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First live Dolby AC-4 demo

The world’s first live, on-air transmission of Dolby AC-4 has been trialled for the ATSC, enabled in part by Harmonic. The new audio format is said to address the current and future needs of next-generation video and audio entertainment services including broadcast and internet streaming.

Bart Spriester, senior vice president, video products, Harmonic, explained, “Members of the ATSC audio subcommittee convened with Dolby in San Francisco to evaluate Dolby AC-4 for use within the new ATSC 3.0 broadcast standard. During the meeting, Harmonic and Dolby helped KQED become the first television station in the USA to broadcast live audio encoded with Dolby AC-4; a major, and historic, milestone for the next-generation format.”

During the trial, KQED-TV used Harmonic’s Electra X2 advanced media processor for realtime video and AC-4 audio encoding. Harmonic said that it and Dolby successfully demonstrated how the Dolby AC-4 format improves bandwidth efficiency for broadcasters to enable the delivery of enhanced audio content.

Lee Young, director of engineering and facilities for KQED TV, said, “I was impressed by the quality of the Dolby AC-4 broadcast at such a low bandwidth and see technology like this as an essential element to the future of KQED TV. We are pleased to play a central role in this historic event.”