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DTG considers future interoperability for DTT

UK digital television industry association the DTG (Digital TV Group) is working through submissions from its members and the wider broadcast market as part of a consultation about the future management of interoperability, including audio down-mixing.

UK digital television industry association the DTG (Digital TV Group) is working through submissions from its members and the wider broadcast market as part of a consultation about the future management of interoperability, including audio systems and down-mixing. The DTG put out a call for contributions at the begnning of last month, with an initial dealine of 22 March. This was extended to 28 March, explains DTG technology director Simon Gauntlett (pictured), as some companies were still waiting to sign off on submissions. Gauntlett says the consultation was opened up to the broadcasting market in general as well as DTG members to “get as wide a view as possible” of the industry’s needs. In particular the importance of interoperability is being assessed, with the possibility of extending existing arrangements to accommodate new techniques and technologies. On the audio side the DVB DTT specification includes MPEG1 Layer 2 for standard definition transmissions and both HE-AAC and Dolby Digital Plus for high definition. “So far all services on air are using HE-AAC but there’s nothing to stop someone from adopting Dolby Digital Plus,” comments Gauntlett. The DTG D-Book was updated recently to include some audio enhancements, particularly concerning down mixing of multi-channel signals for stereo, as well as ensuring consistency between stereo and surround sound. Another consideration is loudness, with EBU R128 selected as the standard to aim for. While the current consultation did not set out specifically to look at audio Gauntlett says that it is likely to feature, particularly as companies such as Dolby are DTG members. “Dolby recently launched Atmos and although it is a cinema system it could possibly come into the home in the future,” he comments. “3D audio is being discussed in general and if multi-channel systems like 7.1, 11.2 or 22.2 were adopted we would need to discuss and ensure interoperability for them.” The first findings of the DTG consultation could appear during this month but it is hoped final publication will be by the organisation’s Summit on 2 May. www.dtg.org.uk

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