WOWOW, a leading premium pay TV broadcaster in Japan, is harnessing MQA’s audio technology to showcase HD video playback with the highest quality sound. The first demonstration took place at a press event hosted at WOWOW’s Tokyo offices on October 24; this will be followed by a full demonstration at Inter BEE trade show on November 15 in Tokyo.
This Video On Demand (VOD) streaming event was demonstrated in collaboration with four companies including MQA: broadcaster WOWOW recorded the live concert, using a technology for binaural rendering of 3D audio called HPL (developed by ACOUSTIC FIELD) in the mixing process; and combined this with MPEG-4 ALS lossless coding technology (provided by NTT SMARTCONNECT), to support bit-perfect PCM data which is required to transmit MQA.
MQA founder Bob Stuart, comments, “With our partners at WOWOW we’ve been exploring the feasibility of delivering video with MQA audio and our experiments have succeeded. We’re bringing the unique aspects of MQA — clarity, smaller file sizes, and backward compatibility — to deliver the best quality audio alongside HD video. This development holds exciting possibilities for the international broadcasting sector.”
Hideo Irimajiri, senior expert, engineering division and project lead at WOWOW, adds, “We’ve been conducting these trials with a view to integrating MQA into our services in the future, including on-demand and live broadcasting. It makes no sense that audio quality still lags behind, while video is achieving higher definition with 4K and 8K resolution display. Due to transmission bandwidth limitations, the audio element has until now been problematic, however MQA’s technology — which achieves high-resolution transmission with normal 48k sampling audio — solves this problem. Most importantly, we have proven that great sound is essential to fully convey emotion.”
While the mainstream consumer is used to a constantly improving visual experience, the audio element has too often been an afterthought. MQA’s technology enables the highest quality playback of the original recording on all devices — from smartphones to high-end home audio systems, as well as cars.
For more information, visit www.mqa.co.uk.