3D sound format approved for TV and radio broadcasts

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), which develops global technical standards for broadcasters and counts the BBC in its long list of members, has announced details of a new standard for "immersive sound".

The catchily-titled 'Recommendation ITU-R BS.2088-0' will allow for "object, channel and scene-based audio" to be transmitted in one audio file, using the existing RIFF/WAV file format, essentially bringing the possibility of 3D audio to radio and TV broadcasters.

The ITU envisages this immersive audio experience complimenting 4K video, together bringing "the television experience to an entirely new level". The new spec could allow individual viewers to adjust "the level of immersive sound" based on their own room and set-up.

All this technology won't come low on bandwidth however, with a TV show delivered in 4K video and with a "3D audio" stream sure to be a fair old weight on your network. BT Sport's 4K channel already requires you to have a minimum 44Mbps connection, for example.

ITU secretary general, Houlin Zhao, said about the news: "The ITU global standard for immersive audio sets an important step for an exciting new age of ‘sound’ for broadcasting. The advanced audio systems will provide additional features and performance well beyond those available today."

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[via Arstechnica]

Joe Cox
Content Director

Joe is Content Director for T3 and What Hi-Fi?, having previously been the Global Editor-in-Chief of What Hi-Fi?. He has worked on What Hi-Fi? across the print magazine and website for more than 15 years, writing news, reviews and features on everything from turntables to TVs, headphones to hi-fi separates. He has covered product launch events across the world, from Apple to Technics, Sony and Samsung; reported from CES, the Bristol Show, and Munich High End for many years; and written for sites such as the BBC, Stuff, and the Guardian. In his spare time, he enjoys expanding his vinyl collection and cycling (not at the same time).