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Standards, studios and exhibitors must all support audio improvement

[Variety]

While movie theaters are under pressure to upgrade to stay ahead of rapidly improving home theater systems, most of their energy has gone to projection, not to sound….

Theater sound standards are set by the Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers (SMPTE). But it has been more than 30 years since SMPTE set forth a recommended set of standards for theatrical sound.

The Audio Engineering Society, which normally focuses on concerts and live events, leaving the movie biz to SMPTE, is pushing hard for SMPTE to revisit theater audio standards.

McCarty, an AES member, said “This is an unprecedented moment in theatrical sound and our members feel they have something to add to the discussion.” The standards established decades ago were the best SMPTE could do at the time, he said, but they didn’t lay out a reliable means getting great audio to auds’ ears. Today he wants to be part of making sound right, as fast as possible.  …

The Audio Engineering Society, which normally focuses on concerts and live events, leaving the movie biz to SMPTE, is pushing hard for SMPTE to revisit theater audio standards.

McCarty, an AES member, said “This is an unprecedented moment in theatrical sound and our members feel they have something to add to the discussion.” The standards established decades ago were the best SMPTE could do at the time, he said, but they didn’t lay out a reliable means getting great audio to auds’ ears. Today he wants to be part of making sound right, as fast as possible. …

“It’s a never-ending process with new technology,” says Collins. “I imagine we’re all asking ourselves how much this is going to cost us because if it doesn’t make financial sense, then we just can’t do it.”

Read the full story here: http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118051770?refCatId=1009

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