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Showtime To Broadcast Dolby Digital On DSS and Digitial Cable Print E-mail
Wednesday, 08 May 2002
Showtime Networks Inc., which was the first premium network to launch Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound on its HDTV signals in 2000, has now brought the audio technology to every one of its standard definition and HDTV channels throughout all time zones. The result is 32 Dolby Digital 5.1 enabled channels triple the number of Dolby Digital 5.1 enabled channels of all other premium networks combined. Since launching the audio format SHOWTIME has aired more than 190 movies including theatricals and Showtime Original Pictures, and 145 series episodes in Dolby Digital 5.1 surround including The Chris Isaak Show and Queer as Folk. In 2002 alone, the network plans to air close to 150 movies, and 88 series episodes in Dolby Digital 5.1 including two new, highly anticipated sci-fi series, Odyssey 5, which will also be the first series shot fully in true HDTV resolution, and Jeremiah. Upcoming theatrical offerings in Dolby Digital 5.1 for May and June include Save the Last Dance, The Ladies Man, Hannibal, Spy Kids, Apocalypse Now: Redux and Along Came A Spider, among many others.

By year end 2001, in the US alone, more than 30 million households had DVD players almost all of which can output or decode Dolby Digital 5.1. According to Dolby Laboratories more than 10 million households have a set-top box capable of outputting Dolby Digital 5.1 via DBS and/or digital cable. The numbers suggest a strong consumer interest in seeking out sources for higher quality sound in their television entertainment, so Showtime has continued to pioneer the use of Dolby Digital 5.1 on its HDTV and standard definition channels. Showtime plans to begin promoting the audio format&Mac226;s availability on-air in May to make viewers more aware of the technology&Mac226;s availability for their favorite programs. Viewers can also go to http://dolby.sho.com or www.dolby.com/tvaudio for more information.

Channel Breakdown
Currently, the Showtime Networks channels offering Dolby Digital 5.1 audio include all time zone feeds of SHOWTIME, SHOWTIME TOO, SHOWTIME SHOWCASE, SHOWTIME Extreme, SHOWTIME Beyond, SHOWTIME Next, SHOWTIME Women, SHOWTIME FamilyZone, THE MOVIE CHANNEL (TMC), TMC XTRA; THE SUNDANCE CHANNEL, FLIX, and SHO HDTV.

Dolby Digital 5.1, also known simply as Dolby Digital, offers sensational sound by delivering five discrete, full-fidelity (3 Hz/20,000 Hz) audio channels (Left-Center-Right-Left Surround-Right Surround) plus a low-frequency effects (LFE) channel. Viewers with Dolby Digital audio receivers can re-create the same spectacular audio environment at home that they enjoy at movie theatres.

Showtime Showtime Networks Inc. (SNI), which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Viacom Inc., owns the premium television networks SHOWTIME, THE MOVIE CHANNEL and FLIX, as well as the multiplex channels SHOWTIME TOO, SHOWTIME SHOWCASE, SHOWTIME EXTREME, SHOWTIME BEYOND, SHOWTIME NEXT, SHOWTIME WOMEN, SHOWTIME FAMILYZONE and TMC XTRA. SNI operates and manages the premium television network SUNDANCE CHANNEL, which is owned by SNI, Robert Redford and Universal Studios. SNI markets and distributes sports and entertainment events for exhibition to subscribers on a pay-per-view basis through SET (Showtime Event Television) Pay Per View. Additionally, the advertiser-supported television network SHOWTIME EXTREME is available in Spain through a joint venture with Media Park and the advertiser-supported television network SHOWTIME is available in Turkey through a joint venture with UK-based Zone Vision.

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