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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Digital Cinema Forum   » D-cinema Sound: Servers vs. Media Blocks (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: D-cinema Sound: Servers vs. Media Blocks
Joseph L. Kleiman
Master Film Handler

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From: Sacramento, CA
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 - posted 10-16-2013 04:46 PM      Profile for Joseph L. Kleiman   Email Joseph L. Kleiman   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Christie this morning released the following press release:

quote:
CHRISTIE INTEGRATED MEDIA BLOCK COMPLETES DOLBY ATMOS TESTING, LICENSING

DCI-Compliant, Fully-Integrated Media Block Brings 4K and High Frame Rate Projection to Life, While Supporting Incredible Audio

CYPRESS, CA. – (October 16, 2013) – Christie®, a global visual technology company, today announced that the Christie® IMB, an integrated media block solution that seamlessly converts and delivers feature-film and alternative content within a secure environment, now supports Dolby® Atmos™, a new audio solution that revolutionizes the experience of sound in entertainment.

Dolby Atmos unleashes the potential of sound in storytelling by giving filmmakers the creative freedom to easily place or move sounds anywhere in the movie theatre to create a life-like cinema sound experience. The announcement follows beta tests at several large cinema customers of Christie that confirmed the Christie IMB - Dolby Atmos synergy, including support for all of the latter’s functionality, including playback.

“Combining our powerful IMB with Dolby Atmos, and adding our new Christie Vive Audio™ cinema sound system, enables exhibitors to create a movie experience that is second to none,” said Craig Sholder, vice president, Entertainment solutions, Christie. “Christie continues to work closely with Dolby and other cinema partners to ensure reliable and flawless support for Dolby Atmos.”

Christie boasts the largest installed base of DLP Cinema® projectors globally, many of them with Christie’s own IMB, so the power of Dolby Atmos will now be available to many more cinema installations worldwide. Available today, the Christie IMB firmware update enables the change for all of Christie’s 2K and 4K, DCI-compliant Solaria® Series 2 projectors having a Christie IMB.

“By integrating Dolby Atmos with third party solutions like Christie’s IMB, we are making it easier than ever for exhibitors to embrace the future of cinema sound,” said Doug Darrow, Senior Vice President, Cinema, Dolby Laboratories. “Dolby is the only company that has successfully deployed object-based audio in hundreds of cinemas worldwide, using sound to make movie audiences feel as if they are in the movie, not merely watching it.”

Built into Christie projectors or easily inserted into previously purchased units, the Christie IMB utilizes industry standard, non-proprietary storage solutions, giving exhibitors the smoothest possible transition to HFR (high frame rate) and 3D projection standards. The Christie IMB provides an integrated solution from a single, trusted equipment supplier.

All Solaria Series 2 projectors are designed to integrate seamlessly with the Christie IMB and the Christie Previsto™ High Frame Rate (HFR) technology. Featuring complete cinema content support, as well as MPEG2 and H.264 support for pre-show advertising and alternative content, the design of Christie’s IMB is grounded in a solid understanding of the projector’s software, thermals, vibrations and internal power supply, ensuring the most reliable projection system on the market.

About Dolby Atmos
Dolby Laboratories is equipping the cinema world with its new Dolby Atmos technology. Dolby Atmos unleashes the potential of sound in storytelling by making it easy for filmmakers to place or move specific sounds anywhere in the movie theatre. The result is what moviegoers have described as a virtual reality of sound and the most engaging and lifelike cinema experience ever. Introduced in April 2012, Dolby Atmos has been embraced by all the major Hollywood studios, six Academy Award® winning directors, and 10 Academy Award winning sound mixers, among others. More than 300 Dolby Atmos screens have been installed or committed to in 30 countries with more than 85 exhibitor partners. More than 75 films from ten different countries—representing a broad range of genres, from action thrillers and animated features, to comedy and horror—have been or are scheduled to be released with Dolby Atmos sound since the first film debuted in June 2012. Dolby Atmos has received technical achievement awards from both the Hollywood Post Alliance and the Cinema Audio Society.

For the latest list of Dolby Atmos titles visit, dolby.com/atmosmovies. To learn more about Dolby Atmos, visit dolby.com/Atmos.

About Dolby Laboratories
Dolby Laboratories (NYSE: DLB) creates audio, video, and voice technologies that transform entertainment and communications in mobile devices, at the cinema, at home, and at work. For nearly 50 years, sight and sound experiences have become more vibrant, clear, and meaningful in Dolby. For more information please visit dolby.com.

About Christie®
Christie Digital Systems USA, Inc. is a global visual technologies company and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ushio Inc., Japan (JP:6925). Consistently setting the standards by being the first to market some of the world’s most advanced projectors, complete system displays, and cinema audio solutions, Christie is recognized as one of the most innovative visual technology companies in the world. From retail displays to Hollywood, mission critical command centers to classrooms and training simulators, Christie display solutions and projectors capture the attention of audiences around the world with dynamic and stunning images, accompanied by awe-inspiring sound. Visit www.christiedigital.com.

