Dolby Atmos Might Be the Future of Home Theaters
We’ve been talking a lot about lately about the visual side of your home theater system, specifically your newest and greatest TV options like UHD and HDR, but every home theater aficionado knows that sound is just as critical to creating a complete and riveting viewer experience. And now, here’s the very good news: Dolby Atmos, the revolutionary sound system that’s been transforming your cinema experiences for several years is now ready to become part of your home theater experience as well.
What is Dolby Atmos?
Traditional home theater speaker systems direct sound at the listener in straight lines. The sound might be coming from speakers that surround the listeners, but it’s still a two-dimensional experience. That’s because conventionally, sound engineers were forced to separate sound into channels that can only deliver each sound from speakers directed from the front, back, left, or right.
Dolby Atmos eliminates the need for those channels, allowing every kind of sound to move three-dimensionally through the listening space. That means that a home theater viewer can experience sounds that accompany images in the actual way they would in real life. A helicopter falling out of the sky, for example: you’d hear that above you, coming down on top of you, right? In a traditional home theater, you might hear that crash coming from your side. With Dolby Atmos, you can experience it exactly the way you might if you were right there, watching the action in person.
What new equipment will I need?
Transforming your home theater for the Dolby Atmos experience will require some new equipment, it’s true, but the immersive, breathtaking experience is well worth the investment. If you’re considering it, here’s what you’ll need:
If you already have a surround sound setup, you’re almost there. Most of your speakers will work just fine with the Dolby Atmos system. You will, however, need to incorporate a strategy that allows the overhead sound—the key component of Dolby Atmos—to happen. You can do that either by installing overhead speakers or by going with Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers, which are engineered to fire sound upward, allowing it to bounce off the ceiling and downward onto listeners.
An AVR or a preamp/processor that supports Dolby Atmos is also necessary, as it will do all the pre-speaker magic, including signal processing. A wide variety of top manufacturers have introduced Dolby Atmos AVRs, so your choices won’t be limited.
A way to play content:
As with all new home theater technologies, content is crucial to enjoying the true experience. Fortunately, the industry is just as excited about Dolby Atmos as home theater enthusiasts are, and a Dolby Atmos-enabled Blu-Ray player is already available. Hundreds of hit movies have also been remastered and reissued featuring new, Dolby Atmos soundtracks, and a number of streaming services, including Vudu, Netflix, YouTube. Hulu Plus, Facebook, and Pandora, offer Dolby Atmos streaming content.
The right setup:
To get the most out of your Dolby Atmos home theater, you’ll also want to consult an expert who can help you get your new setup perfect. Whether you’re retrofitting an existing home theater for Dolby Atmos performance or starting from scratch, achieving the ideal setup will make a big impact on the performance of your system. We’d love to help! If you’re interested in seeing how Dolby Atmos can transform your home theater, call our local experts at Jackson Hole AV to find out how to get started.