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Will Dolby's New Atmos 62.2 Format Redefine Surround Sound?

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the wait-'til-they-remaster-top-gun dept.

Music 298

CIStud writes "Anyone who goes to see Pixar's new animated Brave film might come home with their ears ringing. Why? because Brave is the debut of Dolby Lab's new 62.2 surround sound format called Atmos, which adds new developments such as pan-through array and overhead speakers. With 62 speakers and 2 subwoofers, only a handful of theaters nationwide will be able to show the film at its full throttle. Dolby has produced a new highly informative video that talks about how movie sound has progressed from mono to stereo to LCR (left/center/right) to 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound and now Atmos. The big question is will the 62.2 format system be adapted for home theaters intent on emulating the immersive movie experience?" I've seen some busy input/output panels on home stereo equipment, but 62 channels is too many for my interconnect budget. Still, overhead sound seems like a good idea for some kinds of movie.

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let's see sound fee on top the 3d fee ontop of oth (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40413919)

let's see sound fee on top the 3d fee ontop of others fees and do you want a $4 coke with that?

Re:let's see sound fee on top the 3d fee ontop of (5, Funny)

jerk (38494) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414045)

$4 Coke?! Fill me in with your discount method!

Re:let's see sound fee on top the 3d fee ontop of (4, Funny)

Bigby (659157) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414159)

If you buy one and have it refilled about 12 times, then it equates to $4 a Coke.

Re:let's see sound fee on top the 3d fee ontop of (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40414207)

Re what? What fill? Stop making up nonsense words, man! This is important! The GP needs to know how you get such a discount in a movie theater!

Re:let's see sound fee on top the 3d fee ontop of (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40414463)

I know this is halfway a joke but don't you people have souvenir cups where you are? Harkins theaters here in the Phoenix area, and I assume company-wide, have a new cup every year. It is a large size plastic cup that is about $1.00-$1.50 more than a regular cup but only costs $1 to refill for the rest of the year. If you refill it once it is worth it. The only thing is that you have to remember to take it with you, but after awhile it becomes habit.

Re:let's see sound fee on top the 3d fee ontop of (1)

SilentStaid (1474575) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414483)

I find it funny that you're assuming free refills.

Re:let's see sound fee on top the 3d fee ontop of (2, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414571)

$4 Coke?! Fill me in with your discount method!

Move out of your expensive city. I'm twice as rich as someone 200 miles away in Chicago who earns the same salary as me, because everything costs twice as much up there (or more). Someone making my salary in New York City would probably be living in a cardboard box, but I live a comfortable middle class life here in Springfield.

I don't know what a Coke costs at a movie, but in a thread a while back a bunch of people pegged me as being a cheapass for leaving a quarter tip for a draft beer -- which I pay $1.25 for. That's a 20% tip, but everyone assumed I was paying five bucks for one like they do in Chicago.

Getting a little more on topic here, TFA was incredibly useless; youtube is firewalled off here. What is it with the lack of literacy these days? I don't absorb spoken information nearly as well as written information, TFA doesn't even say how many channels this is, where the speakers are placed, or anything. It does mention two "subwoofers" (we used to call 'em woofers in the stone age when every speaker enclosure had one, many of them fifteen inces or bigger, I've seen "subwoofers" only five inches across) and that's about it.

I've been putting down surround sound since the '70s when they first trotted out quadrophonics for home stereos. You needed two of everything but the turntable, including speakers (the most expensive part) plus a demodulator. And who sits in the middle of an orchestra to hear the symphony? In theaters it's just annoying when a phone rings from the exit sign two meters to the right of the screen (Gran Torino), and even worse when something explodes behind you (Star Wars V), destroying the immersion. I maintain that a movie only needs four channels, one at each corner of the screen.

Is 62.2 sixty two channels plus two woofers? I don't see how this would sound any more realistic than a channel for each corner.

Re:let's see sound fee on top the 3d fee ontop of (2)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414459)

let's see sound fee on top the 3d fee ontop of others fees and do you want a $4 coke with that?

You throw a bug into it and they knock half off when you show them the cockroach doing the backstroke.

But it's still full price for the popcorn with genuine simulated butter kinda-sorta-flavored grease which puts you in mind of melted crayons

...overkill...? (4, Insightful)

raydobbs (99133) | more than 2 years ago | (#40413921)

Why does this remind me of the spoof commercial I saw somewhere for the 12 blade facial razor, for the ultimate in close shaves? The thing looked like a damn textbook attached to a Bic razor handle. 62 speakers sound like extreme overkill in any environment outside a professional theater.

