French Sports Coverage Gets Dolby Digital Plus Treatment

By Kevin Hilton

SVG Europe editor

France’s national high definition platform went on air this week with
HD channels from leading broadcasters, including TF1, France 2 and M6.
Sport is a major part of the mix on TNT HD, the launch of which marks
of the first use of Dolby Digital Plus for terrestrial high def in France.

current line up on TNT (Television Numerique Terrestre) is TF1 HD,
France 2 HD, ARTE HD, Canal+ HD and M6 HD. France 2 in particular is
known for its sports coverage and since launching in HD this year has
televised the Tour de France and the Beijing Olympics in the format.

Digital Plus and Dolby Digital are being used for 5.1 surround sound on
the TNT carrier, as well as stereo. Jean-Pierre Lacotte, president of
the HD Forum in France, comments, “Everyone has a right to good sound
– especially those who have invested in home theatre systems – and this
new TNT HD service will provide superb HD images with 5.1 audio to

The chief technology officer of TF1’s technology and IT
division, Gilles Maugars, adds, “TF1 is proud to launch over digital
terrestrial TV and being three channels in one multiplex of 24Mpps, the
Dolby codecs are critical to save the scarce resource of bandwidth in
this constrained environment. TF1 HD will use Dolby Digital and Dolby
Digital Plus for the coding of its audio streams because of the
efficiencies they provide will enable us to broadcast 5.1 audio.”

specification of the French HD Forum is calling for HD-ready TV sets to
be on sale by December this year and be capable of delivering Dolby
Digital Plus and High Efficiency AAC (HE-AAC) audio.

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