• CES 2017: Pioneer Releases Elite FS-EB70 Network Soundbar System with DTS:X & Dolby Atmos

    Posted Thu Jan 5, 2017 at 12:45 PM PST by
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    The new soundbar system offers immersive audio support.

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  • CES 2017: Sony Introduces New Soundar Lineup, Including Dolby Atmos Model

    Posted Thu Jan 5, 2017 at 07:30 AM PST by
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    Several new soundbar systems have been announced.

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  • CES 2017: LG's New OLED UHD TVs Better Than Ever with Dolby Vision & Dolby Atmos

    Posted Wed Jan 4, 2017 at 08:19 AM PST by
    LG Signature W7 OLED

    LG has announced their entire 2017 LG OLED Ultra HD TV lineup at CES.

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  • Samsung Reveals New M9500 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player

    Posted Wed Dec 28, 2016 at 10:00 AM PST by
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    A new Samsung UHD Blu-ray player is in the works.

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  • Oppo Details UDP-203 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player, Price Set for $549

    Posted Tue Dec 13, 2016 at 08:15 AM PST by
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    The company's first Ultra HD Blu-ray player is now available for pre-order.

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  • Dolby Exceeds 2,000 Dolby Atmos Enabled Cinema Screens & 500 Released Movie Titles

    Posted Wed Dec 7, 2016 at 08:30 AM PST by
    Dolby Atmos LOGO

    The immersive audio format continues to expand to more theaters and films.

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  • Don't Miss 'Moana' in Dolby Cinema

    Posted Fri Dec 2, 2016 at 04:14 PM PST by

    This week I had the great fortune to do something quite rare in the new-parenting universe. I went to the cinema. Twice! And, during this week's different-day double-feature, I realized a couple things. First, nothing replaces the full experience and scope of going to a movie theatre. More important, though, contrasting experiences underscored how vital it is to seek out a quality auditorium when stepping away from our home theatres.

    My first screening was the contained sci-fi drama, 'Arrival', which is wonderful and heartbreaking and smart and everything in between. Screenwriter Eric Heisserer and director Dennis Villeneuve and the rest of the cast and crew made an incredibly moving and suspenseful film. I loved every frame.

    But I also loathed every frame.


    No, there weren't any focus issues or obvious projector problems. The sound was actually quite good. Cellphones stayed in pockets. And the auditorium itself was a modern and well-maintained Arclight location. But the contrast. Good lord, this purposefully shadowy movie was cast almost entirely in smudged GRAYNESS thanks to certifiably abysmal black levels. And with no black levels -- no contrast -- you lose colors and the overall image seems softer. It's a feedback loop for mediocrity.

    I hadn't realized it until this moment, but swapping between my Panasonic Plasma and the VIZIO P-Series and the LG E6 OLED (review next week!) has spoiled my ability to watch content on displays with crap contrast. I almost walked out because it's a bit of an artistic tragedy to watch films this way.

    Then came my saving grace.

    Then came 'Moana', which is currently heading into its second weekend at a variety of multiplexes, including several Dolby Cinema at AMC premium auditoriums.


    If you don't know what I mean by Dolby Cinema, have a read over HERE to catch up. The quick definition is this: Dolby Cinema, or Dolby Cinema at AMC, is a state-of-the-art cinema experience that combines Dolby Vision (a dual 4K laser projection system with a MILLION-TO-ONE contrast ratio) with Dolby Atmos (a fully hemispherical surround sound system that adds more subwoofers, full range and overhead speakers, and individual speaker amplification to standard commercial surround sound), leather recliners, and a massive screen.

    Dolby Cinema (along with other competing laser projection systems) is one of THE BEST ways to watch movies. It's on par going out and buying yourself an OLED or Full Array Local Dimming equipped Ultra HD LCD, only the screen is probably taller and wider than your house.


    'Moana' is Disney's latest Princess story. Like 'Frozen', it is modern with a fully realized (but flawed) female lead whose story is all her own. In other words, she's not waiting to be saved by a loving prince. Moana is the daughter of a Pacific Islander chief. She dreams of exploring the open ocean, but Dad won't let her leave the protective boundaries of their island's reef. Moana is also special; she has been chosen by the ocean itself to take on a special journey to find and escort the demi-god, Maui, across the sea so he can return the stolen heart of an island. If Moana fails, her island will die along with everyone she knows and loves. It's also a musical with a chicken sidekick and tons of details portraying the Pacific Islander voyager cultures. Much like 'Arrival', I loved every single frame and can't wait to share it with my little girl.

    On top of a great story and characters and action, I was fortunate enough to catch 'Moana' at the AMC Del Amo 18, which is home to one of the newest Dolby Cinema at AMC auditoriums. The best way to describe this film's video and audio quality is to say, if it was an Ultra HD Blu-ray with Dolby Atmos sound, it would be one of the best looking and sounding discs in your collection.

    'Moana' is pure demo material from start to end.


    The Dolby Vision graded imagery was gobsmackingly gorgeous and rendered with a dazzling array of colors. Unlike Pixar productions, Disney Animation Studios productions offer less semi-photo-real surfaces, but that's not a problem at all. Moana's Island is drenched in tropical forest greens and turquoise waters and pink sea shells. Her side-kick chicken bursts with a mix of brown and purple. Moana's manta-ray spiritual guide shimmers in and out of the rolling waters with a neon glow. Maui's tattoos appear handmade in a deep shade of black. Volcano-monsters erupt with red and orange lava. And this one underwater realm of bioluminescent monsters features some of the most vivid colors ever put to film (to digital?). It's all incredible. Textures too are well rendered and bold, from creatures and clothing to the canoe sails to Moana's hair (both dry and wet). Dolby Cinema at AMC typically only plays is 2D, but the Dolby Vision version of 'Moana' is so clear it feels like you're watching glasses-free 3D.

