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High Definition Sound for High Definition Television

If the future format for television pictures is able to give the viewer a more detailed and larger visual image of an event, then he or she may well wish to have greater definition in the sound. Additionally, if larger groups of people are wishing to witness the same event at the same time, then the disparity between audio and visual cues that can sometimes occur when listening off-center to Television Stereo has to be avoided. For this reason the BBC has been addressing, again, the problems of multichannel sound systems with pictures to identify how many channels of sound are required in HDTV and how they should be used. Not surprisingly the answer depends to a great extent on the type of program being produced, but, other variables such as the domestic environment and the need for compatible reproduction in a number of listening modes also have an impact on the program maker. This paper will discuss such matters and present the current findings of the BBC's HDTV program making experiments. It will also give an overview of the international debates on sound systems for HDTV that are currently taking place.

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