Audio technology company Dolby Laboratories has set the benchmark as far as cinema sound is concerned. Now it wants to kick off a similar revolution on Indian television. The three-year-old Indian subsidiary of Dolby Laboratories Inc. believes its market share in India is ready to take off with the central government making digitisation of cable mandatory for key metros. Its latest innovation, Dolby Surround 7.1, which improves the spatial dimension of soundtracks and enhances audio definition, will now be available right in your drawing rooms. In a series of tie-ups with major direct-to-home players Dolby hopes to replicate surround sound experience at home.
Jason Power, senior director, broadcast audio ecosystems, Dolby Laboratories, who was in India recently, says, “Broadcast is Dolby’s fastest growing business in the US, Europe and China; the Indian digital TV business looks equally promising to us. Mushrooming HD screens is a catalyst in driving HD content. Indian TV content is full of colour and surround sound really complements it all.”
The NYSE-listed company set foot in the country in 2009 and has set up an office at Mumbai, the hub of the country’s media and entertainment industry. Dolby’s enthusiasm for India is not misplaced. HD systems are becoming cheaper and efficient even as television screens grow larger. Almost 70 per cent of television set sales will be in the flat panel segment over the next three years.
From mid-April 2011 four channels from the Star stable are available in Dolby Digital. Krishnan Kutty, senior vice-president, (distribution strategy), Star TV, says, “The biggest challenge in HD lies in educating the consumers. The adoption figures for HD is to the tune of 0.5 million already. The viewership is expected to grow by more than double to approximately 1 -1.2 million in the next six months. Total number of HD channels in our portfolio has gone up to six, including Star Plus HD, Star Movies HD, Star Gold HD, Star World HD, Nat Geo HD and Star Cricket HD.”
According to reports, nearly 1.2 million set-top boxes operate with Dolby’s surround sound technology, and digitisation will likely increase this figure to 8-10 million in two-three years. Dolby works across the spectrum — from content creation to training to execution to working with the distribution agencies. Pankaj Kedia, country manager, Dolby Laboratories, says, “India had been introduced to HD devices long ago but there was no content available for the audiences. Dolby Digital Plus allows Star TV to deliver premium, cinema-style sound at home in an efficient and cost-effective way so more consumers can enjoy their favourite programmes.”
Besides the broadcast medium, Dolby is looking to deliver the surround sound experience on tablets and mobile phones soon.
Source: Business Standards?