IMAX Enhanced

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FAQ

Why are IMAX and DTS launching this program?

While the IMAX theatrical experience continues to be the gold standard in blockbuster movie-going, the companies saw an opportunity to improve and create greater consistency in the home entertainment space.

There are two challenges that we are looking to address:

  1. We’ve all walked onto a showroom floor and been overwhelmed by the sheer volume of products. Otherthan price, how do consumers objectively know which is best?
  2. As content moves downstream from theatrical to home, how do you ensure an optimized viewing experiencethat remains faithful to the filmmakers’ creative intent?

Together with DTS, we’re launching IMAX Enhanced, a new licensing and certification home entertainment program that we believe solves these challenges through three areas:

Certification: The consistent high-quality experience we provide in every IMAX theatre around the world has positioned the IMAX brand as a beacon for those looking for premium entertainment experiences.

To qualify and carry the IMAX Enhanced logo, the highest-end TVs, sound bars, A/V receivers must meet carefully prescribed performance requirements established by IMAX, DTS and Hollywood’s leading colorists to create a consistent and higher bar for image and sound specs on premium devices.

By marking these devices with the IMAX Enhanced logo, we are taking the mystery and frustration out of the buying process to make it easier for consumers to identify and buy the best devices.

Content: Introduce IMAX digitally re-mastered content for the home environment to provide the sharpest 4K HDR images and powerful, immersive sound as the filmmaker intended.

Optimization: We are designing an IMAX Mode for the enhanced devices that will be meticulously calibrated to play digitally re-mastered content to deliver the best viewing and listening experience on that device.

What is the IMAX Enhanced program?

IMAX Enhanced is a new licensing and certification home entertainment program. To qualify and carry the IMAX Enhanced logo, the highest-end TVs, projectors, sound bars, and A/V receivers must meet stringent performance standards established by IMAX, DTS and Hollywood’s leading colorists in order to create a consistent and higher bar for image and sound performance on premium devices. IMAX digitally re-mastered content for the home environment is created to provide the sharpest 4K HDR images and powerful sound as the filmmaker intended. We are designing an IMAX Mode for the enhanced devices that will be meticulously optimized to play digitally re- mastered content to deliver the best viewing and listening experience on that device.

What are the benefits of IMAX Enhanced products?

With IMAX Enhanced, consumers can now take comfort in knowing the products available under the program will deliver more distinct and breathtaking images featuring more vibrant colors, greater contrast and sharpest clarity, complete with powerful, immersive sound.

What makes content IMAX Enhanced?

IMAX will supply select IMAX documentaries and work with its global studio and other content partners to build a steady stream of IMAX Enhanced versions of movies and other programming using the newest, proprietary post-production process developed by IMAX. It utilizes a sophisticated, advanced algorithm designed to produce the highest-quality, sharpest 4K HDR images.

This advanced process accurately reduces noise and grain under the filmmaker’s guidance to best optimize the content for a much higher quality, higher brightness 4K HDR display format. Without this technology, high-dynamic range content can actually look worse than what was originally seen and intended by the filmmaker due to excessive noise and grain in the film.

Select IMAX Enhanced titles that were shot with IMAX® cameras or specially formatted for IMAX® theatres will also include an expanded aspect ratio for the film’s home release to show consumers more picture on their TV.

IMAX and DTS will also partner with award-winning Hollywood sound mixers to use a special variant of its DTS:X codec technology integrated in home audio equipment to deliver an IMAX signature sound experience.

IMAX will be announcing and releasing IMAX Enhanced versions of a wide range of films both for 4K HDR streaming and Ultra HD Blu-ray Discs.

What markets will IMAX Enhanced products and content be available in?

IMAX Enhanced devices are currently launching worldwide, with content announcements to follow shortly.

What partners are on board? How many more do you expect?

Illustrating the breadth of the initiative, IMAX and DTS announced that a number of global consumer electronics and entertainment market leaders have joined the IMAX Enhanced program as partners, including Sony Electronics, Sony Pictures, Paramount Pictures, and Sound United (Denon and Marantz). The program will look to continue to partner with leading consumer electronics and entertainment companies to enhance select high-end 4K displays, A/V receivers, sound bars, other home theatre equipment and content.

How is IMAX improving image quality on IMAX Enhanced products?

