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Comments to date: 12. Page 1 of 1. Average Rating:
buzz2002 7:21am on Saturday, October 30th, 2010 
This dell laptop in my opinion is not very good. It has 256 random access memory and this is very poor. Also the processor which is 1.
kent_flavour 11:47pm on Tuesday, October 26th, 2010 
On its march to desktop domination. The indicator at the bottom is an easy way to look and see how much power you have left.
pueblonative 11:36pm on Wednesday, October 20th, 2010 
Screen, wireless capability, long battery life Gets very hot.. not a great fan of the nipple! Many features in one laptop, great student computer. No floppy disc drive. reasonably good laptop. charging battery doesnt work after a while due to motherboard problem. this is common. otherwise an excellent machine.
Joe_E 4:49am on Friday, August 20th, 2010 
This model has a good keyboard layout, but it flexes badly! The left palmrest gets rather too warm. The PC as a whole stays cool and quiet, however.
bupen 6:41am on Saturday, May 29th, 2010 
I have spent considerable efforts in comparing the D600 vs. the IBM T41 and have performed several informal surveys. I have just recieved a D600 and am very pleased with the features and performance. Far far superior to an older C series Latitude I owned previously.
abelardo 4:11pm on Sunday, May 23rd, 2010 
I have a complete J2EE Environment (IDE(WSAD 4.1.1, IntelliJ 3.0.5), web server (Apache), app server (IBM WebSphere 4.1).
Counterpart 11:40am on Sunday, May 16th, 2010 
I have had this laptop for little over 6 months now and very satisfied. Thin, Light, Great Display, Fast, Great experience with support. None yet!
franka 6:03am on Thursday, May 13th, 2010 
Pretty cover but that is about it Only buy this laptop if you are on a tight budget otherwise pay a bit more and get a new one from Argos. The Ideal Travel Companion REFURBISHED Dell Latitude D600 Laptop Notebook...I spend over half my year on the road away from home, on business. A great buy I purchased this for my daughter and she loves it!
tricklecharge 12:12pm on Friday, April 9th, 2010 
My original battery lasted about 3 years, and was getting a bit tired near the end. My original battery was lasting less than an hour playing a graphics-intensive casual game I often use to pass the time at airports, on the go, etc.
brightword 5:52pm on Monday, April 5th, 2010 
Great battery for an older laptop. Brought my battery life back up to like new. I bought my 600m laptop back in 2005. The original battery worked great and lasted up until the end of 2009.
dsant 4:25am on Sunday, April 4th, 2010 
Bottom line with this product is, it is a dep...  I love the fact that it is a small, strong laptop. Overall, its a solid laptop. Although not th...  Lightweight, nice looks, decent keyboard, good support Flimsy screen hinges. Fast!My system has:Windows XPIntel Pentium M1...  Fast, Excellent connectivity, runs well with vista, xp.
knobo 3:54am on Saturday, March 20th, 2010 
Discount Laptop Shop misadvertised I paid for a 1.6 ghz laptop but recieved a 585 mhz laptop and no restore cd was enclosed as promised. my first laptop Since I bought this so I could surf and work on my history and politics websites.

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Fundamental decisions.... 13 Initial implementation.... 14 Producing local content in surround... 15 Component and/or combination systems.... 17 Content availability and issues.... 19
5.1/2.0 compatibility of content....19 Downmixing options.....20 Monitoring......20 Downmixing algorithms and techniques...21 Synchronization.....22
Compatibility between surround systems... 24 Surround sound and multicasting... 26 Impact on the analog signal.... 27
Background..... 27 Composite surround methods and multipath... 28 NPR Labs study on impact of composite surround signals on stereo analog FM.. 28
Testing surround system on your station... 30 Additional resources.... 31
Annex 1 Dolby ProLogic II.... Annex 2 The MPEG Surround Codec... Annex 3 Neural Surround.... Annex 4 SRS Circle Surround... Annex 5 An overview of the causes of distortion in FM signal reception.

