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PlayBox Technology Adds Dolby to AirBox

LONDON—PlayBox Technology has added Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby-E encoding and decoding to its AirBox broadcast playout platform.

Dolby E provides the ability to distribute up to eight channels of audio, plus metadata and timecode, via the existing stereo channels (AES/EBU) available on conventional digital video tapes, video servers, communication links, switchers, and routers. The Dolby E signal does not reach the home viewer. Rather, it is decoded back to baseband audio just prior to the transmitter and then re-encoded into the final audio format, such as Dolby Digital or Dolby Digital Plus.

The Dolby E encoding system is ideal for the production and broadcast of live events because it facilitates the contribution of multichannel audio from the event back to the broadcast center. The system has been used in the broadcast coverage of professional sports and live music performances. A single Dolby E stream can carry surround-sound plus two additional tracks which can be used for a stereo mix or a foreign language version, or as specialised tracks such as those for the visually impaired. With Dolby E, audio can be repeatedly encoded and decoded throughout the broadcast chain without discernible loss of quality.

AirBox is a content playout and streaming system which can be used both in SD and HD. Capable of manual or 24/7 unattended operation, it can be connected easily to third-party devices. AirBox supports a multitude of media containers and is compatible with a variety of compression types. Changes to the AirBox playlist can be made while on air. Every listed clip except the one which is currently playing can be trimmed, edited or repositioned. Playlist order can be changed on-the-fly with commands such as skip-to-next or jump. Order changes are performed without interrupting the current playout session. Live productions are controlled via a Live Show Clipboard which allows insertion and/or execution of various events or live streams.