IMAX Enhanced products must be designed to meet a carefully prescribed set of the highest audio and video specifications, set by a certification committee of IMAX and DTS engineers and Hollywood technical specialists – to be accepted into the IMAX Enhanced program. In addition, the companies will also license a proprietary suite of technology to enhance select top-of-the-line 4K HDR televisions, A/V receivers, sound systems and other home theatre equipment.

The companies are designing an IMAX Mode for the enhanced devices that will be meticulously optimized to play digitally re-mastered content as the filmmaker intended in the home. These pre-set IMAX calibrated modes, set and approved in conjunction with Hollywood’s colorists, will provide consumers with a hassle-free way to get the best picture and sound.

Only the largest 4K UHD HDR TVs can participate in the IMAX Enhanced program. These bigger displays feature higher resolution, brighter images and greater contrast than ever before, which magnify image imperfections in content – diminishing the filmmaker’s creative intent. IMAX is working with its global studio and other content partners to build a steady stream of IMAX Enhanced version of movies and other programming using the newest, proprietary post- production process developed by IMAX. It utilizes a sophisticated, advanced algorithm designed to produce the highest-quality, sharpest 4K images.

Derived from IMAX’s proprietary DMR process, the technology cleans up the images and eliminates these imperfections, so you can experience the film at its best, as the filmmaker intended. The combination of IMAX Enhanced products and IMAX Enhanced content results in distinct and breathtaking images featuring vibrant colors, greater contrast and sharper clarity.

Not only do IMAX Enhanced films look and sound amazing on these devices, but other content – such as sports, high- production value TV shows, and gaming – will look and sound incredible as well.

What is IMAX DMR and IMAX Sound?

IMAX DMR is IMAX’s proprietary image enhancement process that uses a sophisticated advanced algorithm designed to remove unwanted grain and noise present in the image without degrading or altering the artistic intent of the photography to produce the highest-quality, sharpest 4K HDR images.

Much like IMAX’s image enhancement process, for each film released in IMAX theatres, IMAX works side by side with the filmmakers and original sound team to create a custom soundtrack optimized for IMAX theatres’ point-source surround sound. With meticulous adjustments modeled on how the IMAX theatrical sound system operates, this proprietary IMAX audio mix is translated for home theatre environments and exclusively delivered using a special variant of the DTS:X codec technology integrated in home entertainment equipment to deliver immersive, powerful sound.

Does DTS Virtual:X technology replicate a 12-channel mix through a 5.1 set up only? How does IMAX sound perform on set-ups that can’t support 5.1?

Yes, DTS Virtual:X technology supports a number of consumer speaker configurations without discrete height channels, including stereo TV/soundbar speakers and up to 7.1. On stereo speakers, DTS Virtual:X virtualizes both surround and height (replicating 11.1/12.0) using different algorithms. In 5.1 or 7.1, DTS Virtual:X only needs to virtualize height (replicating 11.1/12.0). Virtual:X has received an overwhelmingly positive response form the industry, and it performs quite well with IMAX Enhanced content.

What makes an IMAX Enhanced A/V receiver different from an A/V receiver with DTS:X technology?

DTS:X technology is commonly found in most multi-channel A/V receivers on the market today. IMAX Enhanced A/V receivers must include DTS:X technology and will deliver additional features such as auto-sensing of IMAX Enhanced content.

IMAX Enhanced A/V receivers feature DTS:X immersive audio decoding that is optimized for IMAX’s signature sound experience to properly reproduce the full dynamic range of IMAX theatrical sound mixes available with IMAX Enhanced content.

IMAX Enhanced A/V receivers provide consumers a pre-set, IMAX Mode that will reproduce audio at the highest levels in the home from both a performance and quality standpoint.

In addition, IMAX Enhanced content provides guidance on the reference volume levels that the filmmaker released originally in IMAX theatres.

What makes an IMAX Enhanced TV different from a regular 4K UHD TV?

IMAX Enhanced displays must meet additional requirements over and above what most 4K UHD TVs deliver today in order to receive the IMAX Enhanced program certification.

The IMAX Enhanced program features the best displays that meet the program’s standards across proper calibration, resolution, color, brightness, contrast, scale of image and sound capabilities. The carefully prescribed set of the highest audio and video specifications are defined by a certification committee of IMAX and DTS engineers and Hollywood’s leading technical specialists to ensure the devices that feature the IMAX Enhanced logo deliver flawless playback of picture and sound as the filmmakers intended.

