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Press Releases

Wednesday, November 9, 2005

Sheffield, SU Students Aid High-Definition Radio Testing"

class=""MsoNormal"">SALISBURY, MD---High-definition (HD) radio is expected to enhance the listening experience for millions around the world… but not until it is perfected.

class=""MsoNormal"">At Salisbury University, Dr. Ellyn Sheffield is at the forefront of research to better that experience. The Psychology Department faculty member recently joined with with National Public Radio, the Audio Engineer Society of Cincinnati, Sonic Arts and the Corbett Studio at Cincinnati Public Radio to develop a listening test for surround sound encoders and decoders used in HD radio.

class=""MsoNormal"">Using samples provided by manufacturers including Neural Audio, Dolby Laboratories and SRS Labs, the test allowed participants to rate the sound quality of 16 songs without knowing which manufacturer’s equipment was used to encode or decode the digital recordings.

class=""MsoNormal"">Students from Sheffield's SU laboratory—Katelin Rowley, Brandon Riggin, Jackie Mills, Christopher McCormick, Shannon Johnson and Jeanette Kerns—helped compile the collected data, which will be analyzed statistically by Shefffield over the next  month.

class=""MsoNormal"">"When our test ended, there was much work to be done to get the data in shape.  Salisbury students were able to lend support to this worthwhile endeavor while learning about the process of audio testing in the radio industry," she said. "It was an excellent experience for everyone, one which we hope we can replicate in the future as testing progresses."

class=""MsoNormal"">The test results will be used in future testing to help HD radio stations incorporate a version of surround sound with universal quality while using equipment from various manufacturers. The study was a pilot for a larger study that Sheffield will be conducting in conjunction with the University of Colorado at Denver this winter.

class=""MsoNormal"">“This critical listening test highlights the interest level and commitment of our members and other regional audio pros for the future of HD radio in surround,” said Dan Scherbarth, chairman of AES Cincinnati. “An incredible amount of work from everyone involved… made the test a rousing success.”

class=""MsoNormal"">This was not the first time Sheffield has been called to help NPR and others in radio. Last year, she presented positive findings to the Federal Communications Commission's Media Bureau to support new digital public service channels for America's approximately 10 million visually impaired people. For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU Web site at "

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