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Dolby Digital makes PAL

Dolby Labs’ Dolby Digital multichannel audio format continued its victorious march around the globe Tuesday with the announcement that the format had won endorsement as the mandatory audio format for DVDs that play back in the PAL standard.

A meeting held in Tokyo by the steering committee of the recently enlarged DVD Forum confirmed the choice of Dolby Digital in PAL-use areas (which is much of the world outside North America). This cleared up a lingering confusion amongst DVD masterers, who had been forced to encode the DVD audio in two different formats to satisfy some local manufacturers and consumers in Asia and Eastern Europe.

Thus the Dolby imprimatur will now grace the delayed full rollout of DVD in Europe and Asia, something that had been held up until the format’s major manufacturers finally agreed to a common standard for audio. (That is something that has yet to be done with other uses of DVD storage, including recordable DVDs, or DVD-RAMs.)

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