Page 4

1 Background
This document is intended as an aid to FM radio broadcasters as they consider how to enhance their in-band/on-channel (IBOC) digital radio broadcast services beyond 2-channel stereo audio to accommodate multichannel (or surround sound) capability. It is not intended to be prescriptive, or to make specific recommendations, but as a guide to the numerous issues that broadcast facilities will encounter in such a transition. This document has been created by the NRSCs Surround Sound Audio Task Group (SSATG), which was established to assess how to best handle compatible surround sound technologies on an industry-wide basis and provide a recommendation to the DAB [now DRB] Subcommittee on this.1 The SSATG is fortunate to count among its membership some of the worlds foremost experts on this subject, and in the course of its work, the group has explored a wide range of issues. This document represents a report of the SSATG to the U.S. radio industry on the current status of, and options for, surround sound on FM IBOC radio, and offers guidance for broadcasters on how to proceed. Multichannel sound It is well known that there are audio formats with spatial characteristics that extend beyond stereo, and that these formats have become quite popular in media other than radio broadcasting. The conversion to IBOC digital radio broadcasting is therefore a timely opportunity for broadcasters to consider the inclusion of this capability in emerging radio services. This technology is collectively referred to as multichannel audio, although the generic term surround sound is often used to describe anything with more than two reproduction channels. Most recent progress in this area has taken place in the cinematic and television sound industries, but a growing body of work in pure-audio applications now exists, primarily in the form of commercial music releases, concert recordings and radio drama productions. With a few exceptions, this content is produced today in a five-channel form, with a configuration intended for reproduction with speakers placement relative to the primary listening position as left-front (LF), center-front (CF), right-front (RF), left-back (LB) and rightback (RB). Despite this placement description, however, it is conventional to refer to the two back channels in this configuration as left surround (LS) and right surround (RS), while the center-front channel is typically called simply center (C). A narrowband sixth channel is sometimes added for low frequency effects (LFE), with its content fed to a subwoofer that can be placed anywhere in the listening area. Given that the LFE channels bandwidth is about 1/10th that of the other five full-range channels, this format has come to be known as 5.1 channel surround. It is the standard format for most multichannel music content produced today. See Figure 1.

See Breebaart, J.,, MPEG Spatial Audio Coding/MPEG Surround: Overview and Current Status (listed in Additional resources section below) for additional information. 10 ibid. 11 The panned mono technique leads to a relatively tight lower-left-to-upper-right ellipse on an X-Y display, whereas the spaced omni signal tends to produce a broader, oval-shaped or circular display. Page 11
c) Listener has no surround reception capability: Although Lt/Rt signals will be interpreted in this case as compatible stereo, some Lt/Rt signals may sound somewhat more spacious when listened to in stereo than others. Thus a composite surround encoder can sometimes provide a more interesting two-channel listening experience than can a plain old stereo source. The stereo and mono source signals are unchanged by the composite encoder, so provide exactly the same listening experience as situation 1c. It is important to note, however, that the Lt/Rt signal heard by the stereo listener in this case will be a stereo downmix of the surround content, which may differ aesthetically from the artistic stereo mix. (For more on this issue, see Content Availability and Issues below.) For broadcasters producing their own surround content, the quality of the contents Lt/Rt downmix and mono sum should be frequently monitored to avoid similar issues. (See also Producing Local Content in Surround below.)

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2 System implementation
When making the decision to implement surround sound at a radio station, broadcasters need to understand just what might be involved in the conversion. While up-front it may seem like all that is needed is the surround material itself, there may be other hidden expenses involved, depending on the current design of a stations facilities. This section will help in evaluating a current studio layout, and help in determining what changes may need to be made to offer the best surround experience to a stations listeners. Fundamental decisions The first step is to decide which method of surround broadcast encoding to use. The various methods are described briefly in previous sections of this report, and in greater detail in Annexes 1-4. The four systems discussed all fall into one of two categories, either composite or component. In general, the composite methods can require fewer changes in a stations facilities and be less expensive to implement, but may come with a tradeoff in the accuracy of the surround reproduction (when compared to the 5.1-channel discrete source material). Component systems, by comparison, will require more upgrades to the studio up-front, but may provide a more accurate reproduction of the original surround material although with the possible tradeoff in consistency of surround effect when blending to analog. Broadcasters are encouraged to conduct their own listening tests of all of the available systems on the market to help decide how important these tradeoffs may be. Listening studies conducted on both component and composite surround sound systems have shown that listeners rate both types of systems very highly.12 Second, a decision needs to be made as to how deeply surround sound is to be incorporated into a stations programming. For example, a decision to broadcast only music programming in surround could be made, but this would result in a stations liners, sweepers, promos, and commercials all missing out on the advantages offered by surround presentation. With the right creative talent, surround production elements have the potential to jump out of the radio and make the difference between someone staying with a station through commercial breaks, or tuning to the competition. Decisions on these options will determine how much cost and effort is involved in converting a radio station to a surround sound environment. Considered in the following paragraphs are various aspects of surround sound conversion, from the easiest to the most involved methods. Areas in a facility that may require modifications or upgrades include: Production room equipment Control room equipment Monitoring systems Computer automation/storage Expansion of routing switcher capacity Studio to transmitter links (STLs)

See Breebaart, J., (listed in Additional resources section below). Page 13
While this list may appear intimidating, it is important to remember that broadcasters can choose how many or how few changes they are willing and/or are able to make and still offer the technology. A broadcaster can also start out with the basics, then improve the facility over time. Initial implementation If the most important factor for a station is promoting the fact that it is now broadcasting in surround sound, and a station needs to get surround on the air as quickly and inexpensively as possible, a good option to consider is starting with a music-only content choice, and encoding with one of the composite surround systems. This would likely be the simplest and most cost effective method because it has the lowest impact on a stations studio and facility infrastructure (see Figure 2).
Figure 2. Music only basic implementation
Implementation of this approach will only require the installation of a CD or DVD player or other source player with discrete 5.1 audio outputs, such as a digital audio workstation, and a surround sound encoder. The encoder converts the original 5.1-channel source material to a twochannel Lt/Rt signal, which is then stored in the automation/storage system. No further changes in the facilities or air chain would be required, although some additional changes may be desirable.

