Dolby Exhibits 3D Open Specification at 2010 NAB

Alongside innovations in broadcast audio, Dolby Laboratories Inc. announced developments in broadcast 3D and imaging accuracy at this year’s NAB Show. The company’s new open specification for broadcast 3D delivery details how 3D images can be encoded and carried using frame-compatible techniques through a conventional 2D broadcast infrastructure. The specification is fully compatible with enhancement layer approaches, enabling extensibility to full-resolution 3D in the future.

“The consumer will demand full-resolution 3D broadcasts in the not-so-distant future,” said Jason Power, senior director of marketing, broadcast. “With Dolby’s announcement of the open specification, the industry can deliver 3D today and be prepared for higher demands tomorrow.”

The Dolby open specification will enable professional-equipment manufacturers to create frame-compatible 3D encoding tools using an open packing format. The encoding technique has been developed to preserve image quality and facilitate an efficient resolution upgrade. Dolby is already working with multiple equipment vendors to demonstrate encoding solutions using this format.

The specification is scheduled to be available in May to manufacturers, operators, broadcasters, and other relevant industry parties without charge from Dolby. NAB attendees can request more information at the Dolby booth, SU7917 (LVCC South Hall).

Dolby also demonstrated publicly for the first time its recently announced Dolby PRM-4200 Professional Reference Monitor. The world’s first LCD-based video reference display accurately reveals true- and deep-black levels with higher contrast across the entire color spectrum, providing an unprecedented luminance range and level.

Scheduled for availability later this year, the 42-in. monitor was specifically designed for professionals who rely on the most accurate measurement tools for color-critical work.  It uses a backlight comprising red, green, and blue LEDs modulated individually on a frame-by-frame basis. The LCD panel is also modulated in real time as part of the dual-modulation process.

Other key features of the Dolby PRM-4200 professional reference monitor include the following:

  • Extended dynamic range — the first reference monitor capable of displaying the dynamic range that the latest digital cinema cameras can capture
  • DCI/P3 (digital cinema) color-gamut support — provides the ability to perform cinema color grading without the use of a digital projector
  • Color accuracy across all luminance levels Versatility — emulates any other display device so all content preparation and quality evaluation can be done on one monitor
  • Size and aspect ratio — emulates the home-viewing environment to ensure that content displays properly in the home
  • Comprehensive quality control and monitoring for Dolby audio formats.

Also on display at NAB, the new Dolby DP568 professional reference decoder is the latest addition to Dolby’s family of professional broadcast products and is designed to help broadcasters ensure that listeners at home will enjoy the highest-quality audio experience.

Offering integrated audio and video decoding, the DP568 provides real-time reference monitoring of Dolby transmission audio formats including Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby Pulse. Extensive input capabilities allow broadcasters to perform quality control at any point within the headend.

The product includes emulation of the Dolby multistream decoder used in latest-generation televisions and set-top boxes to decode the multiple audio formats used for broadcast, online, and side-loaded delivery. It also provides full support for Dolby Digital Plus stream-mixing features for the monitoring of hearing impaired and other added-value services.

“Now broadcasters have a simple and accurate way to monitor their next-generation transmissions and to take advantage of the added features that these formats offer,” Power said.

The Dolby DP568 professional reference decoder is scheduled to be available in August priced at $5,500.

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