Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Home Theater Podcast

Scott Wilkinson from Ultimate AV Magazine and Home Theater Magazine started a weekly podcast recently. I've found it to have quite a bit of good information about home theater video and audio. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

iPods and Dolby Mobile

Join the Facebook group for consumers who support integrating Dolby Mobile into iPods and iPhones, bringing surround sound to any pair of headphones.
Join here.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Audio Dolby

New resources from Dolby. Find out how Dolby can improve your audio experience anytime you listen to music or watch movies.
Dolby Laboratories: Audio Dolby

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Dolby Pro Logic II - Being Surrounded

Dolby Pro Logic II is the ancestor of the original Dolby Pro Logic technology. The main idea behind Pro Logic was to expand any stereo sound source into 4 channels (front left, right, center, and one surround behind the listener). This quickly developed into Pro Logic II, which splits the stereo source into 5 channels, more common in homes today, with two surround channels.

Dolby has also introduced additional iterations of its PLII technology known as Pro Logic IIx and Pro Logic IIz. PLIIx splits the stereo sound into 7 channels to be listened to with a 7.1 system, and PLIIz adds two height channels to PLIIx (one above the front left and right channels).

The great thing about PLII is the ability to enjoy a much more expansive surround experience in a home theater with only stereo source audio. iPods and other MP3 players are popular due to their portability, but the sound must be compressed into a smaller stereo format. PLII expands this audio into a more realistic surround experience, which can be especially enjoyable when viewing movies that are encoded in stereo. Dolby even has a solution for when the listener is using headphones rather than a home theater system. Dolby Headphone can be used with any set of headphones to sound more like surround sound. Combined with PLII, Dolby Headphone .

Learn more here.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Dolby Digital - A Closer Look

In summary, Dolby Digital is an audio codec that encodes up to 5.1 discrete channels that can then be played back, or decoded, for surround sound. Most of us have probably heard the term Dolby Digital and may have associated it somehow with surround sound, but may not have known exactly what it is or does.

Dolby Digital became the standard audio for the DVD and has been adopted by most broadcasters, which helped define the home theater setup as we know it today - front left and right speakers, a center speaker primarily for dialogue, surround left and right speakers for ambiance, and the low frequency effects (LFE) channel for better bass. Most, if not all, DVD players decode Dolby Digital audio to allow playback on 5 speakers and 1 subwoofer (hence 5.1 as the LFE channel is not a full range channel - usually below 100Hz) as discrete channels of information. The decoded audio information flows from the DVD player to the A/V receiver (AVR) and then to the 5.1 speaker system for surround sound. The surround experience could be possible without Dolby Digital, but the storage space required would exceed what could be included on a single DVD. Dolby Digital, also know as AC3, is a compression of that audio without losing the discrete channel information and requiring much less storage. For more details and specifications click here.

What to look for: Look for the Dolby Digital logo on any consumer electronics device you purchase to ensure it will be capable of 5.1 surround sound playback. Devices include DVD players, AVRs, TVs, satellite receivers, cable receivers, portable DVD players, and more.

Dolby has expanded its technologies for even greater sound quality with today's high definition formats, such as Blu-ray. More about that later.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Dolby in your Home Theater

Dolby recently gave Engadget a rundown of its current technologies that impact anyone with a home theater. Engadget notes that Dolby may be a household name, but how many people really understand how Dolby impacts our lives with entertainment? This article gives some answers. Understanding the purpose of Dolby's technologies and how they are integrated into devices and software will help you unlock the high quality audio of your home theater system. Feel free to send questions about how to unlock pure Dolby quality sound in your home theater. You can also visit Dolby's web site for additional resources and answers.