• Prime Day: KEF & Klipsch Speakers up to 47% off, Including Dolby Atmos Model!

    Posted Tue Jul 12, 2016 at 10:45 AM PDT by
    kef prime day

    Amazon is offering big discounts on select Klipsch and KEF speakers for Prime members today only!  

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  • CE Week 2016 Highlights: HDR Projectors, Ultra HD TVs, Dolby Atmos Speakers and More!

    Posted Thu Jun 30, 2016 at 10:00 AM PDT by
    epson hdr

    Last week, High-Def Digest was invited to attend the 2016 CE Week tradeshow in New York City.

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  • HDD Quick Look: 'The Legend of Tarzan' in Dolby Vision & Dolby Atmos

    Posted Wed Jun 29, 2016 at 04:00 PM PDT by
    The Legend of Tarzan in Dolby Vision & Dolby Atmos

    Most of my days are spent hunched over a laptop working on my carpel tunnel and twisting my back in ways I'm going to regret in ten to twenty years.

    Then there are days when I go to movie premieres.

    Last Monday, Warner Bros and Dolby kindly hosted the world premiere for its latest feature, 'The Legend of Tarzan'. Walking into the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood California is an odd experience. First, it's in a mall. Literally. A high end shopping center with restaurants and jewelry stores and huts hawking sunglasses as tourists snap pictures from passing buses. But it's also this extravagant venue for musicals and, of course, home to the Academy Awards.

    In that sense, the Dolby Theatre is a magical palace of movie geekdom where you get a free popcorn and soda and the fleeting chance to see your favorite filmmakers and stars. The other great thing is the collective sense of buzz. While celebrities fill some seats, you're generally amongst the people who, in one way or another, devoted time to this production, or are in the middle of their own endeavors. That is to say premieres are generally warm rooms where the thrills chill and the jokes land.

    Like I said, an odd experience, but a special one I've very grateful to attend.

    Since Dolby took over the naming rights from Kodak several years ago, they set their genius pro cinema engineers to an impossible task -- make a venue that was in no way designed for cinema look and sound as good as it can. Today that means a Dolby Vision dual-4K projection system capable for 31fL in 2D (and 14fL in 3D) coupled with a custom Dolby Atmos setup. Dual 64-channel arrays (and processors) are necessary to run overhead and surround speakers for floor, mezzanine, and balcony seating. To be fair, it's not the best Dolby room in town, and some seats are more acoustically placed others, but given the restrictions faced, I'm always impressed.

    Dolby Theatre


    Let me begin by saying I have a huge amount of respect for the folks who made this movie. David Yates absolutely crushed his work in the 'Harry Potter' universe. Craig Brewer is an versatile writer-director (I'm not familiar with the other screenwriter's work). Alexander Skarsgård was unforgettable on 'True Blood'. Margot Robbie stood toe-to-toe with Leo in 'The Wolf of Wall Street' in a star-making performance. Christoph Waltz is one of the best all-time screen villains. Samuel L. Jackson is great in everything (even this). And Djimon Hounsou has an unmatched commanding presence.

    But, man, I just couldn't get into 'The Legend of Tarzan'. Dramatically. Emotionally. Tonally. It was all a miss for me.

    The basic plot revolves around Tarzan returning to the Congo at the invitation of Belgian's King Leopold II because England is hoping to broker a deal for mineral rights. Tarzan, or John Clayton (Skarsgård) as he likes to be called now, doesn't want to go back for reasons unknown, but his wife Jane (Robbie) very much wants to see her friends in the local tribe. Add in George Washington Williams (Jackson), an American Civil War vet who suspects Leopold might be enslaving the peoples of the Congo, and Tarzan has no choice but return to his past.

    Shortly after said reluctant return, the villainous Leon Rom (Waltz) kidnap Jane in hopes of luring Tarzan to his death. Tarzan, understandable pissed off, then sets off across the plains and the jungles with Williams to confront his past, rescue his wife, and possibly save the Congo from slavery.

