Dolby AC-3 is a flexible audio data compression technology capable of encoding a range of audio channel formats into a low rate bitstream. Eight channel configurations are supported, ranging from conventional mono or stereo to a surround format with six discrete channels (left, center, right, left surround, right surround and subwoofer). The AC-3 bitstream specification permits sample rates of either 48 kHz, 44.1 kHz, or 32 kHz, and supports data rates ranging from 32 kbps (kilobits-per-second) to 640 kbps.

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