When you go to your Blu-ray player to plop in Universal’s Warcraft on September 27, you’ll expect to see gorgeous fantasy vistas, colorful characters, and massive, epic battle sequences. The picture will be lovely if you have any sort of good television, but you’ll have a choice to make when it comes to sound. Regardless of what kind of sound set-up you have, you’ll have several options for audio tracks. Certainly very common for home entertainment releases; however, one option you’ll find is Dolby Atmos. This is surely just if you’re screening it in a movie theater, yes? Not so! Dolby Atmos works with many home systems, so watching Warcraft can be a truly engulfing cinematic experience by “placing” the sound of the movie around the room, even overhead.
Some of you may have experienced Dolby Atmos at theaters, but we were given a demonstration at Dolby’s Burbank facility. While the sound engineers for the film were mastering a Dolby Atmos track for Warcraft, they told us they became enamored with one specific sequence that utilized the technology best –when Medivh helps to teleport Garona out of Karazahn. The spell’s blue swirls zip around the characters and the sounds were meticulously placed throughout the “room” of the scene to give the illusion that everything is actually moving, and subtle echoes allow the brain to more acutely believe what’s going on.
At the presentation were shown the second teaser for Star Wars: The Force Awakens (the one that ends with “Chewie…we’re home”). I’ve seen this trailer about six million times, but the Dolby Atmos version truly heightened everything. You felt every blaster bolt, reverberated with every lightsaber swoosh, and your gut rumbled with each and every spaceship screaming passed the camera, from the back of the house, over your head, to the front. And the music! I welled up as though I were seeing it for the first time.
We were also shown a home theater set up, with a large but not gargantuan television. Dolby has been working with several different manufacturers including Samsung, Definitive Technology, and Klipsch for speakers, soundbars, and AVRs that are Dolby Atmos enabled. One option is the Samsung Dolby Atmos Soundbar HW K950, which, despite the name, is a package of speakers that includes a wireless subwoofer and wireless rear speakers to go along with the Samsung Soundbar with Dolby Atmos itself. It’s the first Dolby Atmos-enabled soundbar to support 4K pass-through via HDMI, so you can attach 4K sources such as Ultra HD Blu-ray players, the Xbox One S, and a cable box to its two HDMI inputs.
Definitive Technology has you covered in the Dolby Atmos department with the BP9000 system, which offers four towers cut into minimalist sizes accompanied by center-channels, surrounds, and height speakers. The big daddy in this set is the BP9080X, a mammoth tower with two-way Dolby Atmos-enabled height speakers built right into the top, each 9080X comes with an integrated 12-inch subwoofer and dual bass radiators for even richer low-end sound, three 5.25-inch midrange drivers, and dual 1-inch aluminum dome tweeters.
Klipsch Dolby Atmos speakers are yet another option for your home theater that make the best use of their space. Klipsch’s acclaimed controlled directivity is the obvious choice for producing Dolby Atmos overhead, life-like presence, and the RP-280FA floorstanding speaker and RP-140SA elevation speaker are able to achieve the Dolby Atmos home theater experience by reflecting sound off the ceiling down to the listener. You can find the complete line of Dolby Atmos-enabled hardware right here.
With a wide variety of movies being made that utilize the Dolby Atmos technology, theaters becoming more and more equipped to handle the signal—be it on their old set up or new specially-fitted ones—, and the ability to get the full effect in a home setting, Dolby is ensuring that their technology is of the highest quality and the most immersive audio experiences. It feels like you’re inside the movie/show/game in a way no other system has allowed. It’s the visuals and sound working as one; you’ll want to watch everything this way.
Images: Universal/Legendary Pictures
Editor’s Note: Nerdist Industries is a subsidiary of Legendary Digital Networks