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Dolby Laboratories Brings New Virtual Surround-Sound Experience to Consumer Electronics Products

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Jan 9, 2003

Dolby Laboratories Brings New Virtual Surround-Sound Experience to Consumer Electronics Products

Dolby Laboratories Brings New Virtual Surround-Sound Experience to Consumer Electronics Products

Dolby licensee Analog Devices ships the first implementation of Dolby Virtual Speaker technology in an audio processor for CE devices

Las Vegas, January 9, 2003--The recent certification of the Melody® SHARC® Ultra chipset from Analog Devices, Inc. (ADI)--and pending announcements from additional semiconductor partners--signals the advent of Dolby® Virtual Speaker technology in a variety of traditional consumer electronics products. Initially implemented in personal computers, Dolby Virtual Speaker technology provides a highly realistic and compelling multichannel audio experience during playback of surround-sound content on devices equipped with as few as two actual speakers.

The Melody SHARC Ultra processor, which will be demonstrated in the Dolby exhibit at the 2003 International CES convention (Las Vegas Convention Center, South Hall, Lower Level, Booth 22022), enables Dolby Virtual Speaker capabilities in products as varied as digital television sets, set-top boxes, game consoles, in-car entertainment systems, DVD-Video players, digital broadcast satellite receivers, and more. This newest implementation of Dolby Virtual Speaker technology opens the door for the integration of this exciting technology into nearly every aspect of consumer electronics entertainment.

Dolby Virtual Speaker technology employs an advanced algorithm to reproduce the surround-sound effects of a precisely placed 5.1-channel speaker system from a consumer electronics device or personal computer equipped with as few as two speakers. The result is a highly realistic, more true-to-life, and involving entertainment experience for movies, music, and gaming in environments where a full 5.1-speaker surround system may not be practical. A primary benefit is that more consumers will be able to experience the benefits of multichannel Dolby Digital soundtracks included on a host of today's entertainment media offerings.

"Very soon, consumers will be able to purchase a variety of consumer electronics products able to re-create a rich, enveloping surround-sound experience from only two speakers," said Craig Eggers, director of consumer channel marketing, Dolby Laboratories. "Dolby Laboratories has a widely recognized and established tradition in delivering high-quality surround-sound entertainment to the cinema and home theater alike. With the introduction and implementation of Dolby Virtual Speaker technology, Dolby now establishes itself as the definitive leader in virtual surround-sound technologies."

Dolby Virtual Speaker Technology Transforms Surround Sound

The Dolby Virtual Speaker algorithm (co-developed and owned by Lake Technology, Ltd.) is based on advanced psychoacoustic parameters that include an understanding of sound from both a technical and an experiential perspective. Dolby Virtual Speaker technology capitalizes on this biological, psychological, and physical understanding to create the impression of additional speakers positioned exactly at the recommended location for a Dolby Digital 5.1-channel surround-sound system.

Audio channels are processed through advanced filters that simulate the sonic signature of a speaker located within an acoustic space. By re-creating these waveforms-- precisely as they would be heard from real speakers--Dolby Virtual Speaker technology allows users to experience a very realistic sensation of five discrete sound sources over as few as two physical speakers.

Importantly, key center-channel dialogue, the most critical element of any surroundsound entertainment experience, is preserved in its entirety with Dolby Virtual Speaker technology. Previous virtualizer technologies tended to dissipate or obscure this crucial element.

Dolby Virtual Speaker technology was launched in fall 2002 to the PC industry, and is currently available on software DVD players from CyberLink, InterVideo, and Nvidia, as well as models from leading PC OEMs (including Sharp, NEC, Sony, Fujitsu, and Hitachi).

About Dolby Laboratories

Dolby Laboratories is the developer of signal processing systems used worldwide in applications that include motion picture sound, consumer entertainment products and media, broadcasting, and music recording. Based in San Francisco with European headquarters in England, the privately held company also has offices in New York, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, and Tokyo. For more information about Dolby Laboratories or Dolby technologies, please visit

Dolby and the double-D symbol are registered trademarks of Dolby Laboratories. All other trademarks remain the property of their respective owners. S02/14569

Media Contacts:

Jim Arnold, Dolby Laboratories, Inc., Director of Public Relations, 415-645-5116
Colleen Martell, Martell Communications, 408-374-7420