Seeing the rise in interest and demand for immersive audio systems, CEDIA has recently finalized a new set of recommended guidelines for immersive audio system design. Done in collaboration with the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) (the guys behind CES), the RP22 Immersive Audio Design Recommended Practice is the first to define an objective set of performance criteria for home audio systems.
Daryl Friedman, global president and CEO of CEDIA states the recommendation stands to be “game-changing” for the industry, benefitting integrators and homeowners alike.
“My sincere thanks go out to CEDIA’s volunteers and staff who worked tirelessly for years to make this dream a reality,” Friedman adds.
Over the years, the availability and accessibility of immersive audio for home entertainment has increased dramatically. At IFA 2023, Dolby announced a new FlexConnect feature for immersive home theater audio that is designed to be as simple as hooking up a few wireless speakers to the TV of choice. The recent CEDIA Expo 2023 also had plenty of immersive audio solutions on display from manufacturers like StormAudio and L-Acoustics.
The RP22 immersive audio guidelines are the result of a three-year collaboration with both CEDIA and CTA receiving feedback from experts in the fields of film, audio manufacturing, immersive audio standards, and residential technology integration. The end goal: to develop a set of guidelines that respects both the artistry of immersive audio while acknowledging physical and budgetary restraints.
Manufacturers including Officina Acustica, PerListen Audio, Snap One, StormAudio, Triad Speakers and Trinnov Audio have already embraced the new standard.
“It has been many years of effort but I believe [RP22] will elevate our industry for the next decade and deliver better and more predictable
performance to end users,” applauds Arnaud Laborie, CEO, Trinnov Audio .
Many CE pros have also already voiced their support for the new immersive audio design guidelines.
“It thrills me to see our industry mature and establish objective, scientifically-based best practices for private cinema and immersive audio space engineering and design,” says Sam Cavit, Founder and CVO, Paradise Theater; Publisher, The Cinema Connoisseur.
“For the first time, integrators have a clear framework to present objective engineering metrics through four easily comprehensible levels. This clarity is revolutionary for our industry. Now, clients, architects, and specifiers can effortlessly discuss performance objectives and compare proposals on a like for like basis,” states Ben Goff, Technical Director, Cinema Lusso.
New Immersive Audio Performance Targets Under RP22 Guidelines
Looking closer at the new immersive audio guidelines, RP22 identifies 21 different performance parameters that can be anticipated during system design. These can then be tested and verified before system sign-off.
Using these metrics, RP22 then sets the criteria for four different levels of performance:
- Level 1 – conveys basic artistic intent.
- Level 2 – a higher level of performance that more accurately conveys artistic intent.
- Level 3 – meets or exceeds reference commercial cinema standards.
- Level 4 – achieves the maximum level of performance across every parameter.
According to CEDIA, consumers can use the performance levels to better define what they want from a professionally installed audio system. Meanwhile, home technology professionals have a new tool to define the difference between off-the-shelf speakers and a state-of-art immersive home audio system.
RP22 also expands on CTA/CEDIA-CEB22-B Home Theater Recommended Practice: Audio Design with design recommendations for an expanded array of applications and technological innovations, including:
- Speaker layout recommendations for the immersive audio formats, including Dolby Atmos, DTS-X, Auro 3D and more.
- Expanded bass management guidance.
- Coverage patterns and “seat to seat” variation targets.
The full CEDIA/CTA – RP22 Immersive Audio Design Recommended Practice documentation is available for free at https://cedia.net/advocacy/rp22.
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