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Dolby Atmos is positioned to hit a healthy milestone this month with an incoming batch of new Blu-ray and Ultra HD Blu-ray discs. These new releases from Sony, Lionsgate, and Warner Bros. pushes the total number of available Atmos films to 50 titles across both disc-based formats. In addition, the streaming service VUDU offers users access to 14 titles in Atmos, giving users yet another way to access Dolby's exciting new immersive sound experience.

The latest Blu-ray Atmos films will include In the Heart of the Sea (March 8), Game of Thrones Season 5 (March 15), and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 (March 22). Those three titles round out an impressive collection of 34 other Atmos titles currently available. Meanwhile, the March 29 release of Concussions on Ultra HD Bu-ray makes for 13 Ultra HD Atmos encoded films. Other notable Ultra HD Blu-ray films include San Andreas, MadMax: Fury Road, and Jupiter Ascending - all of which feature absolutely stunning audio presentations.

For those of you that have been living under a rock for the better part of a year, Dolby Atmos is the industry's most popular object-oriented immersive sound codec. First announced in 2014, Atmos elevates the traditional multi-channel surround experience by tapping into ceiling mounted presence channels or angled add-on speaker modules that create a 3D dome of sound. Atmos allows Moviemakers to code audio presentations that pinpoint sounds to specific areas of space within a room. On the user end, Atmos-enabled AV Receivers decode the audio mix and use a system's available speakers (between 7 and 11 channels) to recreate the filmmaker’s intended audio experience.




Atmos encoded Ultra HD Blu-ray discs do not currently offer a better audio experience than that of standard Blu-ray, but the visual experience is shaping up to be something quite special. Beyond the additional pixels offered by UHD's 8-million pixel count capability, Ultra HD Blu-ray players can deliver High Dynamic Range, 10-bit encoding for a wider color gamut that approaches the current commercial cinema color space called Rec 2020, and frame rates up to 60 frames per second. While the new Ultra HD Blu-ray players possess the ability to playback both Blu-ray and DVD legacy content, standard Blu-ray players aren't able to play new Ultra HD discs. This is largely due to the fact that Ultra HD Blu-ray discs tap into HEVC encoding and disc capacities of 50, 66, and 100 gigabytes.

Back to Atmos, its closest immersive sound competition in the North American market is from longtime industry rival DTS and its new DTS-X codec. DTS-X was first announced at CES 2015, but only recently began rolling-out in the home market through firmware updates to select Denon, Marantz, and (soon) Yamaha receivers. Users with Atmos speaker layouts will be able to take advantage of DTS-X, assuming their receivers are DTS-X capable. Only 4 movies have been released in the format (American Ultra, Crimson Peak, Ex Machina, and The Last Witch Hunter) and two more (Daddy's Home and The Big Short) are due later this month. We expect to see more DTS-X titles available as the year progresses.

Here is the complete list of current Atmos titles:
Dolby Atmos Blu-ray Titles: 
1. Transformers: Age of Extinction (Paramount) 

2. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Paramount) 

3. Step up All In (Lionsgate) 

4. The Expendables 3 (Lionsgate) 

5. John Wick (Lionsgate) 

6. On Any Sunday: The Next Chapter (Red Bull Media House)

7. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 (Lionsgate)

8. Unbroken (Universal)

9. Gravity (Warner Bros.)

10. American Sniper (Warner Bros)

11. Jupiter Ascending (Warner Bros)

12. The Gunman (Universal)

13. The Divergent Series: Insurgent (Lionsgate)

14. Age of Adaline (Lionsgate)

15. Mad Max: Fury Road (Warner Bros.) 

16. Doctor Who: Dark Water/Death in Heaven 3D (BBC)

17. Bram Stoker's Dracula (Sony) 

18. The Gallows (Warner Bros.) 

19. San Andreas (Warner Bros.) 

20. The Fifth Element (Sony)

21. Léon: The Professional (Sony)

22. Pixels (Sony)

23. Game of Thrones Season 1&2 (HBO) 

24. Terminator Genisys (Paramount)

25. Enchanted Kingdom (BBC)

26. The Man From U.N.C.L.E (Warner Bros.)

27. Roger Waters: The Wall (Universal)

28. Minions (Universal)

29. Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (Paramount)

30. Pan (Warner Bros.)

31. Sicario (Lionsgate)

32. Sherlock: The Abominable Bride (BBC)

33. Everest (Universal)

34. Goosebumps (Sony)




Dolby Atmos UHD Blu-ray Titles Released:

1. Sicario, UHD (Lionsgate)

2. Ender's Game, UHD (Lionsgate)

3. The Expendables 3, UHD (Lionsgate)

4. Mad Max: Fury Road, UHD (Warner Bros.)

5. San Andreas, UHD (Warner Bros.)

6. Pan, UHD (Warner Bros.)

7. The Amazing Spider-Man 2, UHD (Sony)

8. Salt, UHD (Sony)

9. Hancock, UHD (Sony)

10. Chappie, UHD (Sony)

11. Pineapple Express, UHD (Sony)

12. The Smurfs 2, UHD (Sony)



Dolby Atmos UHD Blu-ray Titles Announced:

13. Concussion, UHD (Sony): Release date March 29, 2016



Dolby Atmos OTT Content Available on VUDU:

1. Mad Max: Fury Road, UHD (Warner Bros.)

2. The Man From U.N.C.L.E., UHD (Warner Bros.)

3. The Gallows, UHD (Warner Bros.)

4. San Andreas, UHD (Warner Bros.)

5. American Sniper, UHD (Warner Bros.)

6. Man of Steel, UHD (Warner Bros.)

7. Jupiter Ascending, UHD (Warner Bros.)

8. Edge of Tomorrow (Live, Die, Repeat), UHD (Warner Bros.)

9. Into the Storm, UHD (Warner Bros.)

10. Pan, UHD (Warner Bros.)

11. Entourage, UHD (Warner Bros.)

12. We Are Your Friends, UHD (Warner Bros.)

13. Pacific Rim, UHD (Warner Bros.)

14. In the Heart of the Sea, UHD (Warner Bros.)


Image Credit: DOLBY
 
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