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High-definition audio for group-to group communication

: Färber, Nikolaus; Lutzky, Manfred; Kuech, Fabian


Heuberger, A.; Elst, G.; Hanke, R. ; Fraunhofer-Institut für Integrierte Schaltungen -IIS-, Erlangen:
Microelectronic systems. Circuits, systems and applications
Berlin: Springer, 2011 (Informatik)
ISBN: 978-3-642-23070-7
ISBN: 3-642-23070-9
ISBN: 978-3-642-23071-4 (Online)
ISSN: 0863-503X
Book Article
Fraunhofer IIS ()

The European research project "Together anywhere, together anytime" (TA2) explores how technology can make communication and engagement easier among groups of people separated in space and time, e.g. families living in different cities. It combines high quality communication with shared group activities using distributed multimedia applications and broadband technology in the living room. This paper provides an overview of the TA2-project with a focus on highdefinition audio communication, which has the goal of providing an experience "as if speaking to someone in the same room". The most important aspects for making audio communication a natural experience are high audio bandwidth, robust transmission with low delay, hands-free operation, and spatial audio (surround sound) reproduction. These requirements are addressed by the Audio Communication Engine (ACE), which includes audio coding, acoustic processing and IP transport in a single software module. Based on concept demonstrators developed in the TA2- project, results from user experience tests are presented which indicate that more than 90% of users rate the audio quality as natural when using high-definition audio, compared to less than 10% when standard audio quality is used.