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Google plans to take on Dolby with new open media formats under Project Caviar: Report

Google hopes to provide a technology that is said to be a step-up over Dolby’s.

Google plans to take on Dolby with new open media formats under Project Caviar: Report
Google plans to take on Dolby with new open media formats under Project Caviar.

Google is reportedly working on two new media formats to offer 3D audio and High Dynamic Range (HDR) video under a new brand name. Earlier this year, the Alphabet-owned company is said to have presented its internal Project Caviar open media format strategy during a closed-door meeting with hardware vendors.

Google’s new open media formats under Project Caviar may take on Dolby, a company that licenses its technologies— Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos – to vendors at a certain cost.

In a leaked video of the private meeting held with hardware manufacturers, Google’s Group Product manager, Roshan Baliga reportedly (via Protocol) said that the project’s objective was to create “a healthier, bigger ecosystem” for premium media experiences.

Google’s efforts to make open media a reality have mostly been concentrated on the creation of new open-source codecs. These are applications that compress and decompress audio and video files.

Project Caviar, on the other hand, will focus on creating 3D audio and HDR video formats that would seemingly offer richer and more immersive media playback experiences using existing codecs.

By delivering more flexibility around a larger variety of audio settings and enabling users to record video in HDR10+ and broadcast it via YouTube and other sites, Google hopes to provide a technology that is said to be a step-up over Dolby’s.

Dolby reportedly charges TV manufacturers anywhere from $2 to $3 just to license Dolby Vision. The company is said to charge up to $15 per licence for Dolby Atmos on Xbox consoles.

Samsung has attempted to set up HDR10+ as a competitor to Dolby Vision but the sheer number of Dolby Vision-enabled content now on popular streaming services ranging from Netflix, Disney+, to HBO Max suggest how difficult Dolby’s tech is to crack. It would be interesting to see how Google’s rumoured upcoming tech holds up against it.

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