SABS mandates Dolby audio in DVB-T2 spec


Dolby Digital Plus audio has been chosen as part of the digital terrestrial television (DTT) standard for South Africa. The South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) recently published the South African National Standard (Edition Two), having chosen to adopt the DVB-T2 standard for digital broadcasting. The latest standard sets out the minimum technical requirements for standard definition and high definition set-top box decoders for free-to-air DTT in South Africa, and Dolby Digital Plus has been identified as an essential element of the specification.

“We are delighted to see the inclusion of Dolby Digital Plus in the South African Standard as it recognises the determination of the South African government and broadcasters to provide an excellent audio experience for all consumers and a high-efficiency solution for broadcasters,’ said Andreas Spechtler, regional VP, EMEA, Dolby Laboratories. “Digital broadcasting in South Africa will play a key role in building an inclusive information society and as the first country in the region to adopt the DVB-T2 standard. It is leading the way in delivering first class DTT services, including the ability to deliver channels with multichannel audio.’

Rodger Warren, MD of Altech UEC South Africa added: “We have a long standing relationship with Dolby Laboratories through our global deployment of set-top boxes into the digital broadcast market. Altech looks forward to continued collaboration with Dolby with the view of bringing an enhanced TV experience through quality surround sound to DTT households throughout South Africa.’

The performance and flexibility of Dolby Digital Plus is ideal for limited-bandwidth environments such as terrestrial broadcasts, because it allows broadcasters to deliver authentic, high quality audio in a single, bandwidth-efficient stream. It is designed specifically to adapt to the changing demands of future entertainment delivery, while maintaining backwards compatibility with the existing Dolby Digital 5.1-channel home theater systems in use today. Its flexibility also means that it can deliver the true excitement of the original soundtrack to a variety of other multimedia platforms, including online, tablets and mobiles.

Dolby, along with consultants Inala Broadcast, has worked closely with the DTT Project to help frame the audio elements of the latest specification.

Tarif Sayed, regional director, Middle East & Africa, Dolby Laboratories, commented: “Dolby Digital Plus will allow terrestrial broadcasters in South Africa to use a combination of multichannel and high quality stereo broadcasts in Dolby Digital Plus to free up bandwidth and provide outstanding quality audio for terrestrial viewers.’


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