Bringing Consumers a Premium Audio Experience


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Presentation given by Ellis Reid at Technoblitz 2013 in Montreal Canada focused on the value of delivering end users a premium audio as part of broadcast and multi-screen services

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Bringing Consumers a Premium Audio Experience

  1. 1. Bringing Consumers a Premium Audio Experience Ellis Reid Sr. Industry Marketing Manager Dolby Laboratories
  2. 2. Dolby’s History of Innovation noise reduction 5.1-channel digital audio home theater surround sound for headphones real-time 5.1 broadcast 3D Digital Cinema HD audio for PCs 7.1-channel cinema sound mobile entertainment ® TM Dolby Atmos cinema sound
  3. 3. Dolby became the de facto cinema experience 28,000+ Motion Pictures have been released using Dolby technologies since Star Wars PROPRIETARY + CONFIDENTIAL Since 1977, every film that won Best Sound at the Academy Awards was released with Dolby audio 10 Academy Awards to Dolby Laboratories 3
  4. 4. Dolby is the de facto standard for HD broadcast Since launch in Spring 1997 more than 12.5 billion DVDs have been shipped Dolby Digital technologies have been incorporated in over 792 million DVD players and over 117 million Blu-ray players PROPRIETARY + CONFIDENTIAL 9 Emmy Awards to Dolby Laboratories 4
  5. 5. Mobile is NEXT! Bring MOBILE ENTERTAINMENT to LIFE…. …and deliver the audio experience consumers will pay for 29% of consumers watched paid content on a handheld device in 2011* 39% of consumers are willing to pay more for higher quality audio* PROPRIETARY + CONFIDENTIAL *J.D. Power and Associates, Consumer Electronics Assoc. 2011 studies 5
  6. 6. Regular monthly viewers of streaming TV shows and movies on smartphones are forecast to grow to over 412 million by the end of 2016. By 2017 68% of U.S. consumers in broadband households will watch premium video on their mobile devices.. The use of video on smartphones has doubled from 2012 to2013 due to the availability of Wi-Fi. Today, mobile video accounts for 59% of all mobile data usage. The mobile entertainment experience is driving multiscreen video as a focus area for broadcast service providers. IDC Worldwide and US Smartphone and Media Tablet Mobile Video Users 2012-2016 Audio Quality’s Growing Value for Mobile Entertainment Smartphone, 2013 Parks& Assoc. Streaming Video Consumption: 2012–2017, Cisco 2012 6
  7. 7. Sound Impacts a User’s Video Experience
  8. 8. Sound Amplifies Visual Response at a Neural Level Image Only Sound Only Sound + Image Sum response is greater than component parts. Driver and Noesselt, 2007, Neuron
  9. 9. Audio Makes Watching a Video an Experience Highest correlation with picture quality satisfaction is audio quality satisfaction (compared to Brand, screen size & warranty) Correlation is .806 (-1 to +1) IDC: ConsumerScape 360 Audio fidelity must be guaranteed for good subjective audio-visual experience. VEVO president and CEO Rio Caraeff says that the sound quality is critical for the success of any streaming venture, music or otherwise. Small bitrate increase in audio can result in far greater value than increasing the video bitrate. “We’ve seen that, historically, audio has never been prioritized over video. Our studies have shown that if you take poorly compressed video but pair it with highquality audio, people perceive the video to be of higher quality than it actually is.” EBU Broadcast Seminar, Audio Visual Quality on the Move 2011 Streaming Media Magazine interview August – September issue 2011
  10. 10. Audio Quality Improves Perceived Video Quality Higher quality audio can compensate for degradations in the video image. Less likely to consider an image impaired with higher quality audio. Viewers perception of the video quality is higher when audio quality is not impaired. The beneficial effect of higher audio quality on perceived video quality is particularly noticed in fast moving sequences. In conditions when the video quality is low (e.g., a low bit rate image) higher audio quality can significantly improve the perceived video quality. Audio Engineering Society “The Influence of Individual Audio Impairments on Perceived Video Quality” 2010 2nd International Symposium on Wireless Communication Systems 2005 “Long ago we realized sound was your ‘special friend’ because sound does at least 50% of the job.” — Francis Ford Coppola Director 10
  11. 11. Consumers Value and Expect Premium Audio  Consumer expectations are set by the cinematic surround sound experience they get from the HD Broadcast and Blu-ray/DVD experience in their living room today  Multiscreen consumers rank audio quality as an important factor when buying a playback device Importance of Sound Quality in Multiscreen Device Purchases 90 p e r c e n t a g e 80 70 60 Important 50 Highly Important 40 Extremely Important 30 20 10 0 SMART TV TABLET SMART PHONE “First, the quality of audio when watching video—whether on a smart TV, tablet, or smartphone—matters.” TDG Report “Relevance of Audio Quality in Smart TV, Tablet, and Smartphone Purchases” 11
