DCS Sponsor Dolby announced today that they are launching “Dolby Cinema”, a premium, large-format theater experience that could challenge large-format leader Imax. With it’s new Atmos immersive sound system, which was introduced in 2012, they are already in roughly 700 theaters worldwide. Meanwhile, Imax is in more than 800 theaters worldwide, and Dolby seems to want a piece of that action.
In addition to Atmos sound, the new system will include features such as giant screens, and the ability to project High Dynamic Range images with expanded color gamut. Dolby has been touting HDR to the Industry as part of their Dolby Vision initiative which emphases higher quality pixels instead of just more pixels. It can be added during postproduction irrespective of the acquisition format. (See DCS NAB interview with Roland Vlaicu for more on Dolby Vision: http://vimeo.com/91371311 )
Initially, Dolby’s new theatrical system will use two Christie 4K laser projectors to increase brightness to as much as 31 FootLamberts for 2D and 14 FootLamberts for 3D. This increased brightness should be a boon to the Dolby 3D system for stereo movies. The first Dolby Cinema is set to open in December in the Netherlands. Dolby is offering a profit-sharing deal to theater owners, and consumers can expect significantly increased ticket prices for the premium experience. While they line up theaters in the U.S., Dolby is also negotiating content and technology partnerships to encourage that movies will be created in Dolby Vision.