Page 14

For example, upgrading the production and on-air control-room audio monitors to a 5.1 system (including a surround decoder of the format used for broadcast encoding) is recommended. This allows producers and announcers to hear and enjoy the surround experience, as well as know when a failure or problem occurs. The station might further consider the inclusion of decoders other than the format used for broadcast, available as alternate monitoring sources through the same speakers, to observe cross-compatibility of the stations signal. Keep in mind that in an IBOC broadcast, the audio is delayed by approximately eight seconds, making it impossible to monitor the actual off-air signal in real time. It will therefore be necessary to purchase additional surround decoder(s) for the post-processing/pre-transmission program monitor feed to on-air control rooms surround monitoring systems.
Producing local content in surround As mentioned previously, if all that is broadcast in surround is a stations music programming, the service will not take advantage of what could be the most engaging and dramatic effects of broadcasting in surround its local production elements. This is where the creativity and talent of a stations staff can differentiate the service from it competitors. Equipping a station for local production in surround will require a more significant change in studio equipment than that required for music only. A station will need to dedicate at least one production room to the production of surround material. This may be as simple as installing a digital audio workstation with 5.1-channel capabilities, or a broadcaster may want to upgrade an entire room, including the audio console, to support a true 5.1 output mixing bus. (See Figure 3.) A broadcaster must also decide whether to start with just one production room for creating surround elements, or to convert all production facilities at once. This depends primarily on the financial commitment that station management is willing to make.

The MPEG Surround system by design can operate in a compatible mode where the stereo output is encoded for decoding by Dolby ProLogic decoders. In receivers equipped with MPEG Surround decoders, the full component surround quality is preserved. Page 17
Figure 4. Component surround studio
For stations electing to use component surround encoding, it may be desirable to store all content in both 5.1- and 2.0-channel forms. The latter may be an artistic stereo version of the 5.1 content, or it may simply be a stereo downmix of the 5.1-channel mix. The 2.0-channel content may be fed to the analog side of an IBOC broadcast, or it may be used by a special feature of the MPEG Surround system, which allows an artistic stereo mix to accompany the transmission of spatial data from the 5.1-channel mix. (See Annex 2 for more detail.) In these cases, eight discrete storage channels are required. A standard WAV file format for this type of storage has been proposed.14 This implies that the maximum capacity of a facilitys existing storage, routing switchers and audio consoles may quickly be exceeded (although the trend toward IP audio infrastructures can reduce this impact, since it does not require discrete paths for each audio channel or pair, as in traditional analog or digital audio signal routing). It also creates the need for standard methods of ordering the channels throughout a facility, and their vigilant adherence. An error in patching a set of surround channels can be far more problematic to the resulting image than in a stereo environment, where the worst that can happen is that the stereo image is reversed. A further challenge is presented when storing both a surround and artistic stereo mix of the same content, because the two release versions may not sync together. (More on this below under Content Availability and Issues.)
See Holzinger, Axel & Jonsson, Lars, New File Format and Methods for Multichannel Sound in Broadcasting (listed in Additional resources section below) for additional information. Page 18
Finally, because the component surround approach requires that discrete multichannel audio paths be retained so deeply into a stations air chain, numerous components (including audio processors and STL systems) must be able to support an increased number of audio channels. The latest design releases from iBiquity Digital may help resolve these complex issues, particularly the STL issues. For example, a broadcaster using iBiquitys new Exgine split system can keep audio processors and surround encoders at the studio and use a single data path to the tower to carry the encoded HD Radio signals to the exciter.15 Content availability and issues Classical Music is by far the genre leader when it comes to number of titles available in a surround format. Classical encompasses 25-30% of all multi-channel titles. Rock/Pop is second, followed by Jazz. As of summer 2006 there are: 430 SACD labels, 3860 SACD titles (1,436 stereo only, 2,424 multi-channel); 115 DVD-A labels; Approximately 1,000 multi-channel DVD-A & DualDisc titles. Using an average estimate of 12 songs per title, this indicates that over 40,000 songs are available today in discrete multichannel form.16 However, when applying these commercial releases to radio broadcasting, a number of unique and potentially thorny issues arise. They all center upon the issue of backward compatibility of the content itself that is the ability for a surround mix as produced to downmix to stereo or mono with results that are aesthetically acceptable to the artist.

