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(click thumbnail)Dolby Media Producer is a suite of applications designed to support all Dolby coding technologies for disc-based media formats.With the goal of reaching a wider range of broadcasters, Dolby will come to NAB both with revamped audio solutions as well as alliances with a growing list of third-party manufacturers who are incorporating Dolby technologies in their own solutions.

One of Dolby’s most intriguing technologies will actually be a solution that debuted at NAB last year, but has not yet come available. Dolby plans to showcase the most current version of its DP600 Program Optimizer, a technology that has Dolby’s Rocky Graham excited because it can be deployed to good use in big stations all the way down to small-market facilities, with everything in between.

The technology addresses a widespread problem that most stations have faced, he said: controlling the loudness between programs and channels.

The DP600 is the first technology designed to automatically adjust loudness to a target volume as well as automatically adjust corresponding metadata in a file-based program—meaning audio can be detected and automatically corrected as a program is being aired.

“In the past you’ve been able to apply measurements to a program, but [the available technology] didn’t correct it automatically,” said Graham, who is Dolby’s director of broadcast products. “Now those corrections can be made to the bitstream … in a file-based environment.”

The DP600 also has file-based decoding and transcoding capabilities, giving broadcasters the ability to handle many different file formats.

“If, for example, you are getting in Dolby E material, but it needs to go out as Dolby Digital, the DP600 can do this as well,” Graham said.


The company will also show the Dolby Media Producer, a suite of applications that were first introduced in 2006. At NAB2007, Dolby will show this group of applications, which include Dolby Media Encoder, Dolby Media Decoder and Dolby Media Tools as well as with the new Dolby Media Encoder SE, a new standalone encoder model designed for single workstations. These products are designed to support all Dolby coding technologies for disc-based media formats, including HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc, as well DVD-video and DVD-audio formats.

Dolby will also be showing off Dolby Digital Plus, an audio codec designed to deliver multichannel surround sound for next-generation services through IPTV, direct broadcast satellite and cable. An extension of Dolby Digital, the Plus version is designed to handle H.264 video, is compatible with Dolby Digital-equipped A/V receivers, is capable of handling 7.1 or more channels, and can handle the mixing of secondary bitstreams together.

The company is also making a push this year to demonstrate the open nature of Dolby’s technology.

“We’ll be featuring a combination of ways that we can offer technology” to broadcasters via integrated configurations using video encoders and set-top-boxes from OEM partners, Graham said.

Dolby will also highlight other technologies, including Dolby Digital Cinema, JPEG 2000 SCC and the Digital Cinema Playback Stack. The company will also showcase products from the Dolby Live Sound lineup and share the latest news from Cinea, a Dolby division that addresses security and piracy issues.

Susan Ashworth is the former editor of TV Technology. In addition to her work covering the broadcast television industry, she has served as editor of two housing finance magazines and written about topics as varied as education, radio, chess, music and sports. Outside of her life as a writer, she recently served as president of a local nonprofit organization supporting girls in baseball.