Dolby Laboratories, the world leader in multichannel audio technologies, announced an important expansion of the DVD-Audio format with the recent introduction of Creative Technology Limited's Sound Blaster AudigyTM 2, the first soundcard with technology to provide DVD-Audio playback on the personal computer platform. Dolby, which licenses DVD-Audio MLP LosslessTM technology, heralds this milestone as further reinforcement of growing acceptance of the DVD-Audio format as the next-generation replacement of the compact disc as well as the importance of Dolby technologies in the transformation of the PC from a productivity device into a home entertainment gateway.
The DVD-Audio format offers superior quality audio performances and value-added feature sets from a single disc that is at home in table top and portable DVD players, car audio players and, with the announcement from Creative Technology Ltd., PCs equipped with DVD drives and the Sound Blaster Audigy 2 soundcard.
"Creative Technology's inclusion of DVD-Audio on its new Sound Blaster Audigy 2 cards means not only that more PC users will be able to easily experience the superior sound quality of DVD-Audio, but also that consumers will be able to use the same DVD-Audio discs on their PCs as they use in their home entertainment and car audio systems," said Greg Rodehau, director of PC and gaming technology marketing for Dolby Laboratories. "We expect this new advancement in PC audio to set a new standard of quality for personal computers while simultaneously expanding the applications for DVD-Audio in everyday lifestyles."
"The Sound Blaster Audigy 2 is the only solution available to bring stunning DVD-Audio playback to the PC, delivering a listening experience to the PC that is superior to all but the most high-end consumer electronics audio solutions," said Craig McHugh, president of Creative Technologies. "The new Sound Blaster Audigy 2 enables millions of PC users who have a DVD-ROM drive on their PC to experience advanced resolution DVD-Audio with amazing 24-bit/192-kHz sound quality, which is up to eight times the clarity of host audio."
DVD-Audio Borne of Industry Consensus, Offers Superior Quality
DVD-Audio, an extension of the rapidly expanding DVD format, was developed through a multi-industry consensus of record companies, consumer electronics hardware manufacturers, and IT companies alike. DVD-Audio utilizes the substantial data capacities of the DVD disc to deliver musical content that is bit-for-bit identical to studio master tapes.
Whereas compact discs have sampling rates of 44,100 (44.1 kHz) samples per second and word lengths of 16 bits, two-channel DVD-Audio is capable of sample rates of 192,000 (192 kHz) samples per second and related word lengths as high as 24 bits. What you hear on a DVD-Audio disc is the original musical performance captured and reproduced in its entirety.
Perhaps the most compelling aspect of DVD Audio from a listener's viewpoint is its multichannel capability. That is, the ability to reproduce the musical performance in dramatic 5.1 channel surround sound that captures all of the nuances and ambiance of a studio or live performance. The listener is literally enveloped by the experience
An important factor in delivering high-resolution multichannel DVD-Audio is MLP Lossless technology, licensed by Dolby Laboratories. This highly advanced lossless compression system enables content providers to deliver up to six discrete channels of advanced resolution 96-kHz/24-bit content on a DVD-Audio disc, while permitting room for the inclusion of additional value added media. The lossless nature of MLP technology allows musical data to be compressed during encoding, and restored in its entirety during playback.
Versatility and Performance
With the announcement from Creative Technology, DVD-Audio can now be enjoyed in a variety of environments. In addition to PC applications, DVD-Audio software can be enjoyed in portable DVD-Video players, tabletop DVD-Audio/Video players, and in the car.
As an added bonus, the majority of multichannel DVD-Audio discs also include a companion audio track encoded in Dolby Digital, thereby insuring playback compatibility with the more than 200 million tabletop DVD players, game machines, and personal computers equipped with Dolby Digital technology currently in use worldwide.