Dolby takes on IMAX with own cinema system

Dolby has announced it is launching Dolby Cinema, its own advanced cinema format, which will see it compete with IMAX. The system pairs its Dolby Atmos audio technology with Dolby Vision, which offers laser projection technology with 4K, high-frame-rate 2D and Dolby 3D capabilities. The first Dolby Cinema sites will be located at the newly constructed JT Cinemas complex in Eindhoven, Netherlands, and the UCI/Cinesa La Maquinista complex in Barcelona, Spain.

"Dolby has applied decades of research and development to deliver a sight and sound experience to Dolby Cinema that will transport audiences into the story like never before," said Kevin Yeaman, president and CEO, Dolby Laboratories. "Dolby Cinema will be the most engaging way for moviegoers to watch the newest releases."

Early Dolby Cinema locations, installed in collaboration with exhibitor partners around the globe, will be equipped with high-brightness laser projection technology with 4K, high-frame-rate 2D and Dolby 3D capabilities. When Dolby Vision content becomes available, the Dolby Cinema laser projection systems will be replaced with Dolby Vision projection systems. Dolby Cinema will also feature Dolby sound technology, Dolby Atmos.

Initially, Dolby's new projection system will use two Christie 6P 4K laser projectors for increased brightness along with some proprietary Dolby technology, as well as the Dolby 3D system for stereo movies. Next spring, the system, co-developed with Christie, will introduce updated laser projectors and playback technology that will enable the system to project Dolby Vision.

The Dolby Cinema design can be customised to the exhibitors' needs with a select set of features including a signature entrance and a dynamic AV pathway that provide a new canvas for studio creatives to begin telling their story before the show begins. Additional features may include a wall-to-wall-to-ceiling screen, atmospheric lighting, and faceted acoustic panels designed to enhance the sound quality and heighten the sense of immersion.

Additional exhibitor partners will be announced as installation plans are completed.