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Dolby Joins With Chinese Firms on Blu-ray

Dolby Laboratories said it will assist and CE makers in China to develop Blu-ray Disc products for both the Chinese and other markets. Three Chinese firms have agreed to legally license Dolby's proprietary lossless compression technology (TrueHD)—as well as Dolby Digital Plus, the American firm's 7.1 channel surround-sound system destined for a growing percentage of future Blu-ray packaged content.

Beyond its deal with Chinese manufacturers, Dolby said in a statement it's also working "to raise the awareness" of HD audio among Chinese consumers and will work with content providers and distributors to support the development of the Chinese HD industry. The deal could turn out to be significant, since piracy has long been a major problem for legitimate CE interests throughout the Asian nation of 1.3 billion people.

The three Chinese companies affected by the new Dolby agreement include TCL, MIT Technology and Lite-On IT.