Those who were lucky enough to watch ‘Uri – The Surgical Strike’ in a good theatre would remember the scene in which they heard a bullet come from behind and hit army personnel on the move in Manipur. Such an audio element would have been impossible a few years ago, before Dolby Atmos was launched. Now, Dolby Atmos is available in 500 cinemas across the country and has been used in at least a similar number of Indian movies across languages.
“It’s been six years and I think 500 is a very good number,” says Ashim Mathur, Senior Regional Director, Marketing, Emerging Markets at Dolby Laboratories. For the uninitiated, Dolby Atmos is an immersive audio experience where filmmakers get the ability to move sound like other characters using an array of speakers.
Mathur thinks Atmos is now all set to invade living rooms via sound bars.
“They have experienced Atmos in cinemas and soon Atmos sound bars will come at better price points,” Mathur says, underlining how the company is bullish on this space evolving over the coming months. “Home theatres had their challenges because of size, installation etc, not so sound bars.”
The availability of superior audio via OTT services like Netflix and Amazon Prime is also helping push the adoption of Atmos at home.
In fact, Dolby has over the years been working with broadcasters across India to start offering a better audio experience. “We have over 65 channels with Dolby audio, across all possible genres. And when it comes to OTT players, 5.1 is standard for Netflix and Amazon,” adds Mathur. Even with television, Mathur says, the big brands are all now using Dolby Vision and Atmos.
Atmos is also finding wide acceptability in the mobile segment. If a few years ago only Lenovo had a smartphone with Atmos, now Samsung is using it across its J series and A series which are across price points, while Huawei has it across P and Mate series. “The attach of our technology on the device side, be it smartphone, television or sound bard, has never been this strong before,” Mathur says.
“In India now we need to get more content in. We are very strong on the broadcast side, but how we can get on to the OTTs is probably the next big thing.”