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Watch IMAX Movies with Special DTS Sound with IMAX Enhanced at Home

by September 05, 2018
IMAX Enhanced with DTS

IMAX Enhanced with DTS

IMAX and DTS will partner with Denon, Marantz, Sony, and Paramount Studios to Launch IMAX Enhanced for Home Entertainment. The new certification and licensing program will give what they say to be the highest-quality image and sound experiences for home theater. IMAX and DTS aren’t clear as to whether this will be significantly different from DTS:X immersive 3D sound other than to say, “The DTS:X codec technology (is) integrated in home audio equipment to deliver an IMAX signature sound experience.”

The new program combines consumer electronic companies Denon, Marantz and Sony products with IMAX digitally re-mastered 4K HDR content and DTS audio technologies to offer  “A new level of quality in immersive sight and sound experiences for the home!

IMAX and DTS developed the program out of their decades of combined expertise in image and sound science to make it easier for consumers to select the products and content that will deliver the highest-quality, sharpest 4K HDR images and powerful, immersive sound at home. The companies are designing an IMAX Mode for the enhanced devices that will be meticulously optimized to play digitally re-mastered content as the filmmaker intended in the home.

Consumers can access content from Hollywood studios as well as select IMAX documentaries through its IMAX Home Entertainment division. The company will also work with its global studio and other content partners to make available a steady stream of enhanced versions of blockbuster movies and additional programming.

While the IMAX theatrical experience continues to be the gold standard in blockbuster movie-going, today we are launching an exciting new program that applies components of IMAX’s and DTS’ technology and expertise to deliver consumers a level of quality never before experienced at home. This is a natural extension of our core business in experiential entertainment. By partnering with a well-established consumer electronics licensing leader, we can leverage both our brand and key technology innovations through DTS’ global licensing platform, without having to make the direct investments often necessary to build a new revenue stream. DTS will build that new business and we will share in the benefits from the program. We’re encouraged by the strong interest from our launch partner companies and look forward to working with DTS to grow the program further over time.

- IMAX CEO Richard L. Gelfond

To be accepted into the program, leading consumer electronics manufacturers will design top-of-the-line 4K HDR televisions, A/V receivers, sound systems and other home theater equipment to meet a carefully prescribed set of the highest audio and video performance standards, set by a certification committee of IMAX and DTS engineers and Hollywood’s leading technical specialists.

DTS has a rich history in delivering premium entertainment experiences to the theater and at home, and the IMAX Enhanced program is an exciting opportunity to stay at the forefront of home entertainment. Through the combined engineering and licensing efforts of the DTS and IMAX teams, as well as support from a number of the world’s leading device and content partners, the IMAX Enhanced program will bring a completely new, enhanced experience to the home while also supporting the continued penetration of DTS decoders, bringing premium sound to consumers’ devices.

- Xperi CEO Jon Kirchner

The program will use the newest, proprietary post-production process developed by IMAX to digitally re-master content to produce more vibrant colors, greater contrast and sharper clarity. The companies will also partner with award-winning Hollywood sound mixers to use a special variant of its DTS:X codec technology integrated in home audio equipment to deliver an IMAX signature sound experience.

What does this mean for excluded mainstream companies like Yamaha and Pioneer? And how will Dolby Vision and HDR10 fit into this equation or will we have another format war on our hands? We’re not sure yet. IMAX Enhanced says that future companies are in the works, but for now it’s Sony, Denon, and Marantz. They do say that if you buy one of the products, say a IMAX Enhanced receiver, you will get the best possible audio and video to a non-IMAX Enhanced display.

The most telling (and slightly disturbing) information from the IMAX Enhanced website is the following quote:

There are two challenges that we’re looking to address. First, we’ve all walked onto a showroom floor and been overwhelmed by the sheer volume of products. Other than price, how do consumers objectively know which is best? Second, as content moves downstream from theatrical to home, how do you ensure an optimized viewing experience that remains faithful to the filmmakers’ creative intent?  The goal of IMAX Enhanced is to take the mystery and frustration out of the buying process to make it easier for consumers to identify the highest-end content and consumer electronics products that will bring the most premium entertainment experience to your home.

This partnership might be akin to that of Beats Headphones by Dr. Dre which corners 70% of the headphone market. Although a decent product, there are many others out there that are better quality for less money. Will people just see the IMAX and DTS logo and buy these new IMAX Enhanced products blindly? Or, will this be Sony's second time around cornering the market like they did with the Blu-ray over Toshiba's HD-DVD. With Sony Studios and Paramount already behind them only time will tell…Of course if Sony and their partners aren't careful in liquidating the IMAX name by certifying even the most mediocre products, it may fizzle out and go the way THX did for home theater.

The IMAX Enhanced program will launch beginning this fall. For more information about the IMAX Enhanced program, please visit www.IMAXenhanced.com.

What do you guys think? Are you ready to embrace IMAX in your home theater?

About the author:
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Tony is our resident expert for lifestyle and wireless products including soundbars. He does most of the reviews for wireless and streaming loudspeakers and often compares soundbars in round ups and helps us cover the trade shows.

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