News: Dolby Releases New Surround Format, Goes Vertical

News: Dolby Releases New Surround Format, Goes Vertical

Anthony Nguyen
Mar 13, 2009

Just when you thought your elaborate 7.1 speaker setup couldn't get any more complicated, Dolby announces a brand new standard to do just that. Check it - if you want an even fuller immersible experience when watching your movies, you're going to need another pair of speakers that come at you vertically. With this added component, you get cool stuff like "ambiance and amorphous effects like rain or wind." So you can like, experience movies like Twister better.

If you're curious on what a 9.1 surround sound system looks like, just take a look at the example above. This new Dolby surround format, coined "Pro Logic IIz," has many reasons for being thrown into the mix:

"7.1-channel surround sound has made the home theater experience exceptionally involving and compelling. However, due to room layouts and space limitations, not every setup can accommodate the back speakers of a 7.1 system. Through our extensive research into multichannel listening, we have developed technology that delivers alternative solutions.

Extensive listening sessions established that adding a height dimension to a home theater brings a greater sense of realism than would the addition of surround speakers in the horizontal plane to 7.1 systems. People are also far more sensitive to directional cues from sounds occurring in front than from those behind, determining that front speaker placement is ideal."

Makes sense on paper. But it makes little sense in filling up an entire room chalk full of speakers. C'mon, 9 speakers? Cut us some slack, Dolby, most of us barely got up to 5 speakers, let alone 7.

What do you guys think about this new format?

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