Los Angeles—Apr 23, 2012
Software Lets Movie Theatres Play 7.1 and 11.1 Surround Sound without Adding Speakers
Accomplished through Partnership between DMS and GenAudio
Movie theatres can now significantly enhance the audio experience for consumers -- without adding additional speakers. This advance, accomplished through software, is being brought to the market through a partnership between Digital Media Solutions (DMS), a worldwide leader in audio processors and tools (CINEAUDIO™) for movie theaters and post-production studios, and GenAudio, an award winning technology provider of unique 3D spatial audio software-based solutions.
In the theater, the CINEAUDIO™ cinema processor unit integrated with AstoundSurround® for Cinema software takes the multi-channel audio printmaster with discrete channel inputs (e.g. 7.1, 11.1 or more) in real-time and renders the same multi-channel audio experience in any existing 5.1 multi-channel audio equipped room, maintaining all panning information (including elevated audio channel information). All that is required for the theater is either a software update for existing DMS cinema processor installations or a new CINEAUDIO™-AstoundSurround cinema interface. This is the only 3D audio solution that does not force theater owners to invest in expensive new speaker hardware installations to reproduce multi-dimensional sound.
Unlike conventional 35mm film, digital cinema is capable of higher motion picture frame rates to create a more natural and immersive 3D visual experience. AstoundSurround is the perfect complement to this enhancement and allows movie-goers to enjoy a significantly enhanced 3D audio experience that actually matches the visuals. A key advantage to AstoundSurround is that it works regardless of where you sit in the theater with no sweet spot. Thus, the entire audience is enveloped in sound that intensifies and heightens their motion picture experience.
AstoundSurround real-time digital signal processing software technology does not require any change in audio mixing workflow during post-production, making it very cost-effective for the studios. Directors can fuse the audience into their motion picture in a way that was never before possible by enabling a spherical sound field that includes accurate elevation and depth perception in both the positive and negative directions (e.g. +Z and –Z auditory perception). Current competing audio technology requires additional speakers to be mounted in various locations on a theater auditorium’s ceiling that only addresses the positive elevation direction, and it is prohibitively expensive and time consuming.
“I was very impressed with AstoundSurround the first time I listened in a theatrical setting,” said Herve Roux, CEO of DMS. “The room was alive with audio, and I felt as though there were speakers all around and above me. The inclusion of AstoundSurround software in our CINEAUDIO processors is a unique competitive advantage for DMS and our customers. There is no doubt that film-makers will take advantage of this multi-channel audio capability to engulf consumers with a unique audio experience. Best of all movie theater owners are going to truly appreciate the business and technical benefits of this unique audio cinema processor solution. This confirms product compatibility with both 2D and 3D sound technologies and our DNA to be an open platform to deliver the necessary products, tools and solutions for movie theaters.”
Of the 155,000 cinemas in the world, more than 75% are already converted to 5.1 sound. A value add of AstoundSurround, when deployed in conjunction with the DMS audio servers, is that it does not require theater owners to incur the added expense of updating all of their 5.1 digital audio rooms to accommodate the new higher channel speaker count of multi-channel movies, when they are released. This approach saves theater owners time and money by enabling their 5.1 digital audio rooms to be fully compatible with current and future multi-channel audio delivery formats.
“We are very pleased to be able to deliver AstoundSurround with an industry leading company in the digital theater space like DMS,” explained Jerry Mahabub, founder and CEO of GenAudio. “DMS is a recognized world leader for digital audio cinema processors and they are the perfect partner to deliver our latest theatrical audio software solution. The global support of DMS in movie theaters complements GenAudio’s thrust to deliver high quality audio in other industries such as consumer electronics and video games.”
DMS and GenAudio will begin deploying CINEAUDIO™-AstoundSurround enabled cinema audio processors starting mid summer of 2012. Pricing was not announced at this time.