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) decoding.
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 compressed.
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 station.
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.