Enabling spectacular experiences in Broadcasting through Sound Technologies

Enabling spectacular experiences in Broadcasting through Sound Technologies

-Attributed to Mr. Pankaj Kedia - Managing Director, Emerging Markets – Dolby

Entertainment – An Indian Unifier

Remember the times when Indian households had one television in the living room and everyone would come together to watch their favourite soap on Doordarshan? Sounds like ages ago, but it actually hasn’t been that long. Times have surely and rapidly evolved from then, with families now having a television in multiple rooms in the house, customised subscription packs for every TV and in fact, and most importantly, every family member having a personal screen with a growing preference for entertainment consumption on their smartphones.

However, what hasn’t changed in all these years is India’s connection with entertainment. As Indians, we love our entertainment and cannot get enough of it. Indians love their entertainment in all forms and sizes – be it on the big screen, on the radio, on their television sets, and now, on their mobile personal screens. Over the past decade, the entertainment industry in India has seen unprecedented growth and is constantly evolving – content is being created and consumed in newer formats and in more diverse languages than ever before; entertainment is being consumed on-the-go, be it movies or shows on various OTT platforms or music. In fact, increased smartphone adoption and internet penetration have contributed significantly to this increased demand for entertainment.

The Growing Broadcast Industry in India

Synonymous to entertainment is the broadcasting industry in India, and in the backdrop of the ongoing trends, one thing is clear – the broadcast segment continues to grow. According to BARC India, India had 197 million TV homes in 2018, up from 183 million in 2016. TV penetration is at an all-time high, with the number of individuals with access to television going up to 835 million; more than the entire population of Europe.

With the industry growing at an unprecedented rate and entertainment consumption patterns evolving, the needs of the Indian audience for a superior audio and visual experience while consuming content has also evolved.

The Revolutionised Entertainment Experience

Through our breakthrough research in science and engineering, Dolby transforms sights and sounds into spectacular experiences. We bring our innovations to people through collaborative partnerships that span artists, businesses and consumers worldwide. And with our partners we deliver incredibly vivid experiences in the cinema, at home and on the go — experiences so lifelike that people feel as if they’ve been transported into a cinematic story or into a pulsing sphere of music, or an action-packed game. In entertainment, both through audio and imaging, we give everyone the power to see more and hear more; and feel the spectacular.

The Contribution of Sound Technologies

Technology has permeated into more and more aspects of lives. In the current era of digital transformation, several technological disruptions have come together to create powerful tools that are reshaping industries across the globe. As the ecosystem is evolving, innovations in audio and visual technology play a vital role to elevate the overall experience.

Sound is an extremely important element of the overall experience, one that can make or break your entire experience. With evolving content consumption patterns amongst the Indian consumers today, they are increasingly focussing on an enhanced sound experience. That is exactly where Dolby comes in. Our unique audio technologies – Dolby Audio and Dolby Atmos have completely transformed the way sound is being created and consumed today and has grown to be widely popular and accepted by creators and audiences alike.

Dolby brings innovations to people through collaborations with artists, the film industry, A/V companies, businesses and others worldwide. We have collaborated successfully with several OEMs, content services and content creators to deliver the ultimate entertainment experience to our audience. In fact, content creators as a community have always been extremely important to us. We work very closely with several stakeholders in the content creation chain, right from directors, to sound mixers, and others to build strong collaboration.

In the Indian context, we also have a large presence on the consumer entertainment side in HD broadcast, live sports production and also now with streaming services and content. Dolby’s technology is very widely adopted across devices, including televisions, Set-Top-Boxes, DMAs, A/V Receivers, Home Theatres, Soundbars, Mobile Phones, Tablets, PCs etc. Dolby as a brand consciously works on making the experience seamless across all screens.

Right from the introduction of HD in India, we have been deeply engaged in and working with the Broadcast ecosystem especially HD broadcast. Our work over the last several years has resulted in Dolby Audio Surround Sound being used in over 75 HD channels out of the 90 plus HD channels in the market. We collaborated with Star India to enable their HD channels in Dolby Audio when then launched in 2011. We also see the growth of HD in regional language channels and we have been working with Sun Networks, Asianet, Maa Television, among others to enable their HD channels and their content with our technology.

4K is an interesting opportunity and globally 4K is being very closely associated with HDR, Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos. We can see a large amount of 4K content - television drama, OTT originals and live sports, being made available with Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos. Netflix recently announced that it is bringing studio-quality audio feeds to the service, which is expected to make the audio across all its shows sound better on a majority of the television devices that support 5.1 or Dolby Atmos.

Furthermore, in a mobile-first market like India, the mobile device is increasingly becoming an entertainment hub. Understanding this landscape, we are also very actively working with a number of OTT service providers and we have a number of services which are now streaming content with the technology. We are working very closely with leading local OTT video streaming services including Voot, YuppTV and Sun NXT to enable their service and content with our technologies. We expect to see even more interplay of the device, content and services in the coming times and our mobile technologies (Dolby Atmos and Dolby Audio) are available on all three.

Need of The Hour – A Seamless Experience

The overall understanding is that the audience of today is seeking memorable and spectacular experiences wherever they go. So, the need of the hour is to offer them immersive experience which stays with them long after they have turned the screen off. In the coming times, the landscape across industries and sectors will change rapidly but in these dynamic environments, our goal will continue to offer experiences that bring entertainment to life while redefining the sound landscape in India.