Dolby Digital (AC3) US Patent Has Expired on February 1, 2017

Many TV boxes cannot play videos with Dolby Digital (AC3 ) audio because they lack the license, except if you use software like Kodi that downmixes the audio, but most apps won’t, and MX Player developers had to remove AC3 support from the Android app previously. But based on a forum post by Popcorn Hour, Dolby Digital AC3 US patent (that one?) has expired at the beginning of this month, so they can legally enable AC3 downmixing in their TV box that previously lacked the license including Popcorn Hour A410U/VTEN-U/A-500U/A-500 PRO-U.

That’s probably good news for other TV boxes too, as going forward, there’s no need to have Dolby Digital license to play AC3 content. Hopefully, apps and firmware images will be updated to reflect this change. You’ll still need a license for newer formats like Dolby True HD and Dolby Atmos however.

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9 Comments
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steom
steom
3 years ago

great news for chromecast!
hope that Google release a new firmware very soon!

Tarwin
Tarwin
3 years ago

“so they can not legally enable AC3 downmixing in their TV box that previously lacked the license”
Shouldn’t that “not” not be there?
And yeah, this is good news for future devices if nothing else.

zoobab
3 years ago

DTS threatened VLC developers a while back.

The letter is here:

http://libdca.wikidot.com/

Galileo
Galileo
3 years ago

That was 13 years ago and patents last for 20 years. Just saying.

Galileo
Galileo
3 years ago

Is mp3 still protected by patents?

PhilS
PhilS
3 years ago

@Galileo

Until April I believe.

FransM
FransM
3 years ago

There are several patents related to MP3, some already have expired; a few others expire this year. Google can help you with that (I don’t think I can post links here)

Jerry
Jerry
3 years ago


Mp3 is still protected by patents 5960037, 6023490, 6009399. Luckily they will expire on 9th and 16th April this year.

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