Almost 60 years after its inception the EBU Technical Review publication has now changed from a quarterly magazine to a 'put online when ready' publication approach. The first two articles to appear in this fashion are one on MPEG Surround and one on 'Semantic TV'. More articles will follow later this year.


Digital broadcasting with MPEG Surround


Written by Fraunhofer IIS experts Harald Fuchs, Olaf Korte and Johannes Hilpert, the article on MPEG Surround explains why this technology provides a highly efficient and backwards compatible extension method for the seamless transition to multichannel audio in various broadcasting systems, that is already part of many European and global industry standards.


MPEG Surround offers high-quality surround sound at stereo bitrates, avoids the simulcast of stereo and surround audio and therefore enables 5.1 audio even in bandwidth-limited TV services. The authors underline MPEG Surround is the only codec to facilitate multichannel broadcasting, streaming and download services for cars. They see exciting new opportunities awaiting for the ISO MPEG Surround standard.




Semantic TV


In the Technical Review article on 'Semantic TV', EBU's Jean-Pierre Evain asks the question if the semantic web is a part of broadcasting's future. Although ‘Semantic web’ and ‘ontologies’ are not new concepts, they have become more relevant as a step beyond metadata for providing more efficient search, retrieval and access to ‘semantic TV’.


The article provides an overview of lessons learned from developing an ontology for audiovisual programmes and services. The author argues the implementation of semantic-web technologies will require a new vision from content providers, including broadcasters and that new collaborations will need to be established having ambitions beyond the use of the narrow-scoped DVB Service Information (DVB-SI).



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