Milford, PA. Altec Lansing Technologies Inc. announced yesterday that it has been awarded a U.S. patent for the surround sound technology employed in its ACS55, ACS400, and ACS500 mutlimedia speaker systems. These are unique “side firing” systems intended for use with computers, televisions and other consumer entertainment systems.
These products are recent results of the strategic alliance between Altec Lansing and Dolby Laboratories. The ACS500 and ACS400 are computer-oriented systems that feature built-in Dolby® Pro-Logic™, while the ACS55 is a computer game system with Dolby Surround™ circuitry onboard. In all three products, the surround image is projected using the newly-patented technique. All three systems also reproduce a fifth audio channel for low-frequency content via an external powered subwoofer.
The audio technology covered by this new patent includes the use of two side firing stereo speakers to reproduce four channels (surround, center, left and right) on a single listening plane. Two powered, shielded speaker enclosures are positioned in front of the line of sight of the viewer. Each speaker has either a right or left channel driver, center channel imaging, and a side-firing surround sound speaker opening.
The angles of the respective surround sound driver and speaker openings create a listening plane which surrounds the user with audio characterized by high intelligibility, clear articulation and enhanced spatial effects.
Altec Lansing plans to develop new surround sound audio systems based on this technology, including hardware and software packages for the computer retail, OEM and home entertainment markets. Dell Computers and Gateway 2000 already plan to introduce multimedia products implementing Altec’s audio reproduction system as key components this fall. Other Altec Lansing OEM partners offering the company’s patented surround sound audio solutions include AST and Fountain Technologies.
“Title developers and other content providers are creating an increasing array of material which includes better quality audio,” commented Edward Anchel, President and CEO of Altec Lansing Technologies in making this announcement. “Too often the limiting factor has been the speakers being used to listen to these surround sound titles. The products covered by this new patent overcome those audio limitations while also including innovative and user-friendly designs.”