Film-Tech Cinema Systems
Film-Tech Forum


Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile | my password | register | search | faq & rules | forum home
  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Large Format Forum   » IMAX and Auro 3D (Page 1)

 
This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2 
 
Author Topic: IMAX and Auro 3D
Carsten Kurz
Film God

Posts: 3775
From: Cologne, NRW, Germany
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 04-12-2014 06:15 PM      Profile for Carsten Kurz   Email Carsten Kurz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
On a recent conference in germany, IMAX' Andrew Cripps and Giovanni Dolci talked about future IMAX strategies - and the abstract quoted:

'The new IMAX technology: Xenon and Laser projection, new 11.1 sound'

That sounds to me that IMAX has finally decided on a new sound system and it seems to be Barcos Auro 3D.

Not too surprising, as Barco is already supplying projection equipment to IMAX, will supply their new laser projection systems, and thus probably also Barcos Auro 3D capable alchemy server technology.

I can't find any other reference to this. Anyone?

http://www.forum-film.com/kino-2014/kongressprogramm.html

- Carsten

 |  IP: Logged

Marcel Birgelen
Film God

Posts: 2610
From: Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands
Registered: Feb 2012


 - posted 04-17-2014 02:21 AM      Profile for Marcel Birgelen   Email Marcel Birgelen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Wait what? IMAX is seriously considering a new sound system? I thought their laser aligned sound system was the greatest progress of mankind since the invention of fridge-cold spreadable butter?

And... it's xenon AND laser? A dual projection system with a xenon and a laser unit? Or is it just laser for the "premium locations" and Xenon for everybody else? And any news about the resolution of this new system?

I'm still wondering how IMAX is going to roll out those upgrades amongst the existing install-base once their "new and shiny Digital IMAX Plus with lasers" system is finally finished. Who will get those new systems and who's going to pay for it?

 |  IP: Logged

Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10701
From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 04-17-2014 09:40 AM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
While a deal between IMAX and Auro would make sense on a couple of points, I would be surprised if the folks at IMAX actually chose Auro as a next-gen sound format for their branded theaters.

Barco is making new laser-based 4K projectors and is involved with selling Auro 11.1. So it might make sense for IMAX to work out some kind of volume deal with Barco to install the new laser-based projectors and Auro 11.1 all together.

With IMAX putting a slightly greater priority on image height, it would make sense to have six speaker channels behind the screen (the three primary stage channels and then three more height layer stage channels).

The downside: Auro is arguably not all that "next-gen" in terms of sound. It's channel based and does some trickery in bit reduction on the LPCM 5.1 base channels to squeeze in the extra 5 lossy compressed channels to arrive at 11.1. With some of what's being said about "open standards" and DTS' object based Open MDA format, not to mention Dolby Atmos being well established already, the Auro 11.1 format seems more and more temporary.

If IMAX was really doing to do an 11.1 audio format, it might make more sense for them to develop a fully uncompressed, 24-bit 11.1 channel system rather than settle on Auro, which obviously makes some compromises for the sake of backward compatibility. IMAX doesn't need that. They're already getting their own separate DCPs made. They can just do 11.1 in whatever speaker layout they choose. The "open" object based audio authoring environment can render for those speaker locations.

Better yet, IMAX should be looking at installing an object based sound format.

 |  IP: Logged

Marcel Birgelen
Film God

Posts: 2610
From: Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands
Registered: Feb 2012


 - posted 04-17-2014 04:27 PM      Profile for Marcel Birgelen   Email Marcel Birgelen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Whatever they will choose as a supplier, it will surely not end up in the IMAX marketing as a brand name. The only external brand that they do mention right now is Texas Instruments / DLP, but only shortly in one of their trailers.

IMAX obviously needs to feed from what's available to them. And although some productions seem keep Digital IMAX in mind, nobody in their right mind is going to bet their movie on just this format.

If they choose a channel layout that's compatible with Barco's Auro 3D, they can use the existing 11.1 mix as a basis for their "enhanced DCPs" and no-one (besides the studios) is stopping IMAX from putting those channels into an IMAX DCP in an uncompressed form.

Additionally, if they design their next-gen audio processor wisely, the upgrade from a channel based audio format to an object based one is just a software upgrade.

