Not content with plain, boring old 7.1 sound? Then how about a surround sound system made up of 64 speakers?
Dolby has recently unveiled a new audio platform for cinemas which they call Dolby Atmos which the company says will create a more natural sound which can ‘envelop’ listeners. Their system uses a process called adaptive rendering, which Dolby says makes it possible to direct sounds as if they were ‘dynamic objects’, making it easier to deliver sound from multiple directions. It can transmit up to 128 simultaneous and lossless audio inputs on up to 64 discrete speaker feeds, including those placed in the ceiling directly above the audience. So if a film is showing someone walking in heavy rain for example, it will actually sound to the listening audience like the rain is coming from above them. Dolby calls Atmos its “most significant innovation in years” and plans to roll the audio platform out in selected ‘premium’ locations in the US, Europe, Japan and China later this year.
Dolby Atmos in the home
A more expansive rollout is expected in 2013, while the New York Times reports that that Dolby wants to eventually push the technology to home cinema set-ups as well. Better start saving for that bigger listening room!
Read also our recent article on ‘Sound Advice‘
Update 16 June 2012: Dolby released a list of 14 cinemas which will have Atmos up and running in time to show the first movie with Atmos technology. Disney/Pixar’s ‘Brave’ hits the screens on 22 June 2012 and thanks to the Atmos setup is ready to direct sound to listener’s ears from as many as 64 speaker feeds and 128 simultaneous inputs, combining with 3D visuals to increase viewer immersion (Source)