A Dolby Digital Encoding System for DVD
Dolby® Digital is a standard multichannel audio format for DVD all over the world. An equipment package is available from Dolby Laboratories that, when partnered with a Windows® PC, allows users to create a workstation to encode Dolby Digital for DVD.
This system makes Dolby Digital an affordable and accessible technology for music and postproduction studios that prepare, mix, and encode 5.1-channel audio for DVD. The system consists of the following hardware and software:
Dolby Digital Multichannel Encoder DP569—A 1-U rack-mount device that encodes 5.1 audio channels and metadata into a Dolby Digital stream
Dolby Multichannel Audio Decoder DP564—A 2-U rack-mount device that decodes Dolby Digital and Pro Logic® streams
DolbyRemote—Software that controls the Dolby Digital Multichannel Encoder DP569
Dolby Digital Recorder CAT542—Software that takes an encoded Dolby Digital data stream from the DP569 and records it to disk as an .ac3 file
This versatile system features user-friendly desktop control with the reliability and speed of a hardware-based system. Dolby Digital audio files can be easily delivered from the recording studio to the authoring station on a removable disk or CD-R, or sent over a network. In addition to the encoded audio, Dolby Digital carries metadata that is input during encoding to control audio parameters in a consumer decoder. Metadata allows the decoder to:
Fit multichannel program material to the number and configuration of speakers (downmixing)
Play back all programs with consistent loudness (dialogue normalization)
Alter the dynamic range to suit different listening conditions and/or equipment capabilities (dynamic range control)
Choosing the correct values for these and other metadata parameters is a vital step in the Dolby Digital encoding process. Audio engineers can now set metadata values in their own facility with the confidence that consumers will experience audio as close as possible to what the producer intended.
This system can also fit into an existing DVD facility as a perfect upgrade to real-time multichannel audio coding, freeing up time on the DVD authoring station and making the entire process more efficient.
The DolbyRemote and Dolby Digital Recorder software can simultaneously control the Dolby Digital Multichannel Encoder DP569 and write the encoded .ac3 file to the hard disk on a Windows PC.
The Dolby Digital Recorder software enables the user to:
Record .ac3 files (including time stamps) compatible with all DVD authoring platforms
Insert data seamlessly into the encoded audio using the punch-in time display
Perform nondestructive editing
Detect playback and record frame errors and generate an error log file
Locate specific points in the recorded file quickly and easily with the Go to option and file position slider
View SMPTE time code, absolute elapsed time, or frame count
Compare and verify actual bitstream and reference SMPTE time stamps
View main bitstream parameters contained within the .ac3 file
The DolbyRemote program allows the user to:
Use the Input level and Dynamic Range Compression meters to obtain visual feedback while setting metadata parameters
Control multiple DP569s from a single instance of the DolbyRemote application
Save and restore DP569 settings with a file
Export DP569 settings as a text or HTML file
Configure the software in an offline mode without a DP569