There is always a landmark year in the development of any technology, and 2017 has been such a year for both UHD TV specifications in Italy and for Dolby® AC-4, the world’s leading solution for Next Generation Audio (NGA) and the only solution for Dolby Atmos®.
On 19 December 2017, the HDFI in Italy published the “Ultra HD Book 1.0 – Unified Volume” specification, including Dolby AC-4 as its NGA solution. The specification blazes the trail ahead for other countries considering the addition of full UHD features to their receivers and services.
“With the AC-4 specification issued with the newborn Ultra HD Book 1.0 – Unified Volume, we wanted to consolidate a continuity in the evolution of multichannel audio systems that broadcasters have implemented since the beginning of digital television in Italy,” explains Benito Manlio Mari, HDFI President. “Increased audio efficiency and flexibility are very important for the Italian market, and we are very pleased that Ultra HD Book 1.0 is able to make this important step forward with Next Generation Audio as the first of its kind in Europe.”
During the year, AC-4 was specified in other standards from global standards setting organizations, such as DVB and ATSC, and chosen as the only recommended NGA system for ATSC 3.0 in North America. This publication, however, is the first receiver specification in Europe to fully embrace the rich features of UHD including Next Generation Audio, which include immersive, personalized, and object-based audio.
This success comes in the wake of Dolby AC-4 being widely deployed in retail televisions available in most countries worldwide during 2017, and becoming an integral feature of every Dolby Atmos TV. During the year, Dolby AC-4 has also been on-air across Europe and over 20 countries worldwide via broadcast and OTT. More than 10 horizontal and vertical operators have now specified AC-4, and many are already shipping AC-4 in their receivers.
Dolby will be supporting the Italian broadcasters to get their AC-4 trials and services on the air and streaming in the coming year, and working with manufacturers to continue the rollout of their AC-4 enabled products in the Italian market.