Sound Investment: Dolby previews its latest audio innovations


Dolby, a longstanding pioneer in audio, never stops innovating. Here, Jed Harmsen, Dolby’s senior director, worldwide cinema products and support, previews the company’s latest enhancements that will be on display at CineEurope in Barcelona, Spain.

What are Dolby’s new product launches and features this year?

Dolby continues to innovate and lead by bringing new technology and experiences to market. Specifically for CineEurope, we have several new product launches and features this year.

The Dolby Multichannel Amplifier allows you to replace up to 16 stereo amplifiers, while saving space, reducing heat and lowering overall costs. It’s available in either 16, 24 or 32-channel configurations, with the 16-channel configuration now available with enhanced power handling for lower-impedance loudspeakers. Additionally, it now integrates with traditional 5.1/7.1 cinema processors, such as the CP750, via an external analog-to-digital converter which also broadens its applicability.

Our SLS three-axis speakers MA460AS and MA480AS are high-powered, easy-to-install 400-watt surround speakers for side and overhead applications. They deliver exceptional performance in sound pressure level (SPL), incredibly rich, clear sound, and reliability for larger auditoriums.

The SLS CS1090 is a two-way passive surround loudspeaker intended for small to medium-sized auditoriums for either Atmos®, 5.1 or 7.1 applications. The speaker features smooth response and consistent polar patterns throughout its entire range, high-power compact enclosure and flexible mounting options. Moreover, the SLS CS1090 provides the versatility to function as both surround and overhead applications in Atmos, 5.1 or 7.1 auditoriums.

What are the new or unique features of the Dolby Multichannel Amplifier and how does it benefit exhibitors?

The new innovative implementations for the Dolby Multichannel Amplifier provide greater versatility, as they allow the amplifier to go from targeting amplification for primarily Dolby Atmos surround channels to additionally supporting screen channels as well as traditional 5.1/7.1 multichannel audio rooms.

What are the new or unique features of the SLS three-axis MA460AS and MA480AS speakers, and how do they benefit exhibitors?

The SLS three-axis speakers MA460AS and MA480AS adopt two custom waveguide options, offering an asymmetric dispersion pattern for more uniform coverage in all seating locations across the theatre, giving your guests the ultimate cinema audio experience. They also provide pan, tilt and rotation capabilities for larger cinemas and auditoriums and are housed in a spherical-shaped molded enclosure that enables quick installation and easy three-axis aiming for fulfilling Dolby Atmos aiming configurations, without obstructing projector light lines.

What is new for Dolby Atmos?

Dolby Atmos adoption by exhibitor partners is continuously increasing on a global scale, with now over 4,000 screens worldwide and over 1,000 titles, and is well established as the industry-leading immersive audio format. We are constantly innovating our Dolby Atmos specifications and requirements in order to provide additional flexibility to exhibitors, while maintaining the same superior sound quality and immersive experience for moviegoers. Some of the recent changes to the specifications better align power requirements against the demands of Dolby Atmos soundtracks while maintaining superior sound quality, for maximum cost efficiency.