Today at IBC2003, Microsoft Corp., Capital Radio PLC, NTL Broadcast and RadioScape Ltd. announced a trial period that will bring 5.1-channel surround sound to Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) in the United Kingdom. The trial period will involve live Internet Protocol (IP) datacasting of Microsoft® Windows Media® Audio 9 Professional (WMA Pro) 5.1-channel content over L-Band in the central London area starting October 2003. The trial is expected to last for approximately six months, bringing a true 5.1 experience to DAB for the first time.
Starting in October, Capital Radio will provide surround-sound content encoded in WMA Pro for the trial. The trial will be broadcast over L-Band in London using NTL Broadcast's special DAB trial multiplex, and is expected to be able to be received throughout the central London area. The high compression efficiency of WMA Pro makes it possible to deliver 5.1-channel surround sound at bit-rates as low as 128 Kbps. This greatly expands the potential distribution options for 5.1-channel content beyond those of other technologies. WMA Pro will be streamed from Windows Server (TM) 2003 and then broadcast using IP datacasting via the DAB transport stream.
"This trial enables us to work alongside industry leaders in the United Kingdom, including Capital Radio, NTL, and RadioScape, to take the first steps in delivering high-quality 5.1-channel surround sound over DAB," said Jonathan Usher, director of the Windows® Digital Media Division at Microsoft. "This trial illustrates how Windows Media 9 Series can work with current open digital broadcast standards such as DAB to help drive new business models and consumer services."
View: The full press release
News source: MS Presspass