Alliance for Open Media logo.
To enlarge / Alliance for Open Media logo.

Alliance for Open Media

Google can basically do whatever it wants with video and web standards. YouTube is the most popular 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 Google wants to distribute can instantly have a large user base of clients, servers, and content. From there, just tag a few partners. This is the next generation of Google AV1 video codec goes on sale, and after that Google focuses on HDR and 3D audio standards.

Janko Roetgers from Protocol There’s a report on “Project Caviar,” Google’s plan to take on Dolby and create royalty-free alternatives to the HDR standard (Dolby Vision) and 3D audio standard (Dolby Atmos). Dolby’s old media business model relied on royalties from equipment manufacturers and support from content creators. The company’s technology is deeply embedded in movie theaters, Blu-rays, and more modern streaming companies like Apple. great supporters Dolby technology. All of this costs money, and the Protocol report says that $50 streaming sticks give Dolby about $2 of that price tag.

Surround sound has been a feature of movies forever with varying numbers of front, rear and side speakers, but Dolby Atmos adds height into the equation. If you take a 5.1 or 7.1 speaker configuration—that’s three front speakers, two rear speakers, a subwoofer, and two side speakers for 7.1—Dolby Atmos adds four overhead speakers that allow sound to be transmitted above the viewer. Atmos is powered by Apple, NetflixHBO Max and Disney+.

Google is fighting Dolby through the Alliance for Open Media standards group, which includes Amazon, Apple, Arm, Google, Intel, Meta, Microsoft, Mozilla, Netflix, Nvidia and Samsung as “founding members”. This is the same group behind the AV1 standard that originated from Google Acquisition of On2 and open source its video codec.

Neither Dolby Vision nor Atmos competitors require new codec development. Google’s strategy is mainly to standardize the delivery of audio and video data, which does not involve paying Dolby and branding well enough to compete. To begin with, the group already has specifications for “Immersive Audio Container” published online and describes itself as “a codec-agnostic audio bitstream format for delivering three-dimensional sound fields that can be used for multi-channel audio playback.” Group for HDR, HDR10+ a standard originally developed by Samsung but with no content.

It is not yet known which consumer facing brand these standards will be. This is a big deal because the name “Dolby” still holds a lot of sway among home theater enthusiasts, and it means that streaming apps can market the Dolby brand as a premium add-on, creating demand for the standards. Few companies have enough clout over the media space to push a new standard, but Google is one of them. As we have already seen with AV1, support for YouTube, Android, Chrome and any hardware manufacturers Search is a strong support for obtaining a license to YouTube.

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