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Dolby unveils Dolby Pulse audio technology for broadcast

At IBC2008, Dolby announced Dolby Pulse, a comprehensive system encompassing a bit stream format as well as dedicated encoder and decoder solutions. Built on and compatible with the MPEG-4 HE-AAC open-standard audio codec, Dolby Pulse is designed to bring Dolby content delivery to emerging entertainment platforms such as HDTV, mobile phones, portable media players, PCs and online.

In broadcast applications, Dolby Pulse is designed to meet the varying needs in different regions. Complementing Dolby Digital and Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Pulse addresses next-generation applications where bandwidth efficiency is critical. Based on a consistent code base and supporting various metadata, Dolby Pulse is designed to provide consistent and predictable results throughout the broadcast chain to the consumer's television. For broadcasters with significant bandwidth constraints, Dolby Pulse offers the capability to broadcast multichannel audio at low data rates.

With full metadata functionality, Dolby Pulse enables a single 5.1 stream to handle multichannel, stereo and mono signals with seamless switching, eliminating the need for simulcasting. Dialnorm values embedded into broadcast streams can correctly set the loudness level while preserving dynamic range, enabling metadata functionality to match the features of Dolby Digital and Dolby Digital Plus, providing a highly efficient solution for broadcasters.

Dolby's goal is to implement Dolby Pulse across the broadcast chain, including in hardware, OEM products and licensed encoder and decoder solutions. Pulse is compliant with new HDTV specifications set by key European industry bodies including EICTA, the French and Spanish HD forums and NorDig. Support is planned across a wide range of Dolby professional products, while licensing development kits for real-time and file-based encoding applications are expected to be available in 2009.

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