6
This content is rated TV-MA, and is for viewers 18 years or older. Are you of age?
Sorry, you are not old enough to view this content.

CNET News Video: Dolby Atmos sound tech puts you in Smaug's lair

About Video Transcript

CNET News Video: Dolby Atmos sound tech puts you in Smaug's lair

2:48 /

Dolby Atmos is used in the Oscar-nominated films "Gravity" and "The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug." CNET's Kara Tsuboi goes behind the scenes at Dolby Labs with Academy Award-winning sound mixer Christopher Boyes.

-Smaug the dragon is a menacing beast, especially when moviegoers experiences scenes from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug in a theater with a Dolby Atmos sound system. -We would have Smaug's voice and his growls do this interesting thing where they would emanate from his-- from his mouth. But then, they would flow through the room and then bounce off the back wall. -The Atmos system is the first to put individually controllable speakers in the ceiling in addition to the standard front, back, and side walls of a theater, essentially encasing the audience in a bubble of sound. -That way, we can actually make sound more naturalistic, more life-like. So, when something moves through the room, it basically goes from speaker to speaker to speaker to speaker instead of the way it does normally. It hits every speaker then fades. -Surround sound is a loud powerful tool, but not very precise. With Dolby Atmos, every sound can be isolated. So, the audience can track, say, the individual flutter of a leaf around the room, or the buzz of the helicopter across the sky. The Atmos technology gives sound mixers, like Academy Award nominated Christopher Boyes, precision control over sound effects, placing individual sounds around the room. -If I took a specific wind and put it up in the ceiling, and then took different winds and move them in different places of the room, then I got this very expansive feeling. And you felt like you were up on top of a mountain, looking at this huge vista around you. -In the movie Gravity, sound mixers used Atmos to manipulate position of voices like Ed Harris' Mission Control to talk to astronauts played by George Clooney and Sandra Bullock. -Explorer, this is Houston. -Go ahead, Houston. -Mission abort. -His sound is actually being positioned into the ceiling. So, you're kind of hearing it as if you're-- as like as George and Sandra Bullock are in that space. -Which gives the overall feeling to the audience that they're along for the ride. -Really helps focus you in the moment as to what's going on and really pushes you into the screen of the story. -Normally, when you go to the movies, you wanna sit in the very center to get the best sound experience, the suite spot. But now, with Dolby Atmos, you get that same great sound experience whether you sit here, or here, or even here. -Right now, only 450 theaters are equipped with the Dolby Atmos system. Expansion plans are in the works so more moviegoers can experience that film and sound world alongside their favorite characters. -Do not think I won't kill it, Wolf. -In San Francisco, I'm Kara Tsuboi, CNET.com for CBS News.
  • This is the interactive sidebar!

    Click any icon for more information as they appear--don't worry, we'll pause the video and wait for you to come back.

  • Links Polls Galleries
  • Video Review

New releases

Your holiday packages: One app to track them all
1:02 November 26, 2014
There are already a handful of good apps out there, like ones from UPS and FedEx, to track packages. But there are also apps that can...
Play video
Tomorrow Daily 092: Mistletoe drones, Europa in HD, real-life bacon meme, and more
24:11 November 25, 2014
On today's show, we debate the usefulness of drones inside restaurants (especially drones carrying mistletoe), check out Europa in...
Play video
Amazon Echo: a wireless speaker you can talk to
3:11 November 25, 2014
We go hands-on with Amazon's new Echo smart speaker and its Alexa voice assistant, who might just be Siri's better-sounding twin s...
Play video
2015 Mercedes Benz C400 4MATIC
4:58 November 25, 2014
The C Class is all-new and it's time to stop looking down your nose.
Play video
Can anything save Google Glass?
3:16 November 25, 2014
Google's first wearable platform has lost its edge with users and developers. You won't have a Cartier Android watch anytime soon,...
Play video
Alienware Alpha bridges the PC/console gaming divide
2:38 November 25, 2014
This gaming desktop looks and acts like a living room console, but plays your PC game library.
Play video
How Apple Pay and PayPal can help shoppers avoid hacks
1:37 November 25, 2014
What's the best way to protect yourself when shopping online? CNET's Sumi Das explains how to keep your credit card details away from...
Play video
The 404 Show 1,586: Giving thanks to tech, Jurassic World, BlackBerry Hail Mary (podcast)
35:21 November 25, 2014
It's our last show before Thanksgiving and the guys are discuss what tech they're thankful for.
Play video