SRS Labs, Inc. has teamed up with Microsoft to offer full SRS 5.1 Surround Sound via a new toolkit for the platform. That means Silverlight will soon feature encoding and decoding of surround sound for streaming content.

Often when talking about online video, especially streaming, we forget that a lot of things have more than standard 2.0 stereo sound. Television and film both offer 5.1 and even 7.1 surround sound and sometimes we just miss out on it when streaming. But with this deal between SRS and MS we can look forward to even better audio experiences in streaming content.What it really means is that Netflix, available for Windows and Xbox 360 as well as mobile platforms, will soon be able to stream in 5.1 surround sound as they utilize the Silverlight platform. Several others who use it include NBC and MTV which have content that could utilize the surround sound soon.

Everything from game consoles to PCs will soon be able to decode SRS 5.1 encoded content and deliver it in enhanced 5.1 surround, front-rendered surround, or virtual headphone surround, depending on their speaker configuration.

“This is an exciting moment for SRS and we’re thrilled to expand this collaboration with Microsoft to now bring surround sound capability to Silverlight and its millions of users,” said Allen H. Gharapetian, Vice President of Marketing for SRS Labs. “Every day, more and more consumers are streaming TV shows and movies over the Web to their PCs, TVs, and mobile phones, and now, with the availability of SRS 5.1 surround for Silverlight, the collective online multimedia experience will become more vivid and immersive.”

SRS has had its WOW technology in Windows Media Player for 10 years now so the two companies teaming up is nothing new.

SRS 5.1 is the only surround format available now in Microsoft Silverlight that is coupled with a complete toolkit. This SRS package functions as a managed code add-on for content creators and developers making surround sound decoding in Silverlight applications easy and seamless.

Some of the other major benefits of these encoding and decoding solutions include:

* Multichannel and front-rendered surround sound
* Smooth steering and full bandwidth for a seamless and immersive surround environment
* Backwards compatibility with legacy matrix decoders and stereo
* Surround streaming over bit rates as low as 96kbps

The tools and white paper for SRS 5.1 content creation with Silverlight are available now at Meanwhile, a demonstration of SRS 5.1 will be available at IBC in Amsterdam, The Netherlands from September 10th to 14th at the Microsoft stand located in the Topaz Lounge.