Dolby Laboratories has taken another stride to enhance their Dolby TrueHD lossless audio codec with advanced 96k upsampling for upcoming Blu-ray discs. Based on their press release, the new coding solution was designed to mitigate digital audio artifacts present during the recording process via the use of special filters, and to integrate the benefits of 96kHz playback in the final master as well.
The upgraded 96k sampling rate is also said to "restore the natural tonality of the soundtrack" according to the audio wizards. We know that the majority of Blu-ray discs are deployed with a typical sampling rate of 48kHz, something which Dolby hopes to improve on with the new 96kHz encoding process. Here's what Mr Craig Eggers, Director of Content Creation and Playback of Dolby Laboratories, had to say about their new 96kHz upsampled treatment.
"A significant amount of Hollywood content has been captured in native 48kHz. Studios and authoring facilities that implement Dolby TrueHD with advanced 96k upsampling can elevate the quality of PCM audio prior to lossless Dolby TrueHD encoding, ensuring that consumers get the very best audio performance possible from their Blu-ray playback systems". Eggers also made a valid and practical point on the improvement process of lossless audio. "Lossless audio is a key distinguishing feature of Blu-ray content. All things being equal, you cannot improve on the quality of lossless audio coding; however, you can improve on the quality of the source PCM content prior to lossless encoding, and this is precisely what we have achieved with our advanced 96k upsampling technology", he added.
On top of this, it's also good to know that content mastered in 96kHz is fully compatible with current Blu-ray players and AV receivers which support Dolby TrueHD. You may also find out more about Dolby's new mastering facilities in this video of the 'San Francisco Symphony at 100' Blu-ray Disc release which we've embedded below.