Version 1.0, Released: October 31, 2013

Encoding.com and Dolby Laboratories

Partnering to Enable Premium Audio Experiences

Dolby

As audiences increasingly watch video using their smartphones, tablets and OTT devices, consumer demand for a high quality and consistent audio experience across all viewing environments continues to grow. In addition, new multi-channel audio standards, reduced bandwidth requirements and compliance with FCC regulations – all present complex challenges for enhancing video playback with highly engaging audio. In response to these challenges, Encoding.com and Dolby have partnered to integrate Dolby’s industry leading audio technologies with our high-speed and dynamically scalable cloud-processing platform. The result is an easy-to-use solution that integrates seamlessly with any workflow for managing all audio requirements.

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Use Case Scenarios

There are many use cases in which this partnership would prove to be helpful. This audio and video integration is not just for delivering superior audio quality at lower bitrates, but it’s also particularly useful when dealing with federally enforced closed captions, multilanguage support, surround sound (blu ray), and delivery to mobile and OTT devices. We’ll explore some of these uses in more detail below.

Encoding.com’s Integration with Dolby Media Generator

Encoding.com is fully integrated with the Dolby Media Generator (DMG) platform . DMG supports HE-AAC and HE-AACv2 which are both designed to deliver high quality audio at low bitrates, particularly when compared with the FAAC engine. As a result, HE-AAC is a popular option when addressing the 64Kbps audio-only fallback requirement for delivering video using Apple’s HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) protocol. This requirement is enforced by Apple and applies to all video over a certain length that is viewed using an iOS app. Dolby Digital Plus (EAC3) is also available for optimized multi-channel audio delivery to OTT set-top boxes and a broad spectrum of popular connected devices. Encoding.com also supports Dolby’s AC3 for surround sound.

Learn more about DMG features and spec requirements.

Closed Captions and Our Descriptive Audio Solution

Descriptive audio provides accessibility to an audible narration that describes all visual context of a video. For visually impaired individuals experiencing video content without using descriptive audio, 80-90% of the visual content becomes inaccessible. In the past, broadcasters have often prepared video with descriptive audio by mixing both the main and descriptive audio elements. The mixed audio is then transmitted with the main audio and receivers switch between the two audio services based on user setup. This approach can double the audio bitrate requirement, prevents users from adjusting how the mix is performed and prevents true 5.1 surround sound. Encoding.com and Dolby offer a full-featured descriptive audio solution that transmits descriptive audio as a separate bitstream, utilizing a secondary audio channel delivered alongside the main audio service. Mixing occurs within the receiving device. This approach is more bandwidth efficient because each audio element is transmitted only once. Both main and descriptive soundtracks are delivered in a single Dolby Digital Plus stream that is easy to produce and distribute.

Encoding.com and Dolby’s descriptive audio solution enables:

  • Improved efficiency for delivery in low bandwidth environments
  • Support across over 1.3 billion devices including mobile, browser and OTT
  • Delivery via a single Dolby Digital Plus stream that is easy to produce and
    distribute
  • Highest possible quality and support for multichannel surround sound
    including 5.1
  • Controls for balance between main and descriptive audio to suit their
    listening preferences

How to Select the Dolby Audio Settings

To access our Dolby integration on our user interface, when starting a new job, simply select AC3 in your audio settings.

Dolby AC3

For our sample XML please see below:


<format>
<output>mp4</output>>
<file_extension>mp4</file_extension>
<size>0x480</size>
<framerate>30</framerate>
<video_codec>libx264</video_codec>
<keyframe>150</keyframe>
<profile>main</profile>
<bitrate>1200k</bitrate>
<audio_bitrate>384k</audio_bitrate>
<audio_sample_rate>44100</audio_sample_rate>
<audio_channels_number>6</audio_channels_number>
<audio_codec>ac3</audio_codec>
</format>

When selecting an MP4, follow these easy steps:

Dolby MP4

For our sample XML see below:


<format>
<audio_bitrate>448k</audio_bitrate>
<audio_sample_rate>44100</audio_sample_rate>
<audio_channels_number>6</audio_channels_number>
<audio_codec>ac3</audio_codec>
<audio_volume>100</audio_volume>
<output>ac3</output>
<file_extension>ac3</file_extension>
</format>

Dolby also enables stereo AAC formats, Our sample XML details are below:

WiFi AAC (.m4a)
Dolby AAC-LC (Low Complexity) format for iTunes, YouTube, Vimeo
High Quality: 256 kbps (1.9 MB per minute)
Low Quality: 128 kbps (1 MB per minute)


<format>
<output>m4a</output>
<audio_bitrate>128k</audio_bitrate>
<audio_sample_rate>44100</audio_sample_rate>
<audio_channels_number>2</audio_channels_number>
<audio_codec>dolby_aac</audio_codec>
<audio_volume>100</audio_volume>
<file_extension>m4a</file_extension>
</format>

Mobile AAC (.m4a)
Dolby HE-AAC (High Efficiency) low bitrate format for mobile phones
64 kbps stream (0.5 MB per minute)


<format>
<output>m4a</output>
<audio_bitrate>64k</audio_bitrate>
<audio_sample_rate>44100</audio_sample_rate>
<audio_channels_number>2</audio_channels_number>
<audio_codec>dolby_heaac</audio_codec>
<audio_volume>100</audio_volume>
<file_extension>m4a</file_extension>
</format>

NOTE: For Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
All 5.1 Dolby editing systems store each PCM channel as a discrete track.
Masters are then compressed to Dolby Digital AC3 for transport.

FINISHED DELIVERABLE OPTIONS (COMPRESSED):
MPEG-2 DVD use Dolby Digital AC3 5.1 Surround @ 448 kbps
H264 Blu-ray Discs use DTS 5.1 Surround @ 754 kbps
MP4 mezzanine use Stereo AAC-LC @ 256 kbps or Dolby AC3 5.1 @ 448 kbps

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