Silverlight Streaming Gets SRS Surround Sound

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This isn’t exactly the most momentous announcement, but the evolution of the streaming media platforms out there is worth keeping an eye on. SRS is a good, established sound standard, present on many TVs and now decodable to your local setup through Silverlight.

Once people get over the fact that they can watch anything at any time, they’re going to start really looking at the video and audio quality, and having SRS built in will make it easier to get, say, virtual solid sound pushed to your tablet or mobile phone. They say they can fit a surround signal into 96kbps, which honestly probably sounds like garbage, but it’s a good floor to work up from.

I generally think of sound and video on mobiles (and soon, tablets) as being low-quality in every way, but that’s starting to change. One of these days I might even be able to watch a whole movie on my phone without giving up in frustration.

Here’s the full press release:

SRS FIRST TO COUPLE 5.1 SURROUND SOUND TO MICROSOFT SILVERLIGHT AND IIS SMOOTH STREAMING ECOSYSTEMS WITH A COMPLETE TOOLKIT

SRS 5.1 Empowers Content Creators to Enhance Multimedia with Surround Sound Encoding That’s Playable Across TVs, PCs and Mobile Devices

SANTA ANA, Calif., September 9, 2010 – SRS Labs, Inc. (NASDAQ:SRSL), the industry leader in surround sound, audio and voice technologies, announced today that it is making available complete SRS surround sound encoding and decoding technology to users of Microsoft Silverlight, a powerful development platform for creating rich media and business applications for the Web, desktop and mobile devices.

“This is an exciting moment for SRS and we’re thrilled to expand this collaboration with Microsoft to now bring surround sound capability to Silverlight and its millions of users,” said Allen H. Gharapetian, Vice President of Marketing for SRS Labs. “Every day, more and more consumers are streaming TV shows and movies over the Web to their PCs, TVs, and mobile phones, and now, with the availability of SRS 5.1 surround for Silverlight, the collective online multimedia experience will become more vivid and immersive.”

Microsoft and SRS’ collaboration dates back to May 2000 when SRS WOW became a standard feature within Windows Media Player. Today, as part of a larger effort to deliver immersive surround sound to the rapidly growing number of consumers streaming content to their PCs, TVs and mobile phones, SRS has advanced the streaming multimedia experience to the next level by coupling its SRS 5.1 technology with a complete Microsoft-centric toolkit that effortlessly adds bit efficient, exceptional quality surround sound to content created in Silverlight.

SRS 5.1 is designed to provide content creators with the tools to create and deliver true, high-quality streamed surround sound encoded content across the three-screens, TVs, PCs and mobile devices. SRS 5.1 is the only surround format available now in Microsoft Silverlight that is coupled with a complete toolkit. This SRS package functions as a managed code add-on for content creators and developers making surround sound decoding in Silverlight applications easy and seamless. Because millions of TVs, A/V receivers, PCs and mobile phones today feature one or more SRS audio solutions such as Circle Surround, TheaterSound, StudioSound HD, and TruSurround, every one of these CE devices are natively equipped with the capability to decode SRS 5.1 surround encoded content, resulting in a “surround everywhere” entertainment experience.

Some of the other major benefits of these encoding and decoding solutions include:

* Multichannel and front-rendered surround sound
* Smooth steering and full bandwidth for a seamless and immersive surround environment
* Backwards compatibility with legacy matrix decoders and stereo
* Surround streaming over bit rates as low as 96kbps

Since the release of Silverlight in 2007, its adoption has continued at a rapid pace with installations approaching 60 percent on all Internet-connected devices worldwide, an increase of nearly 15 percentage points in just four months. Now with inclusion of SRS 5.1 surround for content created in Silverlight, any PC or connected flat panel TV can decode SRS 5.1 audio for true multi-channel or front-rendered surround.SRS 5.1 effectively provides a top-quality, format agnostic, easy to deploy and manage end-to-end surround sound technology for content creation, transmission and consumption.

“Multichannel audio takes the premium media experiences offered by Silverlight to the next level,” said Brad Becker, director of Rich Client Platforms at Microsoft Corp. “Microsoft is pleased to see SRS bring its surround sound technology to Silverlight’s hundreds of millions of users by taking advantage of the powerful extensibility and interoperability that Silverlight and IIS Smooth Streaming provide.”

The tools and white paper for SRS 5.1 content creation with Silverlight are available now at http://www.srslabs.com/Silverlight. Meanwhile, a demonstration of SRS 5.1 will be available at IBC in Amsterdam, The Netherlands from September 10th to 14th at the Microsoft stand located in the Topaz Lounge.

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