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Dolby Laboratories improves home cinema

by on30 August 2023

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Dolby Laboratories announced Dolby Atmos FlexConnect, a feature with the potential to add flexibility and simplicity to home theater audio setups.

The company says FlexConnect allows supporting TVs to optimise Dolby Atmos audio output among the TV's speakers and paired wireless speakers.  Dolby is only announcing the feature with upcoming TCL TVs, but it could expand elsewhere.

FlexConnect works with Atmos, 5.1, and stereo sound, is about adapting to people's audio setups, with considerations for things like speaker count and placement. The upcoming feature aims to bolster Atmos audio in situations where speaker placement is limited due to obstacles like room size, furniture, or outlet locations.

According to Dolby, FlexConnect will mean users can hear the same experience regardless of where they're sitting in the room, and that audio is tweaked based on each speaker's location and capabilities.

After each speaker is placed, the TV will undergo an automatic calibration using acoustic mapping, using TV microphones, to understand the location of each speaker. The TV optimises the sound image after analysing this data combined with information the TV can gather on each speaker's acoustic capabilities.

Together, this information allows the TV to adjust the rendering of each speaker to optimize the sound to ensure listeners are enjoying a great audio experience."

Many TVs struggle with low frequencies if there's a more capable speaker connected, the TV's speakers could "offload the bass to these speakers, which frees up power to allocate to other parts of the frequency spectrum," Dolby said.

"This could allow the TV speakers to allocate more power to dialogue, ensuring the best combination of bass and intelligibility," the rep said.

Dolby provided an example of how FlexConnect could adapt audio based on speaker location. If a user puts two wireless speakers in the back of the room, FlexConnect "will put more of the audio load onto the TV speakers so that the TV speakers cover the front soundstage and the dialogue."

But if the wireless speakers were in the front of the room, the TV/center speakers would focus on dialogue.

Last modified on 30 August 2023
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