Fraunhofer surround-sound technology selected for SK Broadband mobile video services

Cingo, the latest innovation in audio-technology from Fraunhofer IIS, is coming to SK Broadband, an affiliate of SK Telecom and South Korea’s leading IPTV provider. SK Broadband’s Btv mobile (Btv) live broadcast TV and video-on-demand service will now feature superior audio from the audio experts at Fraunhofer.

As of 30 Aug., the Btv mobile app became available for SKB’s subscribers on smartphones. New SK Telecom smartphones (e.g. Samsung GalaxyS4, LG G2) will ship with the Cingo-enabled version of the app pre-installed. Existing users can download an app update that incorporates Cingo. All Btv content including live broadcast TV, movies, cable programming, and new audio channels will benefit from the enhanced Cingo experience. Initially, users will enjoy enhanced stereo sound (better sound image and improved equalisation), improved sound experience in noisy environments, and better intelligibility of dialogue or commentary in TV programs or movies.

“The adoption of Fraunhofer Cingo by a leading service provider in one of the world’s largest smartphone markets demonstrates that, as video and display technologies improve, there is an increased demand for high-quality audio,” said Harald Popp, head of the Audio & Multimedia Business department at Fraunhofer IIS.

Soon, Btv also will offer true 5.1 surround sound using the HE-AAC audio codec.

Thanks to Cingo and the native support of HE-AAC Multichannel in all Android 4.1+ devices, the Btv mobile app is ready for playback of surround-sound content via headphones or connection to a home theater system via an HDMI cable.

“Our customers have come to expect the highest quality wherever they are, and the addition of Fraunhofer Cingo represents our commitment towards innovation and continuous improvement of the user experience. Cingo is a true turning point for us, as it will again increase the customer satisfaction by creating an intriguing sense of realism,” says Han-Su Kim, head of Media Business Group at SK Broadband.

Cingo dramatically improves the entertainment experience on mobile devices. It allows complete immersion into a film’s sound when listening over headphones or stereo speakers in a similar way that multichannel audio systems achieve in theaters. Furthermore, Cingo delivers natural and clear sound even in the noisiest environments.

The efficient delivery of surround sound to mobile devices is made possible by the High Efficiency AAC (HE-AAC) audio-codec technology. HE-AAC was co-developed by Fraunhofer IIS and is today’s most efficient high-quality surround and stereo audio codec. Android phones and tablets with Android 4.1 and later natively support HE-AAC Multichannel and in combination with Cingo, they become true entertainment centres while on the move or at home.

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