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First Implementation Of Dolby Digital Plus For HD Terrestrial TV

Dolby Laboratories has announced that Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby Digital have been chosen by France's new national high-definition terrestrial broadcasters for the Télévision Numéric Terrestre HD (TNT HD) platform, which was launched last week.
Initial services available on TNT HD include popular channels TF1 HD, France 2 HD, ARTE HD, Canal+ HD and M6 HD. Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby Digital audio will allow viewers to enjoy broadcasts in 5.1 surround sound as well as stereo.
Dolby Digital Plus is a sophisticated audio system based on Dolby Digital technology. It is designed specifically to adapt to the changing demands of future entertainment delivery while retaining backward compatibility with the existing Dolby Digital 5.1-channel home theatre systems in use today.
Jean-Pierre Lacotte, President of the HD forum, France, said: "HD is synonymous with improved, high-definition audio. Everyone has a right to good sound - especially those who have invested in home theatre systems - and this new TNT HD service will provide superb HD images with 5.1 audio to match."
The performance and flexibility of Dolby Digital Plus is ideal for limited-bandwidth environments such as terrestrial broadcasts. Broadcasters can deliver excellent quality while retaining the ability to decode Dolby Digital broadcast bitstreams for compatibility with existing broadcast systems.
Gilles Maugars, CTO of TF1's Technology and IT Division, said: "TF1 is proud to launch HD over digital terrestrial TV and, being three channels in one multiplex of 24 Mbps, the Dolby codecs are critical to save the scarce resource of bandwidth in this constrained environment.
"This is why TF1 HD will use Dolby Digital and Dolby Digital Plus for the coding of its audio streams, because the efficiencies they provide will enable TF1 HD to broadcast 5.1 audio."
Tony Spath, Vice President, International Broadcast, Dolby Laboratories, said: "We have been working very closely with the broadcasters in France as they have prepared to launch their new HD services. The switch-on of TNT HD is a significant step forward because it is one of the first major terrestrial HD platforms on the air in Europe, and is also the first major broadcast application to utilise Dolby Digital Plus."
Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby Digital are designed to provide consistent and predictable results throughout the broadcast chain to the consumer's television, ensuring an excellent experience for the consumer and a high-efficieny solution for broadcasters.
The French HD forum specification requires that by December 2008, HD-ready TVs for sale in France must include Dolby Digital Plus and High Efficiency AAC (HE AAC) audio, emphasising the importance of surround sound. Dolby recently announced its new Dolby Pulse technology, which is based on the HE AAC audio code standard. The Forum also expressed the preference of broadcasters for Dolby technology to deliver this experience, due to its compatibility with their production processes.
HDTVs from a wide range of manufacturers are already available in France with these technologies built in, as are a new selection of set-top boxes, which will allow French consumers to access the new TNT HD services.

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