• HDD's DTS:X & Dolby Atmos Gear Buying Guide

    Posted Mon Jul 20, 2015 at 07:45 AM PDT by
    yamaha receivers

    From A/V receivers to specially designed speakers and home theater systems, these are all of the Dolby Atmos and DTS:X gear items that have been announced so far. 

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  • Denon Readies More Dolby Atmos & DTS:X Receivers, Prices Start at $999

    Posted Fri Jul 17, 2015 at 09:30 AM PDT by
    denon atmos dts:x receiver

    New models with object-based audio support have been announced. 

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  • Integra Unveils New Dolby Atmos & DTS:X Receivers, Prices Start at $800

    Posted Thu Jul 16, 2015 at 02:00 PM PDT by
    integra receiver

    Several receivers with next-gen audio support have been revealed. 

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  • Klipsch Details Reference Premiere Dolby Atmos Enabled Speakers

    Posted Wed Jul 15, 2015 at 10:00 AM PDT by
    klipsch atmos

    The new Atmos-enabled speaker series is now available! 

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  • VIZIO & Sony Announce Product Support for Dolby AC-4 Object-Based Audio Platform

    Posted Tue Jul 14, 2015 at 08:45 AM PDT by
    Dolby Audio News

    Both companies have pledged support for the upcoming audio technology. 

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  • HDD's Home Theater Gear Guide for Graduates' First Apartments

    Posted Wed Jul 1, 2015 at 08:00 AM PDT by
    onkyo atmos

    With potential limitations in mind, we've put together a gear guide filled with budget-conscious and space-conscious A/V equipment that will allow grads to get the most out of their first apartments. 

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  • Marantz Details New DTS:X & Dolby Atmos Receivers, Prices Start at $699

    Posted Mon Jun 29, 2015 at 03:30 PM PDT by
    marantz atmos

    The upcoming receivers will support next-gen audio. 

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  • Denon Unveils Two More A/V Receivers with Dolby Atmos & DTS:X, Prices Start at $599

    Posted Wed Jun 24, 2015 at 09:30 AM PDT by
    denon in-command receivers

    Two new receivers have been detailed. 

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  • Onkyo Details RZ Series A/V Receivers with DTS:X & Dolby Atmos Support

    Posted Tue Jun 23, 2015 at 01:30 PM PDT by
    onkyo atmos dts:x

    Two more receiver models with next-gen audio support have been revealed. 

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  • Pioneer Releases SC-91 Elite A/V Receiver with Dolby Atmos Support

    Posted Fri Jun 19, 2015 at 03:30 PM PDT by
    pioneer elite receiver

    The company's latest Atmos receiver has been revealed. 

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  • Denon Readies HEOS HomeCinema Wireless Soundbar for $799

    Posted Thu Jun 18, 2015 at 01:30 PM PDT by
    denon soundbar

    The upcoming soundbar has been detailed. 

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  • Triad Unveils New Dolby Atmos Speakers for $1,500

    Posted Thu Jun 11, 2015 at 03:00 PM PDT by
    triad atmos speaker

    New Atmos-enabled speakers have been revealed. 

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  • Denon Reveals New A/V Receivers with DTS:X & Dolby Atmos Support, Prices Start at $479

    Posted Wed Jun 10, 2015 at 05:00 PM PDT by
    denon atmos dts:X receiver

    Two new A/V receivers with next-gen audio support have been detailed. 

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  • Onkyo Details New Dolby Atmos Audio Gear, Including a $499 A/V Receiver

    Posted Mon Jun 8, 2015 at 03:30 PM PDT by
    onkyo atmos

    The company's latest Atmos products have been revealed. 