5.1/2.0 compatibility of content
Unlike todays stereo music content, which nearly always takes into account the possibility of monaural presentation, much of the commercially available surround music content is intended for playback in surround only. This is a feasible assumption because the release formats used to date (SACD and DVD) generally provide both a surround and a stereo version of the same material, as separate tracks. Thus it is intended that the 5.1 mix will be used only when 5.1 playback is available, otherwise the 2.0 version will be played. (The DVD-A format even includes a flag that disallows a DVD-A player from routing an internally generated 2.0 downmix of 5.1 content to the players stereo outputs, and some artists are enabling this no-downmix flag on their DVD-A releases. Of course, this does not prohibit an external downmix to be made from the surround outputs of the player.) So regardless how elegantly compatible the design may be for a surround/stereo/mono delivery or reproduction system, if the surround content itself is created in a fashion that does not downmix well, true compatibility is not achieved. (Similarly, the mono compatibility of the FM multiplex stereo system is foiled if the stereo content is produced with significant out-of-phase material or presented to the matrix with a polarity reversal between left and right channels.)
Additional information on the Exgine architecture is available on the Internet at,, and (see IBOC Exgine/Exporter/Importer System Guide under Information Sheets). 16 (2,424 SACD titles) + (1,000 DVD-A/DualDisc titles) = 3,424 multichannel albums x 12 tracks per album (12 x 3,424) = 41,088 songs in multichannel format. Page 19
Thus there is a current disconnect between the music recording and radio industries, in that the current delivery products (DVD and SACD) have sufficient capacity to provide separate content versions, each optimized for 5.1 or 2.0 delivery, whereas broadcasters require a hierarchical format that provides a single content version compatible for listening in 5.1, 2.0 and 1.0 modes. At this writing, discussion is ongoing on possible solutions to this conundrum, but broadcasters should at least be aware of this important issue as they consider their broadcasting of commercially published surround music content. As a point of reference, note that the cinematic and television industries generally have taken a different approach in their production of surround soundtracks, in which the downmix compatibility of 5.1 content to 2.0 and 1.0 presentation is always considered. So the music industry is taking a somewhat unorthodox direction here, although there are good technical and aesthetic reasons why a mix truly optimized for surround listening may not downmix well to stereo/mono (similar arguments were made regarding mono compatibility in the early days of stereo production). Thus a compromise approach will ultimately be required, just as has become the norm in the movie and TV businesses. One possible solution currently being explored is the development of artist-approved downmixes by trusted third parties, who would work with artists and labels to provide this service, and offer the results to broadcasters and others for single-mix compatible distribution. In this scenario, the production facility is responsible for gathering approval from the artist/label to downmix their surround content to achieve the best result of the content. This allows for adjustments to be made appropriately to each surround selection so that the most desirable downmix is achieved. At this writing, such an option is being explored by the industry, and already undertaken by at least one surround formats proponent for distribution of surround content to stations expressing interest in surround broadcasting. Note also that regardless of the broadcast surround format used, some downmixing is inevitable. While the MPEG Surround format offers the possibility of extracting spatial data from a surround mix but transmitting the stereo mix of the same content, this is only possible if the two mixes are synchronous, and this is not always the case. (More on this below.) Therefore, it is recommended that surround content always be checked for the suitability of its downmix in a controlled monitoring environment, and where appropriate that a manual, custom downmix be performed.

Downmixing options

Broadcasters have some options for how and when downmixing takes place. As noted above in the discussion of station architecture, one approach is to store all surround content in discrete form and encode into a composite or component surround broadcast format in real time as broadcast. In this case any adjustment to downmix parameters takes place in the air chain equipment, implying that global parameters are set, which apply to all content transmitted. Another approach is to pre-encode surround content into its broadcast format upon ingest. This may save storage space, but it also allows more careful and specific setting of any downmix parameters (so-called manual downmixing, as recommended above), on a cut-by-cut basis, if desired.


Whether downmixing is performed manually or automatically, there are several standard algorithms that can be applied, or at least used for guidance by broadcasters (see next section below). Essential to the setting or verification of any downmixing is a monitoring environment

