October 7, 2022


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After pushing the AV1 codec, Google is pursuing Dolby with HDR and audio standards

After pushing the AV1 codec, Google is pursuing Dolby with HDR and audio standards

Zoom / Open Media Alliance logo.

Alliance for Open Media

Google can basically do whatever you want in terms of video and web standards. YouTube is the most famous video site in the world. Chrome is the most popular browser in the world. Android is the most popular operating system in the world. Anything that Google wants to roll out right away can have a large user base of clients, servers, and content. From there, it’s just a matter of getting a few partners to connect with. This is how the next generation of Google is using AV1 video codec It is being rolled out, and after that, Google sets its sights on HDR and 3D audio standards.

Yanko Ruetgers from the protocol He reports on “Project Caviar,” Google’s plan to use Dolby and create royalty-free alternatives to the HDR (Dolby Vision) standard and the 3D audio standard (Dolby Atmos). Dolby’s legacy media business model relied on royalty fees from device manufacturers and support from content creators. The company’s technology is deeply ingrained in movie theatres, Blu-ray, and more modern streaming companies like Apple big supporters Dolby technology. It all costs money, and the protocol report says $50 of streaming sticks end up with about $2 of that price going to Dolby.

Surround sound has always been a cinematic feature forever with different numbers of front, rear and side speakers, but Dolby Atmos adds to rise in the equation. If you’re using a 5.1 or 7.1 speaker setup — that’s three front speakers, two rear, a subwoofer, 7.1, and two side speakers — Dolby Atmos adds four overhead speakers to the mix, allowing sound to move over the projector. Atmos powered by Apple, Netflixand HBO Max and Disney+.

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Google deals with Dolby via the “Alliance for Open Media” group of standards, which includes Amazon, Apple, Arm, Google, Intel, Meta, Microsoft, Mozilla, Netflix, Nvidia and Samsung in the “founding members” group. This is the same group behind the AV1 standard, which originated from Google Standards Buy On2 and open source for its video codec.

Neither Dolby Vision nor Atmos competitors need to develop a new codec. Google’s strategy mostly revolves around standardizing a way to ship audio and video data that doesn’t include Dolby push and branding well enough to compete. To start, the group already has a specification for “immersive sound enclosurePublished on the web, which describes itself as a “uncoded-specific audio bitstream format for rendering 3D sound fields that can be used for multichannel audio playback.” For HDR, the group wants to adopt HDR10 + Standard, which was originally cooked by Samsung but lacks content.

It is not yet known what consumer-facing brand these criteria will be for. That’s a big deal, since the “Dolby” name still has a huge impact on home theater enthusiasts, meaning that streaming apps can market the Dolby brand as a premium add-on, driving demand for standards. Few companies have enough leverage in the media space to push a new standard, but Google is one of them. As we’ve already seen with the AV1, support has pushed to YouTube, Android, Chrome, and Which hardware manufacturers Looking to licensing YouTube access is a powerful bludgeon.