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  • Top Five Dolby Atmos Demo Moments from 'American Sniper' on Blu-ray

    Posted Fri May 22, 2015 at 10:02 AM PDT by Sponsored Post

    Dolby Laboratories turned 50 this week and, much like the Ford Mustang, there's no sign this brand is slowing down as it marches boldly into its sixth decade. In honor of Dolby's 50th Anniversary celebration, I thought it would be fun to break down the newest Dolby Atmos equipped Blu-ray Disc. Available now, 'American Sniper' stars Bradley Cooper as Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, the deadliest combat sniper in American history. HDD's own Shannon Nutt Highly Recommends this film, calling it Clint Eastwood's best film in a decade, as well as "a pro-soldier movie with an anti-war sentiment" featuring reference quality picture and audio.

    Without further ado, let's dive into the Top Five Dolby Atmos Demo Moments from 'American Sniper' on Blu-ray. What I've done is not rank them in order, but rather try to characterize why they're each different types of demo options. Warning: minor spoilers.

    'American Sniper' - They fry you if you're wrong.

    BEST LFE & DYNAMIC RANGE

    "They fry you if you're wrong."
    Chapter 1 -- 00:00:00 - 00:03:35

    The film's opening sequence is as tense as it is audio heaven. You've probably seen part of this scene before in the excruciating trailer where Kyle has to decide whether or not to take a young Iraqi life in order to save his fellow soldiers. The sequence begins dead center, with the familiar "Allahu Akbar" broadcast mosque prayer over studio logos. As we are thrust into this world, of tanks rolling over rubble, of Kyle surveying the growing tension, the audio wraps around the audience and the tank engines growl. 'American Sniper' makes the bold decision to avoid orchestral score until its somber closing credits, allowing instead the sound effects and cinematography to build pure tension. This sequence is electrifying.

    'American Sniper' - Tend to my baby, please.

    BEST SUBJECTIVE CHARACTER POV

    "Tend to my daughter, please."
    Chapter 8 01:15:00 - 01:15:58

    In a movie with no orchestral score, sound designers often use intense audio to build tension and evoke a character's emotional state. A fun and quick demo, albeit tragic, takes place between tours in Iraq, when Kyle comes home and his visiting his newborn baby in the hospital. Unable to calm her cries or convince a nurse to do likewise, Kyle's fragile emotional state becomes an intense surround experience, building from the mundane to a sonic powerhouse. It's a perfect demonstration for Sound as Character Pathos.

    'American Sniper' - target practice with wounded vets

    BEST ATMOSPHERE (TIE)

    "Glory" & "Target Practice"
    Chapter 8: 01:26:50 - 01:28:43 & Chapter 12: 01:58:24 - 01:59:35

    It was important to the 'American Sniper' sound designers that Kyle's two separate worlds -- home world and war world -- sound unique. The home worlds become a showcase of how subtle, complex surround elements create a rich, lived-in universe.

    "Glory" is a transition scene, taking Kyle (along with the bodies of his fellow soldiers) from war to home. This sequences transitions from heavy emotions to a natural literalism that is cut by echoing gunfire and a sorrowful rendition of Taps.

    "Target Practice" likewise mixes nature and gunfire. Chirping birds and buzzing insects, the slightest bit of wind, give way to a powerful sniper rifle shooting down range. These solitary gunshots will test your speakers' ability to replicate sharp, percussive blasts.

    'American Sniper' - Butcher's on the move

    BEST SURROUND PANNING 

    "Butcher's on the move"
    Chapter 8:  01:08:27 - 1:12:20

    This nighttime thriller sequence begins with ramping tension. Chris Kyle and Team use an enemy insurgent to gain entry into the building where notorious terrorist, The Butcher, is hiding. But it all goes to hell, devolving into an immersive shootout that swirls around the audience. Machine guns, RPG explosions, and taut LEF are all sequence highlights. Use this chaotic, yet precise demo immediately after calibrating your system. And, if you're looking for more context to this demo, feel free to extend it by starting at 01:07:13 (in Chapter 7), which is less boom-boom-bang, and more cat-n-mouse tension-ramping. 

    'American Sniper' Ready to come home

    BEST OVERALL CHAPTER

    "Rooftop Sandstorm"
    Chapter 10: 01:37:26 - 01:51:56

    From a structural standpoint, it makes sense that the film's climax is also going to be its grandest, therefore offering up a chance for prime surround sound demo material. 

    As such, the most dynamic chapter on the disc is Chapter 10. Fifteen minutes of adrenaline and emotion, the first half is quiet and subdued; the cat n' mouse chase as Kyle hunts an enemy sniper. He has the man in his sights, but if Kyle takes the shot, he's putting his life and his mens' lives in jeopardy. But if he doesn't take the shot, the sniper will kill soldiers construction a wall. This part of the chapter is sparse and often quiet, escalating as enemy insurgents storm the building where our heroes are trapped.

    At the 01:47:44 mark (a great starting location if you're looking for a quicker demo) is when all the elements combine... helicopters and bullets and RPGS and a roaring sandstorms. It's chaotic and immersive, the environment really swallowing your entire home cinema.

    Two things make this sequence truly stand out, both in against other sequence in this film, as well as in relation to other blockbusters: One, you can hear all the details. It's never muddy. Individual grains of sand are as clear as streaking and exploding bombs. Second, and more importantly, there are more moments of Kyle's subjective POV, where sound becomes his breathing and his heartbeat -- at this moment, he is a man (finally) ready to come home. And so are you, Dear Reader, to the home cinema... because aside from the moral ambiguities and real world tragedies this film portrays, the technical filmmaking in 'American Sniper' makes for crazy-good demo material. It is equal parts thought-provoking as it is adrenaline infused entertainment.

    ~~~

    Congrats again to Dolby on 50 years. I can't wait to see where their innovations take us. What about you, dear Reader, what are your favorite 'American Sniper' demos? What are you favorite Dolby Atmos demos (if you've already upgrade)? Or, if not, what Blu-rays do you pop in to show off your home theatre? Let us know below, or in the forums.

    Dolby Atmos Titles Released
    1. Transformers: Age of Extinction (Paramount Pictures)
    2. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Paramount Pictures)
    3. Step up All In (Lionsgate)
    4. Expendables 3 (Lionsgate)
    5. John Wick (Lionsgate)
    6. On Any Sunday: The Next Chapter (Red Bull Media House)
    7. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 (Lionsgate)
    8. Unbroken (Universal)
    9. Gravity (Warner Bros.)
    10. American Sniper (Warner Bros)

    Dolby Atmos Titles Announced
    11. Jupiter Ascending (Warner Bros): Release date June 2, 2015
    12. The Gunman (Universal): Release date June 30, 2015
    13. The Divergent Series: Insurgent (Lionsgate): Release date August 4, 2015

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  • Pioneer Announces 2015 Elite Receivers, Including $700 Dolby Atmos Model

    Posted Wed Mar 25, 2015 at 03:00 PM PDT by
    pioneer elite

    The company has detailed two new receivers. 

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  • Pioneer Readies New 2015 Receivers, Including $599 Dolby Atmos Model

    Posted Tue Mar 24, 2015 at 06:00 PM PDT by
    pioneer atmos

    Two new receiver models have been announced. 

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  • Dolby & DTS Propose Object-Based Audio Systems for ATSC 3.0 Broadcast Standard

    Posted Tue Mar 10, 2015 at 12:00 PM PDT by
    ATSC 3 4K

    The ATSC is reviewing different audio proposals from several companies. 

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  • HTC Reveals HTC One M9 Smartphone with 4K Video Recording

    Posted Mon Mar 2, 2015 at 04:00 PM PST by
    htc one m9

    HTC has detailed its latest flagship mobile handset. 

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  • Rotel Readies RSP-1582 7.1 Home Theater Surround Sound Processor for $3,499

    Posted Fri Jan 30, 2015 at 03:00 PM PST by
    rotel surround sound

    The surround sound unit includes HDMI 2.0 connections and Bluetooth with aptX support. 

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