Page 20

that allows high-quality listening to surround, stereo and mono audio. Ideally the stereo audio should only be played through two speakers (L, R) and mono should only be played through one speaker (C). As noted above under Producing Local Content in Surround, it is essential in any such environment to monitor the surround audio through an encode/decode loop for the broadcasters surround encoding format of choice. It may also be desirable to include decoders for other formats, to check how the stations surround signal will sound on surround receivers equipped with systems other than the stations chosen encoding format. The same applies for any content created in surround (spots, remote concert recordings, etc.) by the broadcaster. During the recording or production process, the mix engineer should listen to the surround mix through an encode/decode loop of the stations chosen format, as well as check for acceptable results in the stereo and mono downmixes of the decoded signal.
Downmixing algorithms and techniques
Just as stereo is summed to mono by a simple and standard 6dB reduction in each of the stereo channels level, so too are there empirical downmix algorithms for reducing surround signals to stereo (or mono). While necessarily more complex due to the number of channels involved, similar practice to stereo/mono summing is involved. The most commonly referenced standard algorithm for downmixing of 5.1 to 2.0 and 1.0 is contained in Recommendation ITU-R BS.775-1. It provides the downmix instructions listed in Table 2. Note that the algorithm is actually a 5.0-to-2.0/1.0 algorithm. The LFE channel is not included, because it is expected that all main channels (including LS and RS) will be full-range, and if a subwoofer is used by the listener, its input will be derived from the main channels by the bass management system of the receiver. (In surround music mixing, it is rare that any unique content appears in the LFE channel; typically it is only a reinforcement of the same bass energy that appears in the full-range channels. Contrast this to cinematic audio, which occasionally includes some unique elements or audio processing in the LFE channel.) For automatic downmixing, BS.775-1 is recommended (Table 2). For manual downmixing, it is also a recommended starting point, after which the downmixer may wish to make minor adjustments in the center and/or surround channels contribution to the downmix, for example.

The iBiquity certification process is described in Section 1 of this report. Note that certification is not an absolute requirement. Broadcasters and receiver manufacturers are free to use both iBiquity-certified and non-certified surround sound technologies with IBOC systems. Page 24
in conjunction with Dr. Ellyn Sheffield of Salisbury University, NPR Laboratories, the Corbett Studio (Cincinnati, OH) and Sonic Arts (Cincinnati, OH). The tests were designed to show the extent to which one can expect surround content encoded by any one of the following systems to be reliably decoded by any other one: Dolby ProLogic II (described in Annex 1) Neural Surround (described in Annex 3) SRS Circle Surround (described in Annex 4)
The MPEG Surround system was not available at the time these cross-compatibility tests were conducted, so interested broadcasters are advised to pursue their own examinations of the cross-compatibility of that format with the others above, when the technology becomes available.

Page 25

4 Surround sound and multicasting
Multicasting refers to the broadcasting of multiple audio programs within a single IBOC service. The IBOC FM system accommodates multicasting programs in two ways, utilizing either the Supplemental Program Service (SPS) or Advanced Application Services (AAS) features of the system.19 The reduction in audio program bit rate required for IBOC multicasting may have more of a subjective impact on a surround audio signal than on a stereo or mono signal.20 This impact may also vary with the surround encoding format used. The abovementioned acceptance of surround encoding formats for HD Radio use by iBiquity Digital considered the systems only at the full hybrid mode HDC bit rate of 96 kb/s. Broadcasters are therefore encouraged to conduct thorough evaluation of any candidate surround system(s) at all bit rates that are likely to be used, to determine whether acceptable performance (in surround, stereo and mono listening environments) is achievable in multicast applications with surround encoding. Surround system manufacturers are encouraged to perform such multi-bit rate tests of HDCs effect on their formats, so they can readily provide broadcasters with useful data on the subject. In addition to consulting with surround system manufacturers, broadcasters may also want to confirm these results with their own tests using typical program material of their format(s).
Transmission of multicast signals is only considered practical over FM IBOC; the limited capacity of AM IBOC (36 kbps for hybrid mode) is not considered sufficient for multicasting. 20 See Sheffield, E., Perceptual Tests of iBiquitys HD Coder at Multiple Bit Rates (listed in Additional resources section below) for additional information. Page 26

5 Impact on the analog signal
The FCC requires that broadcasters simulcast their main channel audio signal on the analog and (MPS) digital audio portions of the hybrid FM IBOC signal. This fact, combined with the fact that HD Radio receivers are designed to blend to analog (when the digital signal is weak or otherwise impaired), means that a broadcaster who decides to transmit the main channel digital audio signal in surround is likely to want to use surround for the analog audio signal, as well. In this section, some of the issues unique to the broadcast of surround over an analog FM signal are discussed. Background The analog FM stereo audio system has been operating successfully since 1961, and was designed to be backwards compatible with the mono-only system it followed. The left and right audio channels are summed to create a monaural signal that is received on mono radios. The two channels are also subtracted to create a stereo difference signal, which is broadcast along with the mono sum signal. From these two signals, the original left and right audio channels are recoveredadding them generates the left and subtracting them generates the right. This is expressed mathematically as follows: L = 1/2 {(L+R) + (L-R)} R = 1/2 {(L+R) (L-R)} Within the FM baseband, the L+R signal resides between DC 15 kHz as shown in Figure 5. The L-R signal is transmitted on a subcarrier which utilizes double sideband suppressed carrier modulation (DSB-SC) of the L-R baseband information. The 30 kHz frequency range is due to the double sidebands, and the subcarrier is centered at 38 kHz. This results in spectrum occupancy between 23 kHz 53 kHz. The 38 kHz (suppressed) subcarrier is created by a 2X multiplication of a 19 kHz pilot tone. The pilot is also used for signaling a receiver that a stereo broadcast is present. The baseband signal shown in Figure 5 is frequency modulated onto the RF broadcast carrier signal using an FM exciter.

