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Dolby debuts Digital Plus for HD media

At AES, Dolby Laboratories offered the first public demonstration of Dolby Digital Plus, its new audio codec.

Dolby Digital Plus offers bit-rate and channel extendibility. It is an extension of the established Dolby Digital format, the audio compression standard for DVD video players worldwide and the mandated standard for many DTV systems around the world.

The DVD Forum recently selected Dolby Digital Plus as a standard audio format for HD-DVD. The audio standard is intended to ensure future compatibility of HD-DVD software media and playback devices with the more than 39 million A/V receivers equipped with Dolby Digital in homes today.

Extensions to the existing Dolby Digital format extend the peak data rate from 640kb/s up to 6Mb/s. Additionally, Dolby Digital Plus offers discrete channel coverage beyond the current 5.1 standard, such as 7.1 discrete channels and more.

The audio format also offers coding efficiencies for systems where bandwidth is at a premium or limited. Earlier this year, the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) nominated Dolby Digital Plus as a Candidate Standard for future robust channel transmission. In anticipation of future packaged media business models and format flexibility, the efficiency of Dolby Digital Plus will also enable simultaneous streaming of audio content and software playback. This capability would allow consumers to watch a movie while listening to artists’ or directors’ commentary streamed directly from the studio website, for example.

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