Category Archives: Opinion

Opinions and personal views on different home theater related subjects.

Dolby Atmos on Batman v Superman

Batman v Superman : Dawn of Justice is still pending official press release and a release date from Warner, but there’s been confirmation from international information that all three versions (2D Blu-ray, 3D Blu-ray and UHD Blu-ray) will feature a Dolby Atmos soundtrack. This should proof a great soundtrack for the format.

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Lions Gate announces first UltraHD titles

You can now count Lions Gate in the list of studios supporting Ultra HD titles. The studio just announced that their first 4 titles will be available starting March 1st and that all will include immersive audio. The launch titles are :

This means we have a first DTS:X title on UHD Blu-ray now and that Atmos is continuing to be omnipresent on the format.

I updated at the same time the list of UltraHD titles, the list of Dolby Atmos Blu-rays and the list of DTS:X Blu-rays.

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.

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Three Wishes For CES 2015

Waking up from the holiday celebrations this morning, I realized that CES was now only four days away. To be honest, the last couple of years I had mostly lost interest in the show. Bigger TVs, almost identical wearable gear and more bluetooth speakers were making the show pretty boring.

2015 is a different story. Maybe it’s personal, but I feel that this year new technologies announced at CES will impact the home theater in a meaningful way. I can assure you that this time I’ll be following closely the announcements next Tuesday and reporting here as soon as possible.

While we wait for the event to take place, here are three things that are not official yet that I would like to see happen next week in Las Vegas.

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A New Blog Dedicated To New Technologies In Home Theaters

I fondly remember the year 1999. Why ? It’s the year where I went back five times to the home audio video store to buy, return and upgrade my first home theater system.

You see, I just had purchase my first home DVD player a couple of weeks before. After learning everything about black bars and aspect ratios and overcoming the shock of not using all of my TV to watch movies (I was young and naive), I quickly realized that listening to movies on my old stereo system was not really an option. I needed to leverage the full capacity of that new player and hear the movie the way it was intended to be : in the right aspect ratio with surround sound.

The first sound system I bought one was simply a Pro Logic system, for a matter of not investing too much I imagine. I came back home, enabled Dolby Surround on my system and waited for something great to happen. And nothing great happened. I sat down, watched a couple of movies, trying to concentrate to hear surround sound coming from the tiny “home theater in a box” speakers that came with the system but could barely hear effects.

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