December 10, 2023
Dolby Labs

Dolby Labs has a brand new residence theater expertise referred to as Dolby Atmos FlexConnect. The corporate says it can let individuals with a appropriate TV place wi-fi audio system wherever that’s handy, and the TV’s built-in microphones will robotically calibrate them to work with the TV’s audio system whereas making certain the entire setup produces optimum sound. The expertise will make its debut within the 2024 TCL X955 QD mini-LED 4K TV, however Dolby anticipates that different firms can even announce assist for Dolby Atmos FlexConnect.

As a result of Dolby Atmos FlexConnect works wirelessly and makes use of a appropriate TV’s built-in {hardware} and software program, you’ll be capable of arrange a Dolby Atmos audio system that doesn’t require a soundbar or AV receiver as its central unit and doesn’t want an HDMI cable to ship an audio sign to an exterior system.

Dolby’s tech is separate from a TV’s working system — so we might see Dolby Atmos FlexConnect on TVs from any variety of TV makers whether or not they use Google TV, Roku, or another good TV software program, nevertheless it does require that the TV use the newest Dolby multi-stream decoder.

Not like Sonos, or expertise platforms like DTS Play-Fi or WiSA, which depend on a mix of appropriate software program and {hardware} linked to one another utilizing Wi-Fi, Dolby Atmos FlexConnect is connection and hardware-agnostic. Dolby is leaving choices across the kinds of audio system and the wi-fi expertise to the TV producer, so if TCL (as an illustration) might determine a method to hyperlink a number of wi-fi audio system utilizing Bluetooth, that may be simply as appropriate with Dolby Atmos FlexConnect as Wi-Fi, or a proprietary wi-fi system.

There’s no laborious restrict to the variety of wi-fi audio system or channels that Dolby Atmos FlexConnect can assist, nevertheless it’s possible that TV makers will every have their very own particular limitations primarily based on the processing capabilities of their inner {hardware}. In idea, you could possibly use a wi-fi speaker as the middle channel, or just depend on your TV’s audio system to shoulder that activity.

I requested Dolby Labs if we are able to anticipate to see wi-fi audio system and/or subwoofers that promise Dolby Atmos FlexConnect compatibility, however apparently, that’s probably not a factor. Will probably be as much as every TV maker to determine which wi-fi audio system it desires to assist and, presumably, some firms will select to solely assist the wi-fi audio system that they make.

Dolby highlighted the next 4 advantages of Dolby Atmos FlexConnect:

  • The flexibility so as to add accent wi-fi audio system to Dolby Atmos-enabled TV to raise a system’s audio efficiency
  • The pliability to put audio system wherever, and make the very best use of room dimensions, energy outlet areas, and furnishings preparations as desired with out compromising audio high quality
  • Quick and easy setup, with no extra tools or cables. Dolby acoustic mapping locates every wi-fi speaker within the room and calibrates the system robotically to make sure optimum audio efficiency
  • Audio is intelligently unfold from the TV audio system to every wi-fi speaker, dynamically optimizing the sound sign primarily based on the capabilities and placement of all accessible audio system

Many Dolby Atmos soundbars from firms like Sony, LG, Samsung, Sennheiser, Bose, and Sonos have microphone-based calibration programs that carry out the same activity to Dolby Atmos FlexConnect, however they’re typically far more strict in regards to the variety of audio system that can be utilized. Some, like Sony (Bravia Acoustic Middle Sync), LG (Wow Orchestra), and Samsung (Q Symphony), can combine with a TV’s built-in audio system, nevertheless it solely works with choose TV fashions from the identical firm. A few of Samsung’s soundbars may also join wirelessly to the corporate’s TVs.

Extra particulars about TCL’s implementation of Dolby Atmos FlexConnect can be accessible when the corporate broadcasts its 2023 international flagship product launch at 2 p.m. CEST (8 a.m. ET/5 a.m. PT) on August 29 on YouTube.

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