Dolby Takes Atmos Object Audio Into Homes

SAN FRANCISCO — Dolby announced that Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. movies featuring Dolby Atmos soundtracks will soon be available for home theater enthusiasts with Dolby Atmos-enabled AV receivers and speakers. Dolby Atmos movies will be available this fall on Blu-ray Disc and through VUDU, the first streaming service to announce support for Dolby Atmos films.

Dolby Atmos is a type of audio processing that allows producers and sound mixers to “place” discrete sounds, or “audio objects,” in specific areas of a listening space, hence the working name, “object audio.” Object audio theoretically would allow a listener or viewer to adjust volume of dialogue only, for example, over background noise. It is said to offer much greater flexibility over traditional channel-based audio.

Dolby said that on Sept, 30, Paramount Pictures will release the first Blu-ray Disc to feature a Dolby Atmos soundtrack with “Transformers: Age of Extinction.” Both the regular and 3D Blu-ray Combo Packs will offer a Dolby Atmos soundtrack encoded in Dolby TrueHD. Paramount Pictures will look to support additional Dolby Atmos home theater titles via online streaming and Blu-ray Disc later this year. Dolby Atmos soundtracks are fully backward compatible, meaning they’ll play on traditional home entertainment playback systems.

Warner Bros. will also be among the first studios to support Dolby Atmos via online streaming and Blu-ray Disc offerings. Consumers who want to experience Dolby Atmos home theater products will be able to visit a variety of retailers for demonstrations. Magnolia Home Theater and Design Centers plan to feature Dolby Atmos demonstrations in select locations starting in October.

Also starting this fall, additional national and regional retailers including hhgregg, Future Shop, and Best Buy Canada will feature Dolby Atmos demonstrations in select locations, in addition to independent retailers such as Crutchfield and Bjorn’s. Beyond North America, consumers will be able to experience Dolby Atmos at leading home theater retailers such as Sevenoaks Sound & Vision in the United Kingdom, AVAC Corp. in Japan, and Bic Camera Inc., in Japan. More retail locations are expected globally as additional products are introduced into the market throughout the year.

Manufacturers who have announced Dolby Atmos AV receivers or pre-processors include Denon, Integra, Marantz, Onkyo, Pioneer, Steinway Lyngdorf, Trinnov Audio, and Yamaha. Manufacturers developing Dolby Atmos enabled speakers and add-on modules include Atlantic Technology, Definitive Technology, KEF, Onkyo, Pioneer USA, Teufel, and Triad Speakers. Onkyo also announced a Dolby Atmos equipped home theater-in-a-box system. Silicon providers Analog Devices, Inc., Cirrus Logic, and Texas Instruments have developed chips to support Dolby Atmos home theater AV receivers and processors. Additional manufacturers who have committed to delivering future Dolby Atmos products include Datasat Digital Entertainment, Emotiva Audio Corp, Outlaw Audio, Storm Audio, and NHT (Now Hear This).