  12. 12. Opportunities and Challenges for Service Providers BROADCAST & PAYTV OPPORTUNITIES Reduced OPEX (BYOD) Improved Subscriber Reach Higher User Satisfaction and Reduced Churn Higher ARPU MULTISCREEN COHESIVE BEST EXPERIENCE ON ANY SCREEN CHALLENGES >100 Fold Increase in Workflow Complexity Devices, Content Rights, DRM Management, OS Support, APPS, Regulations, Interoperability ETC.
  13. 13. Premium Service Delivery Drives Converged Broadcast Workflows 13
  14. 14. Growing Workflow Complexity Do service providers have enough time to care about audio? Complexity = Ecosystem x Protocol x DRM 4 IPTV/DBS/Cable TS HLS 432+ Smooth DASH CFF x Client DVB CAS x Device STB Client
  15. 15. Service Provider Audio Considerations Operational Requirements Codec Scalability and Efficiency Adaptive Bit Rate Support and Ad Insertion One Stream for All Devices Device playback decoder behavior Business Requirements Consumer Device Penetration Consumer Experience Regulatory Compliance Industry Demand
  16. 16. Service Providers Need an End-to-End Solution CONTENT CREATION Work with partners and provide tools for content encoding DISTRIBUTION Provide and standardize formats for content distribution PLAYBACK Provide products and testing to deliver the experience on devices
  17. 17. Ecosystem and Workflow Support Transcoding DRM CMS CDN Cloud 17
  18. 18. Codec Efficiency and Scalability  High-efficiency performance  Excellent quality (MUSHRA of 80) 5.1ch audio @ 192 kbps  Scalability for higher quality levels and more channels  Excellent quality (MUSHRA of 80) 7.1ch audio @ 384 kbps  Perceptually lossless 5.1ch audio @ 768 kbps  Support for all channel configurations and target quality levels 7.1 5.1 mono 2.0 2.0 5.1 HE AAC mono 32k 64k 384k 640k 2M
  19. 19. Adaptive Bit Rate Support for Audio QoE Best High ABR Video HUGE GAP … Medium Low ABR DD+ 2.0/5.1 AAC 2.0 LEAST COMMON DENOMINATOR Poor Low Medium High Client Bandwidth
  20. 20. Seamless Audio Bit Rate and Channel Configuration Switching Seamless Ad Insertion With 5.1<>2.0 switching Enhanced QoE/QoS with Adaptive Bit Rate 5.0Mbps 5.1 384Kbps 3.5Mbps 5.1 192Kbps 1.5Mbps 5.1 192Kbps 1.0Mbps 5.1 128Kbps 0.8Mbps 2.0 96Kbps 0.0Mbps 1.0 32Kbps QoE QoS MPEG DASH APPLE HLS MSFT SMOOTH STREAMING
  21. 21. Seamless Multiscreen Ad Insertion Support Advertising minutes per hour 2 Program 14 Network ads 44 5.1 Local ads Cable operators own ~2 minutes per hour of ads • • Unicast enables personalized ad insertion  $ • But … Ad Insertion must be “seamless” 5.1 5.1 2.0 2.0 5.1
  22. 22. A Single Stream for All Devices & Use Cases Lower OPEX 7.1ch surround 5.1ch surround 2.0ch stereo Enhanced stereo or surround for mobile speakers Enhanced surround for headphones HE AAC HE-AAC requires multiple streams to accomplish what Dolby Digital Plus delivers in a single stream* *Source: 9 years HE AAC – technical challenges using an open standard in real-world applications AES 132nd Convention, Budapest, Hungary, 2012 April 26–29
  23. 23. Device Playback and Decoder Support Surround Sound Virtualization Dialog Enhancer Immersive surround sound over: Stereo headphones and speakers Volume Leveling Volume Optimizer Fine Tune Speakers playback Dialog volume boosted background noise subdued Surround Decoder Audio Regulator Prevents Audio Distortion 5.1 Pass-Through Connect to Home Theaters
  24. 24. Support for Regulatory Considerations  CALM Act Loudness Measurement and Correction   Video Accessibility Act 2010 Audio Description (AD)Soundtrack production broadcast for the enjoyment of deaf-blind individuals   Narration service that describes the visual content of each scene  Mixed with the main audio
  25. 25. Loudness Management REGULATION COMPLIANCE • Content distributor has control over audio level & dynamic range compression • Dolby decoders feature various output modes to address all listening scenarios, from home theater to TV to mobile playback DOLBY ENCODER DATA STREAM AUDIO DATA METADATA DOLBY DECODER AUDIO DATA USER SET-UP
  26. 26. Enhancing Accessibility Services with Immersive Surround Sound     Enables superior audio experience for all consumers Provides surround descriptive audio for the visually impaired Delivers increased intelligibility of services for the hearing impaired Supported by Dolby multi-stream decoder solution with advanced secondary audio stream mixing
  27. 27. End To End Ecosystem – The guarantee it Works? Approval Program ENCODER ONE decoder Implementation Tested by Dolby for all devices END-TO-END SOLUTION Encoder Transcoder HE-AAC ENCODER DECODER 1 X MULTIPLE decoder Implementations No guarantee it works Poor QoE/QoS HE-AAC No testing framework DECODER
  28. 28. Dolby Digital Plus Online Ecosystem >1.3B DEVICES CHIPSETS ENCODING DELIVERY FRAMEWORK AND DRM CONFIDENTIAL. Copyright 2013. Dolby Laboratories, Inc. HLS Smooth Streaming 28