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This article was published on July 3, 2017

Netflix brings Dolby Atmos from the cinema to your living room

Netflix brings Dolby Atmos from the cinema to your living room
Tristan Greene
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Tristan Greene

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Tristan covers human-centric artificial intelligence advances, quantum computing, STEM, Spiderman, physics, and space stuff. Pronouns: He/hi Tristan covers human-centric artificial intelligence advances, quantum computing, STEM, Spiderman, physics, and space stuff. Pronouns: He/him

Netflix last week began streaming it’s first Dolby Atmos enabled movie. Okja is the first of several planned releases that include the advanced audio format.

Atmos works like an upgrade to surround sound; it takes the traditional 5.1, 7.1 or 9.1 setup and dynamically changes the sound profile for your movie or game. It positions the sound in real time based on your specific speaker set up instead of using a generic arrangements. This technology allows it to take advantage of vertical and horizontal speaker placement to create sweeping soundscapes for immersive sound that ‘moves’ according to what you’re watching.

To use Dolby Atmos with Netflix you’ll have to have access the streaming service via Microsoft’s Xbox One (this includes S and X versions) or 2017 LG OLED TVs. Netflix intends to add further device support later.

Much like Netflix’s initial 4K streaming titles, this is a niche offering for now. Dolby Atmos isn’t going to grab Netflix a huge part of the streaming market that it doesn’t already have.

This could be seen as a ‘future-proofing’ move by Netflix as it continues trying to bridge the gap between the cinema experience and the living-room experience.