Dolby Laboratories announced that it is providing expertise and support enabling the 2006 FIFA World Cup soccer championship to be broadcast in Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound. Dolby is working with Host Broadcast Services (HBS) of Switzerland, the event’s designated host broadcast organization, to ensure that broadcasters will have access to 5.1 surround sound feeds of every game from all 12 stadium venues around Germany. Dolby 5.1 audio will, of course, be available for high-definition video coverage of the matches.
This year marks the first time that the entire World Cup tournament will be made available in 5.1 surround sound, from the stage 1 kickoff match featuring Germany versus Costa Rica on June 9, to the climactic final in Berlin in July. Dolby is providing HBS with both equipment and training that will enable the 5.1 soundtracks to be created in specially constructed audio control rooms in the HBS International Broadcast Center. Dolby E technology will be used to make it easier to distribute 5.1 audio worldwide to FIFA World Cup rights-holding broadcasters.
Dolby is also supplying equipment to individual broadcasters across Europe who have chosen to feature 5.1 audio in their transmissions. Equipment typically enables Dolby E decoding for receiving the incoming feeds from HBS, and Dolby Digital encoding to re-encode the audio for final transmission to viewers. The FIFA World Cup broadcasts will be seen by more than 1 billion people globally, with each broadcaster having the option to use the Dolby Digital 5.1 audio feed to the extent needed.