Fox moves to Dolby Digital 5.1 for all widescreen sports

Fox Sports said all of its future widescreen sports broadcasts would transmit Dolby Digital 5.1 audio with widescreen standard definition video. Recently, Fox successfully broadcast the NFL's NFC Championship Game this year in Dolby Digital 5.1 audio to DTV affiliates in Charlotte, N.C., Los Angeles, Calif., and Washington, D.C. The network continues to eschew high-definition TV, stating that there is not enough digital TV sets in consumers’ homes capable of receiving the signals to justify the cost.

The network's first use of Dolby Digital 5.1 was during its broadcast of last year's Super Bowl game. With the necessary encoding and decoding equipment now installed in its Los Angeles facility, and the number of its affiliates stations capable of distributing Dolby Digital 5.1 growing, Fox said viewers can expect to hear more sporting events, such as its coverage of NASCAR's Daytona 500 on February 16 and entertainment programming delivered in full multichannel audio.

Fox also uses Dolby E to transport the audio from the remote truck through its broadcast center and out to the local stations. At the affiliates, the Dolby E audio is decoded and then encoded into Dolby Digital 5.1 for delivery to viewers.

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