As DVB does not specify which audio coder should be used for next-generation broadcasts, various broadcaster/manufacturer groups have recently worked collaboratively to gain consensus on the formats desired by broadcasters, which will then be included in European receivers. The key outcomes for multichannel format requirements so far are described in the table below.
Multichannel Format Requirements in European HDTV Specifications
Dolby Digital Plus
HE AAC with Transcoder
DTG HD Digital Terrestrial (UK)
Dolby Digital Plus and stereo HE AAC required by D-Book V6.
Both codecs are seen as best candidates for HDTV via satellite, cable, terrestrial, and IPTV.
HDTV receiver spec requires either Dolby Digital Plus or HE AAC, with pan-European models typically offering both.
HD Forum (France)
Both Dolby Digital Plus and HE AAC are required for terrestrial TV, with transcoders for HE AAC mandated after December 31, 2009.
Both formats are required from launch (Terrestrial HD Book Version 1.0).
Both formats required for free-to-air and pay TV receivers.
(Sweden, Norway, Iceland,
Finland, and Denmark)
Both Dolby Digital Plus and HE AAC are required for horizontal HD markets, unless the operator ensures that a single audio format is mandated for a specific network.
Poland KIGEiT (Polish terrestrial broadcast)
As published by KIGEiT, the Polish Chamber of Commerce for Electronics and Telecommunications.
RiksTV (Norwegian terrestrial broadcast)
Service on air since September 2007; Dolby Digital transcoding has been allowed in receivers since February 2009.
Spanish HD Forum
Both Dolby Digital Plus and HE AAC are required in horizontal markets.
The EBU Project Group D/MAE states that Dolby Digital Plus and HE AAC with Dolby Metadata are the best candidates for broadcasting HDTV. It also states that both Dolby Digital Plus and HE AAC have advantages, and a single preference cannot currently be identified. Dolby Digital Plus offers consistently great performance at 448 kbps and above; HE AAC offers remarkable performance where data rates are limited, providing a multichannel audio signal as low as 160 kbps.
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