Re:...overkill...? (3, Funny)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 2 years ago | (#40413967)

Yeah, but just price the system at around $10-15 thousand and it'll be viewed as a bargain to the audiophile crowd. They'll make a good killing off those morons.

Re:...overkill...? (4, Funny)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414011)

Oh and it has to also use 64-bit/384kHz sound otherwise the superharmonic resonance won't be perfect.

Re:...overkill...? (2, Funny)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414107)

64/384? Please only a deaf luddite would use something so crude. Everyone knows the new standard of sound is a Z-bit / 300-Terahertz is the new standard.

Re:...overkill...? (4, Interesting)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414089)

They'll make a good killing off those morons.

And that's before you include the Monster cables.

Re:...overkill...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40414419)

Please, no self-respecting audiophile uses Monster Cables.

Re:...overkill...? (4, Funny)

lgw (121541) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414599)

Please, no self-respecting audiophile uses Monster Cables.

Seriously! No audiophile would be caught dead paying $50 for a $5 cable, it's $500 for that cable, minimum! $5000 if you want the good stuff - and don't forget the vibration isolaters for your $5000 power cable!

Re:...overkill...? (3, Insightful)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414205)

Yes it's overkill.
It's just a damn movie (or TV show). Especially since most of the sound isn't even real. It's just guys in a studio banging on drums and other crap to insert footsteps, closing doors, and other fake effects.

Re:...overkill...? (3, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414291)

Especially since most of the sound isn't even real. It's just guys in a studio banging on drums and other crap to insert footsteps, closing doors, and other fake effects.

It's still 'real' sound. In your average scene in the movie, pretty much none of the audio was recorded at the same time as the image. Especially for pretty much anything in a Pixar film for example.

I must say, I have a hard time disagreeing that 62 channels of audio isn't just a tad much. This sounds like something they're building because they can, not because it's going to make a real improvement in the movie experience. I can't see this being something which can be applied meaningfully to home setups.

Though, I bet some of the demos could be pretty cool as they revolve a sound source around you and other whiz-bang stuff which takes advantage of directionality of sound.

Re:...overkill...? (2)

Captain Hook (923766) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414457)

I can't see this being something which can be applied meaningfully to home setups.

Maybe thats the point, trying to give cinema's an advantage?

Re:...overkill...? (1)

David_Hart (1184661) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414619)

Yes, it's overkill. However, it would allow film makers to precisely place sounds in a 3D landscape. If 3D ends up being the fad we think it is, it would be an expensive upgrade for the movie theater with no real benefit.

Re:...overkill...? (2)

minio (1640735) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414307)

Actually, most audiphiles I know consider anything beyond 2.0 setup a blasphemy.

Re:...overkill...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40414381)

You mean 2.1

Re:...overkill...? (1)

Verunks (1000826) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414561)

Yeah, but just price the system at around $10-15 thousand and it'll be viewed as a bargain to the audiophile crowd. They'll make a good killing off those morons.

only if the optical cable is gold plated

Re:...overkill...? (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 2 years ago | (#40413975)

I remember a Saturday Night Live joke commercial, but here is a different one from Mad TV [youtube.com] .

Re:...overkill...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40414101)

On a similar thread Mitchell and Webb [youtube.com] do it well.

Re:...overkill...? (4, Insightful)

jonnythan (79727) | more than 2 years ago | (#40413977)

It certainly is, but two points:

1) It will be astonishingly awesome in a professional theater.

2) No matter how many independent channels you've recorded or mixed for a pro theater, you can always downmix them to fit your personal theater layout. It's not as possible to as effectively upmix from fewer to more channels.

So by all means mix movies in 62.2 sound! Then give us Blu-ray discs with 7 surround channels, four ceiling channels, and two sub channels.

Re:...overkill...? (5, Interesting)

Russ1642 (1087959) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414141)

The vast majority of home theater setups have the rear speakers positioned terribly. Many people want their seating as far back as possible so they put the back speakers up high where you can only hear them through reflection off the front wall anyways. This problem is worse when extra side speakers come into play.

Re:...overkill...? (3, Insightful)

jonnythan (79727) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414161)

That's true, but either way I don't want the capabilities available to me for my properly set-up home theater to be limited by what morons do in their own homes ;)

Re:...overkill...? (1)

Russ1642 (1087959) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414239)

Well if you want 10+ channels of sound I just can't see it being popular enough among consumers that they'd go through the extra effort of releasing movies this way. Same can be said for high resolution. Many people would like movies released in higher detail than 1080p but that's what you're stuck with.

Re:...overkill...? (1)

jonnythan (79727) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414405)

You can go to Best Buy right now and pick up a hundred Blu-ray discs that already have 8 channels of lossless audio (7.1) on them.

