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Sunday, January 05, 2003
CES advisory: DVD-Audio a major part of Dolby’s demonstrations


DVD-Audio will be amongst the technologies demonstrated by Dolby at CES between January 9th and 12th. The presentations, labelled ‘The Sound of Entertainment’ will also feature Dolby Digital, Dolby Pro Logic II, Dolby Virtual Speaker technology, and Dolby Headphone technology.

Several new consumer electronics products incorporating Dolby technologies will be highlighted at the Dolby booth (number 22022), situated in the Las Vegas Convention Center, South Hall (lower level), including the first DVD-Audio application designed for the PC from Creative Labs, as well as Dolby Headphone applications from Denon and Pioneer.

Dolby Virtual Speaker technology will be demonstrated on several PC platforms in the exhibit. A dedicated listening room will highlight a consumer electronics application of Dolby Virtual Speaker processing sourced from an integrated circuit (IC) implementation developed by Analog Devices.

In addition to Dolby’s BMW X5 mobile entertainment concept car, outfitted with a high-performance DVD-Audio and DVD-Video system and equipped with Dolby Headphone technology, Dolby will exhibit the Volvo XC90 SUV, the first production vehicle to include a factory-installed Dolby Pro Logic II sound system. The XC90 was recently voted Motor Trend’s 2003 Sport/Utility Car of the Year.

“Dolby’s ‘The Sound of Entertainment’ theme this year at CES underscores the many facets of Dolby’s contribution to high-performance audio and entertainment-based products,” said Ron Vitale, director of marketing, Consumer Division, Dolby Laboratories. “Historically, Dolby technologies have been synonymous with surround sound and high-quality audio entertainment in cinemas and home theater systems. Most recently, Dolby Digital audio and surround-sound technologies have migrated into personal entertainment products, automotive applications, gaming, and PCs. Dolby’s CES exhibit will demonstrate how a variety of entertainment mediums are enriched and enhanced by Dolby technologies.”

According to Dolby, exhibit highlights include the following:

The Dolby Sound of Entertainment Experience

A dedicated home theater area will display “vignettes” that reveal the multiple applications of Dolby technologies in consumer entertainment, including broadcast HDTV, DVD-Video, PC, and console gaming, as well as DVD-Audio.

Gaming

Visitors to Dolby’s CES exhibit can also experience Dolby technologies in action, with hot game titles encoded in Dolby surround sound, including Activision’s ‘Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4’; ‘The Lord Of The Rings™, The Two Towers™’ from Electronic Arts; Acclaim’s ‘Burnout™ 2: Point of Impact’; ‘Metroid Prime’ from Nintendo®; and Tom Clancy’s ‘Splinter Cell™’ from Ubi Soft®. Dolby will also demonstrate two unreleased titles: ‘Delta Force – Black Hawk Down’ from NovaLogic and ‘Panzer Dragoon Orta’ from SEGA®. The games will run on one of the three major consoles: Microsoft® Xbox™, Sony PlayStation® 2, and Nintendo GameCube™, in either Dolby Digital 5.1 or Dolby Pro Logic II.

PC gaming demonstrations will feature the Nvidia® nForce™ 2 MCP processor, which integrates an audio processing unit and real-time Dolby Digital encoder for dramatic surround sound effects.

Dolby’s commitment to and involvement with the game community is unparalleled, and the presence of these important titles in the exhibit clearly demonstrates the excitement and dramatic impact that Dolby surround sound brings to this rapidly growing entertainment medium. To demonstrate the enhancement Dolby brings to games, several game consoles will be connected to home-theater-in-a-box systems, designed specifically for ease of setup and affordability: perfect for the gamer.

High-Resolution Multi-channel Audio (DVD-Audio)

Dolby will demonstrate this next-generation successor to the compact disc in three separate environments at CES, including home theater, mobile (car audio), and PC applications. The DVD-Audio platform delivers a warm and natural listening experience previously unavailable in packaged digital audio media. During playback, every aspect of the artist’s performance is reproduced with the same crisp fidelity as was originally captured in the studio. DVD-Audio also offers a variety of value-added multimedia enhancements, such as music videos, slide shows, artist interviews, Web pages, and much more. The multi-channel aspect of DVD-Audio, enhanced by MLP Lossless™ technology, affords a compelling new 5.1-channel listening experience for studio and live recordings alike.

Dolby Headphone technology

A key focus of the Dolby CES exhibit will be live demonstrations of Dolby Headphone technology (co-developed with Lake Technology, Ltd.) in a variety of playback environments, including DVD-Audio, DVD-Video, PC applications, and gaming. Dolby Headphone technology allows users to listen to music, watch movies, or play video games with the dramatic surround effects of a 5.1-channel soundtrack through any set of headphones. Best of all, “listener fatigue,” a phenomenon commonly associated with headphone playback, is virtually eliminated. Dolby Headphone technology is ideal for portable and mobile DVD players, and is presently featured in selected PC and A/V receiver applications.

Dolby Surround in Motion

Mobile applications of Dolby Surround Pro Logic II and DVD-Audio technologies will be highlighted in the Volvo XC90 SUV and the Dolby BMW X5 concept car, both at the Dolby exhibit.

Increasingly, multi-channel audio and video technologies are enhancing the mobile environment, and Dolby Surround in Motion™ technologies are playing a key role in transforming the car into an exciting audio and visual entertainment platform. A variety of automotive manufacturers and after-market vendors are now providing DVD-Video systems designed specifically for mobile applications, and the majority of DVD-Video discs incorporate 5.1 Dolby Digital audio as standard.

Dolby Surround Pro Logic II is also ideally suited to provide dramatic surround-sound playback from a variety of high-quality sources including compact cassettes, CDs, and MP3 files. And for the ultimate in sound quality and resolution, DVD-Audio delivers a dramatic, rich multi-channel surround experience in the home as well as the car.

Dolby in PC

A growing trend is the use of PCs for personal entertainment: watching DVDs, playing video games, or listening to music. Two Dolby technologies for the PC – Dolby Headphone processing and the newest innovation, Dolby Virtual Speaker technology – further enhance PC entertainment in playback environments where multiple-speaker setups may not be practical.

Dolby Virtual Speaker technology (co-developed and owned by Lake Technology Ltd.) simulates a highly realistic 5.1-speaker surround sound listening environment from as few as two speakers, making it an ideal technology for digital television sets, mini-systems, personal computers, and a variety of consumer audio/visual products. Dolby Virtual Speaker technology also creates a wider two-channel environment during playback of stereo CDs and MP3 content. Dolby will exhibit software iterations of Dolby Virtual Speaker technology from CyberLink (PowerDVD XP) and InterVideo (WinDVD Platinum) in its PC display at CES.

Dolby Headphone technology is also integrated into a variety of PC software applications, including CyberLink Power DVD, InterVideo WinDVD, and Nvidia NVDVD, to create a highly compelling 5.1-channel listening experience from any pair of headphones.

The new Navigator Pro Media Center PC from Alienware® will also be on display in the Dolby exhibit, connected to a 5.1 surround sound system via the Navigator Pro's optical digital output. With a Media Center PC, consumers can easily access and control Dolby audio technologies incorporated in software DVD players included with Microsoft Windows® XP Media Center Edition.


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