San Francisco – Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 7 operating system
will support Dolby Digital Plus multichannel audio, Dolby Laboratories announced.
The compressed-audio format will be available in the Home
Premium, Professional, Enterprise and Ultimate editions of Windows 7.
Dolby Digital Plus supports up to 7.1 channels and such features
as bitstream mixing for secondary audio tracks. It maintains the quality of
Dolby Digital at a lower data rate, and it’s fully compatible with all current
Dolby Digital A/V receivers, the company said. The format is an authorized
format on Blu-ray discs, is used to deliver Internet content, and is the
broadcast audio standard for HDTV services in such countries as France, Italy,
U.K., Spain and Sweden.
In the Windows Vista OS, Dolby Digital 5.1 was integrated
into the Ultimate and Home Premium editions. Vista was the first Microsoft OS
to integrate Dolby Digital technologies. With previous Microsoft operating
systems, including XP, consumers who wanted to decode or encode Dolby Digital
5.1 soundtracks had to add a third-party application.
In another PC-related announcement, Dolby said Lenovo would offer
the first netbooks with Dolby Headphone technology, which creates a virtual
5.1-channel soundfield through a standard headphone pair. The netbooks are the
IdeaPad S12 and S10-2
Dolby Headphone technology can be included in most products that
incorporate a headphone output, and it can process stereo or multichannel
audio, the company said.