WOWOW, MQA claim world’s first for TV and audio
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Editor
| 25 October 2019

Japan’s leading premium pay-TV broadcaster WOWOW has revealed that it is deploying is harnessing MQA’s audio technology to showcase HD video playback with what it regards as the highest quality sound.

Explaining the rationale for the partnership, WOWOW said that while mainstream consumers were used to a constantly improving visual experience, the audio element has too often been an afterthought. It sees MQA’s technology as supporting the highest quality playback of the original recording on all devices – from smartphones to high-end home audio systems, as well as cars.

“We’ve been conducting these trials with a view to integrating MQA into our services in the future, including on-demand and live broadcasting,” explained Hideo Irimajiri, senior expert, engineering division and project lead at WOWOW. “It makes no sense that audio quality still lags behind, while video is achieving higher definition with 4K and 8K resolution display. Due to transmission bandwidth limitations, the audio element has until now been problematic, however MQA’s technology – which achieves high-resolution transmission with normal 48k sampling audio – solves this problem. Most importantly, we have proven that great sound is essential to fully convey emotion.”

MQA founder Bob Stuart, added, “With our partners at WOWOW we’ve been exploring the feasibility of delivering video with MQA audio and our experiments have succeeded. We’re bringing the unique aspects of MQA – clarity, smaller file sizes and backward compatibility – to deliver the best quality audio alongside HD video. This development holds exciting possibilities for the international broadcasting sector.”