Dolby Laboratories announced that the Shanghai Media Entertainment Group (SMEG) selected Dolby Digital for the first channel in China’s television broadcasting history to offer 5.1 programming. This marks a significant advancement in the quality of sound delivered by the Chinese television industry.
SMEG debuted its Dolby Digital 5.1 service on its Orient Movie Channel at the Shanghai International Film and Television Festival on June 13, 2005, and held a launch party that evening to celebrate and publicize the new service. To demonstrate the Orient Movie Channel’s new Dolby Digital surround sound broadcast capability, SMEG set up 15 sites at the Shanghai International Film and Television Festival where attendees could experience Dolby Digital 5.1 programming presented live over the newly upgraded digital cable services. SMEG also conducted a trial broadcast of its high-definition channel in Dolby Digital 5.1 at the festival.
Dolby Laboratories’ president and CEO, Bill Jasper, congratulated senior officials from SMEG and other important contributors on their pioneering efforts and accomplishments in bringing China’s broadcasting industry into the age of 5.1. “This launch is a landmark in China’s television broadcast history,” he said. “Shanghai Media Entertainment Group has joined the leading broadcasters in the world who provide Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound to their subscribers.”
“Shanghai has a very large install base of home theater systems,” commented Wang Wei, VP of Shanghai Meida Entertainment Group, “which are used predominantly to enjoy DVD movies. Our viewers will definitely welcome this new 5.1 surround sound experience now offered through their digital television service.”
Since 2003, SMEG has been preparing for the advent of surround sound broadcasting in China by training mixers to produce content in 5.1 and upgrading facilities to handle the new audio streams. SMEG’s movie channel was selected for the kickoff of its 5.1 broadcasting service due to the growing library of Dolby Digital 5.1–encoded films coming out of the Shanghai Film Studio, a premiere film studio in Shanghai and part of SMEG.
Last year, SMEG performed a successful trial of a Dolby Digital 5.1 broadcast at the 2004 Shanghai International TV Festival with the presentation of three feature films on the Orient Movie Channel: Red Snow, Warm Winter and Bichunmoo. The success of the trial led to the decision by SMEG to include Dolby Digital 5.1 as a regular feature on selected channels as part of its DTV service.
In addition to the regular broadcast of feature films in Dolby Digital 5.1 on its Orient Movie Channel, SMEG plans to start broadcasting surround sound programming on other popular channels, including its sports and music channels.
For more information on Dolby, visit www.dolby.com.