With the move to 4K looking like it's going to happen this decade, don't be surprised when the successor to BD will have 9.1 or even 11.2 audio, with support for 1-4 overhead channels.

Re:...overkill...? (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414449)

The 'move' to 4k will be GLACIAL.

Re:...overkill...? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40414301)

Pulling from memory here... The original Dolby Surround upmixed from only a left and a right source that was "encoded" and recorded using a specific technique to 4 channel. It used the common L and R in a limited frequency range to create the center channel and the differences with a delay to create the rear channel. There may be a phase shift and some freq filters thrown in there somewhere as well.

Re:...overkill...? (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 2 years ago | (#40413983)

Im sure that 62.2 is not saying there are 64 different channels but that they 64 different "driver cabinets" to ensure that a decent sound image is available to everybody in the room.

btw does anybody know of a Free(ish) program to map and correct the sound field in a room??

Re:...overkill...? (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414061)

Dolby's marketing says '64 discrete speaker feeds'.

Re:...overkill...? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414127)

That's OK, we here at Slashdot won't get upset until it's 640 speakers.

Then the fur will fly.

Re:...overkill...? (4, Funny)

suutar (1860506) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414471)

640 speakers should be enough for anyone!

Re:...overkill...? (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414067)

Why yes, this is a "2.1" system. Everything below 250 Hz gets routed to the four inch subwoofer. LFE? What's that?

Re:...overkill...? (1)

plover (150551) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414395)

Im sure that 62.2 is not saying there are 64 different channels but that they 64 different "driver cabinets" to ensure that a decent sound image is available to everybody in the room.

Then go watch the video in TFA. There are indeed 64 different channels. But the guy was talking about two different concepts. The first was they're treating sounds as objects, which makes me think the individual theater's system will be responsible for the custom mapping of object locations to that theater's particular speaker array. The other was that the movie would ship with a sound "container", which would contain not only the sound objects, but professional downmixes to 22.1, 11.1, 7.1, 5.1, 4.0 and 2.0 tracks for full backward compatibility with the less capable systems.

Re:...overkill...? (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414033)

62 speakers sound like extreme overkill in any environment outside a professional theater.

Professional Theater? Like the multiplex down the road?

Re:...overkill...? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40414109)

62 speakers sound like extreme overkill

Overkill is highly underrated.

Re:...overkill...? (1)

bannable (1605677) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414121)

You mean the Onion's five bladed razor [theonion.com] from '04? And now it's a real thing....

Re:...overkill...? (1)

laoseth (955776) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414311)

Don't forget about the Spishak Mach20 [youtube.com]

Re:...overkill...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40414371)

62 speakers sound like extreme overkill in any environment outside a professional theater.

Apparently Dolby agrees, which is why it's available in "only a handful of theaters nationwide".

Re:...overkill...? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414433)

Why does this remind me of the spoof commercial I saw somewhere for the 12 blade facial razor, for the ultimate in close shaves? The thing looked like a damn textbook attached to a Bic razor handle. 62 speakers sound like extreme overkill in any environment outside a professional theater.

And never mind this is a completely digitally produced picture, with all sound coming from in the studio/electronics somewhere.

Re:...overkill...? (1)

djbckr (673156) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414603)

And never mind this is a completely digitally produced picture, with all sound coming from in the studio/electronics somewhere.

I think the voices started out as humans...

Re:...overkill...? (2)

Tom (822) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414609)

Uh, it is intended for theaters. I don't see even the slightest hint towards home use in the video nor article.

no..space...left... in wall... (5, Funny)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 2 years ago | (#40413925)

send....more.....speaker.........wire.

Volume (5, Funny)

ongelovigehond (2522526) | more than 2 years ago | (#40413943)

But does the volume go to eleven ?

Re:Volume (1)

plover (150551) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414169)

But does the volume go to eleven ?

I'm sure it goes to 11.1

Anyway, I can't wait to hear the new version of the Dolby introduction. I just hope they'll be able to replace my shattered eyeglasses before the feature film starts.

Re:Volume (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40414377)

No, it goes up to 682!

Voices (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40413959)

So many voices to hear, and only two ears to hear them with.

Re:Voices (1)

Tyler Eaves (344284) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414145)

The larger you want your "sweet spot" to be, the more speakers you need. This will give MUCH better surround imaging in a large space, like the local multiplex.

Re:Voices (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414353)

Will it though?

If I sit in the middle of the theater, and I hear a sound directly overhead which is occurring the program, it will be directly overhead. If I'm on the right aisle, though, it will appear as though it is off to my left. Opposite for the left.

Maybe that's still more accurate than just surround, though.

