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BARCO Auro-3D White Paper

BARCO Auro-3D White Paper

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Published by cinemafuchs

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: cinemafuchs on Jan 16, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Auro-3D: a new dimension in cinema sound
Page 1 of 11
Auro-3DA new dimension incinema sound
Wilfried Van BaelenFounder and Co-owner of Galaxy StudiosTom BertProduct Marketing Manager BarcoBrian ClaypoolSenior Director Strategic Business Development BarcoTim SinnaeveMarket Director Digital Cinema Barco
Auro-3D: a new dimension in cinema sound
Page 2 of 11
The introduction of digital projection in cinema theatres has spurred arevival in 3D movies. The first was ‘Chicken Little’in 2005, and now – according to box office returns – they’re here to stay. The image qualityprovided by digital cinema systems provides the immersive 3Dexperience that moviegoers have been missing for decades. But incontrast to this revolution of the visual experience, cinema audio hasbeen evolving very slowly. In fact, other than adding a few morespeakers to surround the audience with sound, the past 20 years havebrought forth no significant innovations that have been able to make theaural experience as life-like and immersive as 3D imagery …until now.3D audio is the next logical step required to usher in the ultimate motionpicture experience. When experiencing 3D Sound, one realizes that animmersive sound field creates more of an emotional response in theaudience than image alone. Sound is related to emotion. Even whenenvironmental sounds are heard unconsciously, they can have animpact on our emotional attitude and behavior.The importance of sound – for business applications as well as forprivate individuals – has been greatly underestimated. People feelconnected with the environment through sound – and the more naturalthe sound, the closer the connection. Furthermore, neurologists andsound engineers have long proven that sound can strongly influence thebrain and the body.As George Lucas put it: sound is 50% of the movie experience. Still, theindustry remains uncertain as to how to properly implement and use anew 3D sound experience. Auro-3D is the ideal, state-of-the-art solutionbecause it integrates the full 3D experience into existing technology andstandards with a flexibility and quality never achieved before. This newformat was first showcased at the AES Conventions in Paris and SanFrancisco in 2006 – and it has only improved since.Providing 3D listening formats that are compatible with currentstandards is just one of the contributions that Auro-3D has made. Butwhat about the technology that will permit this new 3D format to beplaced within the market’s existing distribution architectures and make itcompatible with all forms of multimedia?In this white paper, we'll explore the nature of human hearing, theshortcomings of current sound systems, and how Auro-3D addressesthese shortcomings and the opportunities it can offer to your productionpipelines and to commercial movie theatres.
Auro-3D: a new dimension in cinema sound
Page 3 of 11
Our brains perceive pictures very consciously, whereas sound isperceived rather unconsciously. Therefore, sound is sometimesconsidered to be less important, although film producers assert thatsound creates at least as much emotional response as images do.Full True 3D Sound reproductions require a speaker layout with threespatial axes (X = width, Y = depth, Z = height) to produce true“dimensional sound in space”. This means that simply the addition ofheight speakers will ensure the reproduction of real 3-dimensionalsound. Consumers, industry leaders and experts clearly see theevolution in audio entertainment evolving from a point source format(Academy Mono) to a single dimensional format (Stereo), later to thepopular 2-dimensional format (Surround Sound), and finally to theultimate 3-dimensional format: “A Full 3D Audio Format” that iscompatible with downstream multimedia markets.Previous generations listened to mono systems, whereas the post-WWIIgeneration grew up with technologies like stereo sound (which wasspurred on by the invention of the television). The current generation isgrowing up in a digital ‘surround sound’environment. Today’s digitalsurround sound can be produced by two different systems that playback this ‘ambient sound’: the “Real” 5.1 System, which uses onespeaker per channel, and the “Virtual”Surround System which is usuallymatrixed and then derived from a stereo source.The speaker layout of 5.1 Surround Sound, which is placed in a 2-dimensional plane (x= width, y = depth), was sold to the consumer as
solution for an immersive sound environment, but it did not fullydeliver that experience. Furthermore, 6.1 and 7.1 surround releases stillfail to fulfill this expectation, as they merely expand the depth of thehorizontal plane around the listener. So, the current Surround Soundconcept still has many shortcomings and is not able to immerse thelistener in a “True Sound environment”(especially when you consider allthat the new 3D digital technology can deliver). Whether that listener isgaming, watching a movie at a local theater, listening to music, orwatching a sports event, the expectation of a more immersive soundfield remains unfulfilled.Full True 3D Sound must be a unique experience that places thelistener as the main observer in a virtual (close to reality) world. Thelistener must be positioned in the “middle”of the action and feel as if heor she is part of it. 3D Sound reproduction, which simulates the naturalambient sound experience much more closely than current surroundsystems do, also promotes greater acceptance of an immersiveexperience, since our brains are designed to experience envelopingsound rather than the 2-dimensional point-source sound reproductiontoday’s systems provide.Due to the technical limitations of current (2-dimensional) soundsystems, and the fact that recently proposed solutions are incompatiblewith existing standards, no commercially viable solution for providing 3Dsound has appeared on the market …yet.The multimedia world is moving fast and is preparing a giant step toallow consumers to experience a higher level of entertainment byintegrating 3D technology into gaming, broadcasting, cars, home-

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