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Dolby Expecting More TV Shows With Pro Logic II

Dolby Labs said it expects “a dramatic increase” in TV programming encoded in Dolby Pro Logic II later in the TV season.

The encoding technology delivers matrixed surround sound in five full-bandwidth channels over analog stereo-TV broadcasts to homes equipped with Dolby Pro Logic II decoders.

Although Dolby Pro Logic II decoders can extract a matrixed five-channel signal from any stereo source, “a Pro Logic II-encoded stereo signal will deliver the matrixed five-channel experience that the mixer wanted you to hear,” said Tom Daily, Dolby’s pro audio marketing director. That mix, he added, “will be closer to the true Dolby Digital 5.1 mix” available to DTV users.

He also noted that a Pro Logic II program will also deliver an improved experience when delivered to a home theater system incorporating older Dolby Pro Logic decoders. The Dolby Pro Logic II program, however, will sound best through a Pro Logic II home theatre.

Dolby began shipping professional Dolby Pro Logic II encoders in April to broadcasters to encode live events and taped programs. Three networks — ABC, CBS, and Fox — added DPL II encoding to their pro football stereo feeds in the fall, said Daily. The recent Country Music Awards program was also broadcast in DPL II, he noted.

“We expect to see a dramatic increase in Dolby Pro Logic II content on TV with taped programs later this season and more live events in the U.S. and Japan,” he told TWICE.

Dolby expects program producers who are already producing thousands of programs annually in Dolby Surround Pro Logic to migrate to DPL II over time, he said, “especially since they are already mixing many of these same programs in true 5.1 Dolby Digital.” Dolby’s DPL II encoder, he noted, “makes it easy for them to create a compatible five-channel matrix signal for the stereo signal path.”