The Hunger Games : Mockingjay Part 1 confirmed with Dolby Atmos

With the great support that Lionsgate is offering to Dolby and the Dolby Atmos format, it’s not a surprise to see that Hunger Games : Mockingjay Part 1 will be released on March 6th in Blu-ray with an Atmos track.

The movie will also offers the following special features :

  • “The Mockingjay Lives: The Making of Mockingjay – Part 1”: 8 part feature-length documentary
  • “Straight From the Heart: A Tribute to Philip Seymour Hoffman” featurette
  • “Songs of Rebellion: Lorde on Curating the Soundtrack” featurette
  • “Yellow Flicker Beat” – Lorde music video
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Audio Commentary with Director Francis Lawrence and Producer
  • Nina Jacobson
  • Sneak Peek of The Divergent Series: Insurgent

The list of Dolby Atmos movies have been updated. It’s interesting to see some traction on Dolby Atmos releases in this new year.

Onkyo To Release A New Dolby Atmos Demo Disc

Just a quick note to tell you that the team at Onkyo Germany is working on updating their Ambra – Prism of Live ambiance Blu-ray to have a Dolby Atmos soundtrack.



There is already a downloadable demo on their webpage here. You need to either burn the ISO file on a Blu-ray disc or extract the m2ts file from it and play it with your media player.

I did test the content yesterday and even if I cannot say I’m a fan of the type of music used, there is some interesting positioning effects, mostly with voices during the 4 minutes and 50 seconds demo.

If you got a Dolby Atmos system at home, give it a try and let me know what you think through the comments !

Vice starring Bruce Willis to feature Dolby Atmos in Blu-ray

Update : Since this news, Lionsgate released a press release saying the movie would only offer DTS HD Master Audio 5.1, so I removed the movie from the list. Sorry for this and thanks to Chris for notifying me.

Lionsgate announced yesterday the upcoming release of the science-fiction thriller Vice, starring Bruce Willis, on Blu-ray with a Dolby Atmos DTS HD Master Audio soundtrack. The movie, which just got released in theaters, will be available for home theaters on March 17th.

You can purchase the movie on by clicking on the movie poster above. 

A First Encounter With The Blu-ray Audio Format

After Sony announcing a new high end Walkman at CES 2015 and Neil Young officially launching the PonoPlayer and Pono store out of its beta phase, we can say that 2015 starts strongly for High Definition audio.

I must admit I’m new to all of this and my home theater gear is definitively not targeted toward listening to music in high definition formats. I also understand there are huge debates about if those formats are really making an audible difference for listeners and I will not try to be the judge of this.

Debate aside, I’m a fan of new technologies and when I saw that Universal had released some audio albums in high quality audio (24-bit/96 kHz sampling) in the Blu-ray format, I could not resist the urge to get some of them and try it out in the home theater. I imagine that trying with jazz or classical music would have been a better approach, but I’m a classic rock fan and it’s what I wanted to try.

Yesterday I finally received my order from Amazon of two High Fidelity Pure Audio Blu-ray discs, Bryan Adams’ Reckless, which was remastered for it’s 30th anniversary and my favorite album from Supertramp, Crime of the Century. I’ll get back to the Supertramp disc in a follow up article.

The format is pretty simple, as soon as you start the disc, music starts by default on the first song with the PCM soundtrack selected. A static menu is displayed with the current song information and offers quick options to select tracks and audio formats among PCM, TrueHD and DTS Master Audio, all in lossless 24-bit/96 kHz quality.

I cannot count the number of times I listened to those songs, since receiving the Reckless tape more than twenty years ago from a late friend of mine and then through various greatest hits albums of the singer. Being able to listen again to this new remaster of the album is really interesting and I must admit I noticed some sonorities I did not hear before on some of the tracks. Is the audio really better than the CD version of the tracks ? It is up to debate with audio experts, but I did appreciate the album in this format.

Reckless also comes with seven extra tracks that were recorded in studio at the same time of the album but did not make it finally on the recording. The Blu-ray audio also includes a 5.1 mix created specifically for this release, which is interesting and adds dimension to the listening experience.

The album finally comes with a download code for the songs that are available in mp3 format at 320kbps. It’s an interesting idea, but as long as purchasing a high definition audio disc, I would have preferred getting access to 24-bit/96 kHz FLAC files instead. It’s a bit like buying a Blu-ray and getting a download code for the film in standard definition.

I’ve been burned before by new generation audio formats (DVD Audio anyone ?) and what I like about the so called Blu-ray Audio is that its not really a format, but a clever usage of the already existing standards of the Blu-ray format. This means that as long as I have a Blu-ray player available, I’ll be able to use those discs in their intended quality.

If you are Bryan Adams fans, Reckless is needless to say the most important album of his career and this is definitively a great way to listen to it.

John Wick Bluy-ray Release Will Feature Dolby Atmos

I don’t know how I missed it before, but looking at the information available on the Blu-ray release details of John Wick, staring Keenu Reeves, we can see that it will feature a Dolby Atmos soundtrack.