Ob. movie line: Death Proof (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414399)

Of course this is a death proof car, I didn't lie to you about that. But, to actually gain benefit of it being death proof, you have to be sitting... where I'm sitting!

Bit rate (2)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#40413997)

If someone starts making rips of this, it will probably be the first time that the video bit rate will be dwarfed by audio bit rate. PC playback put aside, I don't see any chance of consumer hardware being produced to play back that many channels, which means media won't be released for this system, which means any source for this sound will probably be questionable in origin. So I don't think anyone will need to worry about the necessity of upgrading their home theaters in near future.

Re:Bit rate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40414203)

Plenty of disc space on those blue ray disc

It'll work (4, Funny)

mostlyIT (1929110) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414039)

As long as you connect it with this http://www.amazon.com/Denon-AKDL1-Dedicated-Link-Cable/dp/B000I1X6PM [amazon.com]

Re:It'll work (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414223)

Even audiophiles laugh at that crap.

I seriously wonder how many they actually produced. I guess when somebody buys one, they cut some regular Cat.5E, add the fancy stuff and sell it for 5.000 times the cost, if not more.

Re:It'll work (1)

geeper (883542) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414333)

Oh man. The reviews of this cable are great!

headphone (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40414043)

and all of it would be done so much better with a pair headphones. Recordings done with a dummy head microphones inside the ears sound creepy realistic in headphones

different speakers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40414055)

the only way i could think of wiering is ot use powered speakers. and everything uses ethernet.
so you dont have 1 big revicer with an amplifier, you end up with a digital switch then sends the data out on etheret to all the self powerd speakers.
only in the last step is the Digital to analog happen...

Re:different speakers (1)

fluffythedestroyer (2586259) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414199)

you forgot the nuclear power plant I would need to power this shit up...and the central industrial air conditioner i would need to cool my place down after using 62 speakers. my power company will love me...I think I'll be a vip client

REJECT the BEAST in the LIGHT! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40414065)

"It sound like some people I know who "Keep getting all thses virus things no matter what I do!""

Remember the Sony BMG root kit?
Remember how no Antivirus detected it? Not even Anti root kit scanners?
Remember how only one tool initially detected it?

Now consider for a moment how many other government software/firmware moles/rootkits may be lingering within millions of people's proprietary systems (hardware/software-OS).

Wikileaks published a lot of information on companies willingly selling rootkits to governments and organizations. And do I really need to bring up HBGary?

So many fools using multiple proprietary scanners on their systems, the makers of which could all be in bed with big bro, the programs and/or updates could contain rootkits, and seriously, what the fsck is up with Microsoft and Flash both having so many remote exploits being patched all of the time?

The very products you trust, imo, could be the very e-poison from which you e-drink from.

To this day I laugh inside when twits tell me their system is "clean" because they scanned it with several proprietary tools.

Face it, even on Linux the quality of the root kit scanners are piss poor. You have to boot into a separate environment (like Remnux) to evaluate the malware, but most people won't do it, they'll wipe and reinstall and rely only on signatures which can be compromised. And when they find out they have an APT which continues to reinfect their computer(s)? Would they be intelligent enough to consider a firmware (PCI/BIOS) infection which survives hard drive wipes? Do they also have infected thumb drives laying around they plug into other computers around home and/or friends/family/work?

Chkrootkit has a function to list the strings of binaries, but it's up to you to determine whether or not the content of the strings are malicious. I've tried several root kit scanners on Linux and all of them are, imo, crippled pieces of trash. The crowd will yell back at you, "But most of these require root to exploit!" No, not at all, there are hundreds of ways to exploit a Linux box, many not requiring root, but a particular program/version. I won't even bite down on the subject of ways to subvert package managers. Heck, how many Linux repositories use SSL? SSH? Torrents with established "good" check sums for thousands of packages?

And I've not mentioned Flash and Adobe Reader for Linux and the past problems with those... and the NVidia driver for Linux, had in the past, one or two severe security issues whereby a remote exploit could take over the system! (Google it. The news of one exploit was in 2006.)

Our proprietary hardware and software are both at risk, and likely subverted world wide on millions of computers by governments and select organizations. The fact it takes years until a researcher trips over a particular piece of malware which none of the antivirus companies are detecting is inexcusable.

Were I head of a commercially developed antimalware company, I'd develop a website similar to Virus Total, but instead of the users uploading single files one by one, I'd give them a FOSS program which checked every part of their hardware, embedded and manually inserted, checksum the firmware (of all media drives, graphics cards, anything with firmware) and BIOS and tear apart the results, funneling them into separate result pages, each result for each component going to its own page for comparative results, rather than building a profile on one user's system. I would offer the users the option of publishing a one page result for their unique computer, but it would be opt-in only. Yes, checksum the firmware, including the router, and demand companies publish checksums and use GPG to sign their firmware, all of this information would go to the site as described. A massive database of important, but anonymously pulled and published information.