So, I'm confused. I thought sound goes through the server into the audio processor and that media blocks are for the projected image. Could somebody please set me straight here? Thanks.

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Carsten Kurz
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 - posted 10-16-2013 06:07 PM      Profile for Carsten Kurz   Email Carsten Kurz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The sound is encrypted just as the image, so it has to go through the media block just like the image.

In addition, ATMOS audio is not played through the standard 16 DCI channels of a mediablock, but is streamed/bypassed through ethernet to the ATMOS processor. As the Christie IMB is in fact not 'just' an IMB, but an IMS that includes storage interface and Screen Manager, it has to be 'ATMOS' aware. Until now, only Dolby's own servers were able to use ATMOS soundtracks. Other servers will just ignore ATMOS soundfiles and play the standard DCI soundtracks. Doremi has also announced ATMOS support for their upcoming software releases.

- Carsten

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

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 - posted 10-17-2013 06:32 AM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Another key bit is that the ATMOS sound files travel on their own Ethernet subnet to the ATMOS processor (e.g. Dolby CP850). Since the files remain encrypted, the ATMOS sound processor must be on the "trusted device list" so the ATMOS processor's serial number must also be registered and have suitable keys.

However, since the ATMOS track is encrypted, it need not pass through the mediablock. For "traditional" servers, one may only need another NIC or change a single NIC for a dual and then have suitable software to direct the ATMOS track out of the appropriate NIC.

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Stephen Furley
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 - posted 10-17-2013 06:59 AM      Profile for Stephen Furley   Email Stephen Furley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
“Dolby is the only company that has successfully deployed object-based audio in hundreds of cinemas worldwide, using sound to make movie audiences feel as if they are in the movie, not merely watching it.”
I don't want to be 'In the movie', thank you. I want to watch it.

What exactly is the Atmos system anyway? Dolby talk about moving away from a channel-based system, and controlling each of the many speakers individually; it sounds almost like a son, or great great great grandson, of Perspecta

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

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 - posted 10-17-2013 10:21 AM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
No, Perspecta was Mono with steering. With Perspecta, you could not have something only in the left channel while simultaneously having something that was only in the right channel.

With Atmos, you have your normal 7.1 sound mix (or 5.1). Then you can have those sound elements that you wish to move beyond a specific channel but instead to be anywhere. This does not mean that those sounds will necessarily move out into the auditorium but they could and they can move to wherever it makes it sound more realistic. This would include panned-dialog, for instance but yes, for many, it will mean that when an object comes off screen, so does its sound in a more realistic way than traditional surrounds can portray.

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Pete Naples
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 - posted 10-17-2013 11:42 AM      Profile for Pete Naples   Email Pete Naples   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It's all about 'objects' (sounds) and 'beds' (channels).

So the sound designer can position a sound anywhere around or above you. That adds massively to suspension of disbelief if used correctly.

http://www.dolby.com/gb/en/consumer/technology/movie/dolby-atmos.html

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

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 - posted 10-17-2013 12:46 PM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Ball bearings?

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Stephen Furley
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 - posted 10-17-2013 06:20 PM      Profile for Stephen Furley   Email Stephen Furley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Steve,

Have I correctly understood what I read about the system - that unlike a conventional stereo cinema sound system, where a fairly small number of channels has a static mapping to the speakers, with each channel going to a fixed speaker, or group of speakers that Atmos can send a sound to different individual speakers in a dynamic way, for example a sound could start at a speaker in the left rear of the auditorium and then gradually me moved forward through several speakers on the left wall, ending up at the front left? Presumably there isn't a separate recording for every speaker, but a signal can be moved to a number of different speakers by some sort of control system embedded in the sound track?

If that is the case doesn't it have some similarities with Perspecta, albeit a vastly more sophisticated system, with different sounds being addressed to different speakers, many more speakers, and not using analogue tones to control where the sound goes. The idea of addressing a recording to various speakers does sound somewhat similar, hence my description of 'great, great, great grandson, rather than just son. Maybe great, great, great grandson of several Perspecta systems might be a better description.

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

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 - posted 10-17-2013 07:27 PM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
No...I still don't think they are related. One is moving the whole sound stage around the other moves individual sounds. Atmos would be more akin to a multitrack recorder with a whole lot of channels.

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Harold Hallikainen
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 - posted 10-17-2013 09:51 PM      Profile for Harold Hallikainen   Author's Homepage   Email Harold Hallikainen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Here are some comments on object-based sound which may or may not apply to Atmos.

