PBS Nature Program Sahara Broadcast in Dolby Digital

PBS Nature Program Sahara Broadcast in Dolby Digital
 ,Thursday, June 29, 2000  
PBS Nature Program Sahara Broadcast in Dolby Digital
PBS recently premiered Sahara, a two-hour natural history program about the wonders of the Sahara Desert as seen through the eyes of its native creatures. Executive producer and writer Barry Clark spent over three years making the film, which was broadcast in high-definition television (HDTV) with Dolby Digital 5.1 sound.

Given Sahara’s emphasis on soundscape and music, Dolby Digital plays an important role. Clark mixed the film’s music, a compilation of authentic North African music, to the forefront of the soundtrack to partner with the sound effects, narration, and images. The completed soundtrack features hundreds of individual tracks, including 32 tracks of wind, to enhance the drama and realism of each scene.

“The film only really came alive when we heard it with the music,” says Clark. “The sound production of Sahara is a fine example of the process of bringing cinematic style and cinematic technology to the television screen.”

The program was produced by Mandalay Media Arts in association with PBS, Trebitsch Produktion International GmbH, and Devillier Donegan Enterprises.

Television programming is becoming increasingly reliant on using Dolby Digital 5.1 multichannel sound, in tandem with HDTV, to create the cinema experience right in the viewer’s home. Networks such as ABC, HBO, STARZ!, Showtime, DirecTV, and DISH Network all feature Dolby Digital 5.1 sound.

Dolby Digital, Dolby Laboratories’ 5.l-channel discrete audio encoding/decoding technology, has become the sound standard for virtually every new digital consumer format, including digital versatile disc (DVD), digital cable, and digital broadcast television. It is also quickly becoming the standard for direct broadcast satellite (DBS). Dolby Digital allows six discrete channels of high-quality audio to be stored or transported in less spectrum than a single channel of the pulse code modulation (PCM) audio found on compact discs. To date, more than 42 million consumer products incorporating Dolby Digital have been sold.

For more information, contact Dolby Laboratories at 415-645-5176.

Surround Professional Magazine