It's just going to get worse.

On the side, I've been saying to myself for years, IMO, "When Microsoft finally starts to show signs of weakness and loss of power over the OEMs, it will try and reinvent itself through crippled hardware and force others to beg at its door for access. They will, imo, follow the same route as Apple, tying software to hardware. I'm shocked it hasn't happened sooner." Then the reverse engineering can begin, just like the WINE project which was abandoned by Corel following Microsoft's involvement with Corel, despite the good word from some former people at Corel who said they would continue to develop WINE. It wasn't much longer until Corel Linux was shit canned, and the support for WINE dried up like a neglected grapevine.

People like to poke and laugh at people like RMS who are sane and their visions a philosophy to stand by and build upon. Sadly, it's mostly about 'image' in today's society. This is why, in part, you'll never see a true world leader elected who benefits the people and country as a whole, because it's just like high school, you only have a few choices between the approved popular cliques, the rest are shunned and ridiculed. So we have two, I would argue, controlled choices, the Republicans and Democrats, and we have two, I would maintain, jocks, Apple and Microsoft.

Bring on the 3-D printers and eventually the Star Trek like replicators, so we can put an end to the sweatshops in China and elsewhere, and to the two jocks in school.

Soon our future will be collaboration of FOSS and FOSH(ardware) and we won't sit idly by as the two jocks push their creations onto us, we will forge our own.

Oh, and you can kiss my ass Republicans and Democrats, whose power is only illuminated by controlled corporate media and further shaped by humor from The Daily Show, Colbert Report (they didn't have much to say during the last writer's strike, did they, yet people think they're so witty -- wrong! more corporate shit!) and SNL (why the fork wasn't stuck in SNL years ago is beyond me, it's like watching The Simpsons, someone left the building and forgot to turn off the light - I won't even dig into the, imo, illuminati Family Guy show).

The future is up to us, the power is in our hands, we only have to turn off the TV and stop swallowing the shit they feed us and join together to mature technology.

"Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilators."
- Philippians 3:2

Do not remain 'motionless in light'. Kneel before Almighty God, rebuke the beast within the light and the strange sounding 'invaders' through Yahweh, Christ Jesus, Holy Spirit, Our One True God. Rejoice in Him!

No (3, Insightful)

clarkn0va (807617) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414069)

Re:No (1)

neminem (561346) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414423)

Neat. I was going to post exactly that statement, as a statement of something I'd heard on slashdot before and that has so far seemed to be universally true of -slashdot- headlines; I had not, however, known that the statement had been given a proper name and expanded to all news (though it does seem mostly true in its expanded capacity.)

My reaction (1)

wagr (1070120) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414129)

is this is overkill. The gut speakers are hard to swallow and technicians say the kidneys speakers are particularly difficult to install.
What I really want is a system that prevents me from hearing other folks cough, laugh at the wrong moment, or left their cell phone on ring.
And some will be listening to their ipod or speaking on their iphone during the movie anyway.

Re:My reaction (1)

ToadProphet (1148333) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414295)

What I really want is a system that prevents me from hearing other folks cough, laugh at the wrong moment, or left their cell phone on ring.

Headphones

Will anyone get to find out? (1)

oneiros27 (46144) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414165)

After a bit of digging, I found a list of the Atmos locations, and it's barely a handful:

http://www.dolby.com/us/en/professional/technology/cinema/dolby-atmos.html#Locations [dolby.com]

If you're on the US east coast, there doesn't look to be a theatre between New Jersey and Florida ... so most of us won't get a chance to find out if it's worth it. (and as one of those people w/ poor vision ... this I'd be interested in ... 3D video, not so much)

I have 42.1 already (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40414167)

My Yamaha sound projector (YSP-1000) has 42 speakers, plus a subwoofer, for 42.1, and no wires. :)

Probably not literally 62 channels (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40414195)

The standard probably has fewer than 62 individual audio channels, and probably specifies some sort of way to position and mix many audio streams among many different speakers or groups of speakers.

Re:Probably not literally 62 channels (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414359)

Nope, they state 64 discrete feeds.

Who remembers Quad Stereo? (1)

stevegee58 (1179505) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414253)

*sound of crickets*
Didn't think so. Best forgotten anyway.

Re:Who remembers Quad Stereo? (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414639)

sq
qs
cd4

remember it well.

shibata stylii, also.

