The Dolby AC-4 audio format has been recommended by the group testing candidate ATSC 3.0 audio systems to be the new next-generation TV audio standard for the United States, according to an Advanced Television Systems Committee presentation at the HPA Tech Retreat last month.
Last summer, Dolby competed with its AC-4 format against MPEG-H and its backers, including Fraunhofer, Technicolor and Qualcomm, to be selected as the next-gen TV audio standard.
That competition included an exhaustive, scientific evaluation conducted by ATSC to pick a format. But no clear winner appears to have emerged.
As TVNewsCheck reported March 3 in “Now Hear This: 3 Big Audio Trends At NAB,” the ATSC Ad Hoc Group on Audio has recommended ATSC 3.0 make room for both Dolby AC-4 and MPEG-H to be part of the standard and to allow broadcasters on a regional or nationwide basis to select which system to use.
At HPA, the decision to select AC-4 for use in the United States — if and when ATSC 3.0 is authorized by regulators for OTA transmission — was made public during a presentation on the next-gen standard without much fanfare, according to a source attending the event.
One slide simply said the ATSC S34-2 [Ad Hoc Group on Audio] recommendation for the United States is Dolby AC-4.