Auro-3D surround partners with Datasat for home debut

posted on Tuesday, 5th November 2013 by Steve May

home cinema  High-end 

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Auro-3D surround sound is making the leap from commercial cinema to high-end home theatre. Datasat Digital Entertainment has partnered with Auro Technologies to incorporate the advanced surround sound format into its RS20i processor (pictured above). The package will begin shipping early 2014. Distribution is via Genesis Technologies.

Wilfried Van Baelen, CEO of Auro Technologies, describes the new sound format as "revolutionary" enabling "deeper levels of sound immersion and brings richer forms of entertainment to the high-end market." The agreement builds on the relationship established between both companies when Barco first selected Datasat's audio processor technology to provide the core of its Auro 11.1 by Barco solution for professional digital cinema.

Auro-3D consists of three horizontal layers around the listener; supplementary height and top layers allows Auro-3D to deliver to a variety of speaker configurations up to 13.1. In smaller installs, this would typically comprise a 9.1 channel layout comprising 5 standard speakers bolstered by height speakers frontand rear. This could go to a 10.1 channel configuration with the addition of a central high Voice of God speaker. Larger rooms have the option of additional height channels.

The RS20i audio processor is a derivation of the Datasat (formerly DTS Digital Cinema) cinema grade AP20 procerssor. Like its commercial sibling, the RS20i offers users a multiplicity of presets which can be optimised to different content sources and types. It also features built-in Dirac Live room optimisation requiring a dealer set up, with a 31-band EQ and parametric EQ on all 16 channels. Currently there have been no announcements of Blu-ray movie releases with native Auro-3D soundtracks, although the Auro-3D DSP engine will interpolate any existing format into multi-channel PCM.

In the commercial cinema space, Auro-3D's main rival in advanced surround is Dolby Atmos. However unlike Auro, Atmos supports both channel and object mixing, wherein sounds are no longer locked to specific channels, instead they are wrapped in virtual position metadata and assigned positions dynamically during playback. In larger cinemas with hundreds of speakers, an individual enclosure in an auditorium can be used to deliver a specific effect, as mixed by the film's sound designer. In smaller theatres, the Dolby Atmos system creates a phantom speaker from whatever array exists, using a technique called adaptive rendering, so that sound still appears in approximately the same place. Currently no consumer iteration has been announced, although Inside CI is aware of discussions that could also lead to Atmos enterting the consumer market.

Also read:
CEDIA throws the spotlight on Auro 11.1 surround sound

Expendable 2 to be the first Blu-ray with 11.1 audio

SVS sub isolation system boosts bass, quells quakes

Steve May

Steve is a veteran of the UK consumer electronics industry, having covered it for
various media outlets for more than 20 years.

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