It's a Sad Situation

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kfbkfb

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Dolby Labs successfully relaunched Surround Sound just a few years after Quad failed in the marketplace.

I don't recall the early ads for Dolby Surround, but they found a way to overcome the inaccurate/negative press (and feelings) about Quad sound, quite an accomplishment really (I'll check the worldradiohistory website for early ads and see how they handled the reintroduction).

IIRC, in an interview with Ray Dolby, he said the Japanese were occupied with Quadraphonics during most of the 1970s, otherwise there would have been lots of Dolby B (similar) NR systems.

Interestingly, the (financial) success of Dolby NR systems allowed Dolby Labs to branch out into Surround Sound (for consumers) in the early 1980s (and have that market to themselves too).


Kirk Bayne
 

par4ken

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Dolby was marketed differently, It was developed for movie theatres first. They avoided the term Quadraphonic in favour of Surround. It was intended to add a sound dimension to movies, not intended for music. As tape was replaced by digital systems Dolby needed a new money maker, the timing worked out perfect for them. I doubt that Dolby would still be around marketing only noise reduction systems.

As stereo became added to TV and with stereo VCR's much/most material was dolby encoded. Dolby succeed where the others failed because the movie studios and TV production companies pumped out enough encoded material to make it worthwhile for the average consumer. Just imagine if you had to choose between a regular stereo movie and a Dolby Surround movie, paying more for the surround version. The rise of home theater systems helped to fuel the demand.

Sadly surround for audio was largely forgotten or avoided altogether. Even Audio magazines started to change their names and focus. "Sound" became "Sound and Vision", I lost interest in all those publications at that time.

Dolby was a blessing in that surround sound survived but was/is a curse that focussed or fused surround sound to video rather than to audio.
 

atrocity

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Dolby succeed where the others failed because the movie studios and TV production companies pumped out enough encoded material to make it worthwhile for the average consumer.
And in the analog days, the video soundtracks were clones of the film soundtracks, so the surround rode along for free. No one on either the tape/disc mastering side or the consumer side had to think about it.
 

kfbkfb

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I've never understood why Dolby B NR was used in the surround channel of Dolby Surround, the surround channel isn't any noisier than the L,C,R channels and due to matrix decoding, the surround channel can't be completely decoded, so the Dolby B NR tracking would be wrong (dulling or brightening the sound).


Kirk Bayne
 

MidiMagic

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I've never understood why Dolby B NR was used in the surround channel of Dolby Surround, the surround channel isn't any noisier than the L,C,R channels and due to matrix decoding, the surround channel can't be completely decoded, so the Dolby B NR tracking would be wrong (dulling or brightening the sound).


Kirk Bayne
It kept the highs of the dialog channel out of the surround speakers.
 

boondocks

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Kudos to Dolby for the lossless undertakings. But for lossy I've always preferred DTS over DD. AC3/DD or whatever just always seemed a tad on the pale side to me. So whenever I needed a DVD I always used DTS. (actually i think a DD track was required but you could get by with stereo to preserve space-it's been a while since I used a full blown dvd authoring program though)

Unfortunately even a lot of BD's have DD encoded sound. Look at the offerings from Blue Oyster Cult; I don't believe any of their concert BD's are lossless, or even DTS.
Unhappily the few Tangerine Dream BD's are the same except for the later offerings of In Search of Hades.
Fortunately for "one night in space" and "london eye concert" , which are stereo regardless of what the packaging says, the DVD versions were at least DD 5.1 and I was able to mate the audio from them perfectly to the BD's. Pure luck on my part.
 

fizzywiggs41

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Dolby was marketed differently, It was developed for movie theatres first. They avoided the term Quadraphonic in favour of Surround. It was intended to add a sound dimension to movies, not intended for music. As tape was replaced by digital systems Dolby needed a new money maker, the timing worked out perfect for them. I doubt that Dolby would still be around marketing only noise reduction systems.

As stereo became added to TV and with stereo VCR's much/most material was dolby encoded. Dolby succeed where the others failed because the movie studios and TV production companies pumped out enough encoded material to make it worthwhile for the average consumer. Just imagine if you had to choose between a regular stereo movie and a Dolby Surround movie, paying more for the surround version. The rise of home theater systems helped to fuel the demand.

Sadly surround for audio was largely forgotten or avoided altogether. Even Audio magazines started to change their names and focus. "Sound" became "Sound and Vision", I lost interest in all those publications at that time.

Dolby was a blessing in that surround sound survived but was/is a curse that focussed or fused surround sound to video rather than to audio.