Take a close look at the Dolby CP850, you'll see they took the route. All previous Dolby processors were highly sophisticated pieces of hardware, the CP850 is essentially just a heavily customized SuperMicro-based OEM server (just like their playback servers) with a bunch of purpose-built DSP cards plugged in. I'm pretty sure most of the magic is happening in software running on off-the-shelf PC hardware.

 |  IP: Logged

Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12445
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 04-17-2014 06:32 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Marcel Birgelen
Wait what? IMAX is seriously considering a new sound system?
Maybe they've been reading Film-Tech.

 |  IP: Logged

Robin Reumers
Film Handler

Posts: 1
From: As, Limburg, Belgium
Registered: Apr 2014


 - posted 04-21-2014 03:22 AM      Profile for Robin Reumers   Email Robin Reumers   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I stumbled upon this post and just wanted to give my personal feedback and experience.

1) First of all, it should be noted that “Immersive Sound” is NOT related to the use of object-based technology but it is the name used for a “true 3D sound experience” in which the 3D speaker layout is more important than the used technology.

2) The Auro-codec is based on a concept using only mathematical solutions (like lossless codecs do) and is NOT based on any psycho acoustic optimization as used in lossy codecs.

3) The amount of Hollywood blockbusters coming up for this summer in Auro 11.1 is not 2 as wrongly mentioned in another thread, but 6. More and more titles are mixed in Auro 11.1, some of them even exclusively because of the choices made by the creative people.

4) the Auro 11.1 cinematic format was as first launched in  Tokyo AES Spatial Convention 2010

5) Numbers: Both formats (Auro and Atmos) have about the same amount of installs confirmed for 2014 (around 450 at this moment) while Dolby Atmos had 3x more titles.

6) Auro will also support the Open Standard object-based format, once it becomes standardized. They are also part of the committee to standardize it, and will adopt it once it will be decided. It seems to make much more sense that way, instead of starting another proprietary format.

7) Overall, the Auro-3D format offers a more immersive sound field (because of the 3 layers), Single Inventory, 450 INSTALLS CONFIRMED, elegant and thought thru workflow, compatible to existing standards, very positive feedback from mixers and sound designers, they will be supporting an open standard object based technology once the industry has come to an mutual standard, and royalty free for content creators.

8) I really think it’s wrong to state that Auro is a format of the past, since it’s gaining more and more momentum, including home cinema installs with their supported receivers, gaming market, music industry and even the automobile industry.

I do not want this to sound like a sales pitch at all, since I’m a technical person and only want to base it on facts, but I was getting a bit annoyed by the amount of misinformation communicated on this forum. Hope this helps everybody get a better understanding.

 |  IP: Logged

Marcel Birgelen
Film God

Posts: 2610
From: Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands
Registered: Feb 2012


 - posted 04-21-2014 07:23 AM      Profile for Marcel Birgelen   Email Marcel Birgelen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Robin Reumers
1) First of all, it should be noted that “Immersive Sound” is NOT related to the use of object-based technology but it is the name used for a “true 3D sound experience” in which the 3D speaker layout is more important than the used technology.
"Immersive sound" is just a label that somebody puts on something. It's as qualifying as the label "Extra Refreshing" on a can of soda. But regarding the discussion of discrete channels v.s object based, I'm clearly on the side of the object based sound formats as the way to the future for "immersive sound". I would prefer an open format, rather than something closed like the Atmos format. But, I don't think that anyone should buy into this "x.y" sound system b.s. where x and y is an ever increasing number of discrete channels. Not that a very large amount of discrete channels could probably render an equally immersive result as an "object based sound system" (it's all a matter of resolution) but it would just be totally stupid and limiting anno 2014.

quote:
2) The Auro-codec is based on a concept using only mathematical solutions (like lossless codecs do) and is NOT based on any psycho acoustic optimization as used in lossy codecs.
MP3, JPEG, MPEG, etc. are all based on "mathematical solutions", yet they're all lossy in their design. I don't know anything about the codec being used by Auro 3D, but you're essentially saying it's lossless (so the binary data comming out of the decompression algorithm is exactly the same as went in), just like e.g. FLAC?

