Netflix looks better on Android devices thanks to xHE-AAC

Netflix introduced support for a new audio codec in the Android mobile app: HE-AAC extended with MPEG-DRC (xHE-AAC). E Supported by Android 9 and above devices. Netflix says this new codec always guarantees The best sound quality based on several factors, Including the device’s internet connection speed, so you can access “studio” high quality.

“At Netflix, we’re excited to bring great voice to our members.” He reads at Netflix TechBlog. We started 5.1 channel surround sound streaming in 2010, Dolby Atmos in 2017, and adaptive bitrate in 2019. Continuing this tradition, we are proud to announce that Netflix is ​​now streaming Extended HE-AAC with MPEG-D DRC (xHE-AAC) on compatible Android mobile devices (Android 9 and later). With its ability to improve clarity in noisy environments, adapt to diverse cellular connections, and extend studio quality ranges, xHE-AAC will be an audio delight for subscribers who stream on these devices. “

Netflix took the opportunity to explain how it is improving the audio experience for its subscribers by smartly managing volume and dynamic range. The dynamic range of the content is the difference between the lowest and the loudest sounds. Loudness is the subjective perception of sound pressure, and although it is directly related to the sound pressure level, it is also affected by the sound’s duration and its spectral composition.

In film and television content, dialogues are the most important component of viewers’ perception of the scale of the program. Not all titles have the same dialogue level or dynamic range. Action movies have a lot of dialogues and explosions, so the dynamic range for this type of content is highly variable. On the contrary, the dynamic range of a live concert is relatively small, while in a special comedy the dialogue is the most important thing. Watching different kind of content one by one means having to constantly turn up / down the volume without smart audio management from Netflix. The goal of Netflix’s Smart Sound Manager is to play all titles at a fixed volume. All Netflix content is scaled before encoding.

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Dynamic Range Control (DRC) has a variety of creative and practical uses in sound production. When playing content, the goal of controlling dynamic range is to optimize the dynamic range of the content to provide the best listening experience on any device and in any environment.

For years, adaptive video bit rate switching has been a primary feature of Netflix media playback. The audio bit rates were stable, partly due to the limitations of the codec. In 2019, Netflix began offering high-quality adaptive bitrate audio on TVs. Now, thanks to native support for xHE-AAC for seamless bitrate switching, Netflix can customize the sound quality on Android mobile devices.

“Our xHE-AAC streams provide studio-quality audio when network conditions allow for restocking and reduction devices when the network is congested,” says Netflix.

If you are interested in learning more about the technical part of this novelty, you can visit Netflix TechBlog (netflixtechblog.com), but in general Android users only need to know that the audio experience offered by Netflix will improve soon.

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