Dolby Supporting Atmos Rollout – Dolby Labs wants to be a resource for consumers and dealers in the launch of their new surround sound system, Dolby Atmos. They plan demo discs, a white paper, information on setting up systems and an installation guide highlighting proper speaker placement. PowerPoint presentations will also be supplied soon to dealers and suppliers. Onkyo and Pioneer have already created Atmos microsites and educational videos, and Yamaha has launched five new AVRs with it. Atmos eschews channel-based approaches to soundtrack surround mixes. It attaches specific X, Y and Z coordinates to each sound or object, to describe that sound’s location anywhere in a 360-degree space around listeners.
Changing the Blu-ray spec was not needed to accommodate Atmos soundtracks; metadata is just added to Dolby TrueHD soundtracks. AVRs and preamps with Atmos will up-mix stereo and multichannel sources to Atmos, delivering height information to added in-ceiling speakers or to angled-height drivers embedded in special Atmos-enabled left, right and surround speakers. Those drivers bounce height information off the ceiling. Dolby has worked with suppliers to ensure their room-correction and calibration technologies work well with Atmos soundtracks, and they have worked with THX to ensure there is no conflict between that firm’s home-theater-certification standards and Dolby’s requirements for Atmos. Atmos soundtracks are being used in an increasing number of feature films and many theaters are converting to their proper playback. When Atmos soundtracks are played in a home theater setup lacking Atmos decoding, enhanced sound will still be delivered because the soundtracks are mixed for cinemas with full-range surround speakers. Some of the streaming services are already transmitting Atmos soundtracks with films.
Samsung Adds Giraffic Technology to Their Smart TVs – Samsung has selected Giraffic Adaptive Video Accelerator (AVA) technology that “virtually eliminates re-buffering” during streaming video. The technology from the Israeli company can be used by over-the-top and video-on-demand providers and for all HTTP-based playback and rich media downloading. The software accelerates content streamed or downloaded to the smart TV without any further integration or implementation required from the content provider. The technology will improve video streaming over any Internet connection, and runs on any device, including smart TVs, IP set-top boxes, smartphones and tablets.
New USB Spec – Just when users are getting their gear up to speed with the USB 3.0 connector replacing the USB 2.0, A new, improved but not totally backward-compatible USB 3.1 standard is now the next generation. It is smaller and more user-friendly for mobile devices and is reversible, making it easier to make a connection without determining which end is up. An adaptor will be required to use devices with the new standard with USB 3.0.