For any movie buff out there, the thrills and the spills of the latest Hollywood blockbuster film is enough to keep you on the edge of your seat. But the technology behind what makes the sights and the sounds of an unforgettable movie theatre experience has been slowly moving out of the movie theatres and into homes. Let’s take a look at some of the best movie sound technology that has made the leap into home theatre set ups that anyone can now enjoy.
Multiple Speaker Systems
One of the biggest known theatre audio standards these days is Dolby Digital, which was created by the Dolby organisation to help introduce a standard of theatre audio across the board, to help directors give their full theatre experience as it was intended to theatre-goers no matter which cinema you went to.
Dolby Digital Standards
Dolby Digital is the name given to the compression technology that the Dolby created to allow multiple audio channels to be fed to specific speakers in order to replicate how a movie was recorded and follows what is being done or said on screen.
Dolby Digital and Dolby Surround EX, the cinema version of its surround sound system is now used in many home theatre systems, Blu-ray players and other digital devices to bring a greater bitrate of audio. It was first used in conjunction with Lucas film THX to make up the audio on the modern Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, and was later used to re-encode the re-mastered Star Wars Blu-Ray.
The THX Standard Experience
THX is another theatre-grade audio specialist that licenses some of its technology to be used in consumer-grade equipment such as televisions, home cinema speakers and amplifiers. THX became popular through its innovative designs as well as its own compression techniques that rely on different codecs than used with Dolby Digital.
THX now has its badge on hundreds of different home theatre systems which allows anyone who watches a THX encoded film at home to enjoy it exactly how it sounded at the cinema, provided you have the correct multiple-speaker surround sound setup that is compatible with THX.
THX is seen as a quality-assurance system that allows consumers to purchase home cinema systems that will be compatible with certain standards of audio quality, speaker arrangements and amplifier settings needed to watch and enjoy a high quality audio experience.
THX standard goes much further to display whether a DVD or speaker setup is compatible, for the THX certification in theatres, each cinema needs to have a specifically designed theatre, with things like floorboards, audio muting, soundproofing, echo, wash and even building materials taken into account to provide the perfect setting to replicate the original soundtrack.
DTS – Digital Theatre System
DTS is another cinema audio system that is similar to Dolby Digital, it is an audio compression standard that allows cinemas, consumers and equipment to meet the standards necessary to playback media in the way the director intended.
DTS, or Digital Theatre System has had a range of different standards, ranging from 2.1 audio right up to 8.1, 10.2 and bigger speaker arrangements. Many people use its DTS 5.1 system in their surround sound amplifier and speaker distribution amp as it is one of the most popular standards to date.
DTS have launched DTS-HD Master Audio which allows for a nearly infinite number of discreet speaker channels to be added to a mix and is now making that standard in custom theatres around the world.
The Future Is Bright for Home Theatre
These standards, whilst tested at the latest theatres, always make it to the home theatre after a few years. By the time they reach our homes, the systems have been specially redesigned for home theatres so we can have the same kind of sound at home.
It’s important to note that the more speakers you add to your system doesn’t equate to the better quality, but if you use one of these three popular standards when purchasing your home theatre audio equipment, you really can’t go wrong!