F . CrewSeptember 22, 2022, 17:18:34 IST
It looks like Google is working on alternative audio and video formats that could replace Dolby Atmos and Vision if they have their way.
According to a report by Protocol, Google is looking to introduce two new media formats to deliver HDR video and 3D audio under a new consumer-recognizable brand without the licensing fees device manufacturers currently have to pay Dolby.
Although the final product is still miles from completion, leaked documents and notes indicate that engineers at Google are calling the product Project Caviar in their internal communications.
Dolby charges a licensing fee for device makers who want to add Atmos and Vision support, which is increasingly being advertised by streaming services as a premium feature. The protocol claims that they received a document that states that the manufacturer of broadcast boxes that sell in bulk for $50 must pay about $2 per unit for Dolby Vision and Dolby Digital.
What Google found “will be governed by an industry forum and made freely available to device manufacturers and service providers.” One way the company can stimulate hardware adoption is by having YouTube, which does not support Dolby Atmos or Vision, support it.
This comes at a time when spatial audio is being marketed as the next big thing in audio technology, while the video side of the Google format aims to allow end users to capture these premium formats and get better quality video.
Samsung, which co-developed HDR10+ as a royalty-free alternative to Dolby Vision, has tried to make HDR10+ a household name, but has largely failed to do so. This is why Google wants to try again.
Google is discussing Project Caviar with hardware manufacturers that will save costs. The company has also spoken with service providers. Samsung, for example, does not support Dolby Vision on its TVs due to an unwillingness to pay licensing fees. Likewise, the Dolby Vision format has not seen widespread adoption on Android mobile platforms.