Santa Ana, Calif. — SRS Labs, developer of surround sound, audio and voice technologies, said it has reached deals with three manufacturers to include its SRS TruSurround XT system in forthcoming flat-panel TV products.
The company said Vizio and Syntax Brillian have agreed to incorporate the technology in flat-panel TVs for the U.S. market, while Sharp will add the surround sound enhancement system to Aquos LCD TVs in the European and Asian markets.
In addition to the new deals, SRS Labs said the strengthening of several existing worldwide partnerships with flat-panel TV suppliers have resulted in a 28 percent increase in global flat-panel TVs sold using SRS technologies.
The company said nine of the top 10 brands of 30-inch and larger flat-panel TVs are using SRS sound-enhancing technologies. These include: Samsung, Sony, Panasonic, LGE, Sharp, Toshiba, Vizio, Sanyo and Hitachi.
In addition, during 2007, SRS Labs signed licensing agreements with 10 new manufacturers around the world including Sanyo, Skyworth, Loewe, Beko, Vestel and Profilo.
Under the new deal with U.S.-based Vizio, the flat-panel TV supplier will have access to SRS’ portfolio of audio and surround-sound technologies for TV and accessory products. Vizio’s first technology implementation will be SRS TruSurround XT in flat-panel TVs, beginning in the second quarter of 2008, SRS said.
SRS TruSurround XT is a multichannel processing technology that takes the surround content found in television shows and movies and creates an immersive experience using the TV’s built-in stereo speakers, the company said.
“With the size of the bezels shrinking in each new generation of flat-panel TVs, audio quality becomes a greater concern because the drivers are also becoming increasingly smaller. With TruSurround XT it is possible to provide correction for even the smallest speakers, regardless of whether they are down-firing or side-firing,” according to an SRS statement.
Vizio will initially ship three models with SRS TruSurround XT, including a 42- and a 47-inch LCD and a 50-inch plasma. Starting in the second quarter of 2008, these models will be available at Costco, Sam’s Club, Wal-Mart, Sears, Kmart and Circuit City.
SRS Labs and Vizio said they will support their agreement by running a sweepstakes that will give away three SRS TruSurround XT-enabled flat-panel TVs. The sweepstakes, which can be entered at www.srslabs.com/TVsweepstakes, will take place June 10–July 4, 2008.
Similarly, Syntax-Brillian, supplier of Olevia-branded LCD TVs, said it has licensed SRS TruSurround XT for its 2 series and 6 series HD LCD TV lines.
Syntax-Brillian will begin shipping the new 2 series and its 6 series Olevia LCD HDTVs with SRS Labs’ TruSurround XT to its North American retailers this summer.
Sharp, meanwhile, is adding the TruSurround XT system to Aquos LCD TVs slated for Asia and Europe. The licensing agreement covers 40 models, ranging in sizes from 32 inches to 52 inches, SRS said. These include 25 models for Asia market and 16 models for Europe. Sharp has licensed other SRS surround technologies in past, but the current agreement marks its first use of the TruSurround XT platform.
Market research firm DisplaySearch reported 91 million flat-panel TV units shipped worldwide in 2007, of those, more than 27 million units featured at least one or more SRS technologies. This resulted in SRS Labs realizing a 32 percent increase in revenues from technologies shipped in flat-panel TVs compared to 2006.