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TOPIC: Whatever Happened To Dolby 'EX'?

Whatever Happened To Dolby 'EX'? 07 Dec 2007 10:28 #16885

  • muviebuf
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Dolby EX was supposed to be an improvement over standard Dolby Digital adding additional information to the rear channel surrounds.

Like so many of these gimmicks over the past 50 years it appears to have already fallen by the wayside. Each time one of these gimmicks appears and then dies it is for the same reason - the failure of the studios to spend the extra money to provide the prints encoded for the process.

Dolby EX was introduced about 8 or 9 years ago. Since its introduction there have at most been about 6 features a year which use the process. Recently even those numbers have been dwindling.

The cost of EX upgrade - what with additional processer, amplifiers, speakers and installation costs appears in my view to be wasted. Can I get my money back?

This is just of the reasons that digital cinema gives me such hesitation.
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Re: Whatever Happened To Dolby 'EX'? 07 Dec 2007 10:43 #16886

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Wont you use the ex on all digital prints?
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Re: Whatever Happened To Dolby 'EX'? 07 Dec 2007 10:56 #16887

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EX is only available on those specially encoded prints which have the information for the additional sound track. The film must be specially recorded by the studio for the EX. Those prints are specially marked on the leaders. The DTS version of these prints has the discs marked "ES" on them.

EX is not something which is just there if you have regular Dolby Digital or DTS.
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Re: Whatever Happened To Dolby 'EX'? 07 Dec 2007 11:29 #16888

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does 2k run all the prints with the ex markings?
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Re: Whatever Happened To Dolby 'EX'? 07 Dec 2007 15:50 #16889

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By 2K I assume you mean a digital projection system.

I do not know for sure (as I am not familar with digital projectors) but I ASSUME (there is that word again) that if your theatre is equipped for EX (meaning having the extra speakers, amps and sound processor for that extra channel) then a digital system should play those pictures which have been encoded for EX surround.

However the point of my original post was that the studios are simply not bothering to spend the extra money to do the EX mix for most releases. The last major release which I can recall as being in EX was "Bridge to Terebitha". The studios did not even bother to spend the money for EX for the big sequals this past summer (Spidey 3, Shrek 3, Pirates 3, Bourne 3, etc).

Looks to me as if EX is almost completely gone.
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Re: Whatever Happened To Dolby 'EX'? 08 Dec 2007 20:00 #16890

I am not sure if the Dolby and DTS units work exclusively on their own encoded prints but the Panastereo unit decodes any panned information regardless of encoding.

In other words, if the mixer panned the L-R surrounds it will play Left, Rear, Right.
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