After pushing the AV1 codec, Google goes after Dolby with HDR and audio requirements

Enlarge / The brand of the Alliance for Open Media.

Alliance for Open Media

Google can mainly do no matter it desires with video and internet requirements. YouTube is the preferred video web site on the earth. Chrome is the preferred browser on the earth. Android is the preferred working system on the earth. Something Google desires to deploy can instantly have a major person base of shoppers, servers, and content material. From there, it is only a matter of getting just a few companions to tag alongside. That is how Google’s next-generation AV1 video codec is being marketed, and subsequent, Google is setting its sights on HDR and 3D audio requirements.

The Protocol’s Janko Rotgers has a report on “Undertaking Caviar,” Google’s plan to take over Dolby and create royalty-free alternate options to its HDR customary (Dolby Imaginative and prescient) and its 3D audio customary (Dolby Atmos). Dolby’s legacy media enterprise mannequin depends on royalties from {hardware} producers and help from content material creators. The corporate’s expertise is deeply embedded in cinemas, Blu-ray, and extra fashionable streaming firms like Apple are massive supporters of Dolby expertise. All of that prices cash, although, and the Protocol report says that $50 streaming sticks find yourself with about $2 of that value going to Dolby.

Encompass sound has been a cinematic function ceaselessly with various numbers of entrance, rear and facet audio system, however Dolby Atmos provides top in Eq. For those who take a 5.1 or 7.1 speaker setup—that is three entrance audio system, two rear audio system, a subwoofer, and for 7.1, two facet audio system—Dolby Atmos provides 4 overhead audio system to the combo, permitting the sound to maneuver above the viewer. Atmos is supported by Apple, Netflix, HBO Max and Disney+.

Google handles Dolby by the Open Media Alliance requirements group, which counts Amazon, Apple, Arm, Google, Intel, Meta, Microsoft, Mozilla, Netflix, Nvidia and Samsung as “founding members”. This is similar group behind the AV1 customary, which grew out of Google’s buy of On2 and open-sourcing of its video codec.

Neither Dolby Imaginative and prescient nor Atmos opponents require new codec growth. Google’s technique is especially about standardizing a strategy to ship audio and video information that does not contain paying Dolby and branding them nicely sufficient to compete. For starters, the group already has specs for an “Immersive Audio Container” posted on-line, which describes itself as a “codec-agnostic audio bitstream format to ship three-dimensional sound fields that can be utilized for multi-channel audio playback.” For HDR, the group desires to undertake the HDR10+ customary, which was initially ready by Samsung however has no content material.

It’s not but identified what model these requirements might be supposed for. That is a giant deal, as a result of the Dolby identify nonetheless holds sway with residence theater followers, and meaning streaming apps can market the Dolby model as a premium add-on, creating demand for the usual. Few firms have sufficient affect within the media house to drive a brand new customary, however Google is one in all them. As we have already seen with AV1, pushing help to YouTube, Android, Chrome, and any {hardware} producers prepared to permit entry to YouTube is a strong chin-up.

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