Say you're a sound mixer, and you want to place a sound between the left and center speaker on the screen. Simple if you're running 7.1SDDS, just drive the Lc speaker. If you're running 5.1 or 7.1DS, you "pan" the audio to this position by driving the left and center speakers. In channel-based audio systems, the sound mixer does the panning on the dub stage. The final sound for each speaker is sent through a discrete channel.

In object-based sound, sound fragments along with location information (the direction the sound should be coming from) and when the sound should appear in playback are recorded in a data stream (a series of packets, one for each sound "object.")

During playback, the "rendering engine" combines the object data and the specific locations of the speakers in the auditorium to render the objects to channels that drive the individual speakers in that auditorium. The rendering process often uses vector based analog panning.

So, object-based audio does the "final mix" in the auditorium based on location data provided by the sound mixer and the actual speaker locations for each audio fragment. Systems may also have "bed" channels that correspond to typical speaker positions, especially those behind the screen. Objects are added to these bed channels during playback.

My thoughts on this, anyway. I look forward to further discussion!

Harold

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Stephen Furley
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 - posted 10-18-2013 03:23 AM      Profile for Stephen Furley   Email Stephen Furley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Steve Guttag
No...I still don't think they are related. One is moving the whole sound stage around the other moves individual sounds. Atmos would be more akin to a multitrack recorder with a whole lot of channels.


quote: Harold Hallikainen
In object-based sound, sound fragments along with location information (the direction the sound should be coming from) and when the sound should appear in playback are recorded in a data stream (a series of packets, one for each sound "object.")
So, Perspecta recorded a single sound channel and information as to where that sound sound should come from, and used that information to send the sound to any combination of speaker channels.

Object based sound takes lots of sound takes lots of sound fragments rather than a single continuous audio stream, and can direct them independently of each other to a far larger number of speaker positions, but the idea of recording some sound, plus information about which speakers that sound should be sent to, rather than a number of channels each permanently mapped to a particular position does seem to be common to both processes.

Obviously, the number of different simultaneous sounds, the number of speaker positions, and the technology for directing the sound to particular speaker position(s) is vastly different, but I think there is something in common between the two, and even to the use of the control track in Fantasound.

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Lyle Romer
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 - posted 10-18-2013 06:00 AM      Profile for Lyle Romer   Email Lyle Romer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
For Atmos mixing, picture a virtual dome (I'm not sure what it looks like in the software dome vs rectangle). The mixer literally places a sound where he wants it in relationship to the listener as if he can put a speaker wherever he wants one.

On playback, the processor knows what physical speakers exist and where they are. It then determines which speaker (or combination of speakers) needs to be used to make it sound like the object is coming from the virtual speaker location chosen by the mixer.

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Stephen Furley
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 - posted 10-18-2013 06:51 AM      Profile for Stephen Furley   Email Stephen Furley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
So the same sound 'package', for want of a better word, which comes with the film will play differently in different auditoria, depending on what physical hardware is actually installed there, but should give a similar listening experience wherever it is heard?

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Harold Hallikainen
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 - posted 10-18-2013 07:34 AM      Profile for Harold Hallikainen   Author's Homepage   Email Harold Hallikainen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yes, what drives the speakers depends on where they are. Do a search on vector based analog panning.

Thanks!

Harold

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Bobby Henderson
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 - posted 10-18-2013 10:14 AM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I think the best way to describe Atmos is that a movie's sound mix in Atmos bears a closer resemblance to the original object-based sound design files.

Every voice, sound effect, piece of music, etc. is its own separate object on the time line, with each object having its own effects and sound panning parameters -just like what you see in audio editing software. In a conventional stereo or 5.1 mix all of those separate objects are "flattened" together in a final down-mix.

Every sound object in Atmos can be positioned within a cubic 3D space layout, which includes positions on the ceiling. Every speaker in the theater can be wired to be individually programmable, which creates the potential for dramatically more vivid surround sound panning effects. With 5.1/7.1 surround audio can only go to large groups of speakers (left side or right side groups with 5.1 and quadrant groups of speakers with 7.1).

It's possible for theaters to cut corners with Atmos. The system can be scaled from a minimal configuration (something much closer to how 7.1 is wired) to a more elaborate configuration where every speaker is wired and amped individually. Considering how expensive an Atmos processor is to purchase and install, it wouldn't make much sense for a theater to install Atmos and only wire up the sound system in a half-assed manner. But I'm sure some theaters will do just that.

quote: Stephen Furley
So the same sound 'package', for want of a better word, which comes with the film will play differently in different auditoria, depending on what physical hardware is actually installed there, but should give a similar listening experience wherever it is heard?
When the Atmos processor is set up it will analyze the specific theater's geometry and speaker layout. The Atmos processor scales the Atmos mix to fit that theater's sound system. It can even do automated EQ work. I don't know if the Atmos processor will allow a really good technician to get in there and improve certain settings if the "auto" adjustment isn't as good as it should be.

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