Audio Codec xHE-AAC Available at No Additional Cost to Boost DRM Receiver Industry

Press Release

The DRM Consortium welcomes the announcement made by Via Licensing Corporation, a leading world-wide intellectual property solutions provider, of the highly efficient MPEG xHE-AAC audio codec (Extended High Efficiency AAC) to become in effect a default feature of the widely popular Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) patent pool. Through this announcement, Via and AAC licensors are taking steps to encourage and accelerate the adoption of xHE-AAC, the most recent and advanced member of the AAC family of audio codecs.

The MPEG xHE-AAC audio codec is a mandatory feature of the Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) standard. It is currently in use on DRM transmissions across the globe. Applications for MPEG xHE-AAC also include streaming over mobile and wired networks and terrestrial radio.

By making xHE-AAC available as part of its AAC patent pool, Via grants licensees access to xHE-AAC rights at no additional cost, and reduces average per-unit cost through greater volume aggregation across all AAC related products. In addition, DRM receiver manufacturers deploying the xHE-AAC technology will be able to benefit from special rates for emerging markets formerly only available to AAC licensors, including India, Indonesia, Pakistan, most African countries incl. South Africa, most Arab countries, most South American countries incl. Brazil, etc. More information on Via’s “Alternative Rate Structure” offer for the AAC patent pool is available at According to Via, the expanded AAC patent pool license including xHE-AAC will be available to licensees starting in the last quarter of 2017.

xHE-AAC combines two MPEG technologies, High Efficiency AAC v2, and Unified Speech and Audio Coding (USAC). It is designed to support the delivery of mixed speech and general audio content including music on mobile devices, radio broadcasts, and wired streaming services. xHE-AAC provides exceptional audio quality using low bit rates delivering a listening experience suitable for mobile devices, and can scale-up to offer audiophile-quality reproduction. The reduced bit rate helps broadcasters and mobile streaming audio providers distribute their content more efficiently. Consumers can enjoy high quality audio reproduction at lower bit rates, which reduces their mobile data consumption and costs.

“The addition of xHE-AAC technology increases the value of our AAC patent pool license,” said Joe Siino, President of Via Licensing. “Adding xHE-AAC to our patent pool ensures that broadcasters and service providers can deliver the next generation of audio to consumers efficiently and affordably.”

For Ruxandra Obreja, the DRM Consortium Chairman, “this is a breakthrough initiative for the DRM receiver availability as it gives an extra boost to digital receiver manufacturing. The global receiver industry can now be confident that there are no extra costs but rather great cost savings in many relevant countries for manufacturing DRM or even multi-standard DRM/DAB+ receivers.”

About DRM

Digital Radio Mondiale™ (DRM) is the universal, openly standardised digital broadcasting system for all broadcasting frequencies.

The DRM standard comprises two major configurations: One is intended for broadcasts on short, medium and long wave up to 30 MHz and providing large coverage areas and low power consumption with better-than-FM quality services. The configuration for the VHF bands above 30 MHz including the FM band is tailored for local and regional coverage with broadcaster-controlled transmissions and provides stereo services up to Surround Sound.

All DRM configurations share the same audio coding, data and multimedia services, service linking, multiplexing and signalling schemes.  DRM provides high quality sound combined with a wealth of enhanced features: Journaline text information, Slideshow, EPG, and data services.

The DRM Consortium was awarded by ITU for it outstanding contribution to the Telecommunications over the past years and has signed the EBU Smart Radio Memorandum that promotes access to free to air radio on all devices.

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About Vialicensing Corporation

Via Licensing Corporation is a global intellectual property solutions provider dedicated to enabling innovation in partnership with technology and entertainment companies and universities around the world. Via develops and manages licensing programs on behalf of highly innovative companies in markets such as audio, wireless, broadcast, and automotive. Via is a wholly owned subsidiary of Dolby Laboratories, Inc., a company with more than 50 years of experience in innovation and technology licensing. For more information about Via, please visit

Via Licensing Corporation
Tony Carter, 404-316-0201

Note to the Manufacturers of DRM Equipment

Equipment implementing the coding and modulation part of DRM requires the use of certain essential patents for which manufacturers need to make agreements with the patent holders.  The audio part of DRM falls entirely within the licencing of AAC undertaken by Via Licensing, a Licensing Administrator acting on behalf of the AAC licensor patent pool – see  The DRM Association and the DRM Consortium do not make any charges for the use of the DRM technology.


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