The Audio Engineering Society 16th International Conference: Spatial Sound Reproduction, 10-12 April 1999


High Quality Multichannel Audio: Trends and Challenges

Marina Bosi

Digital Theater Systems (DTS), Inc.
Los Angeles

After the introduction of the CD format, new standards for consumer expectations have risen to demand audio quality that corresponds to the equivalent of signal to noise ratios and dynamic ranges of above 80 dB and signal spectral content of above 15 kHz.  While the CD format specifies only two channels, multichannel audio is providing the end users with a more involving experience and it is becoming more and more appealing to music producers.  Standardization bodies including SMPTE, EBU, ITU-R, ISO/IEC MPEG, DVD Forum have converged to the so called 5.1 multichannel format.  The current development in DVD-Audio includes multichannel audio along with an increased audio sample resolution (24-bit) and sampling rates (88.2, 96, and 192 kHz).  In spite a steady increase in storage media capacity and transmission bandwidth, high quality multichannel audio creates a challenge for traditional and new delivery media.  In this paper, an overview of multichannel audio coding will be provided.  The emerging DVD-Audio standard will be discussed.  Applications and new directions in multichannel music will be examined.

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Last modified: 12.03.1999