IMAX heading for home theatre

IMAX, better known for its supersized commercial movie theatre experiences, is taking aim at the home cinema environment with a set of high-res audio and 4K video standards it calls IMAX Enhanced.

Teaming up with AV audio experts DTS, the new standards will set specific audio and video performance criteria, designed to optimise the home cinema experience. Several big hardware brands have already signed up, with Marantz and Sony among the first.

IMAX Enhanced also extends to content, with Sony Pictures and Paramount set to release Imax Enhanced movie versions. The catalogue is expected to include selected titles from IMAX’s own inventory.

Just how the standards and specifications for IMAX Enhanced are being determined remains unclear, but is likely to draw from the IMAX’s professional and commercial technologies. The idea is to create an IMAX Enhanced ecosystem that ensures an optimised path from origination to playback.

Broad take-up of the new standard will be critical to its success, especially considering that Dolby already offers Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, while THX is also active in the AV certification space.

Should it succeed to attract buy-in from the majority of AV hardware and movie studios, IMAX Enhanced will add yet another standard to the list. As Marantz has already indicated, adding IMAX Enhanced compatibility might be as simple as downloading a firmware update for compatible AVRs.

In the mean time, Sony has already released a trio of IMAX Enhanced-compatible 4K HDR projectors.