How do the products work together? Can I just buy a TV or a sound bar and not the entire suite of IMAX Enhanced products?

IMAX Enhanced products are designed to work independently of each other and, even alone, will perform their function at the highest level. When combined, they work in concert, creating the most immersive and highest-quality experience available in the home.

What is the required speaker size or performance criteria to create the IMAX Enhanced experience?

The IMAX Enhanced program does not currently include specific speaker performance criteria. It is recommended that a minimum of 20Hz – 20kHz be reproduced using a combination of high-performance speakers and subwoofers. Additionally, it is recommended that speakers feature a minimum sensitivity of 89db with frequency response down to 70Hz.

What are the recommended and minimum channel count requirements (including the number of subwoofers)?

For optimal playback of IMAX Enhanced content, the recommended speaker layout for an IMAX Enhanced system is 7.2.4 with seven speakers in the horizontal plane, two subwoofers and four height speakers. 5.1.4 is the minimum layout for IMAX Enhanced A/V receivers and processors. Due to various constraints, consumers may opt to install fewer speakers than the recommended and minimum layouts noted above. In such cases, the spatial remapping engine included in the DTS:X decoder will properly render and remap audio to the available speakers.

What happens to the IMAX Enhanced experience if you don’t have the required number of speakers?

IMAX Enhanced content features soundtracks built upon the DTS:X codec. The DTS:X decoder is integrated into all IMAX Enhanced A/V receivers and processors features a spatial remapping engine that renders and remaps channels and objects to the consumer’s available speaker layout. For optimal playback of IMAX Enhanced content, a 7.2.4 speaker layout is recommended.

What are the locations of the recommended physical speaker layout?

The 5.1.4 speaker layout includes the following physical speaker locations: L, C, R, Ls, Rs, Lh, Rh, Lhr, Rhr and one or more subwoofers (LFE). In a 7.1.4 system, the speaker locations are as follows: L, C, R, Lss, Rss, Lsr, Rsr, Lh, Rh, Lhr, Rhr and one or more subwoofers (LFE). For specific speaker locations, please refer to the following table:

Commonly Displayed AVR Layout Label(s) DTS Speaker Label Notation Recommended range of azimuth angles in degrees Recommended range of elevation angles in degrees Nominal (azimuth, elevation) angles in degrees
Center C CENTER 0 0 (0,0)
Left L LEFT -30 to -45 0 (30,0)
Right R RIGHT 30 to 45 0 (-30,0)
Surround Left,
Left Surround
Ls SRRD_LEFT -100 to -120 0 (-110,0)
Surround Right,
Right Surround
Rs SRRD_RIGHT 100 to 120 0 (110,0)
LFE 1;
Subwoofer 1
Sub 1
LFE1 LFE_1 -100 to -120 Low frequency effects subwoofer
Left Surround Rear
Surround Back Left
Left Rear Surround
Left Rear
Lsr REAR_SRRD_LEFT -135 to -150 0 (-150,0)
Right Surround Rear
Surround Back Right
Right Rear Surround
Right Rear
Rsr REAR_SRRD_RIGHT 135 to 150 0 (150,0)
Left Side Surround Lss SIDE_SRRD_LEFT -90 0 (-90,0)
Right Side Surround Rss SIDE_SRRD_RIGHT 90 0 (90,0)
Left Height
Left Front High
Left Front Height
Front Presence Left
Lh HIGH_LEFT -30 to -60 30 – 60 (-45,-45)
Right Height
Right Front High
Right Front Height
Front Presence Right
Rh HIGH_RIGHT 30 to 60 30 – 60 (45,45)
Left Height Rear
Left Rear High
Left Rear Height
Rear Presence Left
Lhr HIGH_REAR_LEFT -110 to -150 30 – 60 (-135,-45)
Right Height Rear
Right Rear High
Right Rear Height
Rear Presence Right
Rhr HIGH_REAR_RIGHT 110 to 150 30 – 60 (135,45)

Is there an upmixer for IMAX Enhanced?

DTS:X features the DTS Neural:X immersive upmixer that is compatible with select IMAX Enhanced content.

Can I still watch IMAX Enhanced content via streaming or UHD Blu-ray Disc on a non-IMAX TV?

