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PHILIPS and Dolby Laboratories have co-operated in a successful project to find a solution for handling Dolby E and metadata in a standard master control environment.
With the application of Philips' Venus 2001 AES Audio Router and the master control solution, broadcasters can implement Dolby E within their facilities without fear of compromising the quality of the sound or the integrity of the Dolby E signal.
Joop Janssen, Vice President and General Manager of Philips Media Networking & Control, said: “Our goal is to aid broadcasters in delivering the high quality audio increasingly demanded by viewers today. Consumers expect their television listening experience to match the quality of sound they hear in theatres and through their DVDs.”
Dolby E makes it possible to distribute up to eight channels of audio with accompanying metadata within infrastructures designed for two channel audio distribution. However, for Dolby E bitstreams to remain intact, they must not be processed or manipulated in any way.
Master control systems, by design, allow operators to process audio and video before transmission. As such, they have been perceived as roadblocks by broadcasters who wish to implement Dolby E as a solution to their multi-channel audio distribution and routing needs. A solution is to decode Dolby E encoded material back to baseband audio before entering the master control system. Such a procedure passes audio, but the separate metadata does not accompany the audio through the master control system. Metadata is necessary for the audio program to be experienced by the viewing and listening audience as intended by those creating the content.
The goal of the Master Control research was to find a solution for broadcasters that would ensure that metadata from decoded Dolby E programs would still reach their viewers at home. The solution uses standard Dolby and Philips products that would not require modification. To insure that the switching of programs would continue in a normal fashion, the solution is transparent to a master control operator or an automation system. The end result is that Philips Saturn Master Control customers can add Dolby E compatibility to their existing master control infrastructure, without throwing any of their current equipment away.
Philips Media Networking and Control have shown a commitment to multichannel audio in broadcast by designing Dolby E compatible products and joining the Dolby E Partner Program.
As a member of the program, Philips receives technical and marketing assistance from Dolby Laboratories. (CD)
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