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Dolby Atmos Sound Coming to Blu-ray Discs

Home-entertainment consumers are about to hear their soundtracks go to 11.

Dolby Laboratories announced Monday that its advanced Atmos sound format is coming to Blu-ray.

Paramount and Warner Bros. films featuring Dolby Atmos soundtracks will be available on Blu-ray discs this fall. “Transformers: Age of Extinction” will be the first Blu-ray title with a Dolby Atmos soundtrack. It is to be released Sept. 30.

Paramount will support Dolby Atmos on more Blu-ray and online streaming releases later this year. Warner execs said they will follow shortly after.

Dolby Atmos is the first audio format based on audio objects, or individual sounds in a film, instead of channels, also known as audio tracks.  The sound from each “object” is sent to the whichever speaker best places that sound in space, whether there are just a few speakers or dozens. About 200 theater screens in the U.S. are equipped with Atmos sound systems.

Consumers will have to purchase a Dolby Atmos-equipped receiver and Dolby Atmos speakers to make the technology work. The system will support up to 32 speakers. Dolby said home Atmos speakers, which can be placed either on the ground or in the ceiling will be available this fall as well.

Atmos soundtracks will be backwards-compatible with traditional home entertainment playback systems.

“If there’s a rain scene it will sound like the rain is on top of you,” an Atmos rep said. “If there’s a plane scene where it’s flying overhead, it will sound like the plane is coming behind you or in front of you.”

 

 

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