quote: Robin Reumers
7) Overall, the Auro-3D format offers a more immersive sound field (because of the 3 layers)
You know that those "three layers" can also be implemented using Dolby Atmos, do you? The nice stuff about object based sound systems is that you can implement as many "layers" as your budget allows (and your hardware is capable of coping).

quote: Robin Reumers
I do not want this to sound like a sales pitch at all, since I’m a technical person and only want to base it on facts, but I was getting a bit annoyed by the amount of misinformation communicated on this forum. Hope this helps everybody get a better understanding.
No, I assure you, it sounds totally unbiassed... Then again, what misinfomation exactly, besides the "wrong number of releases this summer" and the potential fact that somebody got the type of compression wrong?

 |  IP: Logged

Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10701
From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 04-21-2014 09:43 AM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
The Auro-codec is based on a concept using only mathematical solutions (like lossless codecs do) and is NOT based on any psycho acoustic optimization as used in lossy codecs.
Is that to suggest Dolby Atmos is doing something lossy? Unless Dolby has lied in its Atmos white papers Atmos is an entirely lossless system. The sound beds and individual sound objects are all lossless.

Auro is essentially lossless in the backward compatible LPCM 5.1/7.1 segment of the sound track. My understanding is the bit depth in the base channels of sound are reduced from 24 bits down to 16 bits. Those other 8 bits are where the height and ceiling layer audio data is stored. The entire 11.1 audio mix could still be lossless, but it isn't 24-bit like conventional 5.1/7.1 audio.

quote:
The amount of Hollywood blockbusters coming up for this summer in Auro 11.1 is not 2 as wrongly mentioned in another thread, but 6. More and more titles are mixed in Auro 11.1, some of them even exclusively because of the choices made by the creative people.
Look back when that statement about 2 titles was mentioned. That was before movies like The Expendables 3 were added to the Auro 11.1 slate of releases. Nevertheless, Dolby Atmos is way out in front in terms of movie title support -especially from Hollywood movie studios. Auro has hardly any exclusives from Hollywood movie studios. Out of these "Hollywood blockbusters" every one of those movies being released with Auro 11.1 is also being released in Dolby Atmos.

quote: Robin Reumers
Overall, the Auro-3D format offers a more immersive sound field (because of the 3 layers), Single Inventory, 450 INSTALLS CONFIRMED, elegant and thought thru workflow, compatible to existing standards, very positive feedback from mixers and sound designers, they will be supporting an open standard object based technology once the industry has come to an mutual standard, and royalty free for content creators.
Auro isn't able to deliver a more immersive sound field than Dolby Atmos. Although Auro adds height and ceiling layers all of the surround speakers operate only in a diffuse, array-based pattern. It's just conventional 5.1 or 7.1 audio with extra surround arrays added above.

Dolby Atmos can do things like pan an audio element along the speakers of the left wall or have it originate from any specific speaker in the room. Auro can't do that.

450 installs confirmed? Not yet. That number is lumping together all of the statements from theater chains on what they might install, not what they have installed already. Cinemark has installed Auro 11.1 in some of its XD theaters. The vast majority are still 7.1. And, strangely, Cinemark isn't making any mention of Auro on its web site at all -and they're the biggest Auro customer. Regal said they would install Auro 11.1 on 20 of its RPX screens, but I can't tell if they've done any of those installations yet. The Auro web site shows very few Auro 11.1 sites on its theater installations map. The map probably hasn't been updated in months though.

quote:
Numbers: Both formats (Auro and Atmos) have about the same amount of installs confirmed for 2014 (around 450 at this moment) while Dolby Atmos had 3x more titles.
That's only going by statements in press releases, not by actually what's happening in the field. There's already more than 400 Dolby Atmos-equipped theater screens in operation right now. The same is not true for Auro. There are promises from exhibitors to install more than 400 Auro 11.1 systems. But they actually have to follow through on those promises. I have a feeling theater operators are taking a wait and see approach on whether Auro gains better support from Hollywood studios. Currently Dreamworks is the only studio treating Auro well at all, but every one of their Auro releases is going out in Atmos too. Meanwhile Warner Bros., Fox, Disney & Paramount are using Dolby Atmos on their biggest releases and not bothering with Auro.

