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Dolby Metadata and Metadata Presets

Metadata insight for Dolby sound.

To work with encoded surround sound like Dolby E, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus or DTS, metadata of varying complexity is used. The metadata is broadcast with the audio signal from the transmitter to the receiver at the viewers home. This metadata tells the receiving device how to manage the audio signals.

Whether the source is DVD, Blu-ray, SD or HD broadcasts, the sound encoded metadata is used to control how the encoded signals are reproduced for the consumer’s equipment e.g. Dialnorm loudness or Dynamic Range Compression. It controls the signal distribution in the decoder, the playback loudness (Dialnorm), any necessary dynamic range compression (Dynamic Range Compression, DRC) and the downmixing, as well as some other signal characteristics; each individually based on the receiver and speaker configuration.



Recommended configuration for working with metadata and metadata presets and simultaneous encoding


To simplify the complexity of dealing with metadata, especially in live situations, many broadcasters now apply metadata presets. Different settings for sport, entertainment, classical music, movies and continuity announcements are defined by the broadcasters and are mandatory for production and mixing. Dolby metadata audio monitoring is required to ensure that sound is accurately reproduced.

It is important to check the broadcaster specific delivery requirements to ensure that the correct Dolby configurations are followed. 

Author: Karl M. Slavik, Arte Cast Vienna

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