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Dolby Has No Timetable For Home Theater Atmos Surround

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Dolby Laboratories is set to roll out its Dolby Atmos surround technology to digital cinemas, but there are no plans for migrating the technology to Home Theaters, said Stuart Bowling, Dolby’s senior worldwide technical marketing manager. Boo!


Quote:
Atmos uses “object-based” sound mixing to provide precise control over the placement and movement of individual sounds, or “objects,” anywhere within a movie theater through up to 64 discrete speakers, including multiple side speakers and multiple overhead speakers on the ceiling. Object-based mixing adds descriptive metadata to sounds to fix their playback location anywhere within a listening environment, no matter the room size or number of speakers, Dolby literature states. As a result, the technology delivers “pinpoint precision” of sound moving throughout a theater and creates a “hemisphere of sound,” Bowling explained. In theaters, the technology also delivers greater fidelity and resolution as a sound travels around a theater compared to 5.1- and 7.1-channel theater systems, he said.

When Atmos soundtracks are mixed, sounds are mixed based on where the sound exists in space rather than on which speaker will reproduce it, Bowling continued. The technology recognizes the size of a theater and the number and location of speakers to deliver accurate placement of sounds as they appear in the soundtrack mix.

Because the technology scales up and down, it can bring benefits to home theaters using far fewer speakers, Bowling said. Dolby is researching how the technology could be applied in the home and whether it could be used in optical discs and video streaming, he said.

Even in home theater systems with a traditional 7.1-speaker setup, Atmos would deliver more precise placement of sound, Bowling said in response to a question. The company is still researching whether overhead speakers would be needed in the home. The technology could also be applied to headphone playback, he added.

Dolby is also investigating whether the technology could be implemented in two-speaker audio systems and in soundbars, a spokesman later told TWICE.

In outlining the technology’s rollout to digital cinemas, Bowling said Atmos would expand to 80 to 100 cinemas worldwide by the end of the year, with another 30 to 50 going online in the first quarter of 2013. By the end of December 2013, 1,000 theaters would be capable of reproducing Atmos soundtracks. Today, 13 theaters in North America, including a theater in Manhattan’s Time Square, are Atmos-equipped.

Those theaters can choose from four Atmos-mixed movie titles announced to date, with two more to be announced soon for commercial release by the end of the year, Bowling said.

Announced titles are Fox’s Taken 2, Chasing Mavericks, and Life of Pi as well as Disney Pixar’s Brave.

What do you think about Dolby Atmos?

[Source]
post #2 of 13
yeah that makes sense seeing how they said that this tech was intended to revive the movie theater industry and give customers a new experience that they cant obtain at home...
post #3 of 13
I saw Disney's Brave at the El Capitan theater in Los Angeles where they promoted and premiered the Atmos technology with this movie and at that theater. It WAS quite impressive, but then again, so was the audio in general. I mean, I don't think that I've ever listened to a movie at what must have been reference level. It was so loud, yet so clear, I was amazed. There was a scene in the movie, where it is raining, and the characters are putting together a make-shift shelter and you CAN hear the rain hitting the "roof" overhead.

One of the main problems is that it works because of how tall the ceilings are in a movie theater. Who has or will ever have that in their home theater?

Can you imagine if you took the minimum 20 ft x 30 ft length and width for what DTS says you need to really take advantage of DTS Neo:X, and add a 20 foot (making this number up since I don't know what it really would take as a minimum) ceiling height minimum for Atmos. You basically are getting into a whole new realm of LARGE home theater, or small movie theater.

Not to mention that with that much space, you better have some awesome speakers, but a lot of amp power to run them and several (4+) large subwoofers.

Wowza! I want to see that, but I will never experience it.

Didn't Sony get a patent a few years back for the ability to "beam" images and sound directly into the human brain? Talk about how immersive THAT would be, and you don't need more than a small closet sized space to do that. Sure, they could brain wash you, but the movie experience would be AWESOME!
post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Chaves View Post

yeah that makes sense seeing how they said that this tech was intended to revive the movie theater industry and give customers a new experience that they cant obtain at home...

I second that smile.gif
post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Chaves View Post

yeah that makes sense seeing how they said that this tech was intended to revive the movie theater industry and give customers a new experience that they cant obtain at home...

Agreed. Besides, how am I supposed to install a total of 64 speakers in my 10' x 16' theatre room? wink.gif
post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Chaves View Post

yeah that makes sense seeing how they said that this tech was intended to revive the movie theater industry and give customers a new experience that they cant obtain at home...

I agree 100%
post #7 of 13
I would be happy with just being able to utilize more than 2 height speakers without " doubling up " on an existing channel meant for the surrounds.
post #8 of 13
Eventually this, or something similar, will make it to HT. Makes too much sense to have sound producing objects and let the receiver convert it to analog current for the speakers. I assume that you'll no longer have designations as front, center, rear. Instead you'll have speaker 1, speaker 2, ..., speaker N. Having a good calibration will be critical.
post #9 of 13
Well, even in a 5.1 system, having a good calibration is critical.
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by nickbuol View Post

There was a scene in the movie, where it is raining, and the characters are putting together a make-shift shelter and you CAN hear the rain hitting the "roof" overhead.

One of the main problems is that it works because of how tall the ceilings are in a movie theater. Who has or will ever have that in their home theater?
Why would commercial theatre ceiling height be a requirement at home? If you install a couple of speakers above you and play that same sound of 'rain hitting the roof', which direction will you hear it coming from?
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Chaves View Post

yeah that makes sense seeing how they said that this tech was intended to revive the movie theater industry and give customers a new experience that they cant obtain at home...

Lexicons Quantum Logic to the rescue!

When, and if it will trickle down from flagship to affordable, who knows
post #12 of 13
they wont release it for the home theater crowd since the technology in todays home theaters can translate into a better movie theater experience.
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

Why would commercial theatre ceiling height be a requirement at home? If you install a couple of speakers above you and play that same sound of 'rain hitting the roof', which direction will you hear it coming from?

The problem with roof speakers does not manifest itself as long as you use a single channel. The problem starts the moment you start having multiple channels as they will be so very close to the people sitting that there will be a big difference in volume between the speaker you're sitting just below and the one on the other side of the room (think - sitting non-centered). To compensate for this, we will have to start thinking about sound radiation patterns that are weaker straight down than to the sides... and then I guess in-ceiling speakers will be off the chart.

( Already 11.1 front-highs placed on the correct angles (45 degrees sideways, 45 degrees up) have this issue at they will end up somewhere on the ceiling in most our rooms rather than on a wall. Which they very well know themselves and thus "tell us" to place them in a position that's wrong from the point of decoding, but more possible in our rooms. )
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