Dolby Atmos

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Dolby Atmos is the name of a surround sound technology announced by Dolby Laboratories in April 2012, which was first utilized in Pixar's Brave.[1]

History[edit]

The first installation was in the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California, for the premiere of Brave in June 2012.[2] Throughout 2012, it saw a limited release of about 25 installations worldwide, with an increase to 300 locations in 2013.[3]

Technology[edit]

The Atmos technology allows for an unlimited number of audio tracks to be distributed to theaters for optimal, dynamic rendering to loudspeakers based on the theater capabilities. That is, Atmos enables the re-recording mixer (using a special version of industry-standard Pro Tools digital audio workstation software) to designate a particular location in the theater, as a three-dimensional volume, where each dynamic sound source should seem to be coming from.[4] Ambient sounds are still separately pre-mixed in a traditional multichannel format. During playback, each theater's Atmos system mixes and renders all dynamic sounds in real-time to make it seem each sound is coming from its designated spot, in a manner customized to that particular theater's speaker configuration. By way of contrast, traditional multichannel technology essentially burns the audio tracks into a fixed number of channels during post-production. This has traditionally forced the re-recording mixer to make up-front assumptions about the playback environment that may not apply very well to a particular theater (to the extent its capabilities differ from the mixing stage where the mixer was working).

The first generation cinema hardware, the "Dolby Atmos Cinema Processor" supports up to 128 discrete audio tracks and up to 64 unique speaker feeds.[5] The technology will initially be geared towards commercial cinema applications only, but may later be adapted to home cinema.[6][7] In addition to playing back a standard 5.1 or 7.1 mix using loudspeakers grouped into arrays, the Atmos system can also give each loudspeaker its own unique feed based on its exact location, thereby enabling many new front, surround, and even ceiling-mounted height channels for the precise panning of select sounds such as a helicopter or rain.[8]

Home theaters[edit]

At the end of June 2014, Dolby Labs' hardware partners announced that Dolby Atmos would soon be coming to home theaters.[9]

Among them were several established manufacturers of audio-visual home entertainment devices announcing new products that will bring Dolby Atmos into home theaters across the globe in the imminent future. Products offered will range from premium home cinema receivers and preamplifiers to mid-range home-theater-in-a-box (HTiB) packages of well-known brands such as Denon, Marantz, Onkyo, Pioneer and Yamaha; further models—also from lesser-known manufacturers and brands—will be following before the end of 2014 and through the first half of 2015.[10][11][12][13][14][15]

The first movie to be released on Blu-ray with Dolby Atmos was Transformers: Age of Extinction.[16] Several additional releases will be available on Blu-ray-Disc in stores through the end of 2014 and, beginning in 2015, there will be numerous releases of both current and catalog titles.[17][18]

Further information about how Dolby Atmos will integrate into the Atmos Home Theater environment is now being published around the web.[19]

It remains to be seen if consumers are willing to embrace more speakers in a market that may demand less than believed by some of the authorities in the audio industry.[20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Pixar's Brave to debut new Dolby Atmos sound system". BBC News. 25 April 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-26. 
  2. ^ Giardina, Carolyn (May 1, 2012). "Peter Jackson Considering Dolby Atmos for 'The Hobbit'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2012-06-02. 
  3. ^ http://investor.dolby.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=799045
  4. ^ Authoring for Dolby Atmos Cinema Sound Manual (Third ed.). Dolby Laboratories, Inc. 2014. pp. 69–103. Retrieved 7 December 2014. 
  5. ^ Hidalgo, Jason (April 26, 2012). "Dolby's Atmos technology gives new meaning to surround sound, death from above". Engadget. Retrieved 2012-06-01. 
  6. ^ "Dolby Atmos surround sound technology could transform video games". Digital Trends. April 24, 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-02. 
  7. ^ Bolton, Nick (April 24, 2012). "New Dolby Technology to Make Horror Movies Scarier". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-06-01. 
  8. ^ Webster, Andrew (April 24, 2012). "Dolby Atmos audio hits moviegoers with sound from all directions". Vox Media. Retrieved 2012-06-01. 
  9. ^ "Dolby Atmos for home theaters: FAQ". Dolby Laboratories Inc. Retrieved 2014-07-19. 
  10. ^ "Denon Press Release: Denon Unveils New AV Receivers for Dolby Atmos Sound". Retrieved 2014-07-19. 
  11. ^ "Marantz Press Release: Marantz Unveils New AV Receiver and Preamp/Processor for Dolby Atmos Sound". Retrieved 2014-07-19. 
  12. ^ "Onkyo Press Release: New Onkyo High-End A/V Components Debut with Dolby Atmos, 4K/60 Hz Video, and Premium Build". Retrieved 2014-07-19. 
  13. ^ "Onkyo Press Release: Onkyo Unveils Dolby Atmos-Ready HTiB Packages, Speaker Systems, and Base-Model A/V Receiver with HDMI 2.0 and Bluetooth". Retrieved 2014-07-19. 
  14. ^ "Pioneer Press Release: Pioneer announce Dolby Atmos compatible high-end AV receivers". Retrieved 2014-07-02. 
  15. ^ "Yamaha Press Release: Dolby Atmos® through the new AVENTAGE RX-A3040 and RX-A2040 AV receivers.". Retrieved 2014-07-19. 
  16. ^ "Press Release: Dolby Atmos Comes to the Home Via Blu-ray and VUDU to Transport Entertainment Enthusiasts Into a New Dimension of Sound". Retrieved 2014-09-28. 
  17. ^ "Dolby Blog - Lab Notes: Dolby Atmos: Coming soon to a living room near you". Retrieved 2014-07-02. 
  18. ^ "Dolby Atmos Surround Sound Coming to Home Theaters". Retrieved 2014-06-24. 
  19. ^ http://www.audioholics.com/audio-technologies/dolby-atmos-home-theater-101
  20. ^ http://www.audioholics.com/editorials/dolby-atmos-home-theater

External links[edit]