Technicolor, Fraunhofer unveil MPEG-H Audio licensing programme



| 27 August 2015

Technicolor and the Fraunhofer Institute have formed a licensing programme to boost development of the next-generation TV audio system developed by the MPEG-H Audio Alliance.

The MPEG-H audio system for ATSC 3.0 is designed to enable TV broadcasters to capture and deliver next-generation audio and allows consumers to customise content experiences. The system is said to be equally capable of delivering interactive live sports experiences as well as the immersive sound of feature films to the home.

The licensing programme will focus on a per-unit royalty, with annual volume discounts for manufacturers of both professional and consumer hardware and software. It will comprise the two companies' standard essential patents for the MPEG-H Audio Alliance TV system and will be administrated by Technicolor, through subsidiary Thomson Licensing. It will aim to build upon the success of Technicolor's MP3 licensing programme, and the experience of managing approximately 1,100 licensing agreements across 15 licensing programmes focused on consumer electronics.

"The MPEG-H Audio Alliance TV System uses a powerful subset of the MPEG-H 3D Audio standard, specifically tailored to the needs of manufacturers. We believe the formation of this new programme is poised to make the next generation of TV audio a reality," said Technicolor's head of technology and trademark licensing, Manuele Wahl.

"For the past 15 years MPEG-H's predecessor MPEG AAC represented the state of the art in audio coding. And today it is integrated into all iOS and Android-based smartphones and is available in all major operating systems and Internet browsers. It is providing the TV sound for over half of the world's population," said Bernhard Grill, head of the audio & multimedia division and deputy director, Fraunhofer IIS. "We are sure that MPEG-H will continue this success story with its new cutting-edge capabilities and take state-of-the-art to the next level."

The MPEG-H Audio Alliance TV System for ATSC 3.0 is endorsed by a number of broadcasting and consumer electronics companies such as Pearl TV. "The TV broadcast companies who work together in the partnership fully support MPEG-H as the best next-generation audio technology for future mobile and home TV devices. We believe a single codec is the best solution," said Pearl's MD Anne Schelle.

John Godfrey, senior vice president, public policy at Samsung Electronics America, added: "From a consumer electronics point of view, the MPEG-H Audio System will accelerate the deployment of ATSC 3.0 ... Within the Korean ecosystem, where ATSC 3.0 may be implemented even sooner than in the United States, leading broadcasters and manufacturers believe that MPEG-H is the perfect solution for a single audio codec."