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New MPEG Surround Format Demonstrated

The Fraunhofer Institute, credited with the development of the seminal MP3 coding algorithms, was showing off their new MPEG Surround format on the show floor at CES.

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MPEG Surround allows for multi-channel audio to be compressed into a stereo stream that is fully backwards compatible with existing receivers. The encoding process creates a stereo downmix of the a 5.1 or 7.2 source that includes a metadata stream that describes to the decoder how to fold back out the surround channels. This results in a very low bit-rate representation of high quality, multi-channel signals perfect for Internet broadcasting. They played several demos that sounded as good as one can expect on the show floor and also had a prototype MPEG Surround iPod Dock with an optical output.

Looks promising for the future of surround audio for Web distribution.

DLNA’s Connected Home Demo

The Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA), an organization of over 240 CE companies created to develop an interoperability framework for consumer electronics devices, parked a DLNA-enabled connected home out in front of the Las Vegas Convention Center.

The home demonstrated how to share and access digital media easily across a variety of wired and wireless technologies, such as MoCA, Wi-Fi and Ethernet, and showed streaming content between CE devices, mobile handsets, STBs and PCs.

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Over 300 new DLNA compliant products were announced at the show.  Some of the biggest news is that any device that wants to be Windows 7 certified must be DLNA certified first which should help to accelerate the number of devices available.

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The DLNA was also showing a product endcap for retail locations that helps the consumer understand the capabilities of the system and the value-add for DLNA certified products.  In the past, DLNA marketing has been sparse so it is nice to see expanded efforts on this front.  Ray Berardinelli who is leading the DLNA marketing and PR efforts assured me that this year there would be greater visibility for DLNA products and that several retailers were onboard to help with the effort.

Where to see it:

  • Central Plaza

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Verizon Joins the Executive Board of the Entertainment Technology Center at USC

Verizon Enterprise Solutions will lend its technology expertise to the Entertainment Technology Center at the University of Southern California (ETC@USC) through a seat on ETC@USC’s executive board. Verizon’s global cloud, IP and wireless networks, managed security services, end-to-end digital content solutions and technology-related professional services are used by media and entertainment companies to create, transport, manage and deliver digital content around the world, on any platform,  anytime.

ETC@USC is a nonprofit, member-funded entertainment technology think tank and research center, affiliated with the USC School of Cinematic Arts. It brings together senior executives, innovators, thought leaders and catalysts in a neutral setting to explore issues related to the creation, distribution and consumption of entertainment content. Verizon’s participation on the executive board will provide media and entertainment companies with opportunities to learn how Verizon’s media-focused solutions, network and technology expertise can help the industry transform its future.

“The goal of the ETC@USC is to bring industry and technology experts together to develop the solutions that will propel us through the next 20 years,” said Kenneth Williams, CEO and executive director of the ETC@USC. “Verizon’s broad set of technologies and deep industry experience will provide a unique voice on the executive board. We look forward to their active participation.”

Scott Spector, global head of Verizon’s media and entertainment vertical, added: “Verizon is committed to the media and entertainment industry, and our participation with ETC@USC will allow us to support and potentially drive innovation in the industry. There’s a vast range of opportunities to integrate technology and improve everything from digital content production through digital distribution, creating an optimal experience for the industry.”

Verizon Enterprise Solutions creates global connections that generate growth, drive business innovation and help shape tomorrow’s biggest ideas. With industry-specific solutions provided over Verizon’s secure mobility, cloud, strategic networking and advanced communications platforms, Verizon helps open new opportunities around the world for innovation, investment and business transformation. Visit www.verizonenterprise.com to learn more.

The Entertainment Technology Center at the University of Southern California (ETC@USC) is a think tank and research center within the USC School of Cinematic Arts that brings together senior executives, innovators, thought leaders, and catalysts from the entertainment, consumer electronics, technology, and services industries along with the academic resources of the University of Southern California to explore and to act upon topics and issues related to the creation, distribution, and consumption of entertainment content.  ETC@USC helps drive collaborative projects among its member companies and engages with next generation consumers to understand the impact of emerging technology on all aspects of the entertainment industry, especially technology development and implementation, the creative process, business models, and future trends. (www.etcenter.org)

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq:  VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to consumer, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 108 million retail connections nationwide. Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America’s most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers integrated business solutions to customers worldwide. A Dow 30 company with more than $127 billion in 2014 revenues, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of 177,300. For more information, visit www.verizon.com/news/.

VERIZON ENTERPRISE SOLUTIONS ONLINE NEWS CENTER: News releases, blog posts, media contacts and other information are available in Verizon Enterprise Solutions’ online News Center at http://www.verizonenterprise.com/about/news. News from Verizon Enterprise Solutions is also available through an RSS feed at http://www.verizonenterprise.com/rss-options/.

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