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Neural Audio Surround Technology Excels in Independent Test

(April 20, 2005)

In recent testing conducted by Audio Research Labs at the AT&T Research multi-channel listening room in Florham Park, N.J., Neural Audio Corporation's Surround Sound Technology consistently scored high marks in a controlled listening study comparing Neural Audio's technology to other competitive systems for digital broadcast applications.

   Using a Multi-Stimulus test with Hidden Reference and Anchor (MUSHRA) testing, trained listeners evaluated selected 5.1 source material for level of discreteness and presence of artifacts. During the testing, the Neural 5225 and SEE system outperformed the matrix systems by a wide margin and delivered performance perceptually close to the source material.

   "We performed standard tests for evaluation of surround sound technologies and it is clear that the Neural solution can deliver the artists original intent without significant compromise or the use of side data. This could have great value for digital broadcast and low bit rate applications," noted Dr. Schuyler Quackenbush, president, Audio Research Labs and chairman of the MPEG Audio Subgroup who led the test efforts.

   The test was conducted using AAC at 96 kbps to carry the coded music material and full data on the testing, and will be posted after NAB2005 on the Neural web site,

   In making the announcement, Robert Reams said, "We are pleased that the testers confirmed our claim that the Neural 'watermarking' provides the best possible audio quality for the listener."

   Neural Audio CEO, Geir R. Skaaden added, "Surround sound can only be the killer application for digital broadcast, if it also allows other important initiatives such as multicasting, data and traffic to coexist. This test underscores our position that 'watermarking' can deliver the promise of discrete 5.1 without the use of valuable bits for side information."

   The Neural Surround Technology with its ability to downmix discrete surround information, transport it as compressed stereo, and render it as discrete 5.1 preserves the original intent with minimal artifacts and gives listeners high quality mono, stereo, or 5.1 content.

   The Neural 5225 downmix system is scaleable to ensure backward and forward compatibility allowing analog, digital, lossy, linear, stereo, and 5.1 to co-exist in the existing broadcast environment. The 5225 enables broadcasters to mix, edit, monitor and save 5.1 content via Neural's proprietary "watermarking" system on existing 2.0 stereo legacy including analog equipment.

   The Neural 5225 system is exciter/transmitter agnostic, and can be used with any digital radio format including DRM, DAB and HD Radio(TM).

   The test coordinator, Dr.Schuyler Quackenbush, is an expert in audio signal processing, audio signal compression, assessment of speech and audio quality. He has contributed heavily to the MPEG Advanced Audio Coding standard, and is currently the chair of the International Standards Organization ISO/MPEG Audio subgroup. 

   About Audio Research Labs 

   Audio Research Labs is a media technology consulting company whose mission is to bridge the gap between where your company is now and where it needs to be in order to succeed in your business. ARL offers more than 40 years of high-tech experience in development and implementation of speech, audio and video signal processing algorithms, for both general-purpose and embedded platforms. They offer numerous products and services, including plug-ins for use in multichannel audio mix and production, subjective evaluation of audio codec performance, and technical support for patent litigation.

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Related Keywords:neural audio, NAB2005


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