At ShoWest 2010, Dolby Laboratories announced it is working with Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar Animation Studios to deliver a new audio format, Dolby Surround 7.1.
Disney and Pixar have stated that Dolby Surround 7.1 will be launched in select theatres with the release of Toy Story 3 in 3D this June.
Dolby Surround 7.1 brings a more exciting sensory experience to audiences for 2D and gives content creators control over audio placement in a theatre when mixing 3D movies.
Dolby Surround 7.1 provides content creators four surround zones to better orchestrate audio channels in a movie theatre environment. The four surround zones incorporate the traditional Left Surround and Right Surround with new Back Surround Left and Back Surround Right zones. The addition of the two Back Surround zones enhances directionality in panning 360 degrees around the theatre.
Dolby Surround 7.1 format comprises 8 channels of audio and has the following channel layout: Left, Center, Right, Low-Frequency Effects (LFE), Left Surround, Right Surround, Back Surround Left (new), and Back Surround Right (new). In order for exhibitors to deliver the new format, Dolby will be providing Dolby Surround 7.1 playback capabilities in the Dolby CP650 and Dolby CP750 digital cinema audio processor lines.
At ShoWest, Dolby is demonstrating to exhibitors a discrete 7.1 mixed demo reel of past Pixar movies to showcase the audio solution.