Dolby Digital 

Dolby Digital describes a multi-channel surround sound audio system created by the Dolby Laboratories company, which was developed for professional use in cinemas and later made its way into private homes. The system provides up to six independent sound channels for an immersive surround sound experience.

More Information about Dolby Digital 

Background and compression

In 1992, this audio format was first introduced for movie theaters, before the private market also benefited from it a few years later with the first compatible devices. Technically, a total of six channels are mixed and matched.

Beside a central speaker placed in the front, the configuration consists of two speakers in the back and a pair of speakers on both sides. In addition, there is a woofer that is responsible for the lower frequency band and provides the necessary sound pressure. The compression takes place in the so-called AC-3 codec. Therefore, this format has a so-called lossy sound.

Compatibility and alternatives

Today, Dolby Digital is compatible with a wide range of audio devices and is widely used in film and television as well as on storage media such as DVDs and Blu-rays. Due to the multi-channel approach, a full-fledged home theater system or soundbar system with satellite speakers is a prerequisite for native playback and the best sound result. Alternatively, other formats like DTS Virtual:X or Virtual Dolby Atmos are available, which only simulate the surround sound effect, but can be used at a much lower price.

Dolby Digital 
Dolby Digital  Infographic
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