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Dolby Cinemas are finally coming to the UK

Dolby and Odeon Cinemas Group have entered into an agreement that will bring Dolby Cinema to seven sites in the UK.

We don’t know where those seven Dolby Cinemas will be, and we don’t have a timeframe besides a vague “next several years”, but this could shake up the cinema landscape as we know it.

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Currently the only ‘premium’ cinema alternative is IMAX, which offers large-format viewing experiences. Dolby Vision is less about size, focusing on picture and sound quality. Dolby Cinemas bring two key ingredients: Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos.

Dolby Vision is a format of high dynamic range (HDR) video, and it’s all about improving your picture’s contrast and colour range. It’s all the rage right now in the land of TVs, particularly on OLED TVs, which are able to achieve absolute black levels. Black levels have traditionally been a struggle with projectors, and Dolby Cinemas get around this with twin laser projectors, one to handle light performance, the other to handle the dark.

Dolby Atmos is all about “object-based” audio, which is to say sound effects can be placed around the room with remarkable accuracy. They can be moved around you and even above you, creating a dome of sound. This alone isn’t entirely new – some UK cinemas already have Dolby Atmos installed, but until now it’s not been paired with a premium video format.

Other Dolby Cinema features include luxury seating, subtle lighting that doesn’t distract from the viewing experience, and experimental corridors with interactive projections. These will depend on individual sites and the amount of space available, however.

In the UK, there is currently only one Dolby Cinema, and it’s the private one at Dolby Laboratories in London. Having been there many times over the years, I can tell you it will be worth the wait.

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Are you looking forward to Dolby Cinemas, or are you happy with the standard cinema experience? Let us know by tweeting @TrustedReviews.

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