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Netflix Rolls Out Adaptive 'Studio Quality' Audio

Olivia Long - May 12, 2019 - 05:11 PM
Netflix Rolls Out Adaptive 'Studio Quality' Audio
Netflix announced that it would be beefing up the sound capabilities on its streaming platform.

(CCM) — To keep up with its leaps in the realm of video quality, Netflix announced that it would be rolling out, what it is calling, "studio-quality" audio. The audio is also adaptive, choosing the appropriate audio bitrate for the network connection at the start of streaming (Previously, this feature was only available for video playback).

In a blog post announcing the update, the company described how the new quality of audio would be "perceptually transparent." Traditional audio playback is compressed, compared to its source audio, which is totally uncompressed.

Netflix's "studio-quality" audio at or above Dolby Digital Plus 640 kbps promises that, to the average listener, the audio will so closely resemble the ultra high-quality source audio that they will not even be able to tell that it has been altered in its transition. Beyond that, Netflix claims, it "would be sending you files that have a higher bitrate (and take up more bandwidth) without bringing any additional value to the listening experience."

"Sound helps to tell the story subconsciously, shaping our experience through subtle cues like the sharpness of a phone ring or the way a very dense flock of bird chirps can increase anxiety in a scene," Netflix says. "Although variances in sound can be nuanced, the impact on the viewing and listening experience is often measurable."

Image: © ibreakstock - Shutterstock.com
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