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Dolby Atmos Cinema Sound Platform

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
There are only a little over a dozen theaters in the country using this sound platform so far. I'm heading down to Chicago on Saturday to see Brave at the Showplace ICON Theater. Will see if it truly makes a difference in the surround sound experience. smile.gif

http://www.dolby.com/us/en/consumer/technology/movie/dolby-atmos-details.html#
post #2 of 7
For those interested in Atmos, there's been adedicated thread about it since April:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1407030/dolby-atmos-theatre-system
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for that. That is a forum area I haven't visited before and it's got some interesting technical stuff. I noticed that the theater information (like in the link I posted) just showed up on June 17th.

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1407030/dolby-atmos-theatre-system/210#post_22141775

One person asked how do you tell which theater has the Dolby Atmos (DA) in a cineplex. My experience so far is that you have to call and ask. The Showplace ICON Theater in Chicago where I plan to go Saturday does not advertise DA anywhere on its website so you have to know what you looking for when you buy your tickets online.
post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.G View Post

The Showplace ICON Theater in Chicago where I plan to go Saturday does not advertise DA anywhere on its website so you have to know what you looking for when you buy your tickets online.
The Atmos showings were clearly marked when I went to their website:

http://showplaceicon.com/Showtimes.aspx?TheaterID=8146
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Ha! Yeah now they are, didn't look like this yesterday. smile.gif
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Attended the ICON Theater showing of Brave with my oldest daughter on Saturday. It was my first visit to the South Loop of Chicago in many years and it's experiencing quite a transformation - changing from an old manufacturing area to an upscale yuppie neighborhood complete with condos, apartments and new retail stores. The Roosevelt Collection cineplex opened in December 2009 and has 16 theaters, the Atmos sound was located in Auditorium 14. The auditorium had 284 seats, for some reason I had expected the theater to be larger. Although I didn't do an actual speaker count there are supposedly 64 separate channels with 2 arrays of overhead speakers. The sound-field was immersive but I'm not sure that Brave was the type of film that best showcased this new sound platform. The 3D and animation were very well done and get high grades but the story itself was lacking and the princess was particularly irritating until the final act which was not enough of a pay-off for me. However I came away with the feeling that Atmos is the future of sound although I'm not sure how many theater owners will buy into an expensive retro-fit. Definitely recommend you experience this if you have a nearby theater.

post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.G View Post

The auditorium had 284 seats, for some reason I had expected the theater to be larger. Although I didn't do an actual speaker count there are supposedly 64 separate channels with 2 arrays of overhead speakers.

Atmos supports up to 64 discrete channels. However, not every theater installation will use that many speakers. I don't know about the theater you went to specifically, but from your description I doubt it needed all 64. Unless I'm mistaken, the Dolby (nee Kodak) Theater in Los Angeles is the only of the launch locations to use the full 64-channel array.

The beauty of an object-based sound format like Atmos is that the soundtrack will map to however many speakers the theater has, from simple stereo up to 64 channels. Sounds in the track are rendered as objects in a three-dimensional space, and will be reproduced by whatever the nearest speaker happens to be.
Quote:
However I came away with the feeling that Atmos is the future of sound although I'm not sure how many theater owners will buy into an expensive retro-fit.

Depending on what sound system a theater currently has, the retrofit may actually not be that expensive. For example, Cinemark's "XD" auditoriums supposedly have a speaker layout that's a good fit for Atmos. One of those theaters would only need to install the Atmos decoder.
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