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a-law algorithm

A standard compression algorithm, used in digital communications systems of the European digital hierarchy, to optimize, i.e., modify, the dynamic range of an analog signal for digitizing. Note: The wide dynamic range of speech does not lend itself well to efficient linear digital encoding. A-law encoding effectively reduces the dynamic range of the signal, thereby increasing the coding efficiency and resulting in a signal-to-distortion ratio that is superior to that obtained by linear encoding for a given number of bits.


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