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A Legendary Home Theater Experience

A Legendary Home Theater Experience

Wow. You’ve stepped out of the movie theater having watched the blockbuster action film of the year. Your heart is pounding, your head is reeling. For the past 2 hours you were completely immersed, enveloped in the film. Every sight, every sound, perfectly orchestrated to put you at the center of the action. So, how did they do it and how can you replicate this immersive experience in your home theater

While you might have been drawn into the action through its stunning image quality, seeing details previously unseen, the same holds true for the audio. Whether DTS:X technology, Auro 3D or Dolby Atmos, 3D sound systems are bringing a new dimension to movies, gaming, television and music by adding a multi-dimensional level of realism.

You can hear a pin drop

Think about all the sounds around you; an object hitting the floor, a slamming door, a barking dog or even a whisper. You’re able to determine exactly where that sound is coming from. For a movie or game to simulate a real-life experience, it must recreate that same 3D experience.  Surround sound systems, having made a comeback in 1976 with the introduction of Dolby Stereo, ushered in a new era for audio. Popularity exploded in 1977 with the release of Star Wars and its engaging rear-channel effects. By the early ‘90’s we were enjoying 5.1 surround systems (remember 1999’s famous Matrix Lobby shootout in 5.1 HDR?) and eventually the 7.1 which brought audio to the rear of the room.  By 2004 we were enthralled with the breathtaking precision of the blind dancer in House of Flying Daggers as she meticulously replicates the strike of each surrounding drum with her scarves. And do you remember watching in awe as the Star Ship Enterprise navigated to the space dock in 2009 or being charmed as Wall-E catapulted himself through space using a fire extinguisher? Audio places a dimension to the event.

So how is it done? 

There are distinct differences between DTS and Dolby Atmos technologies, but each accomplishes an immersive audio experience by pinpointing sounds from the exact spots from which they originate.  DTS:X adds a height element to a surround sound system which improves sound accuracy. Without the need for additional speakers, and irrespective of the channel assignment or speaker placement, a compatible receiver can interpret and isolate an object’s location on-the-fly and direct its movement and volume. 

With Atmos, this is done using 64 speakers in a commercial movie theater. To replicate that experience in your home theater, however, requires only 14. Essentially, Dolby Atmos avoids the constraints of sounds being routed to specific channels. Instead, they are routed to particular speakers.  This demo video explains it well: Dolby Atmos Demo Sound Test

A Theater Worthy of a Legend

The blockbuster sensation “Bohemian Rhapsody” took full advantage of the Atmos technology and, in addition to a 4K image, provides a number of scenes showcasing Atmos on its UltraHD Blu-ray. The clearly defined sounds take you in and out of a sound studio and have you feeling like you’re a part of Live Aid 1985 singing “We are the Champions.”

According to Dolby, manufacturers can embed Atmos in both hardware and software, so that your game console, laptop, soundbar and even your smartphone, can support the technology. Are you ready to make immersive audio part of your home theater? Call for a demo or in-home consultation and we’ll make your theater legendary!

Additional Resources:

Surround Sound - The Audio Side of Home Theater

What is Dolby Atmos? All you need to know

Top 10 Most Cliché Home Theater Demos

The History of Surround Sound

Dolby Atmos Explained: What It Is, How It Works and Where to Get It

The Immersive Audio You've Never Heard that could Revolutionize Virtual Reality