With a release date of February 3rd, it will become the fifth movie release for home theater with Dolby Atmos track.

I updated the list of Blu-ray movies with Dolby Atmos present on the site with the related information.

Why I Still Believe In Disc Based Movies

With the recent update on what Ultra HD Blu-ray will offer and the fact that the format specs will be officially confirmed in the upcoming weeks according to the always interesting Bill Hunt at The Digital Bits, I’m convinced even more that I want the format to succeed and that I will try at least for one more generation of technology to augment my movie library.

Of course all the digital natives out there are already laughing while reading this and a lot of them will never buy a Blu-ray movie, even less a 4K one. It’s true that the digital streaming convenience is great and that direct access to thousand of movies and hundreds of TV Shows is a blessing. But, as a lot of home theater enthusiasts will tell you, the quality of streaming is not up to par with disc based media.

When you currently look at the ISP Speed Index provided by Netflix, the best streaming bandwidth connection they recorded in November in the USA is 3.27 Mbps. Just as a comparison factor, Blu-ray movies average 20 to 30 Mbps and the announced bandwidth for Ultra HD Blu-ray will be close to 100 Mbps. This means that the movies and TV shows we watch in HD on streaming services are way more compressed and we definitively loose details and both audio and video quality.

With more and more movies shot digitally in 4K and enthusiasts wishing to get the best multimedia experience possible, the bandwidth necessary to reproduce this in the home theater will continue to be a challenge for a while.

On top of this, and yes digital natives will probably laugh again, the collectible factor is still in my mind an important part of buying disc based movie. The capability to see packaging, purchase collector editions of our favorite movies and document your collection is in my mind an important factor.

Yes disc based media sales will continue to go down and will be gradually replaced by streaming and digital. But as a movie collector, I still hope and believe Ultra HD Blu-ray will have a good level of success and will help disc based medias continue to be the best way to experience movies at home as they were created by the artists behind them.


Dolby Atmos and DTS:X : Early Adopter Complains

In term of technology, I never complained about the early adopter tax : the fact that as enthusiasts we pay more for new technology that was just recently released. I somehow get more frustrated when important issues hit a new device (e.g. Xbox 360 red ring of death or Harman Kardon DVD macroblocks) and early adopters end up with more problems than joy.

But honestly, that never stopped me from buying new technology, just for the rush of trying it as early as possible and to be able to share impressions about it and bring other people to experience it with me. In that sense, early adopters, when treated well, are the best ambassadors of any new technology product. I cannot count the number of DVD players, home theater systems, LCD televisions and other technology I recommended and helped people purchase over the last decade. Make me happy with a new technology launch and I’ll almost wear a tattoo of its name wherever you want me to.

Continue reading Dolby Atmos and DTS:X : Early Adopter Complains

Ultra HD Blu-ray somewhat announced at CES 2015

As you may have read in my three wishes for CES 2015, Blu-ray 4K was in my mind the most important announcement of the show this year. After a limited press releases last September announcing the format would be launched for the 2015 holiday period, CES was the perfect timing to hope to see players in action and ideally a commitment from studios to the format. After watching the webcast of  the press conferences at the show on Monday, it’s hard to be very satisfied with what was announced.

The only company that presented something was Panasonic, who showed a prototype player, pictured above, supporting 4K video output at 60p, 10-bit gradation of colours and high dynamic range, all of this through an impressive debit of 100 Mbps coming from the disc format. This is all of course tentative as the format standards has not been confirmed yet.

Continue reading Ultra HD Blu-ray somewhat announced at CES 2015

Some 4K Demo Material Thanks To The Blender Foundation

If you are like me and desperately waiting for some content to watch on your new 4K TV and feel let down by the real visual difference provided by 4K streaming (more on that in a later post), the Blender Foundation is there to help. Responsible for the development of open source 3D rendering tools, the group also drives open content movie projects almost every year.

Since 2008, three of their short movies have received a 4K rendition that you are able to freely download and watch on your TV provided it supports the format or if you have a working 4K media player.

You’ll find below the link to the three movie websites where you’ll be able to download them in 4K and I included a Youtube version if you want to preview the movie before downloading.

Continue reading Some 4K Demo Material Thanks To The Blender Foundation

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles : Dolby Atmos Review

How Reviews Are Done On : Here are some ground rules for review on this site. The first thing is that the movie itself will never be reviewed, as this is not the intention and tastes and opinion regarding movies are up to the viewer. Furthermore, the review will concentrate on the next generation element of the content, so in this case the Dolby Atmos track, while presenting the other aspects. A Blu-Ray 4K would for example be reviewed for visual performance only. There will not by any grades either, just comments and a purchase recommandation in the conclusion.

The Movie

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is another reboot in the recent wave of 80’s and 90’s popular culture rebirth. Is this new version, the four turtles, helped by April and Splinter, will try to stop Shredder and his Foot Clan from getting control of New York City.

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