quote: Robin Reumers
Auro will also support the Open Standard object-based format, once it becomes standardized. They are also part of the committee to standardize it, and will adopt it once it will be decided. It seems to make much more sense that way, instead of starting another proprietary format.
How will existing Auro 11.1 installations be converted to support that object based format? I'm actually pretty skeptical such conversions will take place at all. As far as I can tell the biggest attraction of Auro is it's cheaper and easier to install than Atmos. If it is going to function in a true object based manner the way Atmos does those cost savings are going to disappear by way of theaters needing to install a LOT more amplifiers to individually wire all those surround speakers. I think a lot of theaters that do install Auro won't bother with any of that extra expense. They'll just hope the customers won't notice any difference.

quote: Robin Reumers
I really think it’s wrong to state that Auro is a format of the past, since it’s gaining more and more momentum, including home cinema installs with their supported receivers, gaming market, music industry and even the automobile industry.
That does sound like a sales pitch, or a sales talking point. Auro's perceived momentum in sales does nothing to change the audio format's arguably more conventional surround array based nature. Auro is cheaper and easier to install than Dolby Atmos. I'm sure plenty of theater operators would love sticking a fancy sound label on their high priced premium big screen houses while keeping down the costs of doing so. Unfortunately, unless Auro can gain broad support Hollywood movie studios those Auro installations are going to be fairly useless.

 |  IP: Logged

Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12445
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 04-21-2014 03:55 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Robin Reumers
home cinema installs with their supported receivers, gaming market, music industry and even the automobile industry.
I know it's all because of the economics, but I think it's dopey that every new sound "thing" must eventually be adopted by every other venue in which people consume entertainment. It's just not necssary to have a dozen audio channels in a car, for example.

Most people's homes don't even have a properly-set-up sound system with 5.1 connected to their TV; how many are going to bother with a full-blown many-channel "immersive" array of speakers with wiring all over the room? Maybe in a few high-end new builds, but other than that it seems like a tiny niche market at best.

Maybe cheap wireless components are the answer, but you would still have multiple speakers vying for wall space.

Considering that many young people are now perfectly content to watch movies on a 4 inch screen and listen on a pair of cheap headphones (possibly while riding on a bus), and those are the people who will be moving into the "home buying" segments of society in a few years, the market for high-end home and automotive entertainment seems poised to shrink, rather than grow.

 |  IP: Logged

Marcel Birgelen
Film God

Posts: 2610
From: Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands
Registered: Feb 2012


 - posted 04-21-2014 06:12 PM      Profile for Marcel Birgelen   Email Marcel Birgelen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
A halfway decent 5.1 setup in a living room is already hard enough to deploy. A 7.1 setup is already just brain dead in most circumstances and the added value is almost negligible. Imagine how a 11.1 setup, with different height speakers and speakers on the ceiling would look like...

Wireless might partially solve your problem, as it could reduce wiring complexity, but you sure still need power or do you want to recharge your speakers before or after every use? [Smile]

On the other hand, I see a bright future for object based sound systems in e.g. home entertainment. Such a system could perfectly map onto my 5.1 setup at home. If I would invest a little more efforts and enter the speaker positions and room geometry into the system, an object based sound system could even compensate for my somewhat deficient 5.1 setup.

Also, the mix on the Blu-Ray or whatever "medium" the future will fancy, could be exactly the same as the object based sound-track used in the movie theater. Nobody should ever be tempted to create a "near field mix" again, because that "near-fieldness" would be managed by the receiver/decoder. (Actually, near-field mixes should be outlawed even in discrete-channel mixes, but that's probably another discussion.)

 |  IP: Logged

Jonathan Goeldner
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1330
From: Washington, District of Columbia
Registered: Jun 2008


 - posted 07-23-2014 04:34 PM      Profile for Jonathan Goeldner   Email Jonathan Goeldner   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
[face palm] - really, really?? not having back speaker sound sources seems so back asswards IMO.

 |  IP: Logged

Jonathan Goeldner
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1330
From: Washington, District of Columbia
Registered: Jun 2008


 - posted 07-26-2014 07:23 PM      Profile for Jonathan Goeldner   Email Jonathan Goeldner   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
so apparently this is what was said/noted last August 2013:

from this online story:

http://www.homecinemachoice.com/news/article/the-sound-of-imax/16250

Dolby has released Atmos. Does IMAX have anything new, sound-wise?

