5.1 Surround Sound for FM HD Radio at NAB 2005

Telos/Omnia/Axia, Fraunhofer IIS, Broadcast Electronics, Bose & ENCO Systems Participate in First Live Demo

4 April 2005, Cleveland, OH USA

In an historic presentation, Telos, Omnia, Axia, and Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits join to provide attendees of the 2005 NAB Show with a first ever live demonstration of non-matrixed 5.1 Surround Sound for FM HD Radio™.

The end-to-end demonstration will involve both the Axia and Telos/Omnia booths in the NAB radio/audio hall. It will begin in the Axia booth (N3616) with an ENCO DADPro32 delivery system and will be mixed in discrete 5.1 surround sound using Axia’s new Element control surface. The signal will then be passed over a BE Big Pipe STL link to the Telos/Omnia booth (N2816), where it will be encoded for surround by Fraunhofer IIS software, processed with an Omnia-6EXi HD+FM audio processor, and then broadcast on an HD Radio channel using a BE FXi 60 HD Radio Exciter. A Visteon car radio modified by Fraunhofer IIS will receive and decode the over-the-air signal for 5.1 surround loudspeakers.

Telos / Omnia / Axia and Fraunhofer IIS will also present another over-the-air demonstration of discrete Surround for HD Radio in a second display located in NAB’s Surround Pavilion (Booth C3607D) in the Central Hall. In a setup similar to that in the Radio Hall, visitors will be able to audition Surround audio in an in-car environment, courtesy of a prototype Bose 5.1 Cabin Surround™ sound system inside an Acura MDX SUV.

Steve Church, Telos Systems Founder & CEO, says “We will show that genuine, non-matrix surround is practical and doable today. There is no need to compromise.” Further, “We expect that people who experience the demo will be not only impressed with the quality of the audio itself, but surprised at how simple and low-cost it can be to implement.”

The surround encoder/decoder system has been designed by the German research institute Fraunhofer IIS, inventor of MP3 and a world leader in audio coding research, with USA partner Agere Systems. It is part of the reference model of the currently ongoing MPEG Spatial Audio standardization process. The key to the surround system is that all the pieces of the audio that go to the surround channels are present in the two stereo channels created manually by an artistic downmix. Additionally, there is an ancillary data channel used for transmitting spatial information. The surround decoder, if present in the receiver, uses this information to move the pieces of audio to their respective positions, recreating the original multi-channel sound.

Harald Popp, Head of the Fraunhofer IIS Multimedia Realtime Systems Department notes, “With the help of our long-time partner Telos Systems and our huge experience in audio and video coding, we can prove the high quality of the upcoming MPEG Spatial Audio standard already implemented in real-life broadcast.”

Church concludes, with regard to the Acura exhibit, “The car is the perfect environment for the surround experience, and since that’s where a lot of radio listening happens, we wanted to show what surround can bring to radio’s party in the real world.”

Be sure to visit Telos Systems / Omnia at Booth N2816 and Axia at Booth N3616 in the Las Vegas Convention Center from April 18-21 to see and hear a wide range of demonstrations.


About the Demonstration Partners:

Axia Audio is a new division of Telos Systems, specializing in networked studio audio products. Using the Axia IP-Audio system, broadcasters can now build audio networks of any size using standard Switched Ethernet to connect a few rooms — or an entire facility. Axia audio networks can carry hundreds of digital stereo audio channels over standard CAT-6 cables, doing away with much of the cost normally associated with wiring labor and infrastructure.

Telos Systems is a leading manufacturer of ISDN, coded audio and telephone interface products for talk-shows, teleconferencing, audio production, remote broadcasts, and intercom applications. Telos digital telephone hybrids are standard equipment for such demanding broadcasters as Premiere Radio Networks and XM Satellite Radio, and the ground-breaking Zephyr family of ISDN Transceivers, the first device capable of transmitting 20kHz stereo audio on a single dial-up ISDN phone line, is the most popular codec ever, with over 10,000 units (and counting!) in the field worldwide.

Omnia Audio, a Telos company, is world-renowned for its digital audio signal processing expertise. The Omnia family of digital audio processors for FM, AM and the Internet have become the standard of loudness, clarity and digital purity by which other are judged. Recent surveys find Omnia in use on more than half of the 100 highest-rated FM stations in the US (including the #1-rated FM stations in New York and Los Angeles) – more than all other brands combined. Internationally, Omnia processors are relied upon by Virgin Radio, NRJ, The BBC, Radio Beijing, Sony, Deutsche Telekom, Bayerischer Rundfunk, WDR, RTL, Skyrock, NRK, YLE and many other leading broadcasters.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits, today with 450 staff members, reached international recognition with the development of the audio codec MPEG Layer-3. It provides research services on contract basis and technology licensing. Research topics are: Audio and video source coding, digital radio broadcasting systems, analog and digital integrated circuits, tools for design automation, high-speed camera systems, industrial and medical vision systems, wireless, wired and optical networks, nanofocus X-ray technology, and communications technology in transport and logistics. Fraunhofer’s most famous developments in the audio world are MP3 and MPEG AAC, which is at the heart of Apple’s iPod.

ENCO Systems is a leading provider of Digital Audio Delivery Systems worldwide, and is headquartered in Southfield, Michigan with offices in the United Kingdom. Products include digital audio automation and delivery systems for radio and television both supporting 5.1 and 7.1 uncompressed surround, and automated closed captioning for television. ENCO's client base includes broadcasters like Susquehanna, Salem, ESPN Radio and TV, CNN Radio and TV, NBC, BSkyB, National Public Radio and many more worldwide.

Broadcast Electronics (BE) is the premier provider of mission-critical solutions for over-the-air and Internet radio. BE products encompass program generation, audio and data management, inter-facility transport, and analog and digital transmission. For more than four decades, BE pioneering developments have set industry standards for innovation and reliability, while providing broadcasters with new options for operational productivity and income generation. BE is headquartered in Quincy, Illinois, and is represented worldwide by a network of local representatives.

Bose Corporation was founded in 1964 by Dr. Amar G. Bose. The company today is one of the largest and best-known audio technology developers and product manufacturers in the U.S. and throughout the world. It is known for its home speakers and systems, the Wave® music system products, premium automotive sound systems, Acoustic Noise Cancelling® headphones for consumers and pilots, and sound for public places.. The Bose Automotive Systems Division was the first automotive supplier to provide a discrete 5.1 surround sound system in a production vehicle with the DaimlerChrysler Maybach in 2002 and now offers production 5.1 systems in select Acura, Infiniti, and Cadillac vehicles.

HD Radio™ is a trademark of iBiquity Digital Corporation.

Telos Systems, headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio with offices in Europe and Canada, is a leading manufacturer of ISDN, coded audio and telephone interface products for talk-shows, teleconferencing, audio production, remote broadcasts, and intercom applications.