Alliance responds to NATO’s plea for universal audio rendering platform to simplify adoption of 3D sound by movie exhibitors
Rancho Cordova, Calif., USA – 17 April 2013 – Barco, a global digital cinema technology leader, is aligning with cinema audio innovator Auro Technologies and DTS, Inc., a leader in high-definition audio solutions, to drive the development of an open format approach to producing immersive object-based cinema sound. Their efforts represent a collective desire to protect exhibitors’ freedom of platform choice, ensuring their ability to play any movie regardless of which 3D audio system they procure.
Barco, Auro Technologies and DTS, Inc. are working together to address concerns expressed by the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) and the Union Internationale des Cinemas (UNIC) in their recent statement announcing cinema exhibitor requirements for immersive sound technologies. The goal is to enable theater owners to present movies on any new 3D audio format designed according to the open standard.
Ensuring freedom of choice
NATO has always been a strong supporter of innovation, while cautioning against overly proprietary or incompatible digital formats that could potentially hinder the ability of all stakeholders to easily and affordably adopt new technologies.
Bringing the issue to the forefront
Barco, Auro Technologies, DTS and other industry participants are working on standards-setting activities to help define and deliver both channel- and object-based audio to cinemas, benefitting content creators, sound engineers and movie exhibitors alike. One of those occasions includes an upcoming “Immersive Sound Session” hosted by Barco at CinemaCon 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada on April 17, 2013. Representatives from NATO, Barco, Auro Technologies and others will engage in a panel discussion to explore options for enhancing workflow, creating flexible playback systems, and other technical benefits associated with the proposed open object-oriented 3D sound format.
Emerging technologies emphasize compatibility
Auro 11.1 by Barco offers content creators total freedom with regards to immersive sound development. “The Auro creative toolset from Auro Technologies provides the authoring capabilities for studios to create both channel- and object-based sound masters for movies, so they’re not locked into one sound platform or playback system,” comments Wilfried Van Baelen CEO of Auro Technologies nv.
Brian Claypool, Senior Director Strategic Business Development Entertainment for Barco, elaborates on the benefits of this approach to studios: “The open standard nature of how we create and playback Auro 11.1 by Barco fits with studios’ existing workflows, enabling them to easily create a sound master that can be played on any legacy or immersive audio system.”
DTS, Inc. has developed Multi-Dimensional Audio (MDA™) an open object-based audio creation and authoring platform to accelerate next-generation content creation. The MDA platform supports both channel and audio objects and adapts to any speaker quantity and configuration. During creation, sounds are directed throughout an auditorium by attaching specific X, Y, Z coordinates to audio objects to describe the location, resulting in highly realistic sound placement in concert with the video portion of a movie.
“We are committed to the continued development and adoption of a format-agnostic solution that enables the universal creation, delivery and playback of 3D audio content,” comments John Kellogg, Senior Director, Corporate Strategy and Development. “Like Barco, our entire approach is based on an inclusive, rather than exclusive, philosophy bent on encouraging studios to produce more movies featuring immersive sound while empowering exhibitors to show them in their best light.”