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AC-4 revolutionizes TV sound, accessibility, and spatial audio

Dolby AC-4 audio compression technology is changing the landscape of speech intelligibility, personalization, and three-dimensional surround sound. Consumers, production houses and broadcast centres, as well as platforms all benefit from AC-4 which reduces bandwidth and costs. Dolby and SRF presented it to the broadcast community for the first time on June 9 at Studio Leutschenbach (Zurich) during the Nations League match between Switzerland and Spain produced in Geneva.

Dolby AC-4 audio compression technology is changing the landscape of speech intelligibility, personalization, and three-dimensional surround sound. Consumers, production houses and broadcast centres, as well as platforms all benefit from AC-4 which reduces bandwidth and costs. Dolby and SRF presented it to the broadcast community for the first time on June 9 at Studio Leutschenbach (Zurich) during the Nations League match between Switzerland and Spain produced in Geneva.

"This revolutionary audio technology of the future enables media users to individually adjust the volume of speech and dialog," explained SRF audio expert Markus Brockmann. "To this end, our specialist audio community has developed the first transmission chain with Dolby Laboratories for the transport of dynamic metadata in an IP environment, i.e. over the Internet."

During the live broadcast of the Nations League match between Switzerland and Spain, guests were able to experience the new technology for themselves on several demo setups. AC-4 uses audio beds to transmit the exact sound of the event instead of the usual ready-made audio mixes. All other sound sources are transmitted individually as unmixed "audio objects" whose volume can be set individually in the end device. In addition to the commentary at sporting events, this also includes film dialogue, or image descriptions for the sensory impaired.

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