Advanced Television

Dolby readies ‘Atmos’ for the home

August 12, 2014

By Chris Forrester

Noise-reduction specialists Dolby Labs is about to debut its latest immersive surround sound system, Atmos, onto home entertainment systems. More than 100 Hollywood titles are already mastered in Atmos and Dolby says it has created the authoring tools that would permit studios to create an Atmos audio version for the home.

Initially, Dolby expects the first releases to appear on Blu-ray players which are enabled with Dolby’s TrueHD codec, and OTT services which use Dolby Digital Plus. Both TrueHD and Dolby Digital Plus are being upgraded to handle the new Atmos format.

Dolby’s director of sound research, Brett Crockett, told the Hollywood Reporter that while the cinema version depended on overhead loudspeakers, the home version would be adapted. “Height is an important part of Atmos, so we adapted that experience so that the consumer can get that in the living room or on a mobile device. For the home theater environment we’ve put together a renderer in home receivers that renders to a height plane. We also partnered with manufacturers to develop Atmos-enabled speakers. Using the ceiling we create reflected sound that sounds like overheads.”

A large number of home equipment manufacturers have already confirmed they will make, or are making, Atmos receivers including Denon, Marantz, Pioneer and Yamaha.

Atmos will also percolate into smartphones via Dolby i which is also being adapted to ‘virtualises’ the overhead experience.

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