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Freeing Sound from Channels—the Dolby Atmos Concept

Traditional surround soundtracks must confine all sounds to the 5.1 or 7.1 channels of a typical home theater setup. If a scene requires, say, a helicopter taking off, that sound has to be assigned to specific channels and mixed together with other sounds.

While that helicopter can move across channels, it can’t go above you. You hear it only from the small number of predetermined locations defined by the speaker setup, not as you’d hear it in real life.

Dolby Atmos, by contrast, frees sound from channels. It’s the first cinematic audio format in which sounds exist as individual entities, called audio objects. In Dolby Atmos, any sound—the helicopter, a car screeching around a corner, a melodic bird call—can exist as an independent audio object, free of channel restrictions. They can be precisely placed and moved anywhere in your room, including overhead, to flow above and around you in three-dimensional space.

Through the use of audio objects, overhead sound, and all the richness, clarity, and power of Dolby sound, Dolby Atmos turns your room into an amazing place for entertainment. You’ll feel like you’re inside the action, in ways you’ve never before experienced.

Brief Tech Overview

Dolby Atmos for the home represents every sound in the original cinema mix as an audio object. Extensions to our Dolby Audio™ codecs, along with an advanced scalable algorithm, allow Dolby Atmos to be delivered via Blu-ray Disc and streaming media. A Dolby Atmos audio/video receiver (AVR) adapts the cinema experience to your home theater from seven speakers to as many as 34, recreating the original artistic concept.

  • Supports up to 128 simultaneous independent audio objects in a mix for rich, realistic, and breathtaking sound
  • Recreates the director’s original concept through descriptive metadata to provide customized playback for home theater
  • Delivers sounds above you through overhead speakers, special upward-firing Dolby Atmos speakers, or a Dolby Atmos enabled sound bar

Dolby Atmos for the Home Benefits

  • Moving Audio That Flows Around You

    You’ll feel like you’re inside the action as the sounds of people, music, and things come alive with breathtaking realism and move all around you in three-dimensional space.

  • Reproduces All the Audio Objects in the Original Cinema Mix

    Reproduces up to 128 simultaneous audio objects in a mix for rich, realistic, and breathtaking sound.

  • Compatible Playback

    Dolby Atmos® discs and online content are fully compatible for playback on conventional stereo and on 5.1- and 7.1-channel systems, giving you the same outstanding experience you’ve always enjoyed.

  • A Growing Library of Content

    As movie directors increasingly choose Dolby Atmos for their soundtracks, you’ll find a growing library of movies and other content on Blu-ray Disc™ and online from premium services.

Setting Up Your Room

Audio accounts for 50 percent of the cinema experience, and a surround sound system can create a complete audio environment around you.

A good 5.1-channel system will give you a full surround sound experience. Most DVD and Blu-ray™ media, some Super Audio CDs (SACDs), broadcast TV, and many streaming sources are in 5.1-channel format.

Going to 7.1 channels improves the directionality of sound effects and adds to the audio ambience of 3D. Some Blu-ray Disc™ and premium streaming sources feature 7.1. (They will sound fine on a 5.1 system, too.)

downloadA 9.1-channel system adds front height speakers to take advantage of Dolby® Pro Logic® IIz, which derives height information from the signal.

A Dolby Atmos system creates audio “objects” and overhead sound to create a true multidimensional audio experience.

The Steinway Lyngdorf P200 Surround Sound Processor can output up to 256  seperate audio channels.

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