GLAD ITS GONE, NOW!

no need for multichannel in my setup, btw. I design and build my own stereo gear and with a well done 2.1 implementation, multichannel just seems like old quad, to me. I rejected it back then and still do, for home use. a VERY well done 2.1 system is still a nicer less distracting audio system and is less costly and easier on the room, too. extra spkrs and wires, at home, really is absurd and pretty much unneeded.

my movies get downmixed to 2.1 and from there, I can use spdif to carry my signals, all the way to the 3band spkr crossover. the final set of DACs are the only analog links other than the spkrs and the amps that drive them. if I had kept things ac3 or dts or some newfangled codec format, I could not do this; but by downmixing to linear 48k/16bit spdif from the movies, I get do keep the signal all digital up to the very final stages.

not everyone jumps on the multichannel bandwagon. I'm all for splitting the spkrs into bands and doing active crossover. huge gains for little cost can be gotton here. but 5.1 and higher - just not my style. 2 really good front spkrs and good listener (not perfect, just 'good') positioning can be all the experience you need. consider it.

No it wont (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40414257)

Plain and simple, it will be forgotten in 6 months,

Gimmick (4, Insightful)

ichthus (72442) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414321)

Yet another gimmick to try to get people to return to the theaters. And again, we all say, "Just make better movies."

Re:Gimmick (2)

Ryanrule (1657199) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414467)

But I am le tired...

Re:Gimmick (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414533)

6 minutes into the short video:

"For theater owners their primary concern is always "How can i get more people to come to my theater?"
With this better technology of surround sound and sound over the audiences that now gives them something to leverage bringing people back into the theater"

Like you said, a gimmick.
IMAX branded screens didn't bring movie goers rushing back into theaters
3D hasn't brought movie goers rushing back into theaters.
Digital projection hasn't brought movie goers rushing back into theaters.
And a more immersive sound system isn't going to bring movie goers rushing back into theaters.

The movie industry has a problem: growing profits vs killing the market.
They control ticket prices, so they control the way this story ends.

Re:Gimmick (2)

plover (150551) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414557)

No, they do have pretty good movies, but they fill the theaters with worse neighbors. In a theater, I have to sit next to people I would change seats on a bus to get away from. Seriously, you don't need a squalling 3-year-old in a stroller at an R movie, or to post the plot on Facebook as it unfolds, or to repeat the dialog to your buddy in the seat next to you.

Re:Gimmick (1)

djbckr (673156) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414569)

"Brave" might very well be a better movie. The visuals that I've seen so far look amazing. Of course the subject matter is what matters most. Let's hope it lives up to the ads. I have seen some "better" movies from time-to-time.

waste of time (0)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414339)

...considering Bose have single-driver units that fill a room, and I have a pair of headphones made by Angle & Curve (with one driver either side) which, with the softHD sound processor in my netbook, gives me "virtual" surround that sounds every bit as good as my acoustically balanced 5.1 PC setup.

Re:waste of time (1)

_bug_ (112702) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414465)

...considering Bose have single-driver units that fill a room, and I have a pair of headphones made by Angle & Curve (with one driver either side) which, with the softHD sound processor in my netbook, gives me "virtual" surround that sounds every bit as good as my acoustically balanced 5.1 PC setup.

I disagree. Providing new directions for sound to come from (above and below) will definitely provide a more immersive experience. Just think about a scene where planes fly overhead; in a current 7.1 setup the plane sounds like it's at your level, but with speakers overhead it will "feel" like the plane is flying over your head. Or imagine a rerelease of Tremors [imdb.com] with a new audio mix so you can "feel" those things underneath you.

Convincing people to upgrade their hardware, be it in a home theater or at the theater itself, will take some effort not unlike previous audio hardware upgrades such as from mono to stereo to LCR to surround. But I think in 10 to 15 years we'll all be convinced how much more it adds to the movie and sports viewing experience.

Although for a successful home market, 62 + 2 speakers?! I don't know about that. Either units with multiple speakers within them so the number of "devices" to purchase is small and easy(ish) to setup or a reworking of the standard to bring the number of speakers down to something more realistic, like a 16+2.

16 channels... (1)

srussia (884021) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414379)

...ought to be enough for anybody.

Ambisonics [wikipedia.org]

Re:16 channels... (1)

stevegee58 (1179505) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414521)

Only the police and military should have more than 2 channels.

Headphone stereo is the near term future (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414407)

The future of "super" sound is a set of headphones that give the listener exactly the sound the engineer wants him to hear.

Oh, and maybe a couple of bone-vibrators thrown in as well.

In the far future, when we all have brain implants, our Audio Engineering Overlords will do whatever they like to the audio-processing portions of our brains, and we will welcome it.

Re:Headphone stereo is the near term future (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40414633)

I've been using headphones for the last 20 years or so.

