Dolby Atmos, the cinema sound system that puts moviegoers in the middle of the action, is eventually coming to home entertainment. Dolby Atmos has the ability to have sounds come from above you. In the movie Noah, for instance, Dolby Atmos in the cinema made it sound like the torrential rains were pouring down from the sky on top of you.
In order to recreate this effect in your living room, you can install speakers in your ceiling. But since that is probably not possible for you and for many people, Dolby's partners including Pioneer will offer new Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers that produce full, detailed overhead sound from speakers located where your conventional speakers are now. You can even choose an add-on, Dolby Atmos-enabled speaker module that complements your existing speakers.
But how does Dolby create the sensation of sounds above your head if there are no speakers above your head? "It’s complicated, but it all comes down to understanding the physics of sound waves and understanding the way your brain interprets those sound waves," said Brett Crockett, director of sound research, Dolby.
Dolby's partners will also offer home theater receivers and other entertainment devices to decode and deliver the Dolby Atmos experience in your home. And you likely won’t need a new Blu-ray player—existing players that fully conform to the Blu-ray specification will be able to support Dolby Atmos content on a Blu-ray Disc.
Dolby is also working with studios and production houses to help them create Dolby Atmos soundtracks for a broad range of movies and TV for home viewing. You’ll start to see Dolby Atmos titles on Blu-ray and streaming video services this fall, with more to come at the start of 2015.