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Dolby Laboratories Unveils Dolby Pro Logic IIx

Sep 2, 2003

Technology provides up to 7.1 channels for stereo and 5.1-channel content

Indianapolis, September 2, 2003--Expanding upon its tradition of leadership in providing enhanced surround sound listening experiences, Dolby Laboratories has announced the introduction of Dolby® Pro Logic® IIx technology.

Dolby Pro Logic IIx technology provides home theater enthusiasts with a solution for 7.1-channel playback of traditional stereo and 5.1-channel content, while maintaining all the richness and clarity inherent in any Dolby audio technology.

Extending the advanced matrix decoding techniques first introduced in Dolby Pro Logic II and Dolby Digital EX, Dolby Pro Logic IIx, when added to a music or movie playback source, provides the most natural and seamless surround sound experiences available.

This new Dolby technology, when incorporated into audio/video receiver and processor products, will provide home theater enthusiasts with a flexible upgrade path, allowing them to connect extra channels and speakers to their 5.1- or 6.1-channel systems in the future.

Dolby Pro Logic IIx is the first technology to offer the choice of processing traditional stereo music and movie content into a 6.1- or 7.1-channel listening experience.

"Home theater is about personal choice and lifestyle. For many consumers, a traditional 5.1 system provides the best performance within their listening environments," said Craig Eggers, Director, Consumer Technology Marketing, Dolby Laboratories.

"However, with the introduction of Dolby Digital EX, home theater enthusiasts began integrating two rear speakers with their side surrounds," Eggers continued. "Soon, they were demanding independent 7.1-channel performance from their systems. Dolby Pro Logic IIx satisfies that need by introducing four independent full-range surround channels. The result is a highly compelling and natural multichannel listening experience."

Dolby Pro Logic IIx technology is ideally suited for a wide range of potential audiences, including:
  • early-adopter A/V enthusiasts upgrading 5.1-channel or Dolby Digital EX home theaters to 6.1- or 7.1-channel status

  • discerning listeners who demand a seamless, enveloping music and movie experience and the most versatility from their surround sound systems

  • consumers of traditional two-channel content (such as laserdisc, VHS, or stereo TV) who appreciate natural, full-range multichannel listening experiences

  • music lovers seeking a highly dramatic and natural-sounding multichannel experience from CDs, compact cassettes, MP3 files, and high-quality FM stereo broadcasts

  • video game enthusiasts who appreciate the dramatic spatial effects, low-frequency background ambience, and vivid imaging
Continuing the Tradition of Innovation

Dolby Pro Logic IIx technology expands upon highly sophisticated discrete and matrix decoding technologies developed by Dolby Laboratories, ensuring the highest quality and most thrilling audio experience available from today's entertainment software. Incorporating the very best elements of Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital EX, and Dolby Pro Logic II, Dolby Pro Logic IIx technology expands consumers' surround sound options beyond the 5.1-channel listening experience. Any speaker configuration from 5.1 to 7.1 channels can be used with Dolby Pro Logic IIx, depending on individual preference and system capabilities.

Products Coming Soon

The first consumer electronics products to incorporate Dolby Pro Logic IIx signal processing will be announced at the CEDIA 2003 show (September 5-7) in Indianapolis. These include:
  • Arcam DIVAAVR300 AV Receiver
  • Fosgate FAP-T1 Plus
  • Marantz SR7400
  • Meridian Audio Ltd G68 Surround Processor
  • Pioneer VSX-59TXi
  • Yamaha RX-Z9
The following hardware manufacturers will offer upgrades for current models in the marketplace. These include:
  • Denon AVR5803 A/V receiver
  • TAG McLaren AVR32
  • TAG McLaren AV192 R
  • Marantz SR9300, SR9200, SR8300, SR8200, and SR7300
  • Meridian Audio Ltd Model 861 Surround Processor
Dolby anticipates further announcements shortly from leading consumer electronics hardware manufacturers, including Harman Kardon, Integra, Kenwood, Onkyo, and Sony.

