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Dolby's immersive Atmos audio is coming to your living room

Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
June 23, 2014
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Dolby's Atmos technology, which bombards you with sound from all directions, was undoubtedly built with movie theaters in mind; few have the money or space for that many speakers. However, the company has at last devised a way to bring Atmos to your living room. While the solution will let you hang speakers from the ceiling if you're so inclined, it will primarily rely on audio systems that produce overhead sound through physics tricks. This could get expensive, as you might imagine. On top of an Atmos-capable receiver, you'll need either speakers with native Atmos support or modules that add to your existing setup. Thankfully, you probably won't have to toss out everything -- the Blu-ray spec can already handle Atmos, so most existing disc players should work.

The Dolby crew isn't showing off any devices yet, but you won't have to wait long to give extra-immersive audio a shot. Studios plan to release Atmos-ready movies on Blu-ray and streaming services starting this fall. Logically, supporting hardware will also surface in the "next few months." We suspect that many will be happy to get by on 'just' conventional surround sound, but this might be right up your alley if you want to recreate as much of the theatrical experience as possible.

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