Actually Dolby also avoided the word Surround at first. No doubt the 2channel audiophile snobs were still influencing Audio producers about quad failures and probably went "ooh no not again , haven't you learned
enough about that surround failure yet !" (or something very similar)
Dolby chose the term "Dolby Stereo" even though the majority of films and soundtracks were actually in Surround.
So it took awhile for them to actually use the term Dolby Surround.

I used to keep in contact with Roger Dressler (Dolby Labs) and he kept me up to date what films were using Dolby Stereo . BTW He sent me lists occasionally of new films and music movies which were actually recorded in Surround .
 

kfbkfb

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The amazing thing is that Dolby Labs was willing to undertake reintroducing a concept that had failed just a few years before.

IIRC, it took until ~1986 for Dolby Surround encoded LaserDiscs to begin using the official Dolby Surround logo, my (1983 release) Flash Gordon CED just says it's matrix surround encoded (no mention of Dolby).

Roger Dressler used to post in alt.video.dvd and was nice enough to answer some of my Dolby tech related questions.


Kirk Bayne
 

par4ken

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Actually Dolby also avoided the word Surround at first. No doubt the 2channel audiophile snobs were still influencing Audio producers about quad failures and probably went "ooh no not again , haven't you learned
enough about that surround failure yet !" (or something very similar)
Dolby chose the term "Dolby Stereo" even though the majority of films and soundtracks were actually in Surround.
So it took awhile for them to actually use the term Dolby Surround.

I used to keep in contact with Roger Dressler (Dolby Labs) and he kept me up to date what films were using Dolby Stereo . BTW He sent me lists occasionally of new films and music movies which were actually recorded in Surround .
Stereo can refer to more than two channels. I remember when the term four channel stereo was often used and of course Vanguard's Quad tapes were "Surround Stereo".
 

MidiMagic

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I always wondered if Dolby did not use the term Surround to avoid any patient infrigement from CBS or other Quad producing labels that had Patients still active.
Patient infrigement? We had to wait for HIPAA to stop that (and without a refrigerator). :D

The use of terms belonging to others is trademark infringement, not patent infringement.

There are three kinds of intellectual property protection:

Patent - protection of inventions and processes
Trademark - protection of advertising terms, slogans, and business names
Copyright - protection of creative works
 

fizzywiggs41

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I always wondered if Dolby did not use the term Surround to avoid any patient infrigement from CBS or other Quad producing labels that had Patients still active.

IIRC the only patent infringement legal challenge came from the British Audio Equipment Manufacturer ..
...QUAD Audio ...against using the term Quad in reference to indicate "quad audio" recordings from Record Companies .
I'm not certain what the final outcome was . Perhaps one of our British or European members would know and can comment about the finale or provide some insight .
 

kfbkfb

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I had heard about that too, Quality Unit Amplifier Domestic.


The Cinerama theater where I saw Star Wars in 1977:

Newspaper ad from the Des Moines Register, May 27,1977
“Begins Tonight! Star Wars. Star Wars will presented with DOLBY SOUND a special new sound system that the River Hills has installed that will astound your mind with the ULTIMATE QUAD SYSTEM. Adults $3.00, Children under 12 $1.25”


The cat is out of the bag already, Dolby (sound) is (a form of) Quad. :)


Kirk Bayne
 

MidiMagic

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IIRC the only patent infringement legal challenge came from the British Audio Equipment Manufacturer ..
...QUAD Audio ...against using the term Quad in reference to indicate "quad audio" recordings from Record Companies .
I'm not certain what the final outcome was . Perhaps one of our British or European members would know and can comment about the finale or provide some insight .
That's trademark infringement.

I don't know if any formal ruling occurred, but everyone stopped using QUAD referring to quadraphonic sound as a result of their protest.
 

J. PUPSTER

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I'd Add the album Star Wars to the stealth quads ,But it's not my say so .




Article touting the use of QS , HI FI NEWS AND RECORD REVIEW April 78.View attachment 69442
They may be just saying the QS encode is on the 35mm theatre film stock; and would this carry over to the LP version like this one?

I've got that LP IIRC. sitting around somewhere, but the "ambience" to the rears doesn't sound promising -hmmm.
 

fizzywiggs41

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They may be just saying the QS encode is on the 35mm theatre film stock; and would this carry over to the LP version like this one?

I've got that LP IIRC. sitting around somewhere, but the "ambience" to the rears doesn't sound promising -hmmm.

Yes they are and plenty did . I even had a letter from the lads at Fosgate suggesting I try out some of the soundtrack albums for use with my theatre surround on my Tate 101a .
 
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