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Orban to Introduce Optimod 8685 with Penteo Surround at NAB 2010

At the 2010 NAB show, Orban will introduce the new Optimod 8685 with Penteo Surround. The proprietary Penteo stereo-to-5.1 audio process allows the 8685 to provide 2-band and 5-band audio processing for surround sound and Internet broadcasts.

Orban and Penteo are working to make it possible for television stations to effortlessly and automatically broadcast all of their legacy stereo programming and stereo commercials in discrete 5.1 surround sound. Unlike other upmix methods, Penteo 5.1 is said to be completely compatible with televisions that have stereo audio systems because these sets will reproduce the original stereo that was applied to the Penteo upmixer.

The Orban Optimod 8685 is also designed for mastering audio in broadcast productions as well as productions intended for media such as DVD and Blu-ray.

Robert Orban, chief engineer of Orban, states, “When choosing an upmix algorithm to complement Orban’s Optimod-Surround 8685 audio processor, I auditioned a number of different processes. Of these, only the Penteo Surround upmix sounded like discrete 5-channel while preserving the balance of the stereo source without coloration. I was particularly impressed by its ability to place dialog firmly in the center channel even when the mix included other elements placed around the stereo soundstage. Penteo was the hands-down winner of my shoot-out.”

Orban’s Penteo upmixer for the 8685 resides in a stand-alone single-rackspace chassis that is controlled by the 8685 via an Ethernet connection. The Penteo unit only upmixes if it detects a controlling 8685 on the same subnet; otherwise it remains in “pass-through” mode. Program-adaptive automatic mode switching is available, where the Penteo detects whether its input is receiving stereo or 5.1 material and automatically activates upmixing if it detects stereo. If 5.1 surround material is detected, it is passed through to the Penteo’s output with the same delay as the upmixed material, thus preserving lip-sync.

At Orban’s NAB booth, Penteo is also exhibiting two new stand-alone stereo-to-5.1 conversion products: the Penteo PostPro Desktop and Penteo PostPro Rackmount units. The Penteo 5.1 process was used in Warner Bros. blockbuster movies Watchmen and Book of Eli, starring Denzel Washington, and in the Academy Award-winning Inglourious Basterds. These are said to be the first major motion pictures to take advantage of the new direct stereo-to-5.1 surround sound processing system.

Penteo and Orban will conduct both group and private presentations at Orban booth #C1657. For more information, or to arrange a private demonstration at NAB, contact [email protected].

Visit Penteo at and Orban at