While the showcasing of 9.1 surround sound in a specially built theatre may have been the attention grabbing section of the Dolby stand at CES this year, but not many of us will ever see 9.1 surround sound in our living room.
However, in a more realistic announcement, Dolby unveiled Version 4 of its Home Theatre system which promises to bring cinematic surround sound to your PC. New to the fourth iteration of the Home Theatre package is an easier system of controlling the overall level of your audio output while still providing more volume and better performance from PC speakers, headphones or external speakers.
Andy Dowell, Sales Director with Dolby, said we could expect to see this technology in laptops in early 2011 and named Acer and Lenovo as OEMs who will be rolling out the new system. The system also offers connectivity to home theatre systems (the clue was in the name) to create authentic 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound.
We were given a demo of V4 at the Dolby booth today and its ability to boost the soun, without any distortion from a variety of sources was very impressive and the control panel showed that users will have a lot more control over the sound. One of the most important features we saw was the ability to regulate the sound coming from your speakers from all sources, which will limit the need to change the levels every time.