Dolby Labs buys Spanish rival

Cinema and broadcast audio specialist Dolby Laboratories has bought a Barcelona-based audio rival, IMM Sound. The deal helps further consolidate Dolby’s influence over high-end cinema installations.

IMM Sound equipment is supplied to around 40 cinemas, and was seen as a direct rival to Dolby’s recently launched ‘next generation’ audio system, Dolby Atmos. A Dolby senior staffer admitted that IMM was involved in similar work to Dolby. “We thought if we combine forces it would allow for more rapid adoption,” Dolby’s SVP Cinema Doug Darrow told the Hollywood Reporter.

Dolby, and IMM, see cinema patrons looking for ever more adventurous theatre sound and its Atmos concept places loudspeakers around the auditorium and on cinema ceilings and permit for highly-sophisticated sound mixes of blockbuster movies. Moreover, the system can handle up to 128 dedicated audio feeds.

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