Through this announcement, Via and AAC licensors are taking steps to encourage and accelerate the adoption of xHE-AAC, the most recent and advanced member of the AAC family of audio codecs. “The addition of xHE-AAC technology increases the value of our AAC patent pool license,” says Joe Siino, President of Via Licensing. “Adding xHE-AAC to our patent pool ensures that broadcasters and service providers can deliver the next generation of audio to consumers efficiently and affordably.”
Previously, xHE-AAC technology could only be used in devices if manufacturers paid for an additional license in addition to an existing AAC license. By bringing xHE-AAC into its AAC patent pool, Via grants licensees access to xHE-AAC rights at no additional cost, and reduces average per-unit cost through greater volume aggregation across all AAC related products.
xHE-AAC combines two MPEG technologies, High Efficiency AAC v2, and Unified Speech and Audio Coding (USAC). It is designed to support the delivery of mixed speech and general audio content including music on mobile devices, radio broadcasts, and wired streaming services. xHE-AAC provides exceptional audio quality using low bit rates delivering a listening experience suitable for mobile devices, and can scale-up to offer audiophile-quality reproduction. The reduced bit rate helps mobile broadcasters and streaming audio providers distribute their content more efficiently. Consumers are able to enjoy high quality audio reproduction at lower bit rates which lowers their data consumption and costs.
xHE-AAC coding efficiency starts at only 8 kbit/s mono for speech, and allows the transmission of excellent music audio quality at 64kbit/s and above, enabling new services even on bit rate constrained networks. xHE-AAC profile decoders are capable of decoding all AAC versions including AAC-LC, HE-AAC and HE-AACv2. xHE-AAC streams can easily be integrated into existing encoding workflows by supplementing legacy higher bit rate streams.
Applications for MPEG xHE-AAC include digital radio broadcasting, streaming over mobile and wired networks, and terrestrial radio. It has already been adopted for the Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) broadcast standard and is currently in use on DRM transmissions around the world.
Via Licensing Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Dolby Laboratories, develops and manages licensing programs on behalf of highly innovative companies in markets such as audio, wireless, broadcast, and automotive.