Internet broadcasters now have the opportunity to deliver low bitrate 5.1 audio after Texas Instruments (TI) announced at CES that MPEG Surround (MPS) has been included on its new DSP platform, writes Kevin Hilton.
MPS is an ISO standard that was launched officially at IBC 2010 by its co-developer, Fraunhofer IIS. The German research institution confirmed at the CES (Consumer Electronics Association) exhibition in Las Vegas on 5th January that it has signed a partnership deal with TI.
The agreement sees MPS decoding software become part of the TI Network Audio Software Development Kit (nSDK), making the surround technology available on the US processor and semi-conductor manufacturer's DSP system.
TI's nSDK allows network interoperability standards, multichannel and stereo codecs, audio post-production processing, streamed audio over USB and pre-integrated online music services to be applied to the DA8x range of audio processors.
MPS is a parametric system that works at bit rates from 64kbps to 320kbps, taking 5.1 inputs and converting them into a stereo down-mix. This is combined with parameters describing the surround information and can be compressed by any audio codec that can handle 5.1, including AAC. Stereo files are then transmitted incorporating additional surround information, which will be reproduced by a MPS compatible processor.
Fraunhofer spokesman Matthias Rose says the TI kit is aimed at AV receiver and although no manufacturers have started using it yet, he points to the high market share taken by the manufacturer's DSPs.
With MPS integrated into AV receivers Rose explains that broadcasters would have to send out a corresponding MPS stream, which can be generated from any PCM 5.1 input, or stereo if SX Pro upmixing is being used.