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Verance, Dolby & San Diego’s KPBS Successfully Complete First Test of Personalized Audio for Next Gen TV

The Verance Aspect Watermark and Dolby AC-4 Deliver Leading ATSC 3.0 Consumer Experiences in a Live Linear Broadcast Over Cable & Satellite

San Diego, CA, April 4, 2019 – Verance Corporation and Dolby today announced they successfully completed a test of internet-delivered dialogue enhancement, one of several compelling Next Gen TV Personalized Audio experiences for San Diego public media KPBS.

The test, which took place in February and included the Verance® Aspect watermark and Dolby® AC-4,  successfully demonstrated that the dialogue enhancement feature of Dolby AC-4 can be delivered as a standalone audio stream over the internet and paired with video delivered through a live linear broadcast.  The pairing was made seamlessly, with precise broadband audio and broadcast video synchronization, and delivered over all MVPD paths, including cable and satellite.

The results are well-timed, as TV makers are expected to introduce millions of ATSC 3.0-enabled TVs to the market starting in 2020 and broadcasters are increasingly focused on developing Next Gen TV applications.  In fact, new advanced audio features have been identified as key reasons to purchase an ATSC 3.0 television within recent consumer studies conducted by Frank N. Magid Associates.

“The dialogue enhancement technology provided by Verance and Dolby is a real game changer,” said Bruce Rogow, Associate General Manager, KPBS Operations & Technology Division.  “We have received complaints from viewers about background music and sounds drowning out the voices in shows and have worked diligently to  improve the quality and discernibility of dialogue throughout the production process.  Because so much of our content comes from outside sources,  it has been a very challenging issue.  The technology from Verance and Dolby is an effective tool.”

Within the broadcast chain, Aspect plays an essential role in delivering leading Next Gen capabilities such as personalization, interactivity, and census-like audience measurement to 100% of televisions across all distribution paths, including ATSC 1.0 and 3.0 over-the-air, cable/satellite (MVPD), and over-the-top services.  Without Aspect, only televisions receiving ATSC 3.0 over-the-air transmissions are expected to be able to support Next Gen experiences (less than 20% of all televisions).

The Dolby AC-4 Encoder powers multiple Personalized Audio experiences.  In addition to dialogue enhancement, it enables audio replacement, a Next Gen TV capability that allows broadcasters to go beyond the main and secondary audio available and provide viewers with access to many alternate languages.  It also enables alternative commentary, a capability that allows broadcasters to offer different commentaries such as hometown announcers during live sports.

Now that dialogue enhancement has been successfully delivered within a live linear 1.0 broadcast environment, Verance and Dolby plan to replicate the test with an ATSC 3.0 broadcaster.

“Together with Verance and KPBS, we have proven the value and the impact Dolby AC-4 can play in hybrid broadcasts and demonstrated the growing importance of next-generation features like better audibility, also known as dialogue enhancement,” said Mathias Bendull, Vice President, Multi-screen Services Audio, Dolby Laboratories.  “Not just a feature for the hearing impaired, dialogue enhancement also enables all viewers to have a better experience when dialogue is harder to hear, like in a noisy room.”

Joe Winograd, CTO of Verance, said, “This test was a huge accomplishment for our businesses and validates the seamless delivery of Personalized Audio experiences delivered over MVPD paths.  Broadcasters investing in the development of Next Gen TV applications can now proceed with confidence, knowing that these applications are capable of reaching 100% of U.S. households, including the 80% of viewers currently using MVPD services.”

 

About Verance

Verance® Aspect is an audio and video watermarking technology that powers broadband features on broadcast television by enabling advanced, census-like audience measurement, personalization, interactivity and addressable advertising across all screens and distribution paths.  Selected as a foundational component of the ATSC 3.0 Next Generation TV standard, Aspect is fully compatible with the ATSC 1.0 broadcasting environment and currently being deployed by FOX, NBC, PBS and other leading broadcasters.  Aspect is currently being adapted for use within the HbbTV ecosystem.

Verance content measurement and enhancement technologies are at the forefront of innovation and set the industry standard for television, movies and music.  Our solutions have been adopted by over 100 leading entertainment and technology companies and deployed in over 330 million consumer products worldwide. For more information, visit www.verance.com.

 

FOR VERANCE:

Jim Benson

The Lippin Group

323-965-1990

[email protected]

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