Okay… believe it or not I have other interests outside of recruiting. One of my passions has always been Home Theater. I was an early adopter when surround sound first came along, I had a patchwork of speakers from this brand and that, as well as a really nice Sony ES receiver that I picked up from AAFES. I loved it, and have been upgrading gear ever since. In fact, I have probably owned every brand of home theater receiver at least once including Sony, Pioneer, Yamaha, Denon, and Onkyo. I also am the proud owner of an Toshiba HD-DVD player, before Blu Ray stole the show (I still think HD-DVD was a better format and should have won). Lately, there just hasn’t been much to get jazzed about in the world of home theater. Sure, 4K televisions are cool, and OLED is really impressive (also very expensive) but nothing has been like that first time I heard surround sound in the demo room at one of the big box stores… until now!
Recently while combing through my quarterly issue of Crutchfield, I read about Dolby Atmos. For those of you who don’t know, it is a new way Dolby has been producing sound tracks for your favorite movies in the theater, and now they have brought that technology to your home via your home theater receiver. What it does with sound is amazing, I won’t go into the technical details, but you will probably have to add a couple of speakers to your existing home theater to get the full effect. I (fortunately) was very lucky to already have the preferred setup (much by accident) and didn’t have to upgrade anything other than my HT receiver which I did with the Yamaha RXA-760. At first I wasn’t impressed, and couldn’t figure out why it didn’t say dolby atmos on my display. After some frustration, I figured out the problem,… when you buy a dolby atmos disc, it comes with another regular DVD disc as well, I didn’t notice that, and didn’t have the correct disc inserted into my B-ray player (oops, rookie!).
There aren’t a lot of movies that have dolby atmos encoded yet, so I purchased the new Tarzan movie, hit play, dimmed the lights, and waited to see what happened. Early in the movie there is a scene when Tarzan’s dad is about to get jumped by angry gorillas. He is below the tree house and the monkeys are swinging above him making well, monkey jungle sounds. I was instantly hooked, the sound of the jungle all around and above you really is a whole new movie watching experience. You definitely feel like you are in the action, not just watching it. There is another scene where soldiers are firing in all directions in a vain attempt to dissuade their attackers… the bullets fly all around you, it almost feels like you should duck.
Bottom line, it is the best thing to hit home theaters since the very first 5.1 system was displayed at Best Buy. It makes me want to watch my favorite movies over again with the sound cranked (sound proofing your HT is a whole another conversation). If you have a chance, pop into your nearest HT store and hear what you have been missing. I guarantee it will put a smile on your face.
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