Dolby Aims To Make Digital Audio Easier

Posted at 6:11 p.m. ET

Audio giant Dolby Labs has developed a new multiformat decoding technology for high-definition TVs, digital set-tops and other consumer electronics devices that is designed to work with the variety of audio coding standards used internationally.

The new Dolby Multistream Decoder, which Dolby aims to license to TV-set and set-top manufacturers, supports Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby Pulse. Dolby Digital Plus decoding brings premium audio support and full compatibility with existing Dolby Digital broadcasts, while Dolby Pulse is Dolby’s implementation of HE AAC audio coding.

Dolby Digital Plus and HE AAC have been recommended by industry groups such as Digital Video Broadcasting, the European Broadcasting Union and DIGITALEUROPE as the audio coding systems for next-generation broadcast transmissions, and have also been specified by individual national forums as the audio systems for their respective HD formats.

The new Dolby Multistream Decoder decodes both Dolby Digital Plus and HE AAC audio and therefore can be used by manufacturers to meet new MPEG-4 terrestrial receiver specifications in several European countries including Denmark, France, Ireland, Italy, Norway (HE AAC only with transcoder), Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. It also enables new audio mixing options to enhance shows to serve the visually-impaired, which is required or recommended in several European countries including Sweden and the UK.

“We’re confident that the Dolby Multistream Decoder will not only aid manufacturers in reducing the cost and complexity of integrating audio technologies into their TVs and set top boxes, but it also will aid greatly in simplifying product development and testing,” said Tom Daily, Senior Director of Marketing, Broadcast Segment at Dolby Laboratories, Inc., in a statement.