Dolby 7.1 Surround Adds New Dimension to Movies

A big part of the movie-going experience is the enormous, high definition screen. But often, movie-goers forget the other half of the experience, the room-filling sounds.

In an action movie like Transformers: Dark of the Moon, things are happening all around you. And part of the magic is the surround sound format called 7.1.

"Transformers just has a lot of depth," said Jeff Haboush, an Oscar nominated sound engineer. "You want to be able to pin point sounds in every corner, every side of the room."

And that's because the sounds of the film allows for the audience to be engulfed in the story.

"A 'whizzing' sound can go into the back corner of a room, and robot's arms can go flying right over your head," Haboush said in describing a scene. "You want to just feel everything that's on the screen."

The Dolby 7.1 surround effect adds two more speakers in the mix, which gives a more fuller sound. But can the average audience notice the difference?

"Certainly going from stereo to 5.1 a huge difference," said Stuart Bowling, a senior worldwide technical marketing manger at Dolby. "Having a 7.1 setup in the home can add again another dimension and better placement of sound."

A fuller sound, also includes the the .1 or subwoofer, which Bowling calls the, "boom, boom, shake the room" effect.

To get the full 7.1 surround effect at home, there is a few extra things needed: Seven speakers, a subwoofer, plus a player that can handle it and a disc that delivers it all.

This movement, however, is also making its way online to media streamers like Netflix and Vudu, Bowling said.

"I think the technology will continue to evolve and we'll be able to offer the premium experience either from a soundbar or for a full-on surround sound system," said Bowling. " the hardcore AV fans out there."

Whether it's in the big screens in the theaters or on the flatscreens at home, the movie-watching experience will be that much better said Haboush.

For more information on the 7.1 technology visit Dolby's website.