'We are in development right now of our next-generation sound system, which is going to be a nine-channel system. It will still be based on discrete channel technology, with extra channels added in a very specific way. We are adding two more speakers on the side wall. So, in our environment, we have front left, centre and right, with another centre channel loudspeaker high up, we call The Voice Of God, as our screens are so tall. Then we have two rears.

‘We do not employ the use of surrounds, where you’ll have ten loudspeakers starting on the sidewalls and going all the way around the back. Primarily because that gives you a ‘wash’ of sound. You cannot pinpoint a sound from the array of loudspeakers.

'We use Proportional Point Source Sound technology. In most theatres, the ‘sweet spot’ hovers around the centre of the room. In our loudspeaker design, we take this into account and our horns emit greater energy to more distant seats and lesser to closer seats. By that, we manage to enlarge the sweet spot to cover the whole theatre, to within a dB.'

 |  IP: Logged

Terry Lynn-Stevens
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1081
From: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Dec 2012


 - posted 07-27-2014 02:54 PM      Profile for Terry Lynn-Stevens   Email Terry Lynn-Stevens   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Good find Jonathan, so there it is, 9 channels. I don't think it is really going to matter how many channels IMAX has in the long run, IMAX (along with Atmos in whatever configuration you are getting) is dependent on the movie being played. IMAX also has strong marketing behind them and pretty good studio support. They also have a pretty big worldwide network with the highest ticket prices, so studio support will likely continue long term. I believe IMAX is now signing studio deals instead of a picture by picture basis. If the studios stop supporting IMAX, then IMAX dies.

With the movies slated for the next two years, IMAX will do very well.

 |  IP: Logged

Brad Miller
Administrator

Posts: 17687
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99


 - posted 07-27-2014 03:16 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
IMAX has always and continues to present films poorly image-wise and has completely failed in terms of audio. That quote from above is absolute bullshit marketing in action aimed at suckers who are ignorant in presentation knowledge. They can't even begin to touch Atmos, and of course they can't adopt it because then they would be admitting their marketing lies to the public. They have to come up with their own thing they can tout as better...which it isn't.

 |  IP: Logged

Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10701
From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 07-27-2014 08:00 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: IMAX Sales Pitch trying to justify a minimal number of speakers
We do not employ the use of surrounds, where you’ll have ten loudspeakers starting on the sidewalls and going all the way around the back. Primarily because that gives you a ‘wash’ of sound. You cannot pinpoint a sound from the array of loudspeakers
Auro suffers from that limitation. Conventional 5.1 suffers from it as well (the big stereo left-right effect). 7.1 doesn't suffer from it nearly as bad thanks to 4 surround channels instead of 2.

Dolby Atmos, in a proper configuration, can easily pin point a sound effect in any location of the room -just so long as the mixer isn't trying to put the sound effect under the audience.

Going another step better, a properly configured Dolby Atmos system can very precisely pan sound effects in various directions around the room better than any other sound format in use by movie studios. Object based formats from Iosono aren't in use by Hollywood. The mixer can pan an audio element from the stage, across the left wall, speaker by speaker by speaker to the back wall, across the back wall or overhead if he likes and then back around along the right wall up to the screen again. Fly by effects work far better in Atmos. Audio motion path effects from the stage to overhead and behind work far better in Atmos.

IMAX can come up with a conventional 9 channel system if they like. Since they're getting custom DCPs they can assign the channels however they like. But they're just plain misrepresenting the truth (or to be more blunt lying) if they're going to try to say or imply their system is better than Atmos.

 |  IP: Logged



All times are Central (GMT -6:00)
This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2 
 
Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic    Move Topic    Delete Topic    next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:



Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classicTM 6.3.1.2

The Film-Tech Forums are designed for various members related to the cinema industry to express their opinions, viewpoints and testimonials on various products, services and events based upon speculation, personal knowledge and factual information through use, therefore all views represented here allow no liability upon the publishers of this web site and the owners of said views assume no liability for any ill will resulting from these postings. The posts made here are for educational as well as entertainment purposes and as such anyone viewing this portion of the website must accept these views as statements of the author of that opinion and agrees to release the authors from any and all liability.

© 1999-2018 Film-Tech Cinema Systems, LLC. All rights reserved.