19 kHz PILOT

SUBCARRIER REGION 53 kHz - 99 kHz (46 kHz wide)

L+R L-R subcarrier 30

38 kHz

f, kHz

Figure 5. FM baseband illustrating L+R, pilot, and L-R components

Dolby Laboratories, Inc.

100 Potrero Avenue San Francisco, CA 94103-4813 Telephone 415-558-0200 Fax 415-863-1373 Wootton Bassett Wiltshire SN4 8QJ England Telephone (44) 1793-842100 Fax (44) 1793-842101
representative surround content monitored in a full surround system. In that case, the production monitoring can remain in stereo as usual, doing spot checks in other locations to verify the surround effect remains as expected. This may impose the least burden for the front-line staff. However, if there are any additional audio processors in the chain after that point, such as in the STL, additional monitoring of the off-air signal is also advised.

2. Surround programming

It is expected that a primary source of content will come from pre-existing 5.1 programs. Another option would be to create content at the studio in a 5.1-channel environment. And while such 5.1-channel recordings may be archived in discrete form for future use, it may be convenient to directly encode them into Dolby Pro Logic II and merge them into the facilitys stereo infrastructure. A third option for the radio station would be to continue to create local content in its existing stereo production suite, but monitoring through a Dolby Pro Logic II decoder. Many of the production tools used to enhance the spatiality of stereo productions are well suited to effective surround production. Its all in how and to what degree the tools are usedand the only way to judge the end result is to monitor in surround. One may well find that existing stereo program elements, particularly music, decode to surround nicely without further modification, and these may be incorporated into the mix directly. The use of a Pro Logic II encoder, of course, opens doors to an expanded palette of surround effects, but that doesnt preclude well-made, surround-proven stereo content from bringing useful benefits to the surround broadcaster, especially when used to supplement the primary surround programming. As the advertising industry has long recognized the benefits of surround encoding, any of those spots coming to the station in Dolby Surround form will automatically blend seamlessly with other surround content to deliver their full effect to the listener, adding value not only to the stations surround effort, but to its clients as well. The process of producing surround mixes is a topic unto itself, beyond the scope of this paper. We would refer those interested to see the following for further information.
3. Dolby Pro Logic II encoding
The Pro Logic II encoder combines five input signalsLeft, Center, Right, Left Surround (Ls), and Right Surround (Rs)into the matrix-encoded, two-channel Lt/Rt (Left total, Right total) delivery signal. The encoder is a straightforward but well-defined way to downmix multichannel audio to stereo. The encoder algorithm has no dynamic signal processing, sharp filters, or anything else that might color the tonal balance or impair the sonic purity of the source material, thus ensuring a high quality stereo signal. As more radio broadcasters adopt Pro Logic II encoding, two independent studies were conducted in 2005 by the IRT and ZDF in Germany to compare the subjective quality of Pro Logic II encoding relative to standard ITU downmixing. Both organizations found virtual equivalency. Gnther Theile of IRT summarized it well, saying there is no reason not to use Pro Logic II encoding for stereo transmission, as there are no draw-backs for stereo listeners, but major advantages for those decoding through Pro Logic II. Pro Logic II encoding is also compatible with the installed base of Pro Logic decoders. Signals encoded to Ls will come predominantly from the mono surround output as expected, but also at a lower level from front Left output. The same happens for Rs encoded signals. Specific design parameters of the encoder were chosen to achieve the best subjective effect, thus allowing the original Pro Logic decoder to offer a hint of the stereo surround effects. As a result, recordings made with Pro Logic II encoding are not merely compatible with Pro Logic playback, they often sound better than recordings made with the original Dolby Surround encoder. As shown in Figure 1, the Left and Right signals entering the encoder pass directly through to the Lt and Rt outputs with no alteration. The Center input is split equally to Lt and Rt, forming a perfect phantom center signal. The Left Surround input is also carried on the Lt and Rt outputs, but weighted more heavily toward Lt, and phase encoded 90 degrees. The Right Surround input is handled in similar fashion.

The unique features of Circle Surround make it the ideal surround format for the new trend in digital radio broadcasting and a true value-add for broadcasters. Not only is it format agnostic and works with any audio standard IBOC, DAB, ISDB-T but it can be compressed to as low as 64kbps while still preserving the surround information. Additionally, Circle Surround is transparent on all analog broadcasts, requires no additional bandwidth or storage and is easy to implement in the broadcast and production chain.



