In August 2018, the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) announced the publication of an open standard for immersive audio. This new SMPTE standard signals the start of a new age of cinema experience, and Cinionic is paving the way with Barco Immersive Audio.
What is the new SMPTE standard?
Immersive audio was previously a limited playing field, but now it is truly an industry-open standard. That means it is now available to a larger market and open to competition, which is why Cinionic broadened the scope of the Barco Immersive Audio platform to accommodate this new standard.
Cinionic and Barco’s answer: Barco Immersive Audio
Barco, has come up with an immersive audio rendering hardware and software system. AuroMax plays back the audio bitstream using both channel- and object-based solutions. This has two main advantages:
1. It lowers amplification costs: although the solution uses more speakers – thus creating a better experience – it requires less sound amplification compared to other immersive audio solutions.
2. It can be installed using the existing sound design layer as a starting point. This means exhibitors can add to their existing infrastructure and don’t need to replace anything.
“Barco Immersive Audio uses an additional sound design layer,” Dan Huerta, product and service insights director at Cinionic explains. “It is the only immersive audio solution that utilizes three surround layers, which results in a truly realistic spatial sound experience. Particularly when the creative intent is to move the object audio vertically!”
Creating a ‘wow’ experience in Singapore
Immersive audio improves the cinema experience overall, making it more lifelike than ever before. Something Filmgarde Cineplexes and Mediacorp, two Asian cinema powerhouses from Singapore, have also picked up on. Exactly one year ago, they opened the first AuroMax-powered cineplex in Asia at Century Square in Tampines, Singapore. A cinema innovation which has proven a great success. So great in fact, that Filmgarde and Mediacorp are looking to open 12 more AuroMax cinemas in Singapore soon.
Singaporean movie director and actor Jack Neo: “I’m thankful for an invention like this because it gives directors more ways to enhance our films as audio holds a very important place. With Barco Immersive Audio, when you’re at the cinema, you’ll feel the realism. That truly takes the immersive experience to a whole new level.”