You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Exhibition orgs release requirements for audio technologies

Theaters would be able to show films with any immersive/3D audio format

In a pre-emptive move designed to avoid another proprietary sound format debacle, exhibition groups in the U.S. and Europe have released a set of requirements for new immersive/3D audio technologies.

The requirements spell out two approaches to sound system setups that both adhere to open source standards. These approaches would make it possible for theaters to choose to present films using any new immersive/3D audio format that’s designed to the open source standard. The National Association of Theater Owners and the International Union of Cinemas have joined together to endorse the requirements.

“We just spent over $2 billion dollars on a digital picture upgrade,” said NATO president and CEO John Fithian. “We can’t be asked to upgrade sound now if there’s a potential conflict between proprietary formats.”

Fithian also cited NATO’s past experience with dueling sound formats as a reason for the standards. In the 1990s exhibs faced a series of quandaries when choosing how to outfit their theaters for the best possible sound. There were competing proprietary formats — and making the wrong choice could prove very costly because not all of the formats lasted. SDDS, for example, was phased out leaving exhibs to either abandon their equipment and install an entirely new system or piece together technical and repair support on their own once Sony decided they were no longer going to do so.

Popular on Variety

“While it is critical that we continue to innovate, it is also critical that we work together to implement new technologies in a rational manner that serves all stakeholders,” said AMC Theatres’ EVP operations and NATO technology committee chairman John McDonald.

Currently both Dolby’s Atmos and Barco’s Auro-3D have gained fans. LucasFilm released “Red Tails” in Auro-3D and DreamWorks Animation has a strategic alliance with Barco (Nov. 1). Warner will release “Pacific Rim” in Atmos; previous titles released with the technology include “Brave” and “Life of Pi.”

Dolby declined to comment said in a statement it would “continue to work with industry bodies, including NATO, to share our expertise and address best practices as the evaluation of potential open standards continues.”

Barco did not return calls or emails asking for comment.

More Digital

  • AT&T's Xandr Works for Closer Ties

    AT&T's Xandr Works for Closer Ties With WarnerMedia (EXCLUSIVE)

    At Xandr, the ad-technology firm that is part of AT&T, the time to start talking about the advertising of the future is now. The AT&T unit is best known, perhaps, for selling commercial inventory related to the company’s DirecTV. But Xandr CEO Brian Lesser expects to be recognized soon for taking part in many other [...]

  • Morning Show Apple

    Golden Globe Noms: 'The Morning Show' Turns Apple TV Plus Into a Kudos Contender

    “Euphoric” was the word to describe the atmosphere around the Apple TV Plus offices in Culver City, Calif., on Monday morning as staffers awoke to the news that the fledgling service’s cornerstone drama series, “The Morning Show,” had landed three major Golden Globe Award nominations. Apple Worldwide Video had exactly two employees — heads Jamie [...]

  • Game of Thrones Avengers Endgame

    'Game of Thrones,' 'Avengers: Endgame' Among Most Popular Tweets of 2019

    Twitter released its top-trending topics and tweets of 2019 with “Game of Thrones,” “Avengers: Endgame,” and actor Tom Holland commanding the most tweets in the TV, movies, and actors categories. BTS holds both the No. 1 spot in the most-tweeted-about musicians category and the second-most-retweeted tweet worldwide. Since its release in June, a video of [...]

  • Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates his side's

    Canal Plus, beIN Sports In Exclusive Talks For Distribution Deal

    Vivendi-owned pay-TV banner Canal Plus Group and the global network beIN Sports have started exclusive talks to sign a five-year exclusive distribution and sub-licensing deal in France. The two companies previously tried to forge a partnership in 2016 but it was denied by France’s anti-trust board. Under the proposed deal, Canal Plus would distribute all [...]

  • NBCUniversal Peacock

    Comcast to Spend $2 Billion on NBCU's Peacock Streaming Service in First Two Years

    Comcast expects to pump $2 billion into NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service in aggregate over 2020 and 2021, while the company is projecting it will not be profitable for the first five years, according to CFO Mike Cavanagh. Cavanagh, who provided the details Monday at UBS’s Global TMT Conference in New York City, tried to put [...]

  • Watcher Entertainment - Steven Lim, Ryan

    Ex-BuzzFeed Video Staffers Launch Watcher Entertainment Digital Studio (EXCLUSIVE)

    UPDATED: After building their careers as internet personalities at BuzzFeed, the creators and hosts of three of the company’s biggest shows — Steven Lim, Ryan Bergara and Shane Madej — have formed their own digital-video venture. They quit BuzzFeed earlier this year and founded L.A.-based Watcher Entertainment, with the trio looking to get full creative [...]

  • 25. Oktober 2019, Berlin, Deutschland, JustWatch[Foto:

    Streaming Guide JustWatch Acquires Video Search Engine GoWatchIt (EXCLUSIVE)

    Berlin-based streaming guide JustWatch has acquired media search engine GoWatchIt from Plexus Entertainment, and is using the acquisition to open up its first office in New York. Terms of the deal, which was stock- and cash-based, haven’t been disclosed. GoWatchIt founder and CEO David Larkin will join JustWatch as its new senior vice president of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content