Jan NordmannPersonal music and streaming radio services are gaining popularity as more consumer access audio and video entertainment over the Internet through their televisions, on their mobile phones and computers, and in their cars.

More broadcasters are distributing content over the Internet as IP delivered audio competes with other forms of media for the consumer’s attention. While desktops and smartphones are established platforms for Internet Radio, other connected CE devices, such as TVs, BluRay Players, and AVRs, are gaining popularity.

Consumers expect HD-quality in all forms of entertainment, and audio is no exception. As HD audio and speaker quality continue to evolve, the demand for higher quality audio increases. Audio streaming will compete with other types of media, including HDTV, video streaming and games. To help meet these HD-quality expectations, MPEG Surround enhances the streaming experience.

MPEG Surround is a feature-rich open standard compression technique for multi-channel audio signals. This high-quality surround codec provides a cost-efficient delivery of streaming surround audio at stereo bitrates as low as 64 kbit/s for 5.1-channels. MPEG Surround is compatible with existing stereo receivers and includes a binaural mode for playback of surround sound over common stereo headphones.

With MPEG Surround, Internet broadcasters and pure play music services will be able to provide an immersive surround audio experience to consumers that will clearly distinguish them from their competitors. Users can enjoy the streams in the highest quality on surround-enabled devices and stereo equipment made possible with the stereo-compatible nature of the codec.

Fraunhofer IIS recently demonstratedsurround music streaming with its MPEG Surround technology at ultra-low bit-rates with AUPEO! at CES January 9- 13, 2012 and at the Detroit Auto Show.