Dolby Digital Plus Advancements for Next-Generation Entertainment Demonstrated at NABMonday, April 16th, 2012
New encoding and adaptive-streaming enhancements will enable more consumers to enjoy high-quality audio on any device
LAS VEGAS — 2012 NAB Show, Booth SU1212 — Today at NAB Show® 2012, booth SU1212, Dolby Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE: DLB) is demonstrating key enhancements to Dolby® Digital Plus that will bring authentic, high-quality audio within reach of more broadcasters and online-content providers. Significant advancements in the core encoding process enable providers to deliver cinematic 5.1-channel surround sound at 192 kbps, half the data rate typically used by traditional broadcast services today. Combined with the adaptive-streaming capabilities and in-device playback optimization of Dolby Digital Plus, these enhancements enable an authentic audio experience for consumers to enjoy over more connections on more devices. Dolby plans to release these enhancements for integration by professional encoder partners this summer.
Typically, broadcasters and other service providers deliver Dolby Digital 5.1-channel audio at an average data rate of 384 kbps. The latest Dolby Digital Plus encoding enhancements will reduce the data rate required by 50 percent–to 192 kbps–thanks to extensive research into algorithm optimizations. These reductions can translate into more space for HD channels on congested terrestrial platforms, more opportunity to deploy added features such as 7.1-channel surround sound and multiple languages on pay-TV services, and multiroom capability on IPTV systems. Online-content providers can also leverage the savings to reach more consumers with optimized audio.
“Our vision is to deliver an immersive, realistic viewing experience that is true to the creator’s vision, tailored for whatever compatible device is used for playback. With the latest coding breakthroughs and playback optimization in Dolby Digital Plus, we are enabling that vision and powering a new wave of service innovation,” said Jason Power, Senior Director, Broadcast Audio Ecosystem, Dolby Laboratories.
The ability to support seamless bit-rate switching for online and over-the-top (OTT) delivery enables service providers to deliver a consistent, high-quality audio experience–even as available bandwidth changes. In addition to offering greater bandwidth efficiency, Dolby Digital Plus is the most scalable and flexible audio solution for file-based and live streaming multiscreen delivery across a broad set of frameworks, including MPEG-DASH (Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP), Apple® HTTP Live Streaming (HLS), Microsoft® Smooth Streaming, and DECE UltraViolet™. At NAB, Dolby will demonstrate how Dolby Digital Plus enhances entertainment experiences across multiple platforms and screens.
Included in more than 640 million products worldwide, Dolby Digital Plus is widely supported for HD entertainment in the living room, shipping in products from the top 10 TV manufacturers and in the top set-top boxes. It is a feature of major global standards for terrestrial, cable, satellite, and IPTV systems, including DVB®, ATSC®, and DTMB. Dolby Digital Plus delivers an authentic experience to a wide audience–whether it’s by enabling more surround services on air, improving consistency with integral loudness control, or widening the audience by adding enhancements for the visually and/or hearing impaired. OTT content providers such as Netflix® and HBO Go® and playback devices such as Microsoft Xbox 360® and Sony® PS3™ also leverage Dolby Digital Plus to deliver multichannel audio.
The Dolby booth at SU1212 will also feature:
- Surround descriptive audio–Dolby Digital Plus enables descriptive audio for the visually impaired (VI) in uncompromised full surround sound, improving audio for those who most value it and helping broadcasters meet mandatory requirements for VI description.
- Integrated volume leveling–The integrated volume-leveling option of the Dolby MS11 Multistream Decoder in Dolby Digital Plus increases consistency for the viewer and helps providers achieve compliance with the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation (CALM) Act.
- New professional infrastructure and transmission solutions–Dolby is making it easier than ever for partners to implement comprehensive support for Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Digital, and Dolby E.
- Dolby Media Emulator–This new production tool enables broadcasters to optimize how audio mixes will sound on the final transmission and to accurately hit the delivery specification.