Object Based Audio - The first steps


Peter Poers TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online
i
The world of broadcast audio is about to reach new levels as we embrace the future in terms of Next Generation Audio (NGA). Although at this stage we can't be precise about what this will bring, we do know that some 3D Immersive formats are already under development and will find their way into broadcast production and distribution very soon. Unlike the world of relatively constrained channel based coding that we are accustomed to, these new codec systems will support more channels and/or object based audio coding. For the end consumer, there will be two major benefits - a greater sense of involvement or immersion and a degree of personalisation. That's what the promises are.

Immersive 3D audio is undoubtedly one aspect of Next Generation Audio. It might be be a channel based mix in a dedicated 3D audio format, or just a surround audio bed with some separated 3D objects included. It could also involve complex Higher Order Ambisonics to deliver a 3D immersive audio impression. In contrast to that approach, personalized audio can be incorporated into traditional and standard channel based formats, in the same way as stereo or mono.

Object based audio (OBA) will give the end user the option of personalising their experience by selecting from a number of audio sources and controlling the level and maybe even the position in the mix. In object based audio, an "object" is essentially an audio stream with accompanying descriptive metadata. The metadata carries information about where and how to render the object in a mix that is being reproduced.

That might sound complicated, but in fact it is very straightforward. Two versions of a commentary with one mono FX stream is already an OBA format, and having the ability to choose between one commentary track or the other is already personalised audio. This system works fine as long as both commentary tracks reach the recipients home as separated audio channels and are not mixed into the audio bed.
One of the major challenges for the production side of the industry will be to start OBA production strategies. This means completely rethinking how we perform the final mix because, with OBA, it will be performed at home by the viewer rather than by a mixer in a post-production facility. We have to bear in mind that as soon as post houses mix objects (different language commentaries, for example) into the audio bed, they are gone and are no longer available for personalized delivery to the viewer at home. Therefore, to give viewers the chance for personalized audio, you need to change your production workflow and deliver separate 'unmixed' channels so that the final mix can be finished in the home receiver and decoder. This is very different to how we currently mix for surround or for standard stereo audio, which is still the most common audio format.

So, are you ready for the challenge? Do your audio production people understand this new way of working whereby they no longer have the final mix in their hands? Have you also considered how you prepare material so that object based audio tracks - and their accompanying metadata - survive during post production and arrive intact at the broadcast transmission facility?

At Junger Audio we are already preparing for this challenge by developing quality Smart Audio tools for OBA procedures. One of them is "Auto Program Feed Mixing" - a new procedure that will perform automated voice-over mixing for commentator tracks (objects) at the end of the chain. This is ideal for services that need to be distributed as composite channel based mixes (in stereo or surround). It also enables programme makers to start OBA production schemes even if they can't go all the way towards Next Generation Audio codec-based personalized delivery yet. And, of course, this Smart Audio procedure offers the chance for automation, maximum flexibility, higher efficiency and predictable performance - all of which are features that today's broadcasters need.

Our technology will enable broadcasters to transition to Next Generation Audio formats with confidence, as well as delivering more efficient workflows. It will also ensure that end users benefit from an enhanced listening experience with predictable and reliable results.


Tags: iss125 | immersive audio | junger | nga | oba | Peter Poers
Contributing Author Peter Poers

Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

Related Interviews
  • Junger at IBC 2012

    Junger at IBC 2012

  • Junger Audio at IBC2011

    Junger Audio at IBC2011

  • Viaccess-Orca at IBC 2013

    Viaccess-Orca at IBC 2013

  • Chyron at NAB 2012

    Chyron at NAB 2012

  • Global content distribution from Dejero at NAB 2019

    Global content distribution from Dejero at NAB 2019

  • Guided tour of the Global Distribution Stand at BVE 2016

    Guided tour of the Global Distribution Stand at BVE 2016

  • Cobalt Digital at NAB 2014

    Cobalt Digital at NAB 2014

  • Global Distribution with mLogic at IBC 2013

    Global Distribution with mLogic at IBC 2013

  • Inmarsat: Global Xpress and Explorer at NAB 2013

    Inmarsat: Global Xpress and Explorer at NAB 2013

  • Cobalt Digital at IBC 2012

    Cobalt Digital at IBC 2012

  • Global Distribution at BVE 2012

    Global Distribution at BVE 2012

  • Global Distribution at IBC2011

    Global Distribution at IBC2011

  • Cobalt Digital at IBC2011

    Cobalt Digital at IBC2011

  • Quantel LiveTouch at IBC 2014

    Quantel LiveTouch at IBC 2014

  • Quantel deal with AFP at IBC 2014

    Quantel deal with AFP at IBC 2014

  • Snell Kahuna Production Switcher at IBC 2014

    Snell Kahuna Production Switcher at IBC 2014


Related Shows
  • How has it been in 2020 for Global Distribution and how does this reflect on the industry

    How has it been in 2020 for Global Distribution and how does this reflect on the industry


Articles
How to successfully buy AV and Broadcast Equipment at Auction
Dan Main

Perhaps you wouldn't expect an auctioneer to tell you this - but yes, there are risks to buying equipment at auction; just probably not the risks that you think.

So what are the real risks to buying at auction, and how can they be managed?

Tags: auction | tips | buying at an auction | fraud | auction risks | Dan Main
Contributing Author Dan Main Click to read
AJA Video Systems - Ki Pro GO User Review with Spellbinder Films
Ben Sherriff The Ki Pro GO is a portable multi-channel H.264 recorder offering up to 4-channels of simultaneous HD and SD recording to off the shelf USB drives with redundant recording capabilities. Our friend Ben Sherriff tales a look
Tags: AJA | ki pro go | dit | h.264 | recorder | live events | usb recording | 10bit | Ben Sherriff
Contributing Author Ben Sherriff Click to read
In Ear Monitors Help The Cast And Crew of Americas Got Talent Cope With Covid19 Restrictions
KitPlus Capturing performances for television is a stressful business, especially if the programme is being filmed live. You want everything to be perfect but you are also aware that many things can go wrong, even with the best laid plans.
Tags: bubblebee | inear | sidekick | KitPlus
Contributing Author KitPlus Click to read
ERA IaaS at University of Salford
KitPlus The University of Salford (UoS) is widely recognised in both academic and professional circles as a leading educational establishment in acoustics and media production. In 2011 the University moved its television and radio courses from its main campus just outside Salford city centre into the Orange Tower on the main piazza of MediaCityUK (MCUK).

This purpose-built hub for broadcasters, facility houses and production companies was created when redevelopment of the old Salford Quays docks area began in 2007. UoS was among the first institutions to consider moving to MCUK, along with the BBC, which had already committed to transfer many of its departments from London.

Tags: era | salford university | university of salford | seagate | mcuk | KitPlus
Contributing Author KitPlus Click to read
ITN using Densitron Intelligent Display System across multiple news programmes
KitPlus Impressed by the system’s flexibility, ITN has gradually rolled-out the IDS solution for display and control applications across ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 news output
Tags: ids | densitron | itn | newsroom | display | KitPlus
Contributing Author KitPlus Click to read