In addition, a variety of DSP implementations are being developed by leading manufacturers of integrated circuits including:
  • Cirrus Logic (CS49300) and (CS49400)
  • Fujitsu (MB8634x) and (MB86D4x)
  • Yamaha (YSS941) and (YSS942)
  • Analog Devices (SHARC Melody, ADSP2116IN)
  • Texas Instruments
  • Motorola
  • New Japan Radio Co. Ltd
  • Asahi-Kasei
"Dolby Laboratories' reputation for innovation and quality in developing multichannel surround sound technologies is well established with the theatergoer, the home theater enthusiast, and even the most casual listener," said Eggers. "Nevertheless, it is particularly gratifying to see so many of our partners embrace this new technology as soon it became available. We look forward to working with all of our partners to deliver this new technology to the home theater enthusiast," he added.

Partner Quotes Supporting Launch of Dolby Pro Logic IIx Technology

Analog Devices

"As a leading provider of audio processing technology for high-performance consumer and automotive audio applications, we are fully committed to supporting the latest audio standards," said Brian McAloon, Group Vice President and General Manager, DSP and System Products, Analog Devices, Inc. "With consumer demand rapidly moving toward 7.1 multichannel audio entertainment systems, Dolby Pro Logic IIx technology will enable customers of our SHARC Melody Platform to deliver the highest quality surround-sound experience for the home A/V enthusiast."

Denon

Stephen Baker, Denon Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, pointed out: "Denon is committed to providing our customers with products that incorporate the most advanced home entertainment technologies. Our flagship AVR-5803 receiver, hailed by reviewers as the finest audio/video receiver in the world, is a perfect example. With the addition of Dolby Pro Logic IIx as a soon-to-be-available upgrade, the AVR- 5803 will be even more desirable as an ultimate-performance component."

Fujitsu Limited

"Fujitsu Limited has incorporated Dolby Pro Logic IIx technology into its MB86344B 32-bit fixed-point DSP, with eight-channel audio inputs and outputs. By extending current Pro Logic II technology to 6.1 channels and higher, Dolby enables us to provide consumers with a seamless, natural-sounding, and extremely compelling audio experience from the wealth of existing two-channel content sources, no matter how many speakers the consumer uses, " said Mr. Toshiyuki Uehara, Fujitsu Limited. "Dolby Pro Logic IIx technology is an important advance in surround sound technology, and it will make our MB86344B even more attractive to home theater enthusiasts as well as makers of sophisticated home theater systems," he added.

Marantz America, Inc.

"As the world continues to move towards multichannel sound, Marantz is pleased to be the very first company to utilize Dolby Pro Logic IIx technology in our forthcoming SR7400 Home Theater Receiver. "With the ability to create 7.1 channels of information from any source, we ensure the most enveloping playback experience for our consumers," said Kevin Zarow, Director of Marketing, Marantz America, Inc.

Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc.

"Dolby has always been one of the leading audio technology companies, so it's no surprise that Dolby Pro Logic IIx technology is able to deliver the highest quality, enveloping surround sound experience for 6.1/7.1-channel systems." said Russ Johnston, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Home Entertainment at Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc.

Rockford Corporation

"Jim Fosgate designed the original Dolby Pro Logic II [DPL II] to provide audiophiles and casual listeners alike with superior multichannel performance from two-channel source recordings," said Brian Carlsness, Managing Director, Rockford Home Group. "We're thrilled to see Dolby introducing a 7.1 version that truly envelopes the listener in a seamless and natural soundfield. Our new FAP T1+ surround processor/preamp is the first of what will certainly be numerous products that take advantage of this exciting enhancement," he continued.

About Dolby Laboratories

Dolby Laboratories creates technologies that intensify and enhance the entertainment experience. For nearly four decades, Dolby has been instrumental in defining highquality audio and surround sound in cinema, broadcast, home audio systems, cars, DVDs, headphones, games, televisions, and personal computers. Based in San Francisco with European headquarters in England, the privately held company has entertainment industry liaison offices in New York and Los Angeles, and licensing liaison offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, and Tokyo. For more information about Dolby Laboratories or Dolby technologies, please visit www.dolby.com

Dolby, Pro Logic, and the double-D symbol are registered trademarks of Dolby Laboratories. All other trademarks remain the property of their respective owners. © 2003 Dolby Laboratories, Inc. S03/14888

Media Contact:

Jim Arnold, Dolby Laboratories, Inc., 415-645-5116, jja@dolby.com