language and dialogue levels and selecting different aspects or sections of programming, which could also bring added benefits for people with disabilities.

“The ITU global standard for immersive audio sets an important step for an exciting new age of ‘sound’ for broadcasting,” Zhao said stressing that the advanced audio systems will provide additional features and performance well beyond those available today.

For the Director, ITU Radiocommunication Bureau, François Rancy, the role that sound plays in the media is under-estimated, pointed out that “The work of ITU, along with other standards bodies, is creating a very exciting future for audio production, delivery and programming.”


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