In anticipation of what it believes will be the beginning of the adoption of a standardized format for immersive sound, at CinemaCon Barco will be publically showing, for the first time, AuroMax: a system that incorporates support for the placement of “objects” in any immersive mix and the most revolutionary rendering technology available from Iosono. More than 100 films have been released globally in Auro 11.1 – including this summer’s Minions, Pixels, and Everest – with even more announcements expected in the coming weeks.
“Barco and Auro Technologies are proud to celebrate this achievement with our industry partners as we worked diligently to secure the creation of a standardized distribution format for immersive cinema sound. Our desire is to protect exhibitors and studios from potential ‘gatekeeper’ entities that could impose proprietary technology, thus ensuring the ability to play any movie regardless of the system used to create it,” said Brian Claypool, senior director strategic business development for Barco. “Thanks to SMPTE, DCI and NATO representatives, which are also dedicated to developing these standards, our customers can expect more content, with an increased focus on quality, so that audiences understand the full potential of what immersive sound can be. The arrival of these standards will allow content creators to focus on one workflow rather than making sacrifices to create multiple versions of one mix. The arrival of a true standard in the marketplace will help achieve this.”
Barco believes that AuroMax offers the most natural representation of standardized immersive sound at up-to half the cost of a typical object based sound system. Auro-3D sound systems are the only immersive system with three distinct layers and a vertical stereo field on screen divided over six screen channels to provide a realistic reproduction of sound in movie theaters. All current Auro 11.1 auditoriums are built from the existing 5.1 design philosophy. AuroMax allows for the discreet placement of “objects”. This makes AuroMax compatible and upgradable with existing Auro 11.1 systems. This new approach maintains the same large sweet spot and guarantees the most natural representation of channel- and object-based immersive sound as intended by the creators, regardless of the size of the room.
More than 35 leading post-production studios have installed the Auro-3D Studio System, with more on the horizon because of its ability to offer total freedom to content creators regarding immersive sound development.
“An open standard ensures that no manufacturer can hold exhibitors hostage by levying license fees for immersive audio. Instead, studios can effortlessly create both channel- and object-based sound masters for movies without fear of incurring exorbitant costs or being locked-in to one authoring or playback system. Best of all, by using the Auro-3D Creative Tool Suite, a single distribution master can be created within the existing workflow that can be used on any legacy or new immersive audio system to ensure the widest distribution of their movies,” said Wilfried Van Baelen, inventor of the Auro-3D concept and CEO of Auro Technologies.