Not only is it cheaper than those stupid surround sound systems, it doesn't require megawatts of power so it's also cheaper to use.

The bonus on top of that: you can't bother the neighbors even if you're watching an action movie at 03:00.

Is Magic Alex behind this? (1)

AttillaTheNun (618721) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414435)

This reminds me of the story of Magic Alex from the Beatles Anthology. He was an electronics geek friend of the band back when they were burning through money via their company, Apple that designed a revolutionary 16 track recording studio for the band in late 1968. The control room contained 16 little speakers, one for each track. It was a travesty in every other send of electrical and audio engineering, based on claims from the EMI audio engineers who patiently waited for their chance to step back in restore order once Alex was fired.

Monster Cables!!!! (1)

Mabhatter (126906) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414445)

Imagine how many gold plated Monster Cables are they gonna sell?? We're all in the wrong business!

It's all part of the Sontarans' plans! (4, Funny)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414469)

The Sontarans are going to get Atmos installed everywhere and use it to kill off people who get in their way and then, finally, use the large number of installed systems to poison our atmosphere so they can use the Earth as a cloning facility! ...See, it's a Doctor Who reference. I like that show.

sound will not make a bad movie better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40414473)

Waterworld had crazy-good sound (lots of realistic splashes and somesuch)

Dolby should work on Plotmos to deliver better plots and screenplays to Hollywood or use plot-o-matic
http://www.maddogproductions.com/plotomatic.htm

my great movie idea:
---
Summer Action
an original screenplay concept
by Biff Biffalo
Political thriller: A sexy district attorney teams up with an alcoholic ex-CIA agent to commit the perfect crime. In the process they accidentally kill a super intelligent chimpanzee. By the end of the movie they burn 7 ewoks and end up winning the admiration of their manager, living happily ever after.

Think Ernest Goes to Camp meets Star Wars.
---

two things wrong with 'surround' anyway (1)

cellocgw (617879) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414477)

First of all, the video is only on the screen in front of you. It's like a window (the real thing, not a Redmond POS) into the "world" the movie is presenting. So how in heck would sounds from that world emanate from above or behind you? I find it quite distracting.
Second: "natural" sounds like speech, the car driving down a road in the video, or the orchestra performing on stage (in the video) are not all that localized, and don't need to be. We see the image and locate the sound source to match. Putting in 62 sources just lets some audio nerd create a synthetic, moving, sound front that would never occur in nature. Unless you had a very loud bee flying in a tight cirle around your head :-)

Too many channels (1)

acoustix (123925) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414491)

Two channels for subs? Why? Bass is non directional. It's one thing to have multiple subs on one channel, but it doesn't make sense to have a 2nd channel.

Re:Too many channels (2)

kimvette (919543) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414637)

Having two subwoofer channels is a good thing - if the .2 channels are discrete (a .1 and a .1, or L/R if you will) then you can get cleaner bass. If the source material provides a .1 channel, having two subs allows you to achieve a 6dB to 10dB (depending on placement - take advantage of acoutic coupling with the walls and put the woofers a half wavelength apart and you can achieve a 10dB increase in output) increase in volume very easily. Also, bass is not totally nondirectional, so there is some audible directional cueing. Not only that, but the woofer crossover doesn't cut over at 140Hz, 90Hz, 60Hz, or whatever you set the crossover point to; it is usually an 12dB to 18dB/octave curve to eliminate harshness and so there are some higher frequencies emanating from the woofers which are definitely directional. Besides, at the very deep end, you can feel the direction of low frequencies if it hits one channel before the other, so if for example you have a woofer behind you and one in front of you, or widely spaced L/R, and a train or a herd of cattle is stampeding, the surround effect would be even greater as you feel the vibrations pan around you.

I have a high end 9.2 AV receiver with two subwoofers (260 WRMS each) and adding the second subwoofer was definitely worth it - the very bottom end was reinforced very well. If I set the subwoofer gain to unity (0dB) it is absolutely deafening. I normally listen with the subwoofers' gain set to -6dB and the subwoofer channel on the AV receiver to -11dB so I don't annoy everyone.

What kind of movie? (1)

identity0 (77976) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414503)

>Still, overhead sound seems like a good idea for some kinds of movie.

What kind of movie would that be? I already think the surround audio is overdoing it, since your attention is supposed to be right at the screen, not wondering what's behind you.

Recently watched Naussica Of The Valley Of Wind in a local theater, and I'm not sure the sound was even stero; all sound seemed to come from speakers behind the screen. But I didn't care, because it was an awesome movie, with good visuals and audio effects. Some of the music may be questionable, but the orchestral stuff was still tear-inducing.

