Soundbars are great. They don't add to the bulk of your home entertainment system, since they can easily hide away underneath your TV, but they add a huge boost in sound quality over your TV's tinny integrated speakers. If you want surround sound, some have wireless rear speakers. If you want Dolby Atmos for overhead surround sound, though — you need something special. And that's where the Samsung K950, a slim soundbar that can bounce sound off your ceiling, comes in.
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In Australia, we love soundbars — they're compact, but offer sound quality that's a massive step ahead of even the best TVs' integrated speaker systems. New advances in surround sound like Dolby Atmos don't play well with all-in-one soundbar designs, though, which is why Samsung's new K950 soundbar has wireless rear speakers, and 15 different internal speaker drivers across the surround setup, some of which bounce sound off your ceiling.
The advent of the internet, torrenting, and legally dubious streaming sites have threatened theatres for years, but cinemas are still big business and Dolby is investing in its future with Dolby Cinema.
5.1-channel surround sound is so 2013. Dolby Atmos is coming to Australian cinemas, but soon enough you'll be able to get it in your living room as well. Later this month, Onkyo will be the first company with home theatre equipment that works with new Dolby Atmos surround speakers.
More than two years ago, Dolby trotted out Atmos, the most advanced surround sound system in history. It's been used to bring explosions and battles to deafening life in everything from Gravity to The Hobbit. It's available in hundreds of theatres, and now Dolby plans to bring Atmos to your house.
The normal surround sound in any garden-variety movie cinema is already pretty good, but it's about to get a whole lot better. Village and Reading cinemas around the country are installing or planning to install Dolby Atmos in their flagship auditoriums, with up to 64 speakers inside each movie theatre.
From your home theatre to the cineplex, Dolby has long been the industry standard for serious digital sound. If you're not using Dolby's proprietary tech, you're playing games. With Dolby Vision tech, the company wants to do to make movies on your TV look as good as it makes them sound on your surround sound system.
Gravity is a stunner of a movie in large measure because of what it doesn't do — it's restrained and elegant in the way that most big space epics aren't. Here's a great behind-the-scenes look at how the film makes the vacuum of space sound terrifying — even at times when sound is impossible.
Tucked in a corner of Soho Square, cosied up against ad agencies and seemingly every media firm in London, is the London HQ of Dolby, who you may remember from the title credits of just about every film ever. Hiding in the heart of this otherwise-ordinary building, though, is arguably the coolest cinema in the country, created at enormous expense to demonstrate the next gen of cinema tech.
Even if changes in audio quality on products aren't quite as perceptible is big jumps in pixel density on screens, the sound of movies might have way more of an effect on how you experience it. In short, good audio ain't just for audiophiles. Here's the sound technology that changed the aural universe this year.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is shaping up to be a groundbreaking event for film technology. First, we heard that Director Peter Jackson shot the film at 48 frames-per-second, and now he's telling us that the film's sound will be mixed for Dolby's ultra-intense new Atmos system.
This weekend, the world will get its first chance to experience the latest sounds from the cinema audio nerds at Dolby. Pixar's new animated feature, Brave, is the first film to use Dolby's new Atmos technology, which makes 7.1 sound on Toy Story 3 seem pathetic.
It will take a few years before the technology trickles down to home theatres, but at CinemaCon this year Dolby introduced a new surround sound system called Atmos that promises to create the illusion that sounds are coming from everywhere inside the theatre.
You can go on and on about how great the flatscreen TV in your home theatre is, but I guarantee it won't hold a candle to the image, brightness and colour quality of Dolby's $US40,000 reference monitor.
Just when you thought RIM's fortunes couldn't get any worse, along comes Dolby Laboratories to knock the beleaguered company a little bit lower.