What Is Dolby ?

What Is Dolby?

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Dolby Laboratories (often shortened to Dolby Labs) is an American company specializing in Audio Noise Enhancement. Despite the fact that Dolby is working on audio optimization since the 1960's several versions were launched since then the real success came with Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision.

Dolby was found by an American named Ray Dolby who was the first to work on noise reduction. He invented the Dolby noise reduction system for the hissing sound in the background on tape recordings. Dolby is the most widely used audio enhancement software to date. Some of the biggest competitions are DTS, THX, Barco, Gen X labs, Sunlabs, technicolor, and IMAX.

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Dolby Digital was first featured in the 1992 film "Batman Returns". On January 8th, 2007 Dolby announced the arrival of Dolby Atmos. It enabled users to maintain a steady volume while switching through the different audio channels.
Dolby Atmos can support up to 6 different channels (referred to as 5.1) which include both horizontal and vertical sound placements. Dolby Atmos was first introduced in cinemas with the 2012 film, Brave.

Even though there are many other versions of Dolby audio we have discussed the most popular and revolutionary versions for consumer electronics.

Dolby notes:


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These are some of the implementations by Dolby to support all devices

Audio Processing:


Dolby Headphone: An implementation of the virtual surround, simulating 5.1 surround sound in a standard pair of stereo headphones.

Dolby Virtual Speaker: Simulates 5.1 surround sound in a setup of two standard stereo speakers.

Dolby Surround, Dolby Pro Logic, Dolby Pro Logic II, Dolby Pro Logic IIx, and Dolby Pro Logic IIz: These decoders expand the sound to a greater number of channels. All can decode surround sound that has been matrixed into two channels; some can expand surround sound to a greater number of speakers than the original source material.

Dolby Volume: Reduces volume level changes.

Dolby Mobile: A version of Dolby's surround sound technology specifically designed for mobile phones, notably the HTC Desire HD, LG Arena, and LG Renoir

Dolby Audio Plug-in for Android: An API packaged as a Java Library that allows Android developers to take advantage of Dolby Digital Plus Technology embedded into mobile and tablet devices, notably the Fire HD, Fire HDX, and Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 series.

Video processing:


Dolby Contrast provides enhanced image contrast to LCD screens with LED backlight units by means of local dimming.

Perceptual Quantizer (PQ), published by SMPTE as SMPTE ST 2084, is a transfer function that allows for the display of high dynamic range (HDR) video with a luminance level of up to 10,000 cd/m2 and can be used with the Rec. 2020 color space. On August 27, 2015, the Consumer Electronics Association announced the HDR10 Media Profile which uses the Rec.

Dolby Vision is content mastering and delivery format similar to the HDR10 media profile. It supports both high dynamic range (HDR) and wide color gamut. Dolby Vision includes the Perceptual Quantizer electro-optical transfer function and supports displays with up to 10,000-nit maximum brightness (4,000-nit in practice). It also provides up to 4K resolution and color depth of up to 12-bits (backward compatible with current 8-bit and 10-bit displays). Dolby Vision content can be delivered on Ultra HD Blu-ray discs over conventional broadcasting, OTT, and online streaming media services. Dolby Vision metadata can be carried via HDMI interface versions 1.4b and above.

ICtCp provides an improved color representation that is designed for high dynamic range (HDR) and wide color gamut (WCG).
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Practical Issues:

Although, it doesn't seem difference till Dolby Digital audio with Dolby Atmos support sound much better. The main issue is that older audio which doesn't come with Dolby support sounds the same as the speakers which support Dolby.

The other issue is that Dolby must be supported by everything we use, the speakers we use the source the audio the software used and the code it is supported in. It is now available with most of the consumer electronics companies this days-Samsung, Nokia, LG, Prime videos, Netflix, etc.

For Complete Technical Information Visit  Wikipedia
Dolby Surround systems at a glance
Decoder
Encoder
Year
Description
Channels
Dolby MP Matrix
1975
Cinema use with optical technology. Uses Dolby A for noise reduction. 4:2 encoded for 35mm film and 2:4 decoded back to 4.0 by Dolby Stereo Processor. Magnetic 6-Track variant for 70mm.
FL FR with C and MonoSurround matrixed
Dolby Surround
1982
First Home use. Analog. Upmix stereo to Surround 3.0
FL FR and MonoSurround matrixed
Dolby Stereo SR
1986
Cinema use. Uses Dolby SR for noise reduction.
FL FR with C and MonoSurround matrixed
1987
Improved Dolby Surround. Upmix Stereo to Surround 4.0.
FL FR with C and MonoSurround matrixed
AC-3
1986 Modern
1992 Film
1995 Laser Disc
Discrete channel encoder/decoder. Pro Logic Decoder can be used for downmixed stereo inputs.
FL FR C SL SR SUB
1999
non-discrete 6.1 or 7.1 (5.1 with Center Rear matrixed onto SL & SR)
FL FR C SL SR (with matrixed RearMono) SUB [non-discrete 7.1: BackLeft and BackRight]
2000
Improved Dolby Pro Logic. Upmix Stereo to Surround 5.1 in either Movie, Music, or Game mode.
FL FR C SL SR SUB
2002
Upmix Stereo or Surround 5.1 to 6.1 or 7.1 in either Movie, Music, or Game mode.
FL FR C SL SR SUB Left Back and Right Back
Dolby Media Encoder
2005
Lossy compression codec; 48 kHz sampling frequency, 20-bit word length; supports data rates of 32 kbit/s – 6 Mbit/s, scalable, including 768 kbit/s – 1.5 Mbit/s on high-definition optical discs, typically, and 256 kbit/s for broadcast and online. 1.0- to 7.1-channel support for current media applications; extensible to 16 channels; discrete. Backward compatible with Dolby Digital through S/PDIF connection up to 640 kbit/s. Supports Dolby Metadata.
FL FR C SL SR SUB Left Back and Right Back
Dolby Media Encoder
2005
Lossless compression codec; supports 44.1 kHz to 192 kHz sampling frequency up to 24-bit word length; supports variable data rate up to 18 Mbit/s; maximum channel support is 16 channels as presently deployed. Higher bitrate than Dolby Digital Plus. Blu-ray Disc channel support up to eight channels of 96 kHz/24-bit audio; six channels (5.1) up to 192 kHz/24-bit; and two- to six-channel support up to 192 kHz/24-bit maximum bit rate up to the maximum of 18 Mbit/s.
Dolby Laboratories
2009
Upmix Stereo or Surround 5.1/7.1 to 7.1 Height or 9.1 with the addition of front height channels. (Based on Dolby Pro Logic IIx.)
L, C, R, Ls, Rs, Lrs (Left Back), Rrs (Right Back), LFE, Lvh and Rvh

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