If you watch an IMAX Enhanced movie on a non-IMAX TV, you will still get the best possible version of the content, but it will not be optimized to deliver the same high level of experience as watching or listening to it on an IMAX Enhanced device.

News

What To Know About IMAX Enhanced

5 innovative new TV technologies you need to know about

Denon & Marantz Reveal First IMAX Enhanced Audio Components

IMAX Targets The Living Room With New Video And Hardware ‘Standard’ [UPDATED]

‘IMAX Enhanced’ promises the highest quality 4K in your living room

Today, IMAX announced a new program called IMAX Enhanced, which was launched in partnership with DTS. It’s a certification and licensing program that will allow users to play the highest quality 4K images and most powerful audio in the comfort of their own home.

The program is launching with partners such as Sony Electronics, Sony Pictures, Paramount Pictures and Sound United on board. In order to be accepted into IMAX Enhanced, manufacturers must design home theater equipment “to meet a carefully prescribed set of the highest audio and video performance standards, set by a certification committee of IMAX and DTS engineers and Hollywood’s leading technical specialists,” according to the release.

These enhanced devices will also have an “IMAX Mode” built in. This will optimize whatever you’re watching to the standards that the filmmaker originally intended, all from the comfort of your home. IMAX and DTS are working with studios and content partners to digitally remaster popular movies and other content for IMAX Mode.

“While the IMAX theatrical experience continues to be the gold standard in blockbuster movie-going, today we are launching an exciting new program that applies components of IMAX’s and DTS’ technology and expertise to deliver consumers a level of quality never before experienced at home,” said IMAX CEO Richard L. Gelfond in a release. The program will launch beginning this fall.

Sony goes big on IMAX Enhanced with new projectors and certified flagship TVs

There are tons of huge announcements coming out of the CEDIA 2018 expo, but one of the most exciting is the IMAX Enhanced program, a collaboration between IMAX and DTS that certifies all sorts of A/V gear to promise that they deliver the best audio and visual experience possible. Denon and Marantz announced earlier this week that they would ship IMAX Enhanced A/V receivers, and now Sony is embracing the program as well with announced support in recent TVs as well as the debut of three new IMAX Enhanced projectors.

The true star of the new projectors is the VPL-VW995ES, which uses the All Range Crisp Focus (ARC-F) lens, an 18-piece glass lens that makes for the crispest picture possible. This model also includes a Digital Focus Optimizer that Sony says provides heightened image quality and focus without distortion. This is one of Sony’s most powerful projectors to date, pumping out up to 2,200 lumens of brightness.

While the aforementioned model may be the top of the line, the VPL-VW695ES will be of more interest to your standard home enthusiast as it is dramatically more affordable, yet still pricey and very high quality. This model boasts 1,800 lumens of brightness and a 350,000:1 contrast ratio. It also comes with features like Picture Position Memory, allowing the user to quickly adjust the image to fit their screen, including 16:9 and Cinemascope.

Finally, the VPL-VW295ES is Sony’s most affordable 4K projector, and does still deliver high dynamic range (HDR), as all of these new projectors do. This model features 1,500 lumens of brightness and comes with many of the features found on the more expensive models. Both this model and the VPL-VW695ES are compact, making them easy to install and use.

Sony also announced IMAX Enhanced certification for many of its recent flagship TVs. The Master Series, which was priced last week, is among these, with the A9F OLED and Z9F both certified. The older A8F Bravia and A1E Bravia, as well as the X900F, are certified as well.

None of these newly announced projectors come cheap. The VPL-VW295ES, the most affordable of the above models, retails for $5,000, while the step-up VPL-VW695ES will sell for $10,000. The top-of-the-line VPL-VW995ES sells for $35,000, meaning it will only be of interest to those who take their home theater experience very seriously.

IMAX AND DTS PARTNER TO LAUNCH IMAX® ENHANCED PROGRAM FOR HOME ENTERTAINMENT

IMAX Corporation (NYSE: IMAX) and audio leader DTS®, a wholly owned subsidiary of Xperi Corporation (Nasdaq: XPER), today announced a new partnership for the next-generation of home entertainment with the launch of the IMAX® Enhanced program. The new certification and licensing program combines the highest-end consumer electronics products with IMAX digitally re-mastered 4K HDR content and DTS audio technologies to offer consumers a new level of quality in immersive sight and sound experiences for the home.