Frank Foti to Speak on 5.1 for FM at Surround 2004

24 August 2004, Cleveland, Ohio, USA

Omnia President Frank Foti has been invited to speak on the subject of 5.1 audio for FM radio at the Surround 2004 International Conference in Hollywood, the premier international event for musicians, producers and audio engineers working in the surround sound arena.

“5.1 Surround has taken the audio industry by storm. You can’t even buy a plain old ‘stereo’ receiver anymore. It’s no surprise that audio professionals are excited by the prospect of bringing 5.1 audio to FM broadcasts,” says Foti.

At this year’s NAB, Telos / Omnia and Fraunhofer Institute (FhG), the developers of MP3 and MPEG AAC audio coding, announced a spatial audio coding system that takes advantage of the most recent research in aural perception and enables transmission of 5.1 channel surround audio for FM broadcasters using HD Radio™ technology. Called “Coded-Discrete”, the FhG system works with the existing HD Radio codec and transmission equipment and is fully compatible with stereo broadcasts.

Distinct multi-channel audio is audibly superior because individual channel information is retained throughout the encode/decode process. This technique gives listeners clearer, better-defined spatial imaging than multiplexed or “matrix” surround systems, which can suffer from channel mixing and audio which “bleeds” into adjacent channels.

“We’ve let broadcasters at the Radio & Records Convention and The Conclave here what distinct multi-channel FM radio could sound like, and they were blown away by the enormous creative possibilities,” continues Foti. “We have no doubt that the industry professionals at Surround 2004 will welcome the creative, competitive and commercial opportunities this technology could open up for them.”

Mr. Foti has authored a position paper entitled “Radio’s Field Of Dreams.” “Multi-channel Surround Sound for FM is truly exciting,” he writes; “For the first time since 1961, when FM went stereo, we have a new technology that will blow your socks off.” The paper may be downloaded from the Omnia Audio website at

Mr. Foti’s Surround 2004 Conference session will take place Wednesday, September 1st, at the Hollywood Renaissance Hotel in Hollywood, California. For details, visit or contact Caroline Dorsey at +1-216- 241-7225.


Omnia, a Telos company, is world-renowned for its digital audio signal processing expertise. Omnia audio processors for FM, AM, TV, HD Radio & DAB, Internet, and audio production are setting new standards for professional audio quality.

Telos Systems, headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio with offices in Europe and Canada, is a leading manufacturer of ISDN, coded audio and telephone interface products for talk-shows, teleconferencing, audio production, remote broadcasts, and intercom applications. HD Radio is a trademark of iBiquity Digital Corporation.

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