Original Recordings

5.1 Surround
SRS Circle Surround Encoder
Digital Radio Receiver AM FM


Original Productions
5.1 Surround Live or Pre-recorded
Pre-processor for Digital Radio
IBOC Digital Radio Transmitter DAB DRM Mono Stereo 5.1 Surround Sound
Stereo Content Mono Content


Delivering music CDs in surround sound is a concept that has widespread appeal, but consumers have been hesitant to adopt a new format or type of hardware. Circle Surround solves this challenge and delivers a 5.1 surround sound mix over the stereo tracks of a standard Redbook compact disc. Now one CD with one mix can satisfy all music lovers.
A unique advantage to mixing Circle Surround-encoded CDs is they can be enjoyed in full surround when routed through any home theater or automotive receiver equipped with a decoder, yet the CDs are also 100% stereo compatible and will play back on any stereo system. Circle Surround CDs are radio ready for broadcast in stereo, and playback in mono, stereo or surround. Other discrete surround formats such as SACD, DVD-Audio and DTS CDs are not stereo compatible and will only playback through their respective decoders.
Circle Surround CDs do not require separate packaging or retail shelf space. Since the surround mix is encoded in the stereo tracks, there is one product and no need for two separate releases. This advantage provides significant cost savings for record labels.
Circle Surround faithfully reproduces the original surround mix with stunning accuracy. Vocals are crisp and clear, bass is robust, and instruments are sharp and vivid. The primary benefit of listening to a CD mixed in Circle Surround is knowing that youre hearing what the artist, engineers and producers intended for you to hear.
I think every compact disc should be produced in Circle Surround. James Jimbo Barton Music Engineer: Rush, Matchbox Twenty
Annex 5 An overview of the causes of distortion in FM signal reception
An overview of the causes of distortion in FM signal reception.
One of the shortcomings of FM transmission is its susceptibility to multipath distortion caused by the delay between the reception of the main signal arriving directly from the transmitter and one or more copies of that signal that arrive at the receiver later than the main signal because they are reflected by terrain or buildings and have to traverse longer paths. A slightly different form of the above FM Stereo system called FMX was proposed in the late 1980s. Bose and Short1 wrote a paper that analyzed the performance of the FMX system in the presence of multipath signal conditions. The principles they develop can be applied to the existing FM system, so can be used to examine the influence of matrix encoded audio signals on FM reception. Section 4.4 of the paper reviews the factors affecting multipath, based on the mathematical models developed earlier. It says:

Equation 19 shows us directly which factors are most significant for determining the amount of error voltage created by multipath. All other things being equal, higher levels of modulation create higher levels of multipath signal distortions and noise. And, because of the time derivative in equation 19 higher frequency modulation creates more multipath distortion and noise. Therefore, the 38 kHz S [stereo subcarrier] signal contributes considerably more to the multipath problem than does the M [the mono or L+R] signal. This is why mono broadcasts have very much reduced multipath problems compared to stereo. Additionally, SCA and other services with their high frequency subcarriers make the effects of multipath worse. Finally, longer path length differences between direct and reflected paths, with all other conditions held constant, make multipath effects worse.
Bose and Short explain the role of the time derivative in Section 3.1. the instantaneous frequency error at the output of the receiver detector is directly proportional to the derivative of the modulation. For our purposes, and in the absence of any signals in the 53 to 99 kHz region, the value of the time derivative is proportional to the level and frequency of the stereo subcarrier components. Since the surround signal is carried as part of the stereo subcarrier, and thus affects the overall level of the (L-R) signal modulating the subcarrier, it can influence the susceptibility of the FM signal to multipath interference. To get an idea of how significant this effect is, we have to look at the differences between the (L-R) components of typical stereo (Lo Ro) and matrix encoded (Lt Rt) signals. The (L-R) signal falls on the upper left to lower right axis of an X-Y or phase display. All the screen shots represent about 0.1 second of the program signal.
A Theoretical and Experimental Study of Noise and Distortion in the Reception of FM Signals. Amar Bose and Wm. Short, copyright MIT, Cambridge MA, 1989, also reprinted as a Classic Paper in IEEE Transactions on Broadcasting, Volume 47 No. 2, June 2001
Claude Bolling, California Suite, Track 1, California at 1:22.6 on CBS MK 36691 This is a typical Artistic Stereo signal. It is pretty center heavy with most of the energy in the in phase (L+R) direction with some panned sources or reverb contributing to the (L-R) or out of phase component.
This is a Pro Logic II encoded (Lt Rt)downmix of a 5.1 channel film soundtrack, taken from track 4 of the Dolby Pro Logic II demo CD. The scene is a large crowd gathered around a group of heretics being burned at a stake in the middle of a square. The crowd noise is all around, but one of the heretics cries in the center channel dominates the auditory scene. It can be taken as an example of a good surround mix with emphasis on the Center channel. Note, the Pro Logic II examples are taken from this test disc because no commercial movie or music discs use Pro Logic II encoding.

