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Altec Lansing awarded patent for innovative side firing computer and television speaker surround sound design.

MILFORD, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 3, 1996--Altec Lansing Technologies Inc. Thursday announced that it has been awarded a patent by the United States Patent and Trademark Office for its new engineering breakthrough which achieves true surround sound via computers, television and other entertainment systems through a unique side firing speaker system.

The patent covers the design and engineering of speaker systems that provide audiophile quality surround sound for the computer and TV markets. Altec Lansing products, incorporating technologies covered by this new patent, deliver home theater quality surround sound reproduction to multimedia computer and television users for the very first time.

The audio technology represented 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. Other attempts to create the image of surround sound through two speakers has resulted in "virtual" rather than true multi-channel audio reproduction.

This innovative design also means greater audio intelligibility, articulation of discrete sounds and enhanced special effects for computer and TV users without the need for additional speakers and complex wiring. As a result, audio quality and sound reproduction is maximized via computer and TV-delivered material, including entertainment and games, educational titles and business presentations.

"Title developers and other content providers are creating an increasing array of material which includes better quality audio. Too often the limiting factor has been the speakers being used to listen to these surround sound titles," commented Edward Anchel, president and chief executive officer of Altec Lansing Technologies in making this announcement. "The products covered by this new patent overcome those audio limitations while also including innovative and user-friendly designs."

Altec Lansing is already shipping surround sound computer speaker systems with technology covered by this new patent, including the ACS500 and ACS400 with built-in Dolby(R) Pro-Logic and the ACS55 computer game system with Dolby(R) Surround circuitry. The ACS500, ACS400 and ACS55 also reproduce a fifth audio channel with deep bass via an external powered subwoofer.

These products are recent results of the strategic alliance between Altec Lansing and Dolby Laboratories designed to deliver true surround sound solutions to the computer market.

Computer system manufacturers also feature audio systems based on this new patented technology as key components of their systems. Dell Computers and Gateway 2000 will feature new Altec Lansing speaker systems beginning this fall. Other Altec Lansing OEM partners offering the company's patented surround sound audio solutions include AST and Fountain Technologies.

The compact size of computer screens and other video monitors are accommodated via the development of this new patented solution so that "theater-type" sound reproduction is achieved via greater audio realism for the sound accompanying a video programs. This result could not can be accomplished with conventional "music-type" stereo imaging or "virtual" surround sound approaches.

Additionally, conventional speaker systems are too bulky, expensive and heavily-wired; thus are not appropriate solutions in the computer and small home theater environments. Conventional audio speakers are also not suitable for these applications since computer users need to hear surround sound in the "near-field" environment of a PC, rather than in a large living room or other spacious listening environment.

This new invention provides a sound reproduction system via two satellite speakers designed to be placed in front of the line of sight of a viewer using a monitor. Each powered, shielded speaker enclosure has, respectively, either a right or left channel driver, center channel imaging and a side firing surround sound speaker opening. Satellites, designed by Altec Lansing under this new patent, are designed to be placed on opposite sides of a monitor.

When placed in this manner, the angles of the respective surround sound driver and speaker openings create a listening plane which surrounds the computer user with audio characterized by high intelligibility, clear articulation and enhanced effects. Delivery of surround-sound encoded material is also maximized through this newly-patented design.

In addition to the ACS500, ACS400 and ACS55 models, the company intends to develop new surround sound audio systems including hardware and software packages for the computer retail, OEM and home entertainment markets. Related future Altec Lansing products will also include Universal Serial Bus (USB), Dolby(R) Digital and Digital Video Disc (DVD) capabilities.

Altec Lansing Technologies Inc., based in Milford, is combining its leadership in computer and home theater sound systems with additional developing technologies to deliver audio solutions for emerging technologies. The company is privately held and employs 500 people worldwide.

In addition to the company's U.S. headquarters and offices, Altec Lansing has offices in Asia and Europe. Altec Lansing's advanced development facility is in Israel.

Consumers interested in more information can call 800-648-6663 or visit the company on the World Wide Web at -0- EDITOR'S NOTE: -- Test review samples of the Altec Lansing products covered by

this patent, models ACS500, ACS400 and ACS55, are available

along with color slides and photos and other editorial support

by contacting Andrew Bergstein via telephone or email. -- Additional information and images, which can be downloaded,

are available on the Altec Lansing World Wide Web site, -0- Dolby Pro-Logic, Dolby Digital and Dolby Surround are registered trademarks of Dolby Laboratories.

CONTACT: Altec Lansing Technologies Inc., Milford

Andrew Bergstein, 814/234-1230, fax 814/234-6687
COPYRIGHT 1996 Business Wire
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Oct 3, 1996
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