    Much like the most recent Edgar Rice Burroughs adaptation, 'John Carter', 'Tarzan' manages to thrill at times with some wonderful action and beautiful photography -- Tarzan is effectively a 19th Century super hero -- but the filmmakers opted to treat characters' emotional-motivations as secrets rather than clear driving forces. In that sense, this film also features a flashback structure with all the origin story beats we've seen before, and where the scenes themselves are less engaging than the present day narrative and slow the film's overall pacing. There are also some odd tonal choices (Sam Jackson wondering if he should lick a gorillas testicles) and even though Jane has been modernized and she says she's no damsel, Ms. Robbie's character is woefully underwritten. Honestly, if it were my cinema dollars, I'd probably go see 'The Jungle Book' again or just Netflix Disney's animated 'Tarzan' (which admittedly has its own flaws).

    That said, if you're curious, completely disagree, or simply wish to stare at Skarsgård's abs for two hours... do yourself a favor and click HERE to find a list of Dolby Cinema locations where you're going to see and hear the best possible version of this film.

    Alexander Skarsgard


    'The Legend of Tarzan' swings into Dolby Cinemas with Dolby Vision high dynamic range graded in the (I believe) DCI P3 cinema color space. While much of the movie has a muted and gritty color pallet -- jungles and Greystoke manner soaked in oppressive mist -- Dolby Vision has such good contrast and black levels that it makes the whole experience much more vivid than conventional digital cinemas. You can see the rich costume colors even in the darkness. Day time sequences are vivid in their own right. The on-location areal photography is some of the most eye-dropping I've seen since the original 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy. Cascading waterfalls dumping into jungle-lined river basins. It's a paradise. And the grassy plains seem to extend outward infinitely. Pay special attention to the brighter skies, where you'll glimpse more clouds and other details that will be washed out in standard dynamic range.

    In comparison to other Dolby Vision titles, 'Tarzan' is somewhat limited by its intended color palette (the warmer, saturated 'The Jungle Book' is more classically demo material), but it looked quite good to my eyes.

    Tarzan and Dolby posters


    'The Legend of Tarzan' Dolby Atmos mix doesn't evolve the format in any way, but succeeds in implementing Atmos' inherent strengths to bolster the film's technical merits. Surround placement, including bullets and character voice panning, is above average. The Dolby Theatre auditorium is a vast space, but I knew at all times where the characters were going (and what threats were hunting them). Gorilla roars were guttural and deep. And I enjoy the sensation of movement as characters swing through dense jungles. My favorite aural sequence involves rain drenching your senses from the overhead speakers; it was quite effective, even if overall overhead usage is only moderately aggressive. If I had any suggestions, I wish there was a little less epic orchestral music and more jungle environment sonic nuances. Small note. Overall, though, this is a pretty good Dolby Atmos mix and I enjoyed its sonic flourishes more than 'Captain America: Civil War'.

    Margot Robbie


    While 'The Legend of Tarzan' wasn't for me, personally, it is a beautifully photographed film with a few thrilling set-pieces. If you're going to see it, I feel no regret in suggesting a Dolby Cinema auditorium. This type of color grading could easily find itself awash in grey-like black levels. Not so in Dolby Vision, which pushes the blacks and brings out dimensional colors even within the sometimes-muted pallet. Bright skies also resolve well. And, though not life-changing, the Dolby Atmos mix is quite good too, offering bursts of action and rain-soaked environmentals that make for an immersive experience. It should make for a nice Ultra HD Blu-ray and streaming experience.

    Another plus: after seeing what David Yates did with Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos the first time out, I can't wait to see how 'Fantastic Beasts' looks and sounds.

    Are you going to see 'The Legend of Tarzan'? If so, where?

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  • NVIDIA Shield Update Adds Netflix HDR Streaming, VUDU 4K, Dolby Atmos, Plex, and More!

    Posted Wed Jun 29, 2016 at 02:00 PM PDT by
    nvidia deal

    The powerful streaming media player now boasts several new features.  

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  • Pioneer Unveils Elite SC-LX501 Dolby Atmos & DTS:X Ready AV Receiver, MSRP Set at $1,000

    Posted Wed Jun 22, 2016 at 05:30 PM PDT by
    pioneer elite sc-lx501

    The company's newest Elite receiver has been detailed.  

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  • Pioneer Details CE Week 2016 Audio Lineup, Including Receivers, Headphones, Speakers, and More

    Posted Tue Jun 21, 2016 at 06:30 PM PDT by
    pioneer vsx-1131 receiver

    The company is showcasing several audio products at the tradeshow this week.  