Artistic Stereo from Track 10 at 1:06.4 of Dolby CD ICES 2006 PC Rock band with center male vocalist Another artistic stereo signal, this time with more energy in the (L-R) component, due to a more complex mix of a rock band. This cut sounds quite spatial as a stereo signal, and if decoded, provides quite a pleasing surround presentation.
This is another section of the Pro Logic II (Lt Rt) encoded downmix of a 5.1 channel film soundtrack, taken from track 4 of the Dolby Pro Logic II demo CD. This time there is no center dialog, but there is surrounding crowd noise with incidental voices from many directions, and a choir predominantly in the surrounds, at a higher level than the crowd noise. It can be taken as an example of a good surround mix with emphasis on the Surround channels.
Christine Aguilera, Stripped, Track 1, Stripped at 1:23.5 on RCA B00006CXXU This is an example of a highly processed (and clipped) Artistic Stereo signal, with roughly equal energy in the (L+R) and (L-R) channels.
About 0.1 sec taken from the Artistic Stereo mix on the David Bowie, Reality disc, track 3, Never get Old, at approximately 3:41 Again, lots of energy in the both the (L+R) and (L-R) directions
This is a copy of the Beach Boys selection shown in part of Figure 6, in the body of the paper. The display of the artistic stereo signal is nearly identical to the Bolling artistic stereo signal display, while the downmix is dominated by the out of phase or (L-R) components. It is interesting to compare the (L-R) energy in the Artistic Stereo and Lt Rt downmix versions of the Wouldnt it be Nice tracks to that of the Bowie, Never get Old Artistic Stereo track.
Each dot on the plots shows the mean squared level of a 0.1 second sample of the (L-R) component of the two channel signal. The highest peak (at about 2200 on the time axis) corresponds to the Bowie X-Y screen shot shown above, taken at 3:41. The inputs to the routine that generated the plots were either ripped directly from the discs, or taken directly from the digital Lt Rt output of the Pro Logic II encoder used to downmix the 5.1 channel version. (Note that this downmix may not be absolutely identical to the one used to produce the right hand X-Y plot of Figure 6, as it was done with a Neural encoder). This diagram emphasizes the fact that the susceptibility of an FM signal to multipath distortion is determined by a number of factors (as pointed out by Bose and Short) including the receivers (see the NPR report) and not just by the amplitude of the (L-R) stereo subcarrier. If the subcarrier amplitude was the only culprit, then broadcasts of the artistic stereo mixes represented by the Bowie and Aguilera stereo material shown here would certainly have suffered enough distortion to prompt listener complaints. This has not happened on any large scale; in fact Japanese FM radio broadcasters have been broadcasting matrix encoded material for a number of years without complaints. As the other plots above illustrate, there is often a great deal of similarity between the X Y plots of Artistic Stereo and matrix encoded material. The MTS Television stereo sound transmission also uses FM (albeit with noise reduction in the L-R channel); the majority of movies seen on TV have matrix encoded sound tracks, again without viewer complaints. The jellyfish display is a useful tool for checking the relative channel levels of a multichannel mix to get an idea of how much surround information is present. Figure 7 in

section 6 of the paper shows a mix that has significant surround content, but which is balanced by the front signals in the left, center and right channels. The display below of the multitrack mix of Wouldnt it be Nice shows that the surrounds clearly dominate the mix. There are some L and R components, but the center channel is absent. This mix clearly has a completely different character than the artistic stereo mix.
Nicholas D. Satullo provided a very thorough analysis of the Pet Sounds DVD Audio disc when it was released in 2003 (read it all at in which he notes the very surround heavy character of the multichannel mix, and states that the best way to enjoy this disc is by playing the two-channel high-resolution version through a surround processor that will convert it to multi-channel via either a Logic 7 or Dolby Pro Logic II matrix. The review points out the importance of checking the mono and stereo compatibility of the multichannel material delivered to or produced by a station that moves to Surround Sound operation. The mono compatibility of stereo material has been checked at the point of production for so long now that it is essentially unnecessary to check it again at the station. Multichannel music production is still relatively new, so it is important to do the compatibility checks, particularly when the X-Y or jellyfish displays are unusual. As the art of making multichannel programs matures, there will (hopefully) be less and less need to check the downmixes, but for the present, it is important. This section has only addressed what we may see or hear in the studio. The relative phase and amplitude of each channel can be affected by any audio processing gear placed between the studio and the transmitter. It is very important that the processing applied to each channel be coupled, so that the same thing is done to each channel. Even with that in place, the levels seen in the studio will not necessarily be the same as those applied to the transmitter.
NRSC Document Improvement Proposal
If in the review or use of this document a potential change appears needed for safety, health or technical reasons, please fill in the appropriate information below and email, mail or fax to: National Radio Systems Committee c/o Consumer Electronics Association Technology & Standards Department 1919 S. Eads St. Arlington, VA 22202 FAX: 703-907-4190 Email:



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