Belfast audio tech firm in iPod and TV market deals


24 Apr 2009

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A wireless audio firm from west Belfast, which provided surround sound at the most recent Oscars ceremony, has struck several major deals for the wireless portable music market.

APTX has developed its ground-breaking ‘Lossless audio codec’ technology, and the company’s professional audio compression technology, branded ‘apt-X’, is now being used in the latest radio studio broadcast equipment made by two different German electronics firms, MAYAH Communications GmbH and Qbit GmBH.

Meanwhile, Pennsylvania-based Linear Acoustic, a pioneer in multi-channel audio control, will deploy ‘apt-X Live’ in a new system for improved distribution of surround-sound audio for high-definition (HD) broadcasts among television studios.

Linear’s system was used during the last Oscars ceremony in Los Angeles to feed 5.1 surround-sound tracks from movie excerpts to the massive US TV audience which the Academy Awards event attracts.

The new product from APTX is called ‘apt-X Lossless’ – the result of the company’s on-going R&D activity – is aimed at a fast-emerging range of HD audio-video applications, especially in consumer electronics.

While in Las Vegas for the NAB tradeshow, Jonny McClintock of APTX said: "These new business deals are very satisfying, and significantly, they follow the recent sale of our APT hardware business unit to the French group Audemat.

“These deals validate our business model going forward – as a leading developer and licensor of high-tech audio software for digital entertainment markets – and demonstrate that on-going R&D investment in new technology pays dividends.

“There is intense interest in our new product offering – apt-X Lossless is quite unique and is the first in a new class of ‘scalable’ and ‘intelligent’ audio codecs.

“I can also say that wireless stereo audio products with ‘apt-X inside’ for iPod-type markets are to be launched before the summer. These are exciting times for APTX."

APTX (previously known as Audio Processing Technology) is celebrating 20 years in commerce since its origin from academic research at the electronics department at Queen’s University Belfast.

By John Kennedy

Pictured: the Oscars 2009, for which APTX provided surround sound