MPEG Surround Licensing Program Addresses New ARIB Multi-Channel Audio Standard for Mobile Broadcasting

Monday, April 16th, 2012 
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SAN FRANCISCO — Via Licensing Corporation, a company that develops and operates patent pools in cooperation with essential patent owners worldwide, announced a patent licensing program for MPEG Surround, the only surround sound format specified by the Japanese Association of Radio Industries and Businesses (ARIB) for mobile broadcasting systems. With Via Licensing’s MPEG Surround licensing program, companies planning to deploy surround sound products supporting ARIB’s Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting (ISDB) standards, ISDB-Tmm (terrestrial mobile multimedia) and ISDB-Tsb (terrestrial digital sound broadcasting), will be able to easily obtain a license for patents essential to the practice of MPEG Surround owned by the participating patent holders.

Via Licensing, working with leading technology firms such as AT&T Corp., Dolby Laboratories, Inc., Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI), France Telecom S.A., Fraunhofer IIS, Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V., and LG Electronics, Inc., developed the MPEG Surround program in order to simplify the process of licensing patents essential to MPEG Surround. The license is offered under reasonable and nondiscriminatory terms on a worldwide basis.

“MPEG Surround is a highly promising technology for fast and seamless integration of surround sound for both broadcast and streaming channels,” said Fahim Nawabi, representative of Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS, Japan, “This is especially compelling since the existing infrastructure and facilities for stereo are easily adaptable to support MPEG Surround.”

The ISO MPEG Surround standard describes a highly efficient method of transmitting surround sound through bandwidth-limited channels while preserving compatibility with stereo devices. In addition, the decoder includes a binaural mode for rendering surround sound through conventional earphones on mobile devices. ARIB’s specification of MPEG Surround as the sole surround sound standard will encourage the adoption of the technology.

“MPEG Surround is an important technological advance in audio coding,” said Andrew Fischer, Director of Licensing Programs, Via Licensing. “The availability of a patent licensing program for this exciting technology is the result of considerable effort and dedication on the part of the patent owners. We are very pleased to provide a single source licensing solution that supports these new standards for multimedia broadcasting services in Japan.”