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Entertainment Features Become Must-Have on PCs for College Students, Dolby Survey Finds

Aug 11, 2010

Improvements in Audio Still Wanted to Fulfill Consumer Demands

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug 11, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- A shift is happening in the way young Americans prefer to experience entertainment, with approximately 60 percent of surveyed college students in the US now using their PCs most, and not televisions, for entertainment. The majority of students also believe PCs deliver the best overall entertainment experience and as a result, expect higher-quality audio to accompany the rich graphics quality they are getting on their screens, according to research released today by Dolby Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE:DLB).

Of the students surveyed, 77 percent listen to music on their PCs and 70 percent use their PCs to watch video. In addition, 64 percent watch entertainment on their computers with others (regularly, often, or sometimes), as opposed to just 44 percent of the general population surveyed.

The Importance of Audio

Of the college students surveyed, 94 percent rated crisp, clear audio as an important feature for the optimal entertainment experience on their computers, with only slightly more than a third (38 percent) saying they are "very satisfied" with their computers' audio quality. Furthermore, 48 percent of college students (and 42 percent of the general population), would use their computers more for entertainment if the audio quality was better.

When college students experience "good" audio on their computers they feel "excited" (43 percent versus 36 percent of the general population) and "engaged" (46 percent versus 33 percent of the general population). Approximately 36 percent of students said that if their PCs had better audio they would show them off to friends.

"While it has become apparent that consumers are using their PCs to watch movies and TV, play games, and listen to music, this is one of the first times we've heard that consumers, specifically college students, now expect high-quality audio on their personal computers," said Mary Anderson, Director of Marketing, PC Segment, Dolby Laboratories. "We are excited to hear that audio has become such an important component of the PC entertainment experience and will continue working with manufacturers to help improve this experience for the rapidly-evolving computer user."

Impact on Purchase Behavior

College-age consumers in the US--a demographic most would expect to have tight budgets--are more willing to invest in higher-quality PC audio and peripherals than other groups of Americans.

Surveyed college students said they would be willing to pay $824 for their next PC if it came with an ideal audio setup, compared to the general population, who would pay only $719. College students are also willing to pay more for a good pair of headphones, a set of good speakers, and a surround sound setup.

Of college students surveyed, almost 60 percent expect most entertainment to be PC-based in the future. In fact, around the same percent would choose to have a PC-based entertainment system if cost and set up were not an issue.

Dolby has leveraged its audio expertise in movie and home theaters to shape the way sound is delivered for connected devices, games, mobile phones, and PCs. PCs featuring Dolby(R) technologies deliver vibrant surround sound and allow users to enjoy movie soundtracks, music, TV, and games as the sound mixers, directors, and content creators intended them to be heard. A variety of desktops, laptops, and netbooks with premium audio technologies from Dolby are available from Acer, HP, Lenovo, Sony, and Toshiba. For more information visit: www.dolby.com/PC.

Research Methodology

The online survey of 300 college students and 301 general population participants in the US was conducted from June 14-22, 2010 by Penn Schoen Berland. Respondents were ages 16 and over: data for the general population was weighted to reflect US Census data on gender, age, and household income. The margin of error for the total sample is approximately plus or minus four percent. A full report on the research is available by contacting Derek Brookmeyer at djbroo@dolby.com.

About Dolby Laboratories

Dolby Laboratories (NYSE:DLB) is the global leader in technologies that are essential elements in the best entertainment experiences. Founded in 1965 and best known for high-quality audio and surround sound, Dolby creates innovations that enrich entertainment at the movies, at home, or on the go. Visit www.dolby.com for more information.

Dolby and the double-D symbol are registered trademarks of Dolby Laboratories. All other trademarks remain the property of their respective owners. S10/23211 DLB-G

SOURCE: Dolby Laboratories

Dolby Laboratories
Derek Brookmeyer, 415-645-5838
djbroo@dolby.com

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