San Jose, CA (July 15, 2015)—Harmonic recently played a key part in the world's first live, on-air ATSC demo of Dolby AC-4, a new audio format that addresses next-generation video and audio entertainment services.
During the trial, KQED-TV, a PBS television station based in San Francisco, utilized Harmonic's Electra X2 advanced media processor for real-time video and AC-4 audio encoding. Harmonic and Dolby reportedly successfully demonstrated how the Dolby AC-4 format improves bandwidth efficiency for broadcasters to enable the delivery of enhanced audio content.
"Recently, members of the ATSC audio subcommittee convened with Dolby in San Francisco to evaluate Dolby AC-4 for use within the new ATSC 3.0 broadcast standard. During the meeting, Harmonic and Dolby helped KQED become the first television station in the U.S. to broadcast live audio encoded with Dolby AC-4, a major, and historic, milestone for the next-generation format," said Bart Spriester, senior vice president, video products, Harmonic.
Harmonic's Electra X2 provides real-time AVC encoding of SD and HD video, as well as audio encoding of E-AC-3 (commonly known as Dolby Digital Plus) content, the predecessor to Dolby AC-4. For the trial at KQED, Electra X2 added native Dolby AC-4 encoding, enabling the station to deliver 5.1 surround sound and HD video at a low bit rate of 2 Mbps.