Barcelona, Spain – Dolby is upgrading its
post-processing audio technology for cellphones with the addition of
Dolby Digital Plus surround-sound decoding and two-channel Dolby Pulse (HE AAC)
The inclusion of Dolby Digital Plus will support new handsets
expected to arrive in the U.S. and Europe “in the very near future,” said
marketing director Rolf Schmitz in making the announcement here at the Mobile
World Congress trade show.
Like before, Dolby Mobile post processing delivers a surround-sound
experience through any headphone pair. It also continues to up-mix mono to
stereo, up-mix stereo to 5.1-channel surround, and enhance bass response and
clarity. It widens the soundstage heard
through handset-embedded speakers and docking-station speakers, and it
reinforces the high frequencies that often suffer when music or soundtracks are
Initial handsets incorporating Dolby Mobile with Dolby Digital
Plus will be designed to stream video in surround sound via Wi-Fi or play back
video and surround-sound tracks side-loaded from a PC, said Schmitz. Carriers
aren’t likely to support Dolby Digital Plus as part of an over-the-air
video-streaming service because, although Dolby Digital Plus is
bandwidth-efficient, it still operates at a high bit rate, Schmitz said.
To go with the surround codec, Dolby is also upgrading the
virtual-surround experience through headphones to take advantage of Dolby
Digital Plus’s discrete multichannel decoding.
With onboard decoding, Schmitz also noted, consumers will be able
to connect their devices to a TV to play back device-stored content in surround
sound, if the device is equipped with HDMI output or optional HDMI docking
As a post-processing technology, it’s also compatible with such
multichannel-audio codecs as MPEG Surround, Dolby said.
To date, about 30 handsets worldwide feature the previous iteration
of Dolby Mobile, including LG models in the U.S.,
Dolby’s Web site shows. The technology appeared in cellphones for the first
time in late 2007 in Japan.