Dolby recently partnered with Encoding.com because we have the most extensive set of Dolby mastering tools of any media processing service provider. Learn more about exactly what sets Dolby Digital Plus apart in this blog post or read about how Encoding.com supports Dolby Digital Plus.
What’s Different about Dolby Digital Plus?
Dolby Digital plus is a next gen audio format that is vastly improving the quality of surround sound outputs. Originally developed for Blu-Ray media, it is now commonplace on phones, tablets, and laptops, as these devices are often connected to home theater systems which deliver a rich and enveloping surround sound experience.
Dolby Digital Plus features greatly improved sound, more channels, less compression, and a more realistic audio experience as compared to standard-definition audio formats. At higher bit rates it is virtually indistinguishable from the source audio. This enables content creators to deliver multi-channel audio at lower bit rates than ever before.
This format can deliver up to 7.1 channels of audio from any device or broadcast, with a more complete viewing/listening experience. In the future Dolby Digital Plus will be capable of delivering up to 15.1 channels of audio, future proofing against an always evolving format/codec landscape.
This innovative format supports BonusView (profile 1.1) and BD-Live (profile 2.0), as well as features that mix stereo or secondary audio such as actor/director commentary with the main audio source. BonusView can be used to deliver audio when using Picture-In-Picture mode, and BD-Live can mix content delivered from online sources in real-time.
Dolby Digital Plus support is integrated with most Blu-Ray players and it is included in almost all digital audio components such as receivers. It’s also support by several emerging mobile and tablet technologies.
Most modern A/V receivers will decode Dolby Digital Plus audio streams using an HDMI 1.3 cable. HDMI delivers audio and video over a single cable as well as all of the Digital Signal Processing (DSP) features such as subwoofer controls. In addition to Blu-Ray players, internet based players like set top boxes from cable providers, OTT devices like the AppleTV, and mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets will also support this audio standard. In addition these devices often support full 96/24 digital audio capabilities. Using Dolby Digital Plus ensures interoperability with the millions of Dolby Digital Plus enabled devices on the market. They will also translate Dolby Digital Plus streams into other Dolby formats without the need to decode or re-encode content
Next Gen Formats
Dolby Digital Plus is an ideal option for Adaptive Bitrate (ABR) formats such as HTTP-Live Streaming (HLS) because of it’s ability to delivery higher quality audio at lower bitrates. This accommodates the multiples stream bitrates available in HLS content.
Because Dolby Digital Plus delivers higher quality at smaller files sizes, it makes room for embedding of alternate audio tracks such as foreign languages or directors narration.
Content creators and broadcasters can leverage the metadata support present in Dolby Digital Plus audio to ensure a consistent viewing/listening experience both now and in the future.
Are you delivering Dolby Digital Plus to your viewers? What devices are you delivering to? Let us know in the comments!