NS:DC (Not Surround: DIdin't Care)

That's not how it works (5, Informative)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414507)

I've seen some busy input/output panels on home stereo equipment, but 62 channels is too many for my interconnect budget. Still, overhead sound seems like a good idea for some kinds of movie.

That's not how this system works, it supports "up to" 62 channels in the encoded signal; these are panned with metadata in the channel bitstream, and then the decoder in the theater (or home) does the math of placing the sound in the space, using prior knowledge of how many speakers you have, and their position in the room. "62.2" doesn't mean 64 speakers, it means that the format supports "up to" that many, and the theater might not have that many actual channels wired, or it might have significantly more if it's a large room, or significantly less -- they can add more speakers to get more directional resolution.

62.2 also doesn't imply that the guy who mixed the thing was using more than 5 or 6. I'm a sound designer in Los Angeles -- just finished Men in Black 3, starting Zero Dark Thirty in a few weeks, and this is the first time I've heard of any of this. This sort of system will require software support from workstation and console vendors, and I'm dubious people will be using it for some time, even though it promises great backwards-compatiblity.

This system appears to be an attempt to get ambisonic-like flexibility without the costs of ambisonics, principally, ambisonic encoding's inability to cope with pan divergence, the problem of "how do I send the same sound to the left and right side of the rooms simultaneously, without it going anywhere else?" It's impossible to do this in ambisonics without adding tons of second-order channels and playing with signal phase. This system might also suffer from one of ambisonic's other problems, namely, it may rely on extremely accurate speaker placement and speaker placement information.

This system also appears to be a shot across the bow of IOSONO [iosono-sound.com] , which is a very different process that achieves high horizontal fidelity through a completely different technique of dubious creative utility.

Note- IMAX has overhead sound as well, or at least a "screen-top" channel, but lacks a subwoofer channel and only has point-source surround speakers.

Re:That's not how it works (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414551)

Actually after reading Dolby's page [dolby.com] the system supports up to 128 discrete pannable audio streams, but no more than 64 speakers.

9.2 receiver obsolete (1)

kimvette (919543) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414509)

Does this mean I have to upgrade from my year-old-still-unscratched 9.2 receiver already?!

Seriously??? (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414511)

Haven't been to the theater in years (I guess when Return of the King came out). I was under the impression that movie theaters had more than 7.1 discrete speakers.

Why haven't theaters progressed beyond the sound setups available to home aficionados decades ago? Or am I missing something?

Better for video games (3, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414527)

I've heard this at Dolby's screening room in SF. It looks like a modest auditorium. It's really a money-is-no-object demo facility. Before a talk on another subject, the Dolby guys couldn't resist showing off. They had a video game with many directional sound outputs hooked into the room's systems, and you could hear the players moving around in the space, behind and above the audience when appropriate. You really can hear somebody sneaking up on you in-game from a platform above you.

It's an experience to hear many-channel sound in a facility like that, but few (if any) commercial theaters are that good acoustically. Unless the room acoustics are very, very good, all those channels won't help much.

This and other Gimmicks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40414567)

The reason people aren't going to movies anymore isn't because sound isn't immersion enough, or that your chair doesn't move (D-box), or that the screen isn't as big as the side of skyscraper (IMAX). Prices are too high, so you can just wait 6 months and buy a 1080p version of the film for the same price as a ticket and watch it at home. I have a big-screen lcd tv with surround sound, why would I go to the movies when my at home experience is equal? Not to mention not having to deal with crowds, and outrageous prices on oversized popcorn/soda.

Screw movies.... (1)

Apothem (1921856) | more than 2 years ago | (#40414621)

I want something close to this for gaming! It'd be nice to play ANYTHING with a high-level of detail to ambient sounds.

Currently in 14 Theaters (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40414627)

Here is the list of theaters currently equipped with Dolby Atmos 62.2 Surround Sound

AMC BarryWoods 24 (Kansas City, MO)
AMC Burbank 16 (Burbank, CA)
AMC Century City 15 (Century City, CA)
AMC Downtown Disney 24 (Lake Buena Vista, FL)
AMC Garden State 16 (Paramus, NJ)
AMC Van Ness 14 (San Francisco, CA)
ArcLight Sherman Oaks (Sherman Oaks, CA)
Brenden Theatres at the Palms (Las Vegas, NV)
Century at Pacific Commons and XD (Fremont, CA)
Cinemark West Plano and XD (West Plano, TX)
SilverCity-Yonge Eglington Cinemas (Cineplex) (Toronto, ON)
Cinetopia Vancouver Mall 23 (Vancouver, WA)
El Capitan Theatre (Hollywood, CA)
Kerasotes ShowPlace ICON at Roosevelt Collection (Chicago, IL)

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