Dolby Atmos For Home Theatre Systems Coming Soon
As we reported a few weeks ago, Dolby is stepping up its efforts to release a home version of its Atmos multi-speaker immersive audio system with the planned release of a series of demo discs, a white paper, information on setting up demo systems and an installation guide that highlights proper speaker placement. The guide will available around the time of the CEDIA Expo. Online PowerPoint presentations for dealers and suppliers are expected to be published within a month or so.
Additionally, Dolby is speaking to a number of partners about a joint publicity campaign to raise awareness of the new format amongst both dealers and end users to better understand their respective needs. Onkyo and Pioneer have already created Atmos micro sites containing educational videos and Dolby's own website is getting more Atmos content.
All of these efforts are focussed on getting potential customers into shops and demo areas where they can experience the technology first-hand as Blu-ray disc with Atmos soundtracks start to become available, with the addition of metadata into the substreams of a Dolby TrueHD soundtrack, which is already approved for Blu-ray use.
Once configured, Atmos AVRs and preamp processors will up-mix two-channel and multichannel content to Atmos, delivering height information to in-ceiling speakers or to angled height drivers embedded in Atmos-enabled left-right and surround speakers. Those drivers bounce height information off ceilings, including drop ceilings made of hard reflective surfaces.
Although any quality in-ceiling speaker is capable of delivering height effects, Dolby is operating a certification programme and recommends specific radiation patterns to widen the sweet spot to deliver an optimum experience to as many listeners as possible.
If you're not able to install a full Atmos system, Atmos soundtracks played through regular systems will be reproduced with enhanced sound. Atmos soundtracks are mixed specifically for cinemas with full-range surround speakers, and mixing engineers have been able to add more sound objects that can be enjoyed through home theatre systems.
Dolby's Brett Crockett has published a useful FAQ on their blog page to guide anybody who is interested in Atmos for the home.
Let us know if you have experienced one of these Atmos demos and tell us where so we can send other members of the community along for a listen.