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Old 21st September 2022, 21:15   #1  |  Link
kurkosdr
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Patent expiration for E-AC3 (Dolby Digital Plus)?

E-AC3 (aka Dolby Digital Plus) is used exclusively for some terrestrial television broadcasts in Europe. For example:
https://www.digitalbitrate.com/dtv.p...live=3&lang=en
https://www.digitalbitrate.com/dtv.p...live=1&lang=en

This got me thinking:

- Is there a patent list (and anticipated expiration date) for decoding E-AC3?

I've tried Googling around and there is no information on the subject. All I can find is people talking about the expiration of AC3 patents and a ETSI patent declaration from 2004 (which, considering how old it is, I am not sure it covers E-AC3).

In fact, even pinpointing a "release date" for E-AC3 has also been impossible for me. Even Wikipedia doesn't have that information. Best I can find is that E-AC3 was a mandatory format for HD-DVD, and since the first HD-DVD player was released on 31st March 2006 (and has a "Dolby Digital Plus" badge), this gives us a "worst case" date of 31st March 2006 when it comes to prior art.

Does anyone have any information on the topic?

PS: The DigitalBitrate website can tell the difference between AC3 and E-AC3 (example of AC3 identified here), so the examples above are not a case of a misidentified stream. You really need an E-AC3 decoder to watch terrestrial TV in some EU countries...

Last edited by kurkosdr; 3rd October 2022 at 13:38.
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Old 25th September 2022, 09:56   #2  |  Link
hajj_3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kurkosdr View Post
E-AC3 (aka Dolby Digital Plus) is used exclusively for some terrestrial television broadcasts in Europe. For example:
https://www.digitalbitrate.com/dtv.p...live=3&lang=en
https://www.digitalbitrate.com/dtv.p...live=1&lang=en

This got me thinking:

- Is there a patent list (and anticipated expiration date) for decoding E-AC3?
https://hydrogenaud.io/index.php?topic=122053.0
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Old 25th September 2022, 23:57   #3  |  Link
FranceBB
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AFAIK 2026 at the very best for E-AC3 and by then AC4 will probably be widespread anyway and we're gonna be in the same situation we're now (i.e with AC3 patent expired and E-AC3 patent still in place and the codec being widespread)...
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Old 26th September 2022, 09:06   #4  |  Link
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AFAIK 2026 at the very best for E-AC3 and by then AC4 will probably be widespread anyway and we're gonna be in the same situation we're now (i.e with AC3 patent expired and E-AC3 patent still in place and the codec being widespread)...
EAC3 got a much needed boost with media streaming services, especially those that offer Atmos. But some audio streaming services are now offering MPEG-H
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Old 26th September 2022, 09:42   #5  |  Link
hajj_3
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Originally Posted by FranceBB View Post
AFAIK 2026 at the very best for E-AC3 and by then AC4 will probably be widespread anyway and we're gonna be in the same situation we're now (i.e with AC3 patent expired and E-AC3 patent still in place and the codec being widespread)...
I doubt it. AC4 has been out for 8yrs, still little adoption, no support in ffmpeg even though it is used by atsc 3.0. E-AC3 is widely used by streaming services, lots of tv's, amplifiers and set top boxes support it. AC3 is used by dvd's and european tv broadcasts and E-AC3 is commonly available on blurays as a part of dolby truehd and many tv broadcasts.

Last edited by hajj_3; 26th September 2022 at 09:50.
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Old 28th September 2022, 17:24   #6  |  Link
kurkosdr
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Originally Posted by hajj_3 View Post
This patent list includes patents for TrueHD, a newer format, so it is a worst case scenario but not a definite patent list for E-AC3. That's why I also asked here, this forum is frequented by people knowledgeable in this kind of stuff.

Last edited by kurkosdr; 28th September 2022 at 17:36.
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Old 28th September 2022, 17:35   #7  |  Link
kurkosdr
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Originally Posted by hajj_3 View Post
I doubt it. AC4 has been out for 8yrs, still little adoption, no support in ffmpeg even though it is used by atsc 3.0. E-AC3 is widely used by streaming services, lots of tv's, amplifiers and set top boxes support it. AC3 is used by dvd's and european tv broadcasts and E-AC3 is commonly available on blurays as a part of dolby truehd and many tv broadcasts.
The powers that be in ETSI and ATSC made AC4 and MPEG-H 3D Audio mandatory for UHD receivers (yes, both, despite both serving the same purpose, because why enable rent-seeking for one special interest group when you can do it for two)? And it's already being used in UHD terrestrial broadcasts in some EU countries (see here and here).

So it will be adopted no matter what.

Last edited by kurkosdr; 28th September 2022 at 17:37.
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Old 2nd October 2022, 23:18   #8  |  Link
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>support in ffmpeg even though it is used by atsc 3.0.

Anyone who needs it, has ffmpeg with it.
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Old 3rd October 2022, 21:08   #9  |  Link
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>support in ffmpeg even though it is used by atsc 3.0.

Anyone who needs it, has ffmpeg with it.
You mean decoding? Does it mean VLC and MPV support it too out of the box (and if not, why)?
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Old 4th October 2022, 01:47   #10  |  Link
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You mean decoding? Does it mean VLC and MPV support it too out of the box (and if not, why)?
Only decoding. richarddpl has patches. What do you mean out of the box? Both use ffmpeg. If you compile with those patches...
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Old 8th October 2022, 17:11   #11  |  Link
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What do you mean out of the box? Both use ffmpeg. If you compile with those patches...
I meant compiled without patches.
For me out of the box means "as it is" so basically with the "patches merged to master".
Anyway, since those have not been merged, is there a reason?
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Old 10th October 2022, 15:30   #12  |  Link
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I meant compiled without patches.
For me out of the box means "as it is" so basically with the "patches merged to master".
Anyway, since those have not been merged, is there a reason?
Some filters are not perfect per authors's, richarddpl's that is, opinion.
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