Dolby - AAC Version 2

27 mars 2002

Le MPEG 4 à l'honneur

Dolby vient d’annoncer la sortie quasi immédiate d’un nouveau format audio dédié au monde du Home entertainment.
C’est en effet sous les traits de son format audio AAC qui se base sur une compression en MPEG 2, que le firme lancera au mois d’avril en collaboration avec Nokia, AT&T ainsi que Sony, la prochaine version du Dolby AAC qui fonctionnera ici sur du MPEG 4.

Alors pour en savoir un peu plus sur ce nouveau venu, je vous propose de lire le communiqué de presse qui suit (désolé il est en anglais)…

San Francisco, CA, March 26, 2002—Dolby Laboratories, a leader in multichannel sound, today announced the launch of a newly expanded MPEG-4 AAC licensing program. Joined by the co-licensors, Dolby is building on its successful MPEG-2 AAC program to address streaming, wireless, and multimedia applications.

Acting as the licensing administrator for patents held by AT&T, Dolby, Fraunhofer IIS-A, and Sony, Dolby is pleased to announce the addition of Nokia to the group of co-licensors. Dolby will immediately begin offering MPEG-4 AAC licenses worldwide under fair, reasonable, and non discriminatory terms. Furthermore, a convenient migration path for existing MPEG-2 AAC licensees will be made available.

The latest licensing program from Dolby Laboratories is specifically geared toward MPEG-4 applications, which include Internet streaming, electronic media distribution (EMD), multimedia playback, and wireless applications. "Dolby has long recognized that one size does not fit all when licensing to a worldwide market with multiple business models and applications," commented Ed Schummer, Senior VP and General Manager of Dolby's Consumer Division. "The MPEG-4 AAC licensing program has been fine-tuned, taking into account various market demands in radically different environments ranging from freely distributed PC-based software decoders to high-quality playback consumer electronics devices."

Under the new license terms, licensees will pay the following royalty rates for MPEG-4 AAC products:
-For a consumer (non-commercial) decoder product: $0.50 to $0.12 (volume-based) per channel
-Royalty rates for PC-based software decoder products are $0.25 per channel, up to a maximum annual payment of $25,000 per legal entity
-For a consumer (non-commercial) encoder product: $0.50 to $0.12 (volume-based) per channel
-Royalty rates for PC-based software encoder products are $0.50 to $0.27 per channel (volume-based), up to a maximum annual payment of $250,000 per legal entity
-For a professional (commercial) decoder product: $2.00 per channel
-For a professional (commercial) encoder product: $20.00 per channel There are no royalties or usage fees for content distribution in AAC format, either in electronic form or in packaged media.

The MPEG-4 AAC Patent License Agreement will be available in April. "The significance of our new licensing program is that it has been developed in response to high market demand in a rapidly moving marketplace," noted Ramzi Haidamus, Dolby's Director of Business Development. "We have been receiving numerous requests for an MPEG-4 AAC license, and we are pleased to announce the commencement of this program."

The AAC co-licensors have expanded their existing MPEG-2 AAC patent licensing program to include additional patents for MPEG-4 AAC, which includes several important enhancements. New AAC tools in their MPEG-4 incarnation allow increased efficiency at lower data rates—MPEG-4 AAC is effective at stereo bit rates down to the 40 to 48 kbps range, and to the 24 to 30 kbps range in mono. MPEG-4 AAC includes tools for error robustness, which makes this technology of particular interest in wireless networking applications. MPEG-4 AAC also offers scaleable bitstream modes and new low-latency tools for high-quality real-time conferencing applications. Dolby will be promoting MPEG-4 AAC for 3G wireless networks, Internet streaming of audio and audio/video, and home networking, as well as for the traditional MPEG-2 AAC applications such as electronic music delivery, digital radio, and ISDB television broadcast.


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