Intellectual property solutions provider Via Licensing Corp. has announced it is making the MPEG xHE-AAC audio codec available as part of the AAC [Advanced Audio Coding] patent pool.
Through the move, Via and AAC licensors aim to encourage and accelerate the adoption of xHE-AAC, the most recent member of the AAC family of audio codecs.
xHE-AAC technology could previously only be used in devices if manufacturers paid for an additional license in addition to an existing AAC license. By bringing xHE-AAC into its AAC patent pool, the company says it grants licensees access to xHE-AAC rights at no additional cost and reduces average per-unit cost through greater volume aggregation across all AAC related products.
“The addition of xHE-AAC technology increases the value of our AAC patent pool license,” said Joe Siino, president of Via Licensing. “Adding xHE-AAC to our patent pool ensures that broadcasters and service providers can deliver the next generation of audio to consumers efficiently and affordably.”
MPEG xHE-AAC applications include digital radio broadcasting, streaming over mobile and wired networks as well as terrestrial radio. It has already been adopted for the Digital Radio Mondiale broadcast standard.
DRM believes that this development will “boost the DRM receiver Industry.” It points out that receiver manufacturers implementing DRM technology will thus benefit from the no-additional-cost xHE-AAC codec and from Via’s special rates granted to those manufacturing receivers destined for use in emerging markets such as India, Indonesia, Pakistan, as well as many African, Arab and South American countries.
“This is a breakthrough initiative for DRM receiver availability as it gives an extra lift to digital receiver manufacturing,” said Ruxandra Obreja, DRM Consortium chairman. “The global receiver industry can now be confident that there are no extra costs but rather great cost savings in many relevant countries for manufacturing DRM or multi-standard DRM/DAB+ receivers.”
The expanded AAC patent pool license including xHE-AAC will be available to licensees starting in the last quarter of 2017. Via’s license fees are available here.