Dolby Digital Accepted by DVB Project as Audio Standard

The Digital Video Broadcasting Project has adopted Dolby Digital as its multichannel audio standard. The DVB Project is a consortium of more than 240 organizations in over 30 countries devoted to establishing worldwide standards for digital broadcasting. Members include broadcasters, manufacturers, network operators, and regulatory committees. The announcement was made July 6, 1999, by San Francisco-based Dolby Labs.

The DVB agreement to use Dolby Digital stipulates that "while all DVB-compliant integrated receiver-decoders (IRDs) must support MPEG stereo audio, they may additionally support Dolby Digital audio decoding." In other words, 2-channel MPEG stereo is the audio minimum for digital broadcasting, and the multichannel option must be Dolby's. Australia and Singapore are among the nations that have already committed to DVB service incorporating Dolby Digital audio.

Its acceptance by the DVB Project means that Dolby Digital will be the de facto global standard for multichannel audio. The technology, a perceptual audio-coding algorithm, was originally introduced for cinema sound in 1992. It enjoys a strong market presence; more than 14.9 million products incorporating Dolby Digital audio technology have been sold worldwide.

"We believe the future of audio is clearly in multichannel surround sound," says Tony Spath, marketing director of technology for Dolby Laboratories' European operation. "We are delighted that broadcasters can now choose Dolby to provide high-quality multichannel audio with DVB transmissions." Broadcasting services using DVB standards are now operating in Europe, North and South America, Africa, Asia, and Australia. DVB-compliant digital broadcasting and reception equipment for professional, commercial, and consumer applications is available now in most parts of the world. Privately held Dolby Labs has offices in New York and Los Angeles, and European headquarters in Wootton Bassett, England.