Google Hopes its Stadia Will Become the Netflix of Gaming

At this week’s Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, Google introduced Stadia, a service that streams video games from the cloud to smartphones, tablets or computers with a Chrome browser or a TV using a Chromecast Ultra device. Google chief executive Sundar Pichai said people watching a video game on YouTube could simply click to join it. The company did not state whether the service would be compatible with Apple devices. The service is slated to launch later in 2019. Gaming, dominated by consoles, brings in $130+ billion yearly. Continue reading Google Hopes its Stadia Will Become the Netflix of Gaming

Apple TV Offers a Turnkey Premium Format With Dolby Atmos

Apple TV 4K, with the launch of tvOS 12, is about to get Dolby Atmos surround sound. Dolby Atmos, initially launched in movie theaters, differs from other cinema surround sound systems by replacing a fixed number of audio channels with the concept of audio “objects.” With Atmos, sound designers and mixers can manipulate each sound as an audio “object” and place it anywhere inside the “virtual” theater. When Atmos is played back in a real theater, the mix is mapped to the speakers to recreate the original intent. Continue reading Apple TV Offers a Turnkey Premium Format With Dolby Atmos

CES 2018: Roku Debuts Licensing Program with OEM Partners

Roku debuted its Roku Whole Home Entertainment Licensing Program, which will partner with original equipment manufacturing (OEM) partners to integrate voice search and other entertainment-related features into smart soundbars and speakers. The options for the new licensing program includes Roku Connect, a free program for its OEM partners that will enable them to build high-end wireless speakers that both connect to the Roku ecosystem and synchronize multi-rooms. A logo will identify the speakers as part of the program. Continue reading CES 2018: Roku Debuts Licensing Program with OEM Partners

Netflix to Support Dolby Atmos Surround Sound for Streaming

Netflix plans to support Dolby Atmos surround sound, adding a premium spatial audio format to its existing 4K and HDR technology for images. Dolby Atmos, which debuted in 2012, is not only featured in movie theaters around the world but has been adopted by home theater systems from Denon, Pioneer and others. Microsoft now supports Dolby Atmos with the Xbox One, as do many manufacturers of sound bars and headphones. Hundreds of 2016 LG OLED TV owners are also now clamoring for Dolby Atmos support. Continue reading Netflix to Support Dolby Atmos Surround Sound for Streaming

Lucasfilm Shows Off ‘Star Wars’ VR Experience with HTC Vive

Lucasfilm’s ILMxLAB R&D unit just did a limited demonstration of its new “Star Wars” virtual reality experience: “Star Wars: Trials on Tatooine,” using the HTC Vive headset. The user, by walking around in a 15×15-foot space, explores the planet’s surface, does some maintenance on a Millennium Falcon, meets R2-D2 and fight offs a group of attacking Stormtroopers with a lightsaber. After unveiling the experience to a group of journalists, Lucafilm plans to allow other “select audiences” to also experience it. Continue reading Lucasfilm Shows Off ‘Star Wars’ VR Experience with HTC Vive

Cinematic VR Audio Discussed at Game Developers Conference

Varun Nair of Two Big Ears Ltd. and Jean-Pascal (JP) Beaudoin of Headspace Studio gave an excellent primer on “Audio for Cinematic VR” at this week’s GDC VR Developers Conference at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Beaudoin started by making two overarching points: the sense of presence in VR is proportional to the amount of immersion, and it is important to understand the Field of Audition (FoA – the sound space). The session also addressed three key types of sound space designs: diegetic audio, acousmatic audio and non-diegetic audio. Continue reading Cinematic VR Audio Discussed at Game Developers Conference

Dolby Vision Promises ‘Astonishing’ Brightness, Contrast, Color

Vizio is expected to be the first television manufacturer to showcase Dolby Vision at CES 2016 in Las Vegas. Audio pioneer Dolby is branching into video; the first two Vizio Reference Series sets with Dolby Vision will be demonstrated at this week’s confab. Vizio, which recently announced its affordable D-Series 4K TVs starting at just $600, is stepping away from its traditional low-cost business model to offer Dolby Vision. This month, the company will debut a 65-inch model for $6,000, and the 120-inch version will initially run about $130,000. Continue reading Dolby Vision Promises ‘Astonishing’ Brightness, Contrast, Color

