Archived Newsroom • Press Release
ITU approves standards for advanced audio broadcasting
Open standards for immersive sound will transform listening experience
Geneva, 19 October 2015 – ITU membership unanimously
approved open standards, Recommendation
aimed at delivering advanced sound for broadcasting services that will create a
listening experience that is closer to real life.
The new global standards will facilitate the production and exchange of
advanced audio files by allowing a single file to carry a complete audio
programme containing audio samples as well as metadata for any combination of
object, channel and scene-based audio. The new file format was developed based
on the existing and widely used RIFF/WAV file format in order to facilitate its
application and implementation.
Sound is an indispensable part of television and radio. In real life, we hear
sound from all around us – a bird above us, a car behind us, and a voice ahead
of us. Emulating this same experience in the media will be ‘immersive audio’.
Coupled with new high quality Ultra High Definition Television (UHDTV), which
offers enhanced image rendition, immersive audio will lift the television
experience to an entirely new level, further blurring the line between physical
reality and virtual or digital simulation.
Future technical capabilities for audio will also allow viewers to select
their own menu of services. They will be able to decide on and adjust the level
of immersive sound in their living rooms, creating dynamic sound imaging.
These features become possible with ‘object based coding’, which will allow
viewers to personalize their viewing and listening experience ‘at the point of
consumption’. This could include setting language and dialogue levels and
selecting different aspects or sections of programming, which could also bring
added benefits for people with disabilities.
“The ITU global standard for immersive audio sets an important step for an
exciting new age of ‘sound’ for broadcasting,” said ITU Secretary-General Houlin
Zhao. “The advanced audio systems will provide additional features and
performance well beyond those available today.”
“The role that sound plays in the media is under-estimated,” said François
Rancy, Director of the ITU Radiocommunication Bureau. “The work of ITU, along
with other standards bodies, is creating a very exciting future for audio
production, delivery and programming.”
For more information, please contact:
Chief, Media Relations and Public Information, ITU
Communication Officer, ITU Radiocommunication Bureau