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Tuesday, July 20, 2004
MPEG-4 Audio Patent Pool Adds High-Efficiency AAC Profile License


Single source for patent rights from multiple parties makes licensing easier and more cost effective

Via Licensing Corporation, in cooperation with members of the MPEG-4 Audio Licensing Committee, is pleased to announce the availability of streamlined access to a license for patents that are essential to the practice of MPEG-4 High Efficiency AAC (also known as aacPlus) under reasonable and nondiscriminatory terms. This most recent addition to the MPEG-4 Audio patent licensing program will make it easier and more economical for companies to deploy products that incorporate industry leading, open standards-based audio compression technology.

?Via Licensing is seeing significant interest in this recently standardized technology,? said Ramzi Haidamus, Vice President and General Manager of Via Licensing Corporation. ?HE AAC has been selected by the DVD Forum as the audio codec for the ROM-Zone of DVD Audio discs, and HE AAC is already in use as a general audio coding format in support of music delivery services over 3G wireless networks. The availability of a streamlined patent pool license for this technology just months after the completion of the standardization activity is testimony to the cooperation of the licensors who worked together to reach a common agreement.?

?As the inventor of the MPEG SBR technology, we are excited to join the MPEG-4 Audio Licensing Committee in order to offer this license,? said Martin Dietz , CEO and President of Coding Technologies. ?The coding efficiency of HE AAC enables new opportunities for high-quality audio at unprecedented low bit-rates for applications in digital broadcasting, mobile multimedia, and Internet services. The availability of a single standard agreement coupled with the significant reduction in the overall cost of an HE AAC license will further boost momentum in the market towards the adoption of aacPlus.?

The companies that cooperated in the development of the HE AAC license include: AT&T Corp., Coding Technologies, Dolby Laboratories, Fraunhofer IIS, NEC Corporation, Philips Electronics, and Sony Corporation. The financial terms of the license can be seen on the Via Licensing website at www.vialicensing.com/products/HE_AAC/license.terms.html.

About Spectral Band Replication (SBR)
SBR is a unique bandwidth extension technique which enables audio codecs to operate at significantly lower bit-rates without sacrificing sound quality. In HE-AAC, SBR is coupled with AAC to enhance its efficiency in a backward- and forward-compatible manner. HE-AAC uses AAC to encode the low frequencies and SBR to encode the high frequencies with very low overhead. The EBU credits SBR technology as the single most significant improvement in audio codec performance since the year 2000.



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