SoundField has announced the availability of a v2 software upgrade for the UPM-1 stereo-to-5.1 upmix processor.

SoundField UPM-1The UPM-1 converts stereo to 5.1 surround, and is popular with HD broadcasters needing to transmit legacy stereo material in 5.1 surround. Improvements include superior 5.1 channel separation and lower-latency processing. The v2 upgrade is available free to existing UPM-1 owners from the company’s website, where release notes are also provided.

Processing latency in the original version of the upmixer was set to one video frame at the request of the broadcast industry, but v2 software sees the introduction of a new low-latency mode in which the time taken for upmixing is reduced to 9ms. All new UPM-1s are shipping set to this low-latency mode and with v2 software pre-installed, although the latency can still be set either to 40ms (one frame in the US), or 33ms (one frame in Europe) if required.

Version 2 software also improves channel separation in 5.1, resulting in tighter mixes with more defined localisation in each channel and less crosstalk between the stems. In high-definition broadcast, commentary tends to be mixed to the centre channel of a 5.1 mix and more reverberant sounds are usually mixed to the surround channels. In order to create similar-sounding mixes from stereo with no additional channel information, the UPM-1 analyses and separates the stereo information received at its input into 'dry' and 'reverberant' components, and assigns these in appropriate proportions to the respective channels in the 5.1 output. The analysis is more advanced in v2, resulting in 5.1 mixes in which commentary is found almost exclusively in the centre channel, more direct sounds in the original stereo are mixed realistically across the front three channels, and the more reverberant components are found in the rear surrounds.


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