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'Transformers 4' will be first Dolby Atmos Blu-ray

Paramount Pictures' "Transformers: Age of Extinction" will be first the official Blu-ray encoded with a ​Dolby Atmos soundtrack when it is released later this month.

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Paramount will launch the "Transformers: Age of Extinction" Blu-ray on September 30, 2014, in the US and says it plans further Atmos titles via online streaming and Blu-ray Disc later this year.

According to Dolby there are hundreds of cinema titles that have been encoded in Atmos since it debuted in 2011, including "Guardians of the Galaxy," "Brave," and "The Life of Pi."

In the coming months a host of new receivers will come online supporting the Dolby standard, as well as some existing models that can be upgraded via firmware. Manufacturers that have announced Atmos-enabled equipment include Denon, Marantz, Onkyo, Pioneer, and Yamaha.

Dolby Atmos offers a different way to render surround-sound information that is "object-based" rather than channel-based, which enables Atmos systems to adapt surround soundtracks on the fly to a user's own speaker configuration. Dolby Atmos is backward-compatible with existing True HD decoding equipment.

One of the biggest challenges Dolby faces in popularizing the format in the home is convincing customers to invest in height speakers, or buy new speakers with ceiling-facing drivers, such as the Pioneer Elite speakers.

According to Dolby, some as-yet-unnamed manufacturers will bundle add-on modules for existing speakers with the purchase of new Atmos receivers.