El Capitan Theatre Marries Dolby Vision with Dolby Atmos Tech

Disney’s historic El Capitan Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles is one of five theaters in the world to combine the Dolby Vision advanced laser projection system (created in partnership with Christie Digital) and Dolby Atmos surround sound technology. The facility, which first opened its doors in 1926, now features two Christie 6P 4K laser projectors and more than 100 speakers. Audio engineer, musician and tech journalist Ryan Waniata viewed a screening of Brad Bird’s “Tomorrowland” and was treated to a behind-the-scenes tour of the theater. Continue reading El Capitan Theatre Marries Dolby Vision with Dolby Atmos Tech

Dolby and Jaunt Bring Atmos Surround Sound to Virtual Reality

Virtual reality content creator Jaunt has partnered with longtime movie sound experts at Dolby to improve the audio in immersive experiences. Audio is a crucial part of making VR feel more like reality, and the Dolby Atmos system will allow Jaunt to specifically target sounds so that they seem as if they are coming from a very specific location. The new technology is expected to improve VR storytelling since content creators would be able to use sound to redirect a user’s attention. Continue reading Dolby and Jaunt Bring Atmos Surround Sound to Virtual Reality

CES: DTS Demos New Format That Offers Object-Based Audio

At CES, DTS demonstrated its new DTS:X codec that separates audio into objects rather than traditional channels (for example: dialogue or gunshots, instead of left, right, front, rear). The immersive sound technology is similar to Dolby Atmos, but DTS:X keeps dialogue separate, so the volume can be controlled independently during viewing. The company showed how DTS:X works with a television’s built-in speakers by screening a soccer match and switching audio between teams, sideline microphones and broadcast announcers. Continue reading CES: DTS Demos New Format That Offers Object-Based Audio

Good Old Games Now Offers Movies via DRM-Free Platform

Steam competitor Good Old Games is introducing movies to its DRM-free digital distribution platform. Users can stream or download from the company’s collection of game- and tech-related documentaries. Good Old Games expects to add more movies on a weekly basis. The company believes that the reason many people pirate content is because it is the most user-friendly way to access video. By introducing movies on a DRM-free platform, the company hopes to increase availability and ease of use. Continue reading Good Old Games Now Offers Movies via DRM-Free Platform

Sony Planning to Debut a Pair of Curved 4K TVs Next Month

Sony will soon join LG and Samsung in offering curved 4K LCD television sets. The Japanese company is expected to unveil two models at 65- and 75-inches during next month’s IFA show in Berlin. While Sony has yet to announce pricing and availability, the curved sets will compete with Samsung’s HU9000 line, which includes a 65-inch model priced at $4,300 and 78-inch model at $8,000. Sony currently sells a 65-inch curved 1080p TV for $2,500. Continue reading Sony Planning to Debut a Pair of Curved 4K TVs Next Month

Dolby Atmos Surround Sound Tech Coming to Home Theaters

Dolby Labs is bringing its Atmos surround sound tech to the living room through Blu-ray and streaming services. Dolby Atmos, the cinema sound system introduced in 2012, will be available via Blu-ray without the need for players to upgrade hardware. Partners will offer receivers, speakers and other devices to help deliver the Atmos experience to the home, while existing BD players that conform to the Blu-ray spec will support Atmos content on a Blu-ray Disc, according to the company. Continue reading Dolby Atmos Surround Sound Tech Coming to Home Theaters

Amazon Unveils New 3D Fire Phone with Dynamic Perspective

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos unveiled the company’s new Fire Phone yesterday in Seattle. The 4.7-inch smartphone, which features a 3D display that detects where eyes are looking on the screen with “Dynamic Perspective,” will be available July 25 starting at $200. The device includes a scanning feature with its Firefly app, which allows users to scan products, signs, UPC or QR codes (ideal for shopping on Amazon), and Shazam-like features to identify songs and pinpoint scenes in movies or TV shows. Continue reading Amazon Unveils New 3D Fire Phone with Dynamic Perspective

Share 4K Video Through Your Phone or Tablet with MHL 3.0

The Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL) standard for connecting smartphones and tablets to HDTVs and other home entertainment products will receive an upgrade allowing support for 4K video. MHL currently supports up to 1080p, but the need for 4K resolution will increase as more 4K TVs are sold. The backward compatible MHL 3.0 will also support simultaneous data and video feeds and provide power to charge the mobile device. Continue reading Share 4K Video Through Your Phone or Tablet with MHL 3.0

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