'Cinema watching will be taken to another level'

Chennai, Oct 21 (IANS) The future of sound in cinema is object-based and the new challenge is to narrate a story from an audio perspective, says Pankaj Kedia, country manager, Dolby India, which promises to take the cinema-watching experience to another level with a new audio system.

"Gone are the days of 5.1 and 7.1 channels based audio system. Today the challenge is to tell a story from an audio perspective. People watching films want to be transported into the story with a life-like, sensory experience," Kedia told IANS in an interview.

Dolby, a pioneer in offering best entertainment experience, has introduced a new audio platform called Dolby Atmos, designed to fit into an existing setup of a theatre with minimum production impact.

"Dolby Atmos delivers a new level of creative control to sound designers and mixers by marrying today's familiar channel-based mixing methods with dynamic audio object-based mixing. The object-based mixing provides total control over placement and movement of individual sounds or objects anywhere within the theatre environment," explained Kedia.

"If you want to place the sound of a passing helicopter from a film above the viewers' head, it's possible now with Atmos. It allows you to move sounds anywhere in the theatre, at every nook and corner," he added.

The audio platform uses information about speaker layout and acoustic capabilities of the theatre to determine the best way to render the audio, which will sound as close to the original artistic intent as possible, for that specific environment.

Dolby has introduced five English films to date in Atmos technology - "Brave", "Life of Pi", "Taken 2", "Chasing Mavericks" and "The Rise of the Guardians".

An India rollout is on the anvil soon.

"We have started work in India and are hoping to release a few films in Atmos very soon. A larger rollout is planned for early 2013", Kedia said.

Meanwhile, Dolby has collaborated with UFO Moviez, a digital cinema chain, to enhance the movie watching experience in small towns, by bringing high quality cinematic surround sound in theatres.

"Through our association with UFO, we plan to provide audio solutions to as many as 3,000 theatres in smaller markets in India," Kedia added.

So far, Dolby has launched over 30 films with 7.1 to date, and currently caters to 200 screens with 7.1 in India, and hopes to add 500 screens more by the end of 2012.

Some films launched in Dolby 7.1 include "Dum Maaro Dum", "Bodyguard", "Ra.One", "Rockstar", "Kahaani", "Housefull 2", "Gangs of Wasseypur 2", "Ek Tha Tiger" and southern movie "Billa 2".

(Haricharan Pudipeddi can be contacted at haricharanpudipeddi@gmail.com)

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