    (For what's it's worth, I checked with Dolby and did confirm 'Moana' is in the DCI P3 color space, but I thought maybe that sequence in the underwater land of the monsters was Rec 2020.)


    'Moana's Dolby Atmos mix is shut-up-and-take-my-money good. If THIS track doesn't convince Disney's home entertainment division to include the Atmos mix on the Blu-ray, we may never hear a Disney film at home beyond 7.1. Compare this mix to what Marvel's doing with Atmos and it's a clear demonstration of how filmmakers can 1) utilize this technology in vastly different ways and 1) a lesson on how you can build entire aural universes with object-based audio. This mix rockets back and forth between intimate and grand, delivering everything from the subtle nuances of gently lapping waves and pecking chickens to the hemispherical immersion of epic Disney musical numbers to the all out assault of action sequences that are as thrilling as anything in 'Mad Max Fury Road'.

    I just can't get over how Dolby Atmos, when done as right as it was here, tears away the sensation of sitting in a darkened room and propels audiences directly into the story. One moment I was a husband and father in his mid-30s, and the next I was a young princess listening to the songs of my ancestors, charging across the tropical seas with voices and orchestras and sound effects cascading all around me. I was also a fan of the mix's aggressive use of overhead sounds and deep rumbling bass. Like I said, demo material... made all the more pleasurable because the movie's also pretty great.


    I write about Dolby products a lot. Sometimes because they invite me. Sometimes because I need a story. And sometimes, like today, because I'm simply in awe of what I've just experienced. As such, my goal here is to shout into this universe that QUALITY matters. Quality impacts the emotional experience of going to the cinema. And sure, quality won't save a bad movie, but it certainly adds to the magic of the good ones.

    So do yourself a favor. Don't miss the chance to see 'Moana' in a Dolby Cinema before it's too late (click HERE for a list of locations). We may never get another opportunity to see and hear it as the filmmakers intended... on a sixty-plus-foot screen with laser-quality black levels surrounded by several dozen high-end speakers. Cheers.

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  • Integra Releases DSX-3 Slim A/V Receiver & DLB-5 Object-Based Surround Sound Bar

    Posted Mon Nov 28, 2016 at 09:00 AM PST by
    integra slim receiver

    Two new audio products are now shipping.

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  • Dolby and AMC Schedule Fan Events for 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them' at Dolby Cinema at AMC Theaters Nationwide

    Posted Mon Nov 14, 2016 at 06:30 PM PST by
    Dolby Cinema at AMC logo

    Fans visiting Dolby Cinema at AMC locations can attend a magical opening night for the upcoming film.

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  • Come See the SVS Prime Elevation Speaker Unboxed

    Posted Mon Nov 7, 2016 at 09:00 AM PST by
    SVS Prime Elevation Speaker news

    Immersive sound without the need for bounce.

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  • Marantz Details SR7011 AV Receiver & AV7703 AV Processor with Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, and HEOS Support

    Posted Fri Oct 7, 2016 at 12:15 PM PDT by
    marantz products

    Two new AV products have been revealed.  

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  • VUDU Adds 'Star Trek Beyond' to Streaming Library in 4K Ultra HD with Dolby Vision HDR & Dolby Atmos

    Posted Thu Oct 6, 2016 at 05:00 PM PDT by
    star trek beyond news

    VUDU users can now boldly go where no one has gone before... in Dolby Vision!  

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  • Klipsch Offers 'X-Men: Apocalypse' HD Wireless 3.1 Home Theater Sweepstakes!

    Posted Mon Oct 3, 2016 at 05:10 PM PDT by
    x-men klipsch

    The winner will receive a free sound system and X-Men Blu-ray collection!  

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  • HDD Gear Deals: Up to 25% off Speakers & Soundbars

    Posted Fri Sep 30, 2016 at 09:15 AM PDT by
    soundbar deal

    Amazon is offering discounts on select audio gear.

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  • Dolby Atmos Ultra HD Blu-ray Library Surpasses 50 Titles

    Posted Thu Sep 22, 2016 at 12:15 PM PDT by
    Dolby Atmos LOGO

    Check out Dolby's growing list of Ultra HD Blu-ray titles with Dolby Atmos audio!  

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  • Sony Preps New ES Series AV Receivers with Dolby Atmos & DTS:X

    Posted Fri Sep 16, 2016 at 12:00 PM PDT by
    sony es series receiver

    Four new AV receivers have been detailed.  

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  • Integra Unveils CEDIA 2016 Lineup of Audio Products, Including New Research Series

    Posted Thu Sep 15, 2016 at 03:45 PM PDT by
    integra cedia 2016

    Five new audio products have been detailed.

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  • Pioneer Introduces Elite SC-LX701, SC-LX801 & SC-LX901 Network AV Receivers

    Posted Thu Sep 15, 2016 at 12:15 PM PDT by
    pioneer elite cedia 2016

    Three new Elite receivers have been detailed.  

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  • Pioneer Details Home Entertainment Lineup for CEDIA 2016

    Posted Wed Sep 14, 2016 at 03:00 PM PDT by
    pioneer cedia 2016

    The company is displaying several new audio products at the show.

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  • Klipsch Details IFA 2016 Audio Lineup, Including New Wireless Speakers & Soundbars

    Posted Fri Sep 2, 2016 at 04:30 PM PDT by
    klipsch wireless speakers

    New audio products are now on display at the show.  

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