HE-AAC with Broadcast Metadata to Latin America

Mon, 10/10/2011 - 7:31am
Posted by Janine E. Mooney, Associate Editor

Fraunhofer IIS announced it has licensed its High Efficiency Advanced Audio Coding (HE-AAC) implementation to WiMobilis Digital Technologies, a Brazilian company specializing in software and hardware development for digital TV and wireless communications systems.

WiMobilis is the first Latin American company to integrate Fraunhofer’s HE-AAC encoder with metadata support. It will power WiMobilis’ WM-Encoder product for audio and video broadcast. With this decision, WiMobilis is one of many companies around the world implementing the international HE-AAC standard, as it is the codec of choice in most state-of-the-art TV broadcast systems worldwide. For example, HE-AAC is being deployed in almost all European countries where the second generation of terrestrial TV, DVB-T2, was recently introduced. In Brazil and most other Latin American countries, HE-AAC is the only mandatory audio codec as defined in ISDB-Tb.

The widespread use of HE-AAC is due to its unique feature set, making it a perfect fit for any broadcast system. It is the most efficient audio codec available for TV broadcasting, requiring considerably lower bit-rates to deliver the same audio quality as other codecs. It supports any channel configuration from mono to up to 48 channels including stereo and 5.1 surround. It also allows for the transmission of additional side information to enable improved future TV services, such as improving speech intelligibility. In addition, HE-AAC integrates seamlessly into existing production chains and fully supports all broadcast relevant audio metadata, such as loudness control.

With the continued complaints of consumers regarding varying levels of loudness between different channels, even within the course of one program, loudness control and other audio-specific metadata become more and more important. At IBC 2011, Fraunhofer will publish a whitepaper explaining the concept of HE-AAC metadata and how it is being used for digital broadcasting. Fraunhofer will exhibit 9-13, Sept. in hall 8, B80.

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