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  • Lionsgate Set to Offer Titles with Dolby Vision & Dolby Atmos for Home Entertainment Market

    Posted Thu Jun 16, 2016 at 10:45 AM PDT by
    dolby vision logo 2

    Another studio has announced plans to support Dolby's video and audio technologies for home releases.  

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  • Dolby Atmos Designers: Formosa Group

    Posted Thu Jun 2, 2016 at 01:02 PM PDT by
    Dolby Atmos Designers: Formosa Group

    If you've watched ANY movies and TV, or played video games, in the last few years, there's a significant chance you've heard sound mixes and music that were created, edited, recorded, and/or finalized within the Formosa family.

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  • Integra Releases DRX Series AV Receivers with Dolby Atmos & DTS:X

    Posted Thu Jun 2, 2016 at 12:30 PM PDT by
    integra drx

    Four new 7.2 channel receiver models with immersive audio support have been detailed.  

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  • Up-mixed: Dolby Surround v DTS:Neural:X

    Posted Wed Jun 1, 2016 at 02:48 PM PDT by
    Up-mixed: Dolby Surround v DTS:Neural:X

    Dolby Surround and DTS:Neural:X are the latest generation up-mixing processors to land in 2015+ AVRs, offering not only surround performance upgrades for stereo and 5.1 mixes, but also height channel atmospherics for stereo, 5.1 and 7.1 mixes.

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  • NBC Set to Offer 4K Ultra HD Coverage of Rio Olympics

    Posted Fri May 27, 2016 at 10:30 AM PDT by

    Select portions of the upcoming Olympic Games will be covered in 4K and HDR.  

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  • Philips Readies Ultra HD Blu-ray Player for June Release, MSRP Set for $400

    Posted Tue May 17, 2016 at 05:45 PM PDT by
    philips ultra hd blu-ray

    The BDP7501 will be the second Ultra HD Blu-ray player to hit the US market.

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  • Win 'Deadpool' on Ultra HD Blu-ray!

    Posted Tue May 17, 2016 at 04:20 PM PDT by
    Deadpool news image pic

    Courtesy of the fine folks over at Fox Innovation Labs, High-Def Digest is giving away one FREE copy of the 'Deadpool' Ultra HD Blu-ray!

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  • Yamaha Introduces RX-A 60 Series AVENTAGE AV Receivers with Dolby Atmos & DTS:X, Prices Start at $650

    Posted Tue May 17, 2016 at 10:15 AM PDT by
    yamaha rx-a 60

    Six new AV receivers have been revealed.  

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  • Denon Unveils New X-Series AV Receivers with Dolby Atmos & DTS:X, Prices Start at $599

    Posted Fri May 13, 2016 at 02:30 PM PDT by
    denon x-series

    Two new receiver models with immersive audio support have been detailed.  

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  • Definitive Technology Launches BP9000 Bipolar Speaker Series with Dolby Atmos & DTS:X Support

    Posted Wed May 11, 2016 at 08:45 AM PDT by
    definitive tech BP9000 speakers

    The upcoming speaker series includes height modules for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X sound.  

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  • HDD Quick Look: 'Captain America: Civil War' in Dolby Cinema at AMC

    Posted Thu May 5, 2016 at 09:30 AM PDT by
    Dolby Cinema at AMC logo

    This week Dolby treated us to an advanced screening of Marvel's latest triumph, 'Captain America: Civil War' at the AMC Century City 15 on the west side of Los Angeles.

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  • Marantz Unveils NR1607 Ultra Slim AV Receiver with Dolby Atmos & DTS:X

    Posted Thu Apr 21, 2016 at 11:15 AM PDT by
    marantz slim receiver

    The new receiver features a slim design and immersive audio support.  

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  • Pioneer Releases VSX-1131 & VSX-831 AV Receivers, Prices Start at $450

    Posted Wed Apr 20, 2016 at 11:00 AM PDT by
    pioneer vsx-1131 receiver

    The new lineup includes a 7.2 channel Dolby Atmos/DTS:X model for $600.  

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  • 'The Jungle Book' in Dolby Vision & Dolby Atmos; More Titles Coming

    Posted Fri Apr 15, 2016 at 12:15 PM PDT by
    'The Junge Book' 2016 waterfall

    Last night we caught an advanced screening of Disney's 'The Jungle Book' at the historic El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, California.

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First Look: Optoma's New Cinema